The department offers programs leading to a bachelor’s degree in either liberal arts or education, with specializations in athletic training, health education, outdoor recreation, physical education or sports science. There are eight majors and 11 minors. A master of science degree is also available for students wishing to pursue advanced study in exercise science. The department’s programs are designed to build on a student’s liberal studies foundation, give a broad overview of the health and fitness fields and offer a focused preparation in the student’s choice of profession.
Most programs in the department include an internship, field experience or student teaching experience. These programs also help students prepare to earn certifications such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health and Fitness Instructor Certification, the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) Accreditation, and relevant Michigan teacher certifications.
The athletic training program prepares students to take the Board of Certification Examination in Athletic Training.Accreditation
The teacher education programs in health and physical education are accredited by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. The athletic training program is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). A program within outdoor recreation leadership and management is accredited by the Wilderness Education Association.
- Health Promotion Society
- Organization for Outdoor Recreation Professionals
- Student Athletic Training Organization
- Student Michigan Education Association
The department has one of the finest physical education buildings of its kind: the Physical Education Instructional Facility (PEIF). This facility includes four gymnasiums, several classrooms, a pool and dive tank, an exercise physiology and biomechanics lab, athletic training labs, a high ropes course and an instructional dance studio.
The Student Recreation Center is also located in the PEIF and features aerobic and weight training equipment, basketball courts, a student lounge and an indoor climbing wall.
The Outdoor Recreation Center provides programs and equipment rental.
Additional facilities include the Superior Dome (the world’s largest wooden dome) and Berry Events Center. The Superior Dome seats 8,000 for football, soccer and softball. When the turf is retracted, basketball, tennis, volleyball and track and field are available. The Berry Events Center, which seats 3,675, has an Olympic-sized ice surface and is the home for Wildcat hockey and basketball and United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC) speedskating.
Student placement and/or employment in public school systems, athletic training agencies and outdoor recreation leadership management agencies generally stipulate that applicants possess good moral character and strong judgment. The ability to successfully pass the rigors of Northern Michigan University’s HPER Department helps to validate or ensure these prerequisite qualities in our majors. Each student is therefore advised that school systems and agencies will perform a background investigation on potential employees. The nature and scope of the background investigation is the prerogative of the specific school system or agency and is ordinarily subject to the consent of the applicant. Lack of consent would ordinarily remove an individual from placement and/or employment consideration. Additional information in this regard is available from academic advisers, the department head or the director of teacher education student services.
Before applying for admission to the athletic training program, applicants must fulfill the following requirements:
- Be admitted to Northern Michigan University.
- Have completed, or be in the process of completing the following courses: ATR 110 Introduction to Athletic Training, ATR 125 Emergency Health Care for the Health Professional and HL 101 Medical Terminology for Health Educators.
- Achieve a cumulative NMU grade point average of 2.75 or better in their first semester, with a minimum grade of “B” in ATR 110 Introduction to Athletic Training.
- File an application with current transcript of grades and three letters of recommendation with the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department by February 1 for the succeeding fall semester.
- Sit for a formal interview with the director of the athletic training education program and additional certified athletic training staff members after application has been filed.
- Meet technical standards for admission.
The technical standards set forth by the Northern Michigan University athletic training educational program establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies of an entry-level athletic trainer, as well as meet the expectations of CAATE. The following abilities and expectations must be met by students admitted to the athletic training education program. Failing to fulfill these technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations will result in a student not being admitted into the program. Compliance with the technical standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for the Board of Certification Examination in Athletic Training.
Candidates for selection into the NMU athletic training major must demonstrate the following:
- The mental capacity to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate concepts and problem solve to formulate assessment and therapeutic judgments and to be able to distinguish deviations from the norm.
- Sufficient postural and neuromuscular control, sensory function and coordination to perform appropriate physical examinations using accepted techniques; and accurately, safely and efficiently use equipment and materials during the assessment and treatment of patients.
- The ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds. This includes, but is not limited to, the ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate judgments and treatment information effectively. Students must be able to understand and speak the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice.
- The ability to record the physical examination results and a treatment plan clearly and accurately.
- The capacity to maintain composure and continue to function well during periods of high stress.
- The perseverance, diligence and commitment to complete the athletic training education program as outlined and sequenced.
- Flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty within the clinical situation.
- Affective skills and appropriate demeanor and rapport that relate to professional education and quality patient care.
Once accepted into the athletic training education program, students will be required to have a brief physical exam to ensure he or she meets all program technical standards. The physical exam is conducted by the contracted medical director of the athletic training education program and is of no charge to the student.
The Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department admits a limited number of students to the athletic training program each year. If the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of placements available, the faculty reserves the right to select the applicants who shall be admitted. The remaining eligible applicants may apply for admission the following year. Ordinarily, students may expect to complete the entire program in approximately three academic years after being admitted to the athletic training program, assuming that they complete all of their courses satisfactorily and in sequence.
Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from off-campus clinical assignments.
- Maintain a minimum cumulative NMU grade point average of 2.50.
- Successfully complete an athletic training (ATR) course on the first or second attempt (i.e., student may repeat an athletic training course only once).
- Complete all courses in the major with a minimum grade of “C”, except courses with the ATR prefix must be completed with a minimum grade of “B-”.
- Adhere to the Northern Michigan University Student Code.
- Demonstrate a pattern of safe clinical practice commensurate with the student’s educational experiences.
Students who withdraw from the program and wish to re-enter must follow the same application and admission procedures as all pre-athletic training students.
Community health education majors and management of health and fitness majors must achieve a grade of “C” (2.00) or higher in all major courses. In addition, students are expected to follow a lifestyle commensurate with their professional aspirations. Sports science majors must achieve a grade of “C” (2.00) or higher in all major courses.
See Retention in the Athletic Training Program (above) for information on this major.
Students majoring in outdoor recreation leadership and management must achieve a grade of “C” (2.00) or higher in all major core courses.
Students majoring in secondary education health education or secondary education physical education or minoring in health education secondary education or physical education secondary education must maintain a grade point average of 2.70 or higher with no grade below a “C” in the professional education sequence, the major and/or minors and required cognates combined.
Liberal Studies: Complete information on the liberal studies requirements and additional graduation requirements, including the health promotion requirement, is in the “Liberal Studies Program and Graduation Requirements” section of this bulletin.
Courses within each major that can be used to satisfy liberal studies requirements are listed with the Roman numeral (in brackets) that coincides with the liberal studies division the course falls under.
- Athletic Training Major
- Community Health Education Major
- Management of Health and Fitness Major
- Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management Major
- Physical Education - Coaching Major
- Sports Science Major
- Secondary Education Health Education Major
- Secondary Education Physical Education Major
- Emergency Medical Services Minor
- Health and Nutrition Minor
- Health Education Cluster Minor
- Interpretation and Outdoor Education Minor
- Outdoor Leadership Minor
- Outdoor Recreation Leadership Management Cluster Minor
- Outdoor Recreation Minor
- Physical Education - Coaching Minor
- Secondary Education Health Education Minor
- Secondary Education Physical Education Minor
- Sports Science Cluster Minor