Union and Laurel County School District partner to create Athletic Training career pathway

Partnership 600

Dr. Doug Branch

Union College and the Laurel County Center for Innovation (CFI) have established a partnership that will allow high school students to enter a career pathway to Union’s Athletic Training Program. 

The Master of Athletic Training (MAT) program is housed in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Union College and is currently the only MAT program in the southeast and eastern Kentucky region. The MAT program is designed for those who want to either begin or enhance a career in the sports industry and is comprised of two main components: coursework and clinical experience which will prepare and qualify highly-motivated candidates for successful careers in athletic training. 

Laurel County CFI provides specialized educational programs designed to introduce high school students to applied learning experiences in various career pathways.

Dr. Davis Dr. Branch

L to R: Dr. James M. Davis, CFI Principal and Dr. Doug Branch, Director of the MAT program

“This exciting pathway agreement will benefit students in the Allied Health Science program of study,” said Dr. James M. Davis, CFI Principal. “The collaboration between our schools and respective faculty members will provide our students a career and college pathway that will create opportunities for them in the sports industry." 

“As a new program, we are so excited with this agreement with the CFI.  We look forward towards the future and students who come from the CFI and want to become Certified Athletic Trainers and members of this healthcare profession," added Dr. Doug Branch, Director of the MAT program.

Dr. Davis said the CFI will provide students with specialized courses, such as Principles of Health Science, Medical Terminology, Emergency Procedures, and other courses to prepare them for post-secondary education in health science career pathways.

CFI students who graduate high school with at least a “B” letter grade in those courses and meet the requirements for Union College Athletic Training Program will be offered direct admittance. Admittance to the MAT program is typically competitive and limited annually in the number of students accepted. In addition, CFI students will pay no application fee to Union, will be considered for “test out” opportunities in certain courses in order to gain college credits and will be eligible for Union’s scholarship programs.  

Dr. Doug Bennett, Superintendent of Laurel County Schools indicated that establishing agreements with post-secondary institutions like Union College will serve the immediate needs of the CFI students as well as strengthen the economic health of the region.  

“We are creating opportunities for these students and creating new opportunities for our communities that are not available elsewhere,” Dr. Bennett said. “Our students can gain quality education and move directly into a sound career without having to leave our region to do so.” 

For additional information about Union's MAT program click here.


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