As head athletic trainer at the University of Texas at Tyler, Andrew Cage says being recognized for his work in athletic training is an honor. He hopes to one day impart what he’s learned as a full-time educator in the field. UNC Greensboro’s online Doctor of Education in Kinesiology (EdD in KIN) will help him make it happen.
Cage, also a health and kinesiology instructor at UT-Tyler, was recently named Head Athletic Trainer of the Year for NCAA Division III by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine. To be considered, one must be in good standing with NATA, work primarily as a clinical athletic trainer, and be nominated by peers.
“I just think about how many other deserving athletic trainers I come into contact with on a yearly basis,” Cage says. “It lets me know that there’s a standard I have to keep up, that people are going to expect things of me because of this recognition.”
A program for future educators
The EdD in Kinesiology is a fully online program that allows students to continue to work while earning their degree. The program is designed for practicing professionals who want a doctorate focused on professional scholarship and practice in leadership, advocacy, and teaching.
Cage plans to use the EdD degree to become a full-time faculty member. “My goal is to still educate within athletic training and start to educate young athletic trainers, prospective athletic trainers, but primarily I would like to be more on the education side of the sports medicine world,” he says.
Work online, anywhere
Cage hopes to have a more consistent schedule as an educator. The clinical aspect of his job takes him on the road every other weekend as an AT during baseball season.
Being able to do coursework for the EdD in KIN on the road is a real convenience. No matter where he is, he can reach professors or fellow cohort members.
Cage says he’s spoken with program director Dr. Pam Brown more than he has with professors in some of his past on-campus courses. Group work allows him to get to know others in his cohort. They collaborate via Google Hangouts, video chats, and conference calls.
“They’ve done well above what I could have ever expected in terms of creating an actual online community with people from literally all over the country,” Cage says. The online format allowed him to share ideas with fellow ATs and other kinesiology professionals that he would not have met in a face-to-face program.
From classroom to the field
As a member of the 2017 cohort, Cage has already started to apply the skills he’s learning to his job, through revamping curriculum design and defining leadership styles.
“The biggest takeaway I have had thus far has been learning to identify my leadership strengths so I can focus on those while addressing my areas that need improvement,” he says.
Cage has already seen some changes. “I think the biggest skill I have been able to refine has been my ability to collaborate with others from different areas of interest and study,” he says. “I have enjoyed being able to learn from my fellow classmates, and everyone brings a unique perspective to the table when we are working on group assignments during our coursework.”
Ready to learn more?
Find out more about the online EdD in KIN. Download a brochure.