Universities always encourage students to apply their
higher learning to real-world situations. Today, students
can literally get their feet wet, from the first day of
school all the way through graduation.
Across the country, more and more universities and
colleges are offering aquatics as undergraduate
?Aquatics has really expanded and mushroomed.
There are so many different recreational skills now that
are aquatic-related,? said Dr. John Mark Carter,
professor of aquatics and recreation at Campbellsville
University in Campbellsville, Ky.
In 1985, 25 institutions had some kind of aquatics
program. Five were declared minors. The other 20 were
aquatic concentrations or emphasis. By 2004, the most
recent statistics available, 35 schools offered 41
programs. Seventeen had minors. Two Ball State
University in Muncie, Ind., and Salem State College in
Salem, Mass. have four-year bachelor?s
Carter brought the aquatics minor to Campbellsville
University when he switched from Wingate University in
Wingate, N.C. Campbellsville?s courses end with a
certifying exam from a national agency, which Carter said
is helpful for students?
résumés and becoming necessary for
jobs. ?We?re all certification- and
licensed-based in so many areas,? he said.
?We?ve had it in law, medicine and
Bob Ogoreuc agreed. ?Aquatics is
certification-based and experience-based,? said the
assistant professor at Slippery Rock University in Slippery
Rock, Pa. The school has more than 50 students taking its
aquatics minor right now, a number that keeps growing each
year. ?If I want a teaching job at a high school, I
need my WSI. An aquatics director needs certification in
CPO. [Students] are starting to realize the value of
certification in our world.?
Ogoreuc said his school?s program is structured
to make students think creatively. ?I?ve
been trying to tell our minors to take a look at [their]
aquatic program from high school or the community, and what
can [they] do to make it more interesting.?
Slippery Rock requires 19 credits to graduate with an
aquatic minor. Its courses include lifeguarding, adapted
aquatics, canoeing and instructor classes.
?There are other programs out there,?
said Lee Yarger, coordinator of aquatics at Ball State
University and researcher behind the 2004 evaluation of
universities with aquatics curriculums.
?It?s a fairly new discipline to
The programs run the aquatic gamut. Salem
State?s aquatic management program focuses on
aquatic management, requiring kinesiology, physiology and
aquatic administration courses. Ball State bases its
four-year training through accreditation courses, which
total up to 30 or more certifications.
Related areas in aquatics are offered for focus, too.
State University of New York in Stony Brook offers a minor
in adapted aquatics, and students at the University of
Pittsburgh?s School of Education can pursue its
minor for a teaching or coaching career. Humboldt State
University in Arcata, Calif., gives a scuba minor for
students who take 22 credit hours of related classes. And
students of Keiser College can be miles away from its Fort
Lauderdale, Fla., campus: Its associate degree in aquatic
engineering can be obtained online.
Industry advocates hope aquatics facilities will recruit
from those universities for post-graduation jobs.
?Those schools are like any other
business,? said Tom Lachocki, CEO of the National
Swimming Pool Foundation in Colorado Springs, Colo.
?They should give those graduates good jobs and
help them excel in their careers. We should help those
universities continue to have those programs and grow them