The athletic leadership undergraduate minor was approved in 2004. Program requirements include 17 credits of course work. The program philosophy is to encourage coaches to provide quality, positive experiences for student-athletes. Many students who enroll in the athletic leadership undergraduate program indicate an interest in coaching and athletic administration in education at various levels.
Athletic leadership students bring to the classroom a wealth of life experiences in athletics. Athletic program and coaching philosophies are shared and discussed. Students learn various styles of coaching and reflect on the coaching they witnessed as athletes. Students determine personal philosophies based on their beliefs and principles and develop these philosophies through discussion and interaction.
The faculty encourage students to express personal opinions to develop a broader understanding of the diversity that exists among philosophies and the reason for these differences. While no singular style of coaching is able to meet the needs of all athletes and not all students agree upon philosophies, the students unanimously support the right of every athlete to be treated with respect by other athletes and by the coaching staff. The students attest to the fact that the athletic coach holds a leadership position of powerful influence in the lives of athletes.
Character-driven programs are at the very core of the athletic leadership program instruction. By completing specific requirements and exam scores, students have the opportunity to achieve certification credentials from professional organizations such as the National Federation of High Schools and National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Students may acquire certification by passing examinations in Coaching and Sport First Aid, which would be listed with the American Sport Education Program National Coaches Registry on their website at asep. com. This provides a valuable tool for potential employers.