Senate Document Number 4699S

Date of Senate Approval 4/08/99

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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:



MAY 1, 1999

Constituent Institution: University of North Carolina at Asheville

API Discipline Specialty Titles: Sports Medicine

API Discipline Specialty Number: 31.0503 Level: Baccalaureate

Type of Degree: B.S.

Program Tracks: Health and Fitness

Substantive Change Questions

Proposed programs would change the level of accreditation of the Institution: No

Proposed programs are at a more advanced level than those previously authorized: No

Proposed programs are in a new discipline division: Yes

Does this proposal constitute a substantive change as defined by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools: No

Proposed date of establishment: August, 2000

1. Description of the proposed new degree program:

Currently, the Department of Health and Fitness at UNCA operates a minor in Sports Medicine. The University of North Carolina at Asheville now seeks authorization to establish a new interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree program in Health and Fitness; B.S. in Sports Medicine. The program definition and educational objectives of the proposed major are outlined below.

Sports Medicine (CIP definition - An instructional program that prepares individuals to prevent and treat athletic and/or movement/fitness-related injuries, to perform related rehabilitative therapy, and to manage the provision of health and treatment services to athletes and/or active individuals. Includes instruction in basic sports medicine, dietetics, movement and motivation sciences, administering preventive and treatment remedies, equipment maintenance, clinic management, and patient education and counseling.) Underlined statements in the definition above have been added for purposes of clarification of the scope of the proposed Sports Medicine curriculum at UNCA.


a. To prepare students to think critically from a broad perspective and function effectively on a personal and professional level in the 21st Century sports medicine environment

b. To train students to assess and treat injuries related to sport, recreation, and fitness activities

c. To enable students to develop educational materials and delivery systems focused on injury prevention and self care

d. To prepare students to assess relevant injury prevention and rehabilitation needs in various populations, establish educational and/or treatment objectives, administer preventive and treatment strategies, and evaluate outcomes

e. To enable students to be effective clinic managers

f. To give students the necessary educational and service learning experiences to pass the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) certification exam and pursue careers and/or post-graduate study in Sports Medicine, Athletic Training, and/or Physical Therapy

A Unique Degree Program Consistent with the University's Mission

The first two paragraphs of the University's mission statement read as follows:

The University of North Carolina at Asheville is distinctive within the public higher education system of North Carolina in its primary mission: to offer an undergraduate liberal arts education of superior quality for serious and able students. The University also provides selected pre-professional programs which are solidly grounded in the liberal arts.

The University is committed to a liberating education emphasizing the central role of humane values in thought and action, the free and rigorous pursuit of truth, and a respect for differing points of view and heritage. It aims to develop men and women of broad perspective who think critically and creatively and who communicate effectively.

The University of North Carolina at Asheville, with its distinctive mission as North Carolina's Public Liberal Arts Institution and its national reputation as a best buy, along with Asheville's strong and diverse health care and retirement community, make this campus and region ideal for a unique and progressive liberal learning experience for students of Sports Medicine. A new degree program in Sports Medicine will offer students an opportunity for the free and rigorous pursuit of the truth in an environment where they are encouraged to observe their own preconceived cognitive commitments regarding the nature of human health and healing while thinking critically about the strengths and limitations of the scientific method, and other philosophical and multi cultural points of view and heritage.

To be prepared for a broader paradigm in medicine and allied health care, UNCA Sports Medicine students, while being grounded in the Natural Sciences, also will engage in critical thought in the social sciences and other academic disciplines. At a minimum, our students must have an adequate understanding of the biological, biochemical, sociological, psychological, environmental, political, and economic factors which impact health care systems and delivery. We also must give students the skills to effectively serve diverse populations. Our intent is to achieve this through UNCA's distinctive general education curriculum, a strong natural science/sports medicine core in the major, and interdisciplinary requirements in courses outside the major.

Although a degree in Sports Medicine traditionally has focused on prevention and treatment of athletic injuries, the UNCA degree will address health care across the life span, with special attention paid to understanding and addressing the needs of an active aging population. Based on research conducted by Mountain Health Care PPO, the number of citizens age 65 and older in Western North Carolina is growing two to eight percent per year and two percent on average nationally. This growth rate suggests there will up to 60,000 more residents in this age group in Western North Carolina by 2030. This growth will bring a greater need for prevention and treatment of movement and fitness-related activity.

Currently, The University of North Carolina at Asheville has achieved a national reputation for addressing the needs of an aging population through its North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement (NCCCR). Beginning with the 1999 spring semester, health and fitness students will assume an active role in the wellness education initiatives of the NCCCR College for Seniors. The creation of a degree program in Sports Medicine will allow the department to expand the linkage with NCCCR as well as to place students in a variety of other service-learning environments. These learning experiences will help students prepare to make a unique contribution regardless of the ages of the populations with which they work or where their careers take them.

