Athletics/Activities Administration Program Offered in Paragould

William Woods University is offering Paragould area residents the opportunity to pursue a master of education degree in athletics/activities administration while working full time.

An orientation will be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at Paragould Community Center, 301 W. Court Street, Paragould.

Prospective students are encouraged to contact the university’s Graduate & Adult Studies program prior to then, but walk-ins will be accepted. Call 1-800-995-3199 or contact WWU by e-mail at


William Woods University is one of the select schools nationwide offering the program. The program is also one of the few to be recognized by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association as meeting the educational requirements toward becoming a Registered Athletic Administrator (RAA) or a Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA).


 “We are extremely proud of this achievement because we have heard that only one other university has earned this distinction,” WWU President Jahnae H. Barnett said. “This recognition increases the value of the degree for our students and will save them time and money in working toward certification.”


The master of education in athletics/activities administration degree enables athletic workers to improve their skills in their field and prepares them to take administrative roles in the area of athletics.


“This program is unique in that it will provide emphasis in middle school, secondary and intercollegiate athletics,” Sherry McCarthy, vice president and academic dean, said. 


Jim Gagen, who chairs the program’s advisory committee and is a former president of the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA), explained, “Most programs in sports management are primarily for university, professional and recreational programs.  The William Woods program is one of the few that is geared for the secondary school athletic/activity administrator, as well.”


The former activities director of Marquette High School in Chesterfield, until he retired in 2002, added, “The program is designed to provide program graduates with the knowledge and the skills required for the modern athletic/activity administrator.  The program was developed and designed by a committee of athletic administrators with years of experience at all levels of athletic/activity administration.  It is taught by administrators with a wealth of experience in the field.”  


The degree is a practical course of education for anyone who works with or has experience in athletics or school activities. Officials, athletic trainers, summer and town league coaches and administrators, directors of YMCA’s or Boys and Girls Clubs and even former collegiate athletes are just some of the potential participants in this program.


“Although it sounds as if this program is designed mostly for coaches, it is in reality designed for anyone who needs more knowledge in developing and administering activities in any school or community setting,” McCarthy said. 


“We encourage band directors, cheerleading coaches, academic team coaches all to participate in this training.”


The program follows the same structure as other WWU graduate programs for working adults. Designed to be completed in fewer than two years, the 36-hour program involves a cohort group of students moving through together, attending each course one night a week for six weeks.


“William Woods has been a leader in innovative graduate education programs in Missouri for the last 10 years,” McCarthy said. “This is another example of WWU taking the lead in serving Missouri students.”


More information on the university’s Graduate & Adult Studies program is available at