CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Island University’s Graduate Strength and Conditioning Program has once again met National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) criteria for programs which provide foundational support for student excellence, as well as long-term professional success after graduation. The NSCA Educational Recognition Program certification, which is valid for three years, Sept. 2017 through Sept. 2020, extends Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi as one of only 19 institutions worldwide with NSCA certifications at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
“NSCA certification is prestigious and gives us exposure nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Frank Spaniol, Professor of Sport and Exercise Science and Graduate Program Director at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “NSCA has more than 30,000 members and they are the world authority in their field.”
Carina Vasquez ’16, is one of many Islander students who not only earned an undergraduate kinesiology degree, but is also enrolled in the online kinesiology master’s program. Additionally, she spent fall 2017 interning at the NSCA World Headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO.
“During my internship, I learned how to research, design, execute and monitor safe and effective strength and conditioning programs for athletes,” said Vasquez. “Because of my excellent experience in Colorado, and because I am taking online classes, I am now looking for job opportunities in Colorado while I finish my degree at A&M-Corpus Christi.”
Career aspirations for Vasquez include becoming a head strength and conditioning coach at either the collegiate level or in the private-sector, with the ultimate dream of becoming a kinesiology professor.
“I’ve been inspired to teach thanks to A&M-Corpus Christi kinesiology faculty, who are an exceptional group of leaders who helped pave my path,” said Vasquez.
Since the kinesiology master’s degree was made available online in 2016, the program has more than doubled its overall enrollment and Kinesiology faculty say the enrollment spike is partly due to the NSCA accreditation.
“We will continue to grow because we are providing an applied-science program with rigorous curriculum that is valuable to students,” said Spaniol. “Additionally, our affiliation with NSCA helps us recruit the best and brightest students to this campus.”NSCA certification also includes benefits for faculty and students such as exam discounts and rebates, NSCA conference discounts and opportunities for NSCA foundation grants and scholarships.