Point Park University introduces Master of Education in Athletic Coaching

May 1, 2017




--Fully online degree offers educators opportunities to develop well-rounded coaching skills—

PITTSBURGH, PAIn today’s highly competitive world of amateur sports, coaches play an integral role in the development of student athletes, starting as young as elementary school and often spanning all the way to college.

However, as most coaches know, not all student athletes will play in high school or college, and just a small fraction ever become professional.  Being a good coach to all students, at all levels, is a critical skill that is now the focus of a unique, fully online master’s degree program at Point Park University set to launch in the fall of 2017.

“Coaching, both good and bad, can make headlines,” says Darlene Marnich, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Education at Point Park University.  “A lot is expected but very little has been offered in the way of educating and training men and women who want to be coaches.”  

There is, according to Marnich, an “art and science” behind coaching and that approach is what informs the Master of Education in athletic coaching which emphasizes teaching, mentoring and skill building.  The program is framed by the National Standards for Sports Coaches, established by the Society of Health and Physical Educators. These standards are expected by school and university administrators, athletes, parents and the public nationwide. https://d.adroll.com/cm/index/outhttps://d.adroll.com/cm/n/out

According to Marnich, students enrolled in the program will learn a wide variety of important skills centered around the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of student athletes. “As teachers, we know that coaches can be exceptional mentors, role models and educators who genuinely care about the welfare of students in their care.  Our program helps support these dedicated individuals so they can be a better informed, trained and effective in their coaching responsibilities,” she adds. 

“Point Park University’s Master’s degree in athletic coaching is long overdue,” said Mark Hart, Vice President of Planning and Development for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hart, who participated in the focus group board meeting for the program, added “Being an effective coach is more than just knowing how to play a sport.  It’s about seeing the whole student, how to motivate them, how to keep them safe and how to help them find joy in the sport they want to play.”  

The Master of Education in athletic coaching program includes how to effectively communicate to stakeholders, safety and emergency response, ethical decision-making, administering a coaching program, and practical applications in the support and development of athletes’ skills.   https://d.adroll.com/cm/index/outhttps://d.adroll.com/cm/n/out

According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, athletic coaching is a field growing nationally as well as locally, with recent surveys indicating that approximately 10,000 coaches and scouts are employed in Western Pennsylvania.

Point Park University’s Master of Education in athletic coaching’s fully online format offers flexibility for working professionals, especially teachers and those already coaching sports teams. For Pennsylvania teachers, the graduate program will fulfill the 24 post-baccalaureate credits needed for an Instructional II certificate. Graduates with a Master of Education in athletic coaching will be prepared for coaching opportunities in various settings including K-12 public or privates schools, colleges and universities, travel or club teams and professional sports teams.

For more information visit PointPark.edu/AthleticCoaching.


Founded in 1960, Point Park University, recently named a College of Distinction, is a dynamic, urban university with a strong liberal arts tradition. Located in Downtown Pittsburgh, Point Park enrolls nearly 4,000 full- and part-time students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs offered through the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Communication and Conservatory of Performing Arts. Visit PointPark.edu to learn more.

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