AHEAD of the
QUINN FITZGERALD | STORY
THOMAS MAXWELL | PHOTO
When Daniel Fifer, a graduate student from New Lenox, Illinois, enrolled in Franklin College’s Master of Science in Athletic Training program, he never envisioned himself as an athletic trainer for the Arizona Diamondbacks. “I had been working for about a year and a half [at a physical therapy clinic] and knew that I wanted to go back to grad school,” said Fifer, who graduates from the program May 19. “My fiance was out here going to school at Butler, and I was more or less searching for a place out here in Indiana.” A three-sport athlete in high school and four-year collegiate baseball player, Fifer already had a passion for sports. Fast-forward
Undergraduate college puts itself on higher level with master’s program LEIGH DURPHEY | DESIGN
two years to May 23, when Fifer will step into a new role as an athletic trainer for the Arizona major league baseball team. It was Franklin’s first-ever graduate program that gave Fifer a clear vision of what career to pursue. The MSAT program, implemented in July 2016, is a comprehensive curriculum designed to integrate formal and rigorous classroom instruction with clinical educational experiences in a variety of allied healthcare settings. “We’re a professional-level athletic training program, which means we prepare students to take the board of certification exam so they can practice as athletic trainers,” Di-
rector Jennifer Austin said. “We focus on the prevention and management of injuries for individuals who are physically active.” Fifer and five other students will graduate May 19 as the first class of a Franklin College graduate program in the college’s 184-year history. The MSAT program offers two options: the 3+2 program and the two-year post-baccalaureate program. The 3+2 route allows entering freshmen or potential undergraduate transfer students to complete the program prerequisites and bachelor’s degree requirements before stepping into the master’s program during their fourth year.