The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges recently approved Tusculum’s request to add a Master of Arts in Sport Administration. The university will begin offering the degree, which takes a year to complete, in the 2019 fall semester.
Tusculum already offers an undergraduate degree in sport management, and it will align nicely with the new master’s degree, said Dr. Tricia Hunsader, the College of Education’s dean.
“The sport management program is one of our larger programs throughout Tusculum,” she said. “The new master’s degree will offer a seamless transition for students in this program and provide an excellent option for others interested in this field. It will provide further reason for students to choose Tusculum for their academic needs.”
Adding this degree will enable Tusculum graduates to seek jobs in fields where openings are abundant. When they submitted paperwork to the SACSCOC, College of Education leaders identified about 300 sport management job openings listed on www.indeed.com in Tennessee. For the next six to eight years, employment projections for management occupations in the United States and Tennessee showed increases of 9.2 percent and 10.7 percent, respectively.
Dr. Hunsader said the College of Education believes it can attract 15 students into the program in the first year, with growth in future years that will bring the total to 20-22 each year. In addition to seeking Tusculum undergraduate students and recent graduates, the university will be a viable option for those from other higher education institutions that do not have a similar master’s program.
Students in the Master of Arts in Sport Administration will take classes almost exclusively in person versus online. Dr. Hunsader said that is particularly important for some students from foreign countries and veterans who might be required to take face-to-face classes. The new program will also benefit athletes who have an extra year of eligibility and have completed their bachelor’s degree.
All classes will be offered during the day.
“We’re excited about this new master’s degree, which we have spent considerable time refining for the benefit of our students,” said Dr. Sabrina Reed, program coordinator, who led the development of the degree’s curriculum. “We’re giving students the opportunity to seek their preferred jobs with the skills gained through this degree.”
Dr. Reed said the master’s degree will open the door to a large number of positions in sports, such as working in the business side of a professional team. She said graduates could propel their skill set for a career in sport and exercise facility management using the degree or take the next step academically by pursuing a doctorate.
The degree consists of 30 credit hours, with full-time students taking four classes in the fall and spring semesters and completing a summer internship. Admission requirements include:
- Submitting a resume that includes sport-related work experience
- Holding a bachelor’s degree in a related field or providing documentation of sport-related work experience
- Having a cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of 3.25 — or at least a 3.0 for the last 60 credit hours
The university also offers options for conditional admission who do not meet the GPA requirements.
Dr. Hunsader said Tusculum will hire an additional faculty member prior to fall 2019 to supplement the two who are already scheduled to teach the graduate-level courses.
“Given the quality of the faculty who will teach in this program, our graduates will be in a good position to successfully pursue a career in sport administration,” she said. “This expansion of programs within the College of Education showcases the growth occurring at Tusculum and our ability to meet the needs of our students and the region.”