DATE:  June 2 , 2006       
CONTACT: Dr. Randy Bonnette, Associate Professor in the College of Education, (361) 825-3317; or Steve Paschal, Public Affairs (361) 825-2336      
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Approves Master’s in Kinesiology Program for A&M-Corpus Christi

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has approved a new master’s in kinesiology program for Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi beginning with the 2006 fall semester.

“We are pleased that the board has approved this important degree program,” said A&M-Corpus Christi President Flavius C. Killebrew. “Kinesiology is one of our fastest-growing majors, and it will provide an opportunity to those who wish to pursue an advanced degree. It also ties in with our strategic plan goals of expanding our graduate offerings.”

In January, The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved the program pending THECB confirmation. According to Dr. Kevin Lemoine, who served as the THECB program director during the process, the University’s proposal met or exceeded the criteria requirements in the areas of need, quality and cost.

“In its proposal, the University did an excellent job of documenting the needs for the program as well as the student demand,” said Lemoine. “The curriculum is very well designed and consistent with established programs.”

Under the 36-hour program, students may choose between a thesis or non-thesis degree. The purpose of the Master of Science in Kinesiology is to educate knowledgeable professionals with a level of skill and ability significantly beyond that of the bachelor’s degrees in kinesiology.

Dr. Randy Bonnette, kinesiology department chair, said that the program will address the needs of individuals who aspire to increase their education in kinesiology as well as those who need a master’s degree to have a competitive edge in obtaining a job. 

Initially, it is anticipated that the majority of students will be public school teachers. However, he added, as the program grows more students interested in exercise science, a rapidly developing area in kinesiology, will apply.

 “This degree will have the flexibility to address those needs of physical educators and coaches in the public schools while also meeting the needs of students who desire to work in such areas of sports management as professional sports, health clubs, recreational facilities and exercise science,” Bonnette said.

Earlier this month, the Texas Legislature approved legislation authorizing $45 million in Tuition Revenue Bonds to construct a 165,000-square foot facility for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences that will include space for kinesiology and athletic training academic programs.

“The kinesiology department plans to develop a research program that will include state of the art movement labs to assess athletic performance using various modes of testing, including high-speed video capture technology,” Bonnette said. “Obviously having exercise science graduate assistants as well as other students in the program assisting this new line of research could lead to national recognition for A&M-Corpus Christi because few programs in this field, if any, exist in the nation.”

Currently, the University’s kinesiology program has connections and research projects in progress with some Major League Baseball teams including the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, and Cincinnati Reds.  Once this facility is completed and the research program is established Bonnette intends to invite these programs to the University for testing. However, the program will focus on all sports, not just baseball.

 “The possibilities are endless and terribly exciting,” Bonnette said. “We feel that we are in the midst of something great here and are anxious to get started.”here and are anxious to get started.”