Approval has been granted from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for East Central University to institute a new degree option – Sport Psychology - in the Department of Psychology’s Master of Science in Psychological Services (MSPS).
The area of sport psychology has been a growing field and represents an interdisciplinary science that incorporates various fields including biomechanics, physiology, kinesiology and psychology. This applied knowledge is needed in the development and use of psychological skills for the optimal performance and well-being of athletes.
There is currently no other M.S. degree offered in the area that focuses on this branch of psychology. According to the American Psychological Association, “sport and performance psychology is a career field that is growing rapidly. Projections for jobs in the field of psychology generally suggest that growth will occur at a rate of 11 percent between now and 2022, with an average of 5,590 new jobs each year.”
The program change should align to at least two certifications for candidates; Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP Certification) and Licensed Behavioral Practitioners (LBP Licensure).
The curriculum is designed to address the performance and psychological concerns associated with sports involvement affecting athletes, coaches and families as well as the developmental and social aspects of sports participation. The curriculum will consist of 27 hours in psychological and counseling foundation courses and 33 hours in the specialty of sport psychology. These courses include those such as Sports in American Society, Advanced Sport Psychology, Applied Biomechanics, Sports Performance Enhancement Strategies, and Health Psychology, among others.
To lead the implementation of this program, the ECU Department of Psychology has hired Dr. Suzanne Pottratz, who recently graduated with her Ph.D. in sport and exercise psychology from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. The College of Education
and Psychology is excited to expand its current master’s options to include the high demand area of sport psychology and is currently enrolling students in the program.