Department of Health and Movement Sciences Programs

The Department of Health and Movement Sciences offers nationally recognized programs in Athletic Training, Human Performance, Physical Education, Respiratory Care and/or School Health Education. Career options in the fitness and health industry (e.g., in corporate wellness, fitness training, clinical exercise physiology, human performance) are growing; Southern’s graduates have gone on to positively contribute to the health status and wellness-based lifestyles of different segments of the population, from young children to the elderly.

Athletic training is an allied health profession encompassing the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of acute and chronic injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers are regulated in 49 states to include Connecticut. Athletic trainers treat a broad range of patients and can be found in a variety of professional settings. Athletic trainers can be found providing health care services within high schools, colleges/universities, professional sport settings, performing arts, physician offices, hospitals, and several occupational settings.

The Southern Connecticut State University accelerated BS / MAT in athletic training offers eligible students the opportunity to complete their undergraduate degree and a Master’s in Athletic Training within a five-year period. Replacing our successful undergraduate program, this program meets the Commission on Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accreditation requirements that all entry- level athletic training programs be delivered at the graduate level following a reduced undergraduate experience. Our program is the first to meet Connecticut Department of Public Health requirements regarding minimum coursework for athletic trainers to be employed in the occupational setting.

Our unique athletic training curriculum begins following three years of undergraduate study focusing on developing a strong foundation in the sciences to include the exercise sciences. Students begin their graduate athletic training studies during that initial summer after admission into the graduate program. Subsequent study follows the traditional fall and spring semesters schedule with each semester divided into 8 week sessions. One session each semester is devoted to a period of concentrated classroom study with the second 8 weeks dedicated to an immersive clinical experience under the supervision of program preceptors.

Consistent with Southern’s commitment to access, the undergraduate aspect of our program provides a quality, lower cost alternative to most other programs nationally and facilitates the admission of transfer students. Students apply to Southern Connecticut as an athletic training major and proceed to complete undergraduate and professional prerequisite requirements. Students achieving a 3.0 and meeting all prerequisite courses shall be admitted into graduate
professional studies. For a list of prerequisite courses, retention and requirements students are strongly encouraged to visit the Southern undergraduate and graduate catalogs.

Per accreditation requirements, the following outcomes are expected of students matriculating through the Southern Connecticut Athletic Training program.

  1. Athletic training students will demonstrate the expectations of a reflective allied health care practitioner who uses evidence-based decision making to enhance patient care and clinical outcomes.
    1. Students will demonstrate the expected knowledge and skills of an entry- level athletic trainer.
    2. Students will demonstrate proficiency in applying clinical skills by providing effective patient care based on evidence-based practice.
    3. Students will complete self-assessments during their clinical education to enhance clinical skills and remediate deficiencies.
    4. Students will demonstrate knowledge of evidence-based practice concepts (Writing a PICO question, locating the best available evidence, and appraising the evidence) to support clinical practice decisions.
    5. Students will incorporate patient outcome models into their relevant clinical experiences.
  2. Athletic training students will promote and contribute to the athletic training profession in anticipation of becoming involved athletic training professionals.
    1. Students will be members of professional organizations.
    2. Students will enhance the athletic training profession and health care.
  3. Athletic training students will model professional and ethical behaviors to represent themselves as future health care providers when interacting with patients, other health care providers and professionals.

In compliance with the CAATE requirements, the following chart represents the current Board of Certification Examination pass rate for students completing the undergraduate athletic training program.

Plan of Study BS to MAT Program Fall 2019

 

View Accreditation and Outcomes

At this time, we do not have any graduate students in the program. We are presenting the undergraduate results for historical comparison.

In adhering to the tenets of Southern Connecticut State University and the Exercise Science Department, the Athletic Training Program is committed to establishing itself as a regional and national leader in the preparation of entry-level athletic training professionals who will serve in a wide range of professional settings and become high quality health care providers and citizens. The program faculty will provide each student with excellent advisement, solid academic instruction and active, instructive clinical experiences while offering opportunities for student research and professional involvement.

Attention Prospective Students -- in line with changes in athletic training education nationwide, the Southern Connecticut Athletic Training program is in the process of transitioning its undergraduate program to the entry-level master's degree level. At this time, we are no longer accepting students to the B.S. program. Be sure to view the description for the Accelerated Athletic Training B.S./M.A.T. program for more details!

View Accreditation and Outcomes

Athletic training is an allied health profession encompassing the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of acute and chronic injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers are regulated in 49 states to include Connecticut. Athletic trainers treat a broad range of patients and clients and can be found in many professional settings. Athletic trainers provide preventive and health care services within high schools, colleges/universities, professional sport teams, performing arts, physician offices, military and occupational settings.

Southern’s post-baccalaureate M.A.T. degree in athletic training is expected to begin in the summer of 2021 and will allow its students to complete requirements to sit for the Board of Certification Examination after 2 years. The program is open to students regardless of undergraduate degree provided students have completed prerequisite courses and other admission requirements.

Our unique and innovative curriculum consists of four traditional fall and spring semesters which are preceded by a single summer session. These fall and spring semesters have been divided into 8-week ‘mini-semesters’ with one 8-week period devoted to classroom study and the second 8-week period dedicated to experiential learning. The extensive level of immersive clinical experience offered by our program will give every student maximal opportunity to master their professional skills in all aspects of the athletic training profession.

Southern’s athletic training curriculum is the first curriculum in Connecticut to include specific coursework in occupational injury prevention and meets state requirements for athletic trainers to work in the occupational setting.

