Coaching Education and Athlete Development (CEAD) - M.Ed.
Program at a Glance
Learn to maximize the potential of future and current athletes with a Master of Education in Coaching Education and Athlete Development (CEAD) from Xavier University. Our unique masters in coaching online cohort degree program focuses on the art and science of coaching and addresses the true purpose of the profession: athlete development. This in-depth approach to coaching education includes character development, promoting sport participation throughout a person’s lifespan, and the pursuit of excellence through sport. Designed to be completed in just two years, the program utilizes the Integrated Coaching and Sport Education (I-CaSE) model developed by Ron Quinn, Xavier University’s director of the coaching education, and aligns with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), as well as the National Council for the Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) program’s National Standards for Sport Coaches (NSSC). The NCACE is the accrediting body for coaching education programs at college and universities, community-based sport, and scholastic sport. The standards set by the NCACE cover:
- Philosophy and Ethics
- Safety and Injury Prevention
- Physical Conditioning
- Growth and Development
- Teaching and Communication
- Sport Skills and Tactics
- Organization and Administration
Students of Xavier University’s masters in coaching online program graduate in two years with knowledge in the latest research, an understanding of the important personal and societal contributions coaches make, and the ability to design and implement developmentally appropriate sports programs for individuals of all ages, and ability levels. Graduates also embody the mission of Xavier by demonstrating competence, compassion and conscience, while acting as sport leaders and role models in their community.
Note: This online master’s in coaching program will not provide licensure in any state.
The online master program was designed using the National Standards for Sports Coaching and will be seeking accreditation through the National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education in the near future.
The tuition rate for the online CEAD program is $570 per credit hour. The total cost of tuition for the degree program will vary, depending upon transfer credits awarded, additional fees, and the cost of textbooks/materials. See the Tuition page for more information.
The students take 1 course at a time (2 per semester) lasting 8 weeks. The average timeline to complete this course is two years.
Since we have a cohort program, students must take all courses with their cohort.
The students take 1 course at a time (2 per semester) lasting 8 weeks.
There are not specific online times, but students are expected to submit work and must participate in discussions during assigned due dates.
The program's courses are in module form, generally 4 per course, and in addition to exposure to the most recent research on an issue or topic, many of the courses are project-based.
The online master program began in 2015 and has quickly gained recognition as a competitor in coaching education and athlete development.
No. It is strictly a Master of Education degree.
It is a cohort program, where you take 6 credit hours per semester, typically year-round.
The program is 30 credit hours and takes less than 2 years to complete. There is no accelerated path for this master's degree.
Yes, if such an event occurs, a student may pause the online master program and then resume with another cohort that matches their course completion to date.
Yes, there are a variety of practical projects to enhance students' coaching practice.
Yes, you should have a laptop or PC. You will also need Microsoft office, which Xavier University is able to provide.
Canvas is the learning management system. It is very student friendly.
Generally, a student should spend 1-2 hours daily or 7-10 hours per week on course related activities, that include such activities as, reading, writing, responding to discussions, viewing multimedia, etc.
The faculty is readily accessible and will typically respond to student requests within 24 hours.
There is a societal need to formally prepare individuals who coach and conduct programs for people of all ages so that sport may be a positive, safe and growth-enhancing experience. The United States is behind in this area as countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand have all begun to take steps to professionalize the discipline of coaching.
For individuals who are currently coaching, whether at the club, school, collegiate or professional level, these positions are very demanding and time consuming; an online program will provide greater flexibility while experiencing a rigorous graduate degree.
The primary goal of a cohort program is to create a learning community of coaches. This will provide the opportunity for coaches from a variety of backgrounds and settings to communicate and learn from each other.
We believe that this program will be of great benefit to school coaches (middle to high school), collegiate coaches (head or assistant), and community-based club coaches who are either full-time club coaches or full-time directors of coaching. We believe that a cohort that consists of individuals from each of these three areas will provide an optimal learning experience for all involved.
