There has been an online sport management master’s degree program at Tennessee Tech University for less than a year, and already enrollment numbers are exceeding expectations.
“We were only predicting eight after a year to be enrolled; there are now about 13,” said LaNise Rosemond, assistant professor of exercise science, physical education and wellness. “I see this being limitless.”
The program is designed for working professionals looking to advance their careers in sport management, including administration, marketing and facilities operations.
“Most of the people interested in this kind of a degree have a really busy schedule, so the online format makes it easier for them,” Rosemond said. “When I was coaching college basketball, this would have been perfect for me because I was too busy to go somewhere to take a class.”
The sport management program is the only all-online program of its kind among the seven Tennessee Board of Regents universities, according to Rosemond.
The program is a mixture of already existing master’s courses and new ones.
“The sport management concentration in the exercise science distance master’s program has helped to grow the numbers in the graduate program, but has also given new graduates and seasoned professionals an opportunity to continue their education in the sought-after sport management field,” said Christy Killman, associate professor in the department. “The response from the get-go has been more impressive than we anticipated.”
The additional classes are being added slowly. This semester, Rosemond is teaching the only new course, leadership in sport management. The course challenges students to adapt quickly to a changing profession and evaluate themselves and their actions.
Department faculty plan to add a new course every semester, and to hire adjunct professors to help bear the teaching load.
More than half of the 13 enrolled students completed their bachelor’s degree at TTU. Others are from Florida and Georgia, and program faculty have had at least one inquiry from as far away as Japan.
“One of the things people have found out about our program is that we are really good at preparing our students,” Rosemond said. “If we can match our undergraduate programs with our graduate programs and eventually doctoral programs, it will be even better because we can keep our students here when other universities want them.”