Editor's note: This story first appeared in the winter 2020 issue of the Hearts Together, a special joint campus magazine publication of Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor.

With its inaugural cohort of graduates successfully in the workforce and accreditation recognition freshly under its belt, it’s safe to say that Concordia University Ann Arbor’s innovative three-year Master of Science in athletic training (MSAT) program is off and running.

CUAA celebrates the only three-year MSAT program in the nation. Students balance graduate-level coursework with clinicals in their third year to fulfill the accelerated timeline.

In May 2020, Concordia celebrated the commencement of its first six graduates. Just a month prior the program hit a milestone when it gained its initial CAATE accreditation.

It took a team of experienced practitioners to bring the one-of-a-kind program to fruition. Program Director Tim Neal, MS, AT, ATC, CCISM, joined the CUAA faculty in 2017 after a decades-long career as head athletic trainer for Division I Syracuse University. He has an extensive list of achievements to his name, having served as athletic trainer on a U.S. Olympic Committee and as an author of multiple safety guidelines that are still in play within the NCAA. More recently he was inducted into the Class of 2019 National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Hall of Fame and contributed to a statement that NATA released in June on the best practices for spine-injured athletes in American tackle football.

Assistant Professor Amber Melick, MS, AT, ATC, CAT(C), serves on ethics committees for two different athletic trainers’ associations. She was recently named to the NATA Committee on Professional Ethics and also is on the committee for the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association. Melick is one of only a handful of athletic trainers in the world who holds credentials in two countries.

Learn more about the program: cuaa.edu/athletictraining.

The winter 2020 Hearts Together magazine hit mailboxes in mid-November. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, email Jennifer.Hackmann@cuaa.edu.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor and Wisconsin. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

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