Graduate Course Plan of Study


Southern’s Teacher Education Program is designed to prepared students to teach physical education in public and private schools. Successful completion of this program fulfills the academic requirements of the Connecticut Initial Educator Certificate for K-12 physical education.

This 120-credit specialization in human performance is a non-teaching Bachelor of Science option for Exercise Science majors. The curriculum provides students with an understanding of the exercise sciences which include physiology of exercise, biomechanics, strength & conditioning, exercise testing & prescription, nutrition and exercise, and psychology of sport. The required six-credit internship provides the student an opportunity to apply scientific course work principles in a fitness, strength and conditioning, or clinical rehabilitation setting.

The Human Performance program is endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Human performance graduates are prepared for employment in the physical fitness industry, strength & conditioning coaching, or cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation, and are prepared for graduate schooling in exercise science, occupational or physical therapy, physician assistant, and chiropractic. The program curriculum and mission aligns with the Exercise is MedicineTM initiative, which encourages health care providers to include physical activity with prescriptive medicine when optimizing patient health.

Specific occupational opportunities include adult fitness in a corporate, community, commercial, or rehabilitation setting; youth fitness in public and private agencies; special population fitness for infants, the elderly, various clinical populations and physically and emotionally handicapped individuals; coaching or training in a college, high school, or Olympic training center; or research assistant in sports nutrition, biomechanics, or clinical exercise physiology.

84 percent of graduating undergraduates from 2016-17 were either placed in employment or were accepted or committed to graduate schooling in exercise science, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or physician assistant

Our graduate program in Human Performance offers students the opportunity to acquire in-depth knowledge in the exercise sciences. As one of two accredited graduate programs in the New England, our students work closely with our faculty in the classroom or in conjunction with one of our ongoing research projects.

Current laboratory research includes examining the causes of hypertension in African-Americans, product testing of sports equipment for injury prevention and rehabilitation, gait analysis for runners and clinical populations, physiological, biomechanical, and postural changes related to aging, and nutritional supplements for health and human performance.

Recent graduates have gone onto: Doctoral study in the exercise sciences at prestigious universities, are employed in cardiac rehabilitation, serving as strength and conditioning coaches and research associates at Division I universities, or have gone on to physical therapy and medical sonographer programs.

Our program is one of the most affordable in New England, and we offer a limited number of graduate assistantships to qualified students.

For those students who are interested, please contact the MS Exercise Science - coordinator, Dr. Robert Axtell axtellr1@southernct.edu.

Our program in sport psychology is an interdisciplinary program among the Exercise Science, Counseling and School Psychology and Psychology Departments that offers its students in-depth study in the areas of the health psychology, performance enhancement and intervention.

Students complete 33-34 graduate credits to earn this degree. The program includes a thesis and non-thesis option plus the opportunity to complete a field practicum in sport psychology.

Coaching is an important career choice. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge into coaching through the study of sociological, psychological, medical and physical areas.  Coaching strategies, principles and perspectives from the individual, dual and team sport will be introduced. This minor is open to students from all majors interested in pursuing coaching.

The minor addresses the foundations of exercise science.

The Minor in School Health Education offers basic preparation in health education to individuals desiring to teach health in public schools.

An interdisciplinary approach, which will provide the student insight into the study of sport. Students will focus on history, culture, ethical, race, class, gender and other approaches related to the study of sport and human athletic performance.

The AS-to-BSRT program is designed to enhance the student's professional career in Respiratory Therapy. The curriculum provides students who hold Associate degree in the field of respiratory care and RRT certification, with the necessary skills and knowledge to be fully prepared to further assume professional leadership roles in clinical practice, research, education, marketing and management.

The mission of the AS-to-BSRT Program in Respiratory Care at SCSU is to provide sound instruction and resources for currently practicing respiratory care professionals, to enable students to develop the knowledge, skills, attitude, and critical thinking necessary to function as successful and competent respiratory therapists. The AS-to-BSRT Program in Respiratory Care at SCSU fosters and promotes these important concepts through the advancement of education, teaching excellence, practice, research, community engagement and a commitment to lifelong learning.

The AS-to-BSRT program is designed to enhance the student's professional career in Respiratory Therapy. The curriculum provides students who hold Associate degree in the field of respiratory care and RRT certification, with the necessary skills and knowledge to be fully prepared to further assume professional leadership roles in clinical practice, research, education, marketing and management.

The mission of the AS-to-BSRT Program in Respiratory Care at SCSU is to provide sound instruction and resources for currently practicing respiratory care professionals, to enable students to develop the knowledge, skills, attitude, and critical thinking necessary to function as successful and competent respiratory therapists. The AS-to-BSRT Program in Respiratory Care at SCSU fosters and promotes these important concepts through the advancement of education, teaching excellence, practice, research, community engagement and a commitment to lifelong learning.

The Master of Science in School Health Education prepares school health educators for leadership roles in the field of school health education. The mission is to prepare leaders with the skills and knowledge to coordinate, teach, and advocate for school health education programs for grades pre-K through twelve. Additionally, this program meets the requirements for certified teachers seeking a cross-endorsement in health education.

Students will be engaged in a contemporary program addressing curriculum development; selection and design of assessment strategies; skills-based teaching strategies; program planning, promotion, and evaluation; advocacy; and health communications.

This graduate program is designed to support the individual learners through real-life experiences and whenever possible, application within their current school communities.

Courses in this 30-credit program are offered in online, hybrid, or on-ground format.