To blend liberal education with the career interests of students, the new degree program will prepare students to enter the job market or graduate/professional study in the health sciences. The B.S. in Sports Medicine will enable students to sit for the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) exam and, after passing the exam, become certified athletic trainers. An athletic trainer is a health care professional educated in the prevention and management of injuries related to movement and sport.

Some students will view the degree program as a pre-professional curriculum with intentions of graduate and/or professional study, e.g., physical therapy, sport psychology, health care management, and medicine. Pre-medicine students who choose to major in Sports Medicine will be required to select a concentration in the natural sciences, as they would if majoring in biology, chemistry, or other academic discipline. Regardless of the major selected by pre-med students, the Department of Health and Fitness will maintain its close working relationship with the Biology and Chemistry departments to provide ongoing pre-med support services through our highly successful Hippocrates Program.

2. Other N.C. institutions operating similar programs

Although five of the other fifteen UNC institutions offer similar degree programs in Sport Studies, and/or Sports Medicine (UNC Greensboro - Sport Studies, UNC Pembroke - Athletic Training, Winston Salem State University - Sports Medicine, Western Carolina University - Sport Management, and Appalachian State University - Athletic Training, none emphasize an interdisciplinary liberal arts approach to these fields of study and practice. Of the three universities in closest proximity to UNCA, i.e., WCU, UNCC, and ASU, only Appalachian State University has a degree program with similar objectives. And, while ASU operates a similar program, UNCA, through its distinct liberal arts mission, has the opportunity to introduce a unique, broader based interdisciplinary approach to the study of Sports Medicine.

3. Current and projected demand for graduates

Sports Medicine

Graduates of sports medicine degree programs can move directly into careers in college and university settings, professional sports, and/or sports medicine clinics. Further, a career in sports medicine may involve any number of health care specialties, i.e., physical therapists, physicians, psychiatrists, and athletic trainers. The Occupational Outlook Handbook describes physical therapy, a post-baccalaureate degree program for sports medicine students, as one of the "fastest growing occupations through the year 2006" and gives a number of factors to account for this, i.e., the rapidly growing elderly population, the baby-boom generation which will enter the prime age for heart attacks and strokes, technological advances that save the lives of a larger proportion of newborns with severe birth defects, and future medical developments which will permit a higher percentage of trauma victims to survive.

The "Handbook" goes on to say that "Wide spread interest in health promotion also should increase demand for physical therapy services. A growing number of employers are using physical therapists to evaluate work sites, develop exercise programs, and teach safe work habits to employees in the hope of reducing injuries. The Therapists and Allied Health Professionals Career Directory says that students who have their degree in sports medicine, acquire their athletic training certification, and go on to obtain a degree in physical therapy, will have a decided advantage in this rapidly growing field.

4. Procedures used to plan the proposed new degree program

Keith Ray, Chair of the Department of Health and Fitness, will serve as the person responsible for planning the new degree program. The tentative planning schedule is as follows:

August - October 1998 - On separate occasions Ray meets with Dr. Jim Pitts, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Tom Cochran, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Shirley Browning, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Archer Gravely, Director of Institutional Research, to discuss the possibility of pursuing a new degree program at UNCA - Dr. Gravely and Dr. Browning provide guidance regarding steps and data necessary to initiate a request for authorization to plan a new degree program

September - November, 1998 - collect all data and information necessary to complete a draft of the request for authorization to plan - communicate with all departments potentially involved - draft of request reviewed by administration

November - December, 1998 - any necessary revisions made of request for authorization to plan

January, 1999 - submit request for authorization to plan to University Planning Council for review

January - May, 1999 - subsequent to review and approval by the University Planning Council, submit request for authorization to plan to Faculty Senate for review and approval

May, 1999 - subsequent to review and approval by the UNCA Faculty Senate, request for authorization to plan is forwarded to General Administration in Chapel Hill

August - December, 1999 - subsequent to review and approval of the request to plan by UNC General Administration in Chapel Hill, initiate all necessary steps for completion of the request for authorization to establish a new degree program at UNCA

January, 2000 - submit request for authorization to establish a new degree program to UNC General Administration for review and approval

Spring - Summer 2000 - subsequent to approval of request for authorization to establish by UNC General Administration in Chapel Hill, begin recruiting new faculty and acquiring other needed resources necessary to operate the new degree program - begin work with Admissions at UNCA and complete procedures to effectively market the program to potential students

Fall 2000 - initiate new degree program in Sports Medicine at UNCA

5. Method of financing the new degree program

Because of current limited resources at UNCA, the operation of this new degree program will require new funding from UNC General Administration. Based on new course work required of majors, it is anticipated that one new full-time faculty position will be needed. In addition, resources will be needed to update equipment, supplies, and software in our biometrics lab and sports medicine clinic.

