SCC Press Release

SCC Partners with Great River Health Systems to Offer Pre-Athletic Training Degree

Officials from Southeastern Community College (SCC) and Great River Health Systems (GRHS) in West Burlington recently entered into an agreement to begin offering an athletic training transfer degree this fall.

Students will spend two years at SCC taking classes focused on a four-year athletic training curriculum and earn an associate’s degree upon completion. Then they will seamlessly transfer to a participating college or university in the region to complete the program and earn a bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training.

SCC’s program curriculum includes a mix of science, anatomy and introductory athletic training classes in addition to general education classes. One of the highlights of the program is that students can begin taking classes in their major as early as their first year.

SCC Vice President of Academic Affairs David Schachtsiek says that this arrangement helps students get a taste of what the major will be like. For some, it will be an incentive to continue; others may find that it’s not what they want to do. For those who opt out, deciding early to switch to a different program will mean they won’t have to take unnecessary classes or fall behind in their new program coursework.

“Either way, students will save time and money as they earn their degree.”

Schachtsiek continues that athletic training is a growing field and there is a demand for certified trainers throughout the nation. Graduates with degrees in athletic training find jobs with sports organizations, schools, hospitals, clinics and park districts, among others. Median income in Iowa is nearly $36,000. 

The idea for offering the program came out of discussions between SCC and GRHS staff that started in 2011.

“Given the identified demand for athletic trainers and our current partnerships with SCC, we saw an opportunity to fill a need,” explains Jeff Taeger, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Great River Medical Center.

For this program, GRHS will provide master’s degree-level athletic trainers to teach the athletic training courses as well as provide opportunities for students to learn in its new Athletic and Performance Center, slated to open in August.

“Instructors will be able to take advantage of the state-of-the-art facility at GRHS to teach students in a real life, on-the-job working environment so they get first-hand experience working with athletes and patients,” Taeger says.

Schachtsiek says that the new program only would only be viable if it could find four-year institutions that would accept SCC’s program graduates. “We met with Western Illinois University and they immediately expressed interest, as did the University of Northern Iowa and Culver-Stockton College.”

Schachtsiek continues that several more agreements are in the works. “We’ve received a lot of interest from other schools throughout the region. We want to give our students a choice of excellent transfer options.”

Each transfer school has specific degree requirements which can present a few challenges, but SCC continues to work through them to finalize the agreements.

“The collaboration between SCC and our participating four-year schools has been very positive,” explains Schachtsiek.

Anyone interested in learning more about SCC’s Pre-Athletic Training program is encouraged to contact SCC Enrollment Services at (319) 208-5010.

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