Graduate Catalog 2016-17 
    Jun 17, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2016-17 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Athletic Leadership (MS)

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The Master of Science in Athletic Leadership (MS.ATL) prepares students for success in administrative and/or head coaching positions in educational-based athletic organizations through professional and applied studies. Professional positions in high school, university or private youth athletic departments or organizations require specialized and applied training.

This is primarily an on-line program, with a short but important on-campus requirement. The 30-credit, professionally focused program contains five required athletic leadership Core Courses (15 credits) and allows students to select a 9-credit Emphasis Area in either Coaching Leadership or Athletic Administration. All students must complete a 6-credit culminating experience that consists of an internship or a special project.

Students may complete the degree in either one or two years. Castleton students with an undergraduate major in Sports Administration or who meet certain program prerequisites, and who meet selection criteria, may pursue a four plus one (4+1) program that will lead to the MS.ATL.

This degree is fully accredited; Castleton University has submitted a proposal to NEASC to expand online access to the program.

Program Objectives

Core Objectives:

  • Demonstrate advanced critical thinking skills. Students will apply critical thinking skills across the fields of athletic administration and coaching by being able to analyze problems and offer solutions utilizing scholarly research.
  • Understand and exhibit professional ethics as it relates to the field of athletics and coaching. Students will make administrative decisions that reflect moral and ethical judgment while striving to serve as positive role models.
  • Develop leadership and effective communication skills to properly guide interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.
  • Have a clear understanding of legal concepts and issues in athletic organizations and develop risk management strategies.
  • Understand basic financial and accounting principles utilized in athletic organizations. Students will be able to financially plan for both short-term and the long-term needs within athletic organizations and teams.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of revenue-generation techniques and principles in athletic organizations.
  • Understand the applicability of various national compliance regulations and how to apply such regulations in athletic and coaching leadership positions.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze and discuss current trends facing the industries of education-based athletic programs.
  • Exhibit and demonstrate hands-on, day-to-day ability in an education-based athletic program or demonstrate advanced learning via primary and secondary research of a specific topic in athletic leadership.

Students in the Athletic Administration Emphasis will:

  • Understand issues involved in marketing athletic programs including implications for communication campaigns.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of athletic facility design considerations and the management of athletic facilities.

Students in the Coaching Leadership Emphasis will:

  • Exhibit and be able to apply psychological techniques, specifically motivational-based techniques, to athletic team management and performance.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of various techniques in maximizing athletic performance through conditioning and skill-based drills.

Admissions Requirements

1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants who apply for admissions prior to completion of their undergraduate degrees may be accepted into the program but will not be allowed to register for classes until completion of such degree and a final, official transcript is received by the Admissions Office.

2. A completed admissions application, and an application fee ($40.00), submitted online or mailed to the Admissions Office, Castleton University, Castleton, Vermont, 05735.

3. An essay that addresses the following:

a) Education-based athletic programs are defined to be interscholastic athletic programs found within both public and private K-12 school systems, as well as intercollegiate athletic programs found at both public and private colleges and universities.  With this in mind, please identify a current weakness or shortcoming within the industry of education-based athletics. 

b) Then, please outline any preconceived notions you may have now about how an athletic leader might work to overcome this weakness or shortcoming.

c) Finally, please outline how you think your involvement in the MS.ATL will assist you, as an athletic leader, in finding a way to overcome this weakness or shortcoming in the near future.

4. A current résumé.

5. Two letters of reference that speak to the applicant's scholarship and potential to be an exemplary professional in Sports Administration.

6. Official transcripts of all college work, both graduate and undergraduate, sent directly or transferred electronically from the issuing institution to the Castleton University Admissions Office. Admission to the program may be granted if the applicant has an undergraduate G.P.A. of at least 3.0 on a four point scale and shows an aptitude for graduate studies as reflected in references, writing ability, and personal objectives. On occasion, students with a G.P.A that falls below a 3.0 may be admitted on a provisional basis. (See below)

7. Prerequisites: a) A management theory course. b) An introductory marketing course. c) An introductory sports administration/management course or five years as a professional in the industry of sport.

Provisional Admission:

Provisional admission may be granted if the applicant shows potential for graduate studies but fails to meet one of the stated criteria for admission. In some instances, provisional admission may be due to a routine logistical issue such as official transcripts replacing unofficial ones. In these cases, the University reserves the right to revoke a provisional admission should the final submissions differ from what was expected. In some cases, the Graduate Admissions Committee may have concerns about a student's ability to complete their program successfully. In these instances, students will be required to take two courses (ATL 5010 - Leadership and Management of Athletic Programs  and any other core ATL course). Courses must be completed within two semesters of the date of provisional admission and passed with a grade of "B" or better. If these conditions are met, the applicant will be reconsidered for full admission to the program. If these conditions are not met, the student may be dismissed from the program. The Graduate Admissions Committee may admit students provisionally and require completion of other tasks such as submission of exam scores or completion of other courses as determined by the Graduate Admissions Committee.

Course Requirements

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