As news of the new degree program spreads and the pool of student majors increases, it is anticipated that the subsequent increase in student credit hours will fund any future needs for faculty positions and equipment.

6. Estimated number of students enrolled in the program during the first year of operation

Based on a fall 1998 campus-wide survey of Sports Medicine minors, and undecided freshmen and sophomores, 41 students indicated an interest in sports medicine, should the degree program be offered. Although these numbers were not surprising, the level of excitement expressed in support of the proposed degree program was not anticipated. One student wrote, "I am very interested in the Sports Medicine major. I have been very interested in the graduate level physical therapy degree but found that I do not wish to major in biology. This would be an excellent alternative and I hope to see the program at UNCA soon". Another student responded, "I feel that this is a long needed option for students here at UNCA." Finally, one student wrote, "I have been very interested in physical therapy as a career. In January, I will have the option to go to Winston Salem State University. Winston Salem is supposed to have a very good therapy program, but if I am able to get what I need here at UNCA, there is no reason for me to leave." Numerous other students also said they would not consider transferring to another university if UNCA were to offer Sports Medicine.

Another source of data regarding potential student interest is the Admissions Department prospect cards which are distributed in their marketing materials and given out at high school college day events. Within the last ten years, these prospect cards yielded 759 potential students interested in sports medicine. While not an accurate estimation of the number of students who would apply, be admitted, and subsequently major in Sports Medicine (conservatively estimated at 20% of expressed interest), this level of interest suggests that students not otherwise interested in UNCA, might apply for admission if this degree program was offered.

Based on the responses from the prospect cards and the on-campus survey (20% of expressed interest = 23 students), it is conservatively projected that 18-23 students will declare a major in Sports Medicine during its first year, some of which may be able to graduate by the end of the academic year.

Depending upon how quickly and effectively the new degree program can be marketed to potential students finishing high school or transfers from other universities, this number could grow exponentially over the next several years.

First Year: Full-Time 20 Part-Time 5 SCHs *600

Third Year: Full-Time 25 Part-Time 10 SCHs *750

*SCH figures based on 10 courses per academic year with an average enrollment of 20 students during the first year and 25 students during the third year


Degree Program in Sports Medicine

Note: This document is a tentative curricular framework, is not required at this point in the process, and will not be sent to general administration.

I. Required courses in the major - 36 hours as follows:

HF 153 Health Promotion and Wellness (3)

HF 220 Introduction to Sports Medicine (3)

HF 320 Advanced Injury Assessment (3)

HF 321 Kinesiology (3)

HF 322 Therapeutic Modalities and Rehabilitation (3)

HF 420 Physiology of Exercise (3)

HF 421 Seminar in Sports Medicine (3)

(new courses)

HF 2-- Nutrition

HF 3-- Advanced Injury Assessment II (3)

HF 3-- Principles of Injury Rehabilitation (3)

HF 3-- Research Methods in Public Health and Sports Medicine (3)

HF 3-- Psychology of Fitness and Sport (3) (or through Psyc Dept.)

HF 4-- Internship in Sports Medicine (3)

To achieve a strong core in the natural and social sciences, as suggested in the proposal, these courses may have to be reconfigured to give students the credit-hour flexibility to complete prerequisite requirements in biology, chemistry, psychology, and sociology. Some of the prerequisites may be satisfied through student selection of courses to fulfill general education requirements. These issues will be studied carefully subsequent to being given permission to plan by faculty senate and general administration and prior to requesting permission to establish the degree program.

II. Required courses outside the major - 21-24 hours selected from one area of concentration

Social Science Concentration* Natural Science Concentration*

12-15 hours selected from the Social Sciences 12-16 hours from the Natural Sciences

3-8 hours selected from the Natural Sciences 3-6 hours selected from the Social Sciences

3-9 hours selected from Math, Management, 3-9 hours selected from Math, Management,

and/or Philosophy and/or Philosophy

*Specific courses and credit hour parameters for each concentration would be determined in cooperation with participating departments, administration, and review committees subsequent to receiving permission to plan by GA.

Note: Pre-med students who choose to major in Sports Medicine will be encouraged to select the Natural Science Concentration.

Other departmental requirements:

The senior demonstration of competency is satisfied by the completion of HF 421 and HF 3-- (new) with a grade of C or better. Completion of HF 421 satisfies the University's oral competency requirement.