Program Updates

Great things are happening! Here are some quick updates on our degree programs.

Bill Pitney
Bill Pitney

Athletic Training (B.S.)

  • Athletic Training program director and longtime faculty member Bill Pitney was named associate dean for the College of Education in Summer 2016. Dr. Pitney is sorely missed in Anderson Hall, but his new role allows him to use his leadership gifts for the good of the college and department. Dr. Kelly Potteiger is our new program director.
  • Consistent with a recently approved change in the discipline, our athletic training education program is in the process of transitioning to the master’s degree level. Our new master’s degree proposal was recently approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and is scheduled to be launched in Summer 2019.
Todd Gilson
Todd Gilson

Kinesiology (B.S.)

  • Program director Dr. Todd Gilson was named as director of NIU’s Honors Program in Summer 2016, and associate professor Dr. Amanda Salacinski left NIU to move closer to home in the Northeast. Our Kinesiology program will look quite different in Fall 2017 with new hires in place.
  • Our Kinesiology program has grown considerably over the past five years. With more than 260 students, it is one of the largest majors on NIU’s campus.
  • One of the hallmarks of this program is the longstanding signature programs of the gerontology partnership with the Oak Crest Retirement Center, and the FIT Program, which provides fitness and wellness opportunities for NIU employees and area community members. Our exercise program at Oak Crest has recently moved into new facilities, which we will feature in an upcoming newsletter.

Physical Education (B.S.Ed.)

  • Our Physical Education program continues to be one of the strongest in the state. Every one of our graduates last spring has successfully obtained a job upon graduation, and our students are passing the new edTPA assessment at a very high rate. Similar to trends nationwide, our program has decreased in size to approximately 100 student majors at present.
  • Our Physical Education faculty have developed a strong research culture over the past several years. The five tenured/tenure-track professors in this program combined for more than 20 publications and multiple grant proposals in the past year.
Steve Howell
Steve Howell

Kinesiology and Physical Education (M.S.Ed.)

  • With Dr. Todd Gilson moving across campus to lead the honors program, Dr. Steve Howell was appointed as graduate program director, overseeing both our M.S.Ed. and M.S. in Sport Management programs. Among the initiatives our graduate faculty has undertaken this year include discussion of a potential doctoral program in KNPE, a more systematic way to recruit and award graduate assistantships, and improving our mentoring of graduate students.
  • We continue to offer four distinct specializations within the M.S.Ed. program: Adapated Physical Education; Exercise Physiology and Fitness Leadership; Pedagogy and Curriculum Development; and Sport and Exercise Psychology

Sport Management (M.S.)

  • Rod Caughron completed his term of service as program director in Sport Management, with Steve Howell now leading both master’s programs as KNPE’s graduate program director. Drs. Howell and Caughron will work with a new recently hired faculty member (stay tuned for information about this hire in our next newsletter) in our Sport Management area.
  • Lucas Maniezo, director of Football (soccer) for Nike Brazil, spent Feb. 21 speaking to and meeting with our Sport Management students. Maniezo provided great insight into the international business of the sports industry, and advised students on how to pursue careers in the industry.
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