Janah Fletcher is a self-described continual learner. With an undergraduate degree in exercise and sports science and a master’s in athletic training, Fletcher desired more opportunities to further her education. The challenge was finding a way to do this and stay employed as head athletic trainer at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University (A&T).
The online Doctor of Education (EdD) in Kinesiology program at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro seemed like the perfect solution. It fit into Fletcher’s full schedule, which includes serving as primary athletic trainer for A&T’s women’s basketball team.
Fletcher’s desire to broaden her career options is partly fueled by the challenges of being a full-time athletic trainer. “The hours that I work and what I do, I can’t do forever,” she says. Earning her doctorate will allow her to share her passion for athletic training with others through teaching.
Online kinesiology program fits a busy, full-time schedule
Fletcher’s days are packed. Basketball practice mornings run from 4:30 to 8 a.m. She then heads to her office for a full administrative workday that can include rehab with players, meetings, and conference calls until 5 p.m.
As head athletic trainer, she supervises six assistants who oversee other sports, treats injuries and illnesses, and performs administrative duties such as budgeting, insurance, and inventory.
Fletcher studies in the evenings, continuing the momentum of her workday. As a second-year student, she has learned to juggle weekly assignments with team travel. If the weekend includes a team trip, she completes schoolwork on the bus or in her hotel room.
“Having the flexibility of choosing when to complete readings and assignments is perfect for me versus having to attend a class at a set time each day or week,” she says.
Combining passions through learning and teaching
Fletcher speaks to local high school classes and mentors students from A&T and the Middle College at UNCG.
Through the EdD program, Fletcher has learned different teaching methods, learning styles, and the need for a variety of teaching approaches. She says it’s changed the way she approaches both her mentoring and her job.
In mentoring, Fletcher has learned to provide more visuals and hands-on activities, such as letting students practice taping one another’s wrists or trying balancing activities used for rehab. As an athletic trainer, she is more aware of making sure athletes understand the recovery process and caring for their injuries. “I’m more aware of how I’m explaining things,” she says.
An EdD in Kinesiology designed for working professionals
UNCG’s four-year online program is designed for working professionals with at least three years of experience in kinesiology or related fields, seeking to grow in the areas of leadership, teaching, or advocacy.
“There are a lot of good programs out there, but many of them would have required me to step away from my position as a head athletic trainer,” Fletcher says. Something Fletcher and many others are not willing to do.
The biggest surprise in the program so far has been the connection among Fletcher’s 2015 cohort. “Although we are spread out across the country, students are in constant communication with one another and collaborate on projects often,” she says. “While it is all online, there is a great sense of community between students in the program and it is also a very supportive environment. You never feel like you are moving through the program by yourself.”
Are you a practicing kinesiology professional ready for the next step? Learn more about UNCG’s online EdD in Kinesiology program.