DAPHNE, Ala. – Dr. Lindsey Schroeder, who recently became the 5000th graduate in the history of the United States Sports Academy, is using her Academy doctoral degree to pursue her dream career of teaching and serving in a clinical position at the college level.
Schroeder is an assistant professor and the clinical education coordinator for the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) Athletic Training Program within its School of Health and Applied Human Sciences. She recently completed her Academy Doctor of Education degree in sports management with a dual emphasis in sports medicine and sports theory, stating with pride that she’s the first woman in her family with a doctoral degree.
Schroeder is the latest in a long line of alumni since the Academy’s founding in 1972 who have gone on to success as coaches, managers, educators, athletic directors and administrators, entrepreneurs, healthcare providers, researchers and a myriad of other professionals at all level of sports, including professional, Olympic, collegiate, interscholastic, and recreational.
Like many Academy alumni who have gone before her, Schroeder said the institution’s flexible scheduling options allowed her to work in the sports field while earning her sport-specific degree, which in turn made her more valuable in the workplace.
“I was looking for a program that allowed me to continue to practice as an athletic trainer full time, and the Academy did that,” Schroeder said.
“My education from the Academy made me a much more desirable employee and prepared me for a higher-level position.
“I loved taking classes that focused on sports. Too often, you take classes where it is difficult to make the connection for real-world clinical application. At the Academy, you are constantly making that connection, which keeps the material you are learning fascinating and pertinent.”
At UNCW, Schroeder teaches clinical courses in addition to an athletic training organization and administration course. She is also responsible for all aspects of clinical education from courses to student clinical site placement.
Schroeder holds a master’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where she also served as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for the school’s volleyball and softball teams. She earned a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.
She has more than 13 years of experience working as an athletic trainer. After working as a graduate assistant at Oakland, she served full time as an athletic trainer for the school’s women’s volleyball, women’s basketball and softball teams. She later moved to Arizona, where she worked as an athletic trainer at a large high school. Later, she worked as an athletic trainer at Illinois State University.
A native of Chapel Hill, N.C., Schroeder eventually moved closer to be back home to raise her family. She earned a position as an athletic trainer for UNCW’s women’s basketball and tennis teams, which led to her seeking her Academy doctoral degree and her faculty position.
“After having my daughter, I needed to improve my quality of life and we moved to North Carolina to be closer to family,” she said. “I was blessed with an athletic training position with women’s basketball and women’s tennis at UCNW and this opened the door for my current position.”
A former athlete who played volleyball, basketball, and softball, Schroeder said she pursued a career in education for several reasons.
“The main reason I chose education was that as a clinical athletic trainer you notice the retention issue, especially among females, within the profession,” she said.
“Way too many fantastic athletic trainers were leaving the profession to go to other careers. I wanted to situate myself to make a difference in the profession by educating students about leadership, work-life balance, and overcoming adversity.
“My greatest professional accomplishment is being the first female in my family to earn a doctoral degree, all while being a mother, wife, and clinical athletic director.”
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.
The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala. For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.