Interview Education Plus

Kick-start a career in sports

Experience matters: Striving for excellence. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup  

In a country obsessed with sports (though it predominantly revolves around cricket, football, hockey, and now, kabaddi), there are few specialists who can provide guidance to budding athletes and sportspersons. The recent Olympics games, which set the country’s adrenaline pumping, must have inspired many youngsters to join the field. In this interview, Larry Leverenz, Purdue University’s athletic training programme director, talks about the training programmes provided by the university and career options in this sector.

How long has the university been offering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in sports?
The Department of Health and Kinesiology was founded in 1916 and we first offered a four-year degree in physical education in 1929. We have over 4,000 living alumni now. We have the largest undergraduate enrolment in Health and Human Sciences (HHS). Pinky Newell, a founding father of athletic training in the United States, served as programme director from 1949-1976 and we received our first accreditation from the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc. (NATA) in 1973. Larry Leverenz, the current director, serves as the president of the World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy. Health and Kinesiology is the largest unit in the College of Health and Human Sciences and graduates from the department are in high demand.

What are the careers students can get into after completing the course?
Our graduates enter into a variety of clinical and corporate health and biomedical fields and directly into athletic training (AT), exercise physiology, and public health.

Athletic training graduates typically become athletic trainers and many students continue to earn their doctorate of physical therapy. Our graduates work for high schools, colleges, and professional sports teams. Graduates of Kinesiology with a concentration in clinical exercise physiology go on to become exercise physiologists, strength and conditioning coaches, corporate wellness professionals, and much more. Purdue now offers an accelerated five-year (4+1) Master of Public Health programme and graduates of our undergraduate programme are eligible to sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam.

Graduates work for government organisations, hospitals and community organisations.

What does the curriculum include?
The undergraduate curriculum includes exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor control, motor development, sport and exercise psychology, public health, human diseases and disorders, population health, and research methods.

What are the concentrations students can opt for?
At the undergraduate level, students can major in Athletic Training, Kinesiology, Kinesiology with a concentration in Clinical Exercise Physiology, and Public Health.

Does the college conduct activities that add value to the programme?
Students gain a vast array of clinical and research experiences ranging from working with infants to athletes to older adults and these experiences stand them apart from their contemporaries at other institutions.

Students obtain clinical experience with athletes, college students, and older individuals. Students also have the opportunity to complete 400-hour and 500-hour internships and undergraduate research with a faculty member.

What are the prerequisites for joining the course? Does one need prior work experience?
For undergraduate admission, students must apply online using the Common Application. Students would select Purdue University, the College of Health and Human Sciences, and then their academic major.

They must complete an SAT (Purdue code is 1631) or ACT (Purdue code is 1230) and TOEFL. During high school, students must complete four years of math, four years of English, three years of social studies, and three years of lab science.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 2:47:16 PM |

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