Those that obtain a sports coaching degree are motivated and passionate leaders who enjoy inspiring others and are committed to their success. Graduates have skills that allow them to work in a multitude of career options such as:
- Instructional coach
- Instructional coaches are on-site professional developers who teach educators how to use different instructional methods. Coaches in this career must be skilled in public relations, communication, organization, and education. Instructional coaches observe classes, prepare materials, analyze teachers' needs, and work on building networks for change.
- Sports nutritionist
- Sports and fitness nutritionists are professionals that are responsible for teaching athletes the best way to improve their health, optimize their performance, and manage their weight. This career requires a bachelor's in a sports nutrition-related field, and licensing may be required depending on the state.
- Athletic director
- Athletic directors oversee all aspects of the athletic program including hiring coaches, budget preparation, providing guidance and direction for schools sports program, working with coaches to coordinate sports team trips, mediating disputes between athletes and coaches, speaking with league officials about subjects such as postseason play, and allocating time for sports fields, courts, and weight rooms. At the high school level, the athletic director can be a school administrator who provides leadership and assistance in all these areas, while at the college level, the athletic director will oversee the whole process.
- Personal trainer
- A personal trainer will work with individuals or small groups of clients to reach their fitness goals by coaching their clients through floor work, stretching, pilates, and exercise equipment. A personal trainer is different from a sports nutritionist in that they focus mainly on increasing the client's physical flexibility. Personal trainers can be found in a variety of areas including gyms, fitness centers, colleges, or large companies.
- College Coach
- College coaches teach the rules and techniques of specific sports while also functioning as a teacher, mentor, friend, boss, manager, provide counseling and activities director for the athletes they coach. College coaches work with Assistant coaches to analyze the competitor's strengths and weaknesses, and use that information to strategize a game plan.
- Assistant head coach
- Like the college coach, the assistant coach wears many hats; mentor, teacher, and counseling provider. Assistant coaches support the main head coach by taking over the same duties and handling situations when they arise. Assistant coaches attend all planning meetings and provide input on each player's strengths and weaknesses.
- College Athletic Recruiter
- College Athletic Recruiters find and select talented athletes by attending high school sports games. This career often requires travel to other states to watch players in sports games. College recruiters will also make strong connections with high school coaches and work with them to find out more information about the players such as scores and statistics.
- Physical education teacher
- Physical education teachers work in primary or secondary schools providing lessons in physical education to children and young adults. While the lessons will be in line with the national curriculum, the role of the physical education teacher is to provide a program that engages and interacts with the children by helping them to participate in a variety of sports or fitness activities. Physical education instructors typically have a bachelor's degree in education or relating field, followed up by postgraduate training.
- Sports psychologist
- Sports psychology explores the psychological and physical factors that affect an athlete's performance in a sport or activity. Sports psychology combines the science of physiology, kinesiology, and biomechanics to treat mental issues in athletes and sports professionals. Students looking to become sports psychologists may earn degrees in psychology and exercise science or clinical psychology with a sports psychology concentration. Most employers will require a master's degree in psychology to enter the sports psychology field.
- Sports manager:
- Having a master's in coaching degree coupled with an athletic administration degree, prepares graduates for leadership positions in athletic organizations. Students in these programs will study ethical and moral issues, governance, and policy development, marketing, and management of athletic programs.
The Coaching Education and Athlete Development Master’s degree program offers a unique cohort model in which students progress through the 2-year course sequence together. Cohorts begin three times a year (August, January and May.) The program consists of 30 credit-hours, where students take two courses for five consecutive semesters, including the summer.
To supplement the online courses, the CEAD program has two residency or face-to-face experiences. Within the first year, Residency I – Professional Development, students must attend the North American Coach Development Summit in June at a site to be determined each year. At the end of the program, students must come to Xavier University’s campus to complete the program and present their research.
This course is an introduction to the historical, sociological, cultural and psychological aspects of sport and coaching in society. It also explores how it relates to individuals, groups and organizations.
This course provides an examination of ethics, morality and philosophy as it relates to modern sport. Discussions revolve around the myths and paradoxes of sport, identifying and resolving ethical dilemmas and what it means to be a morally responsible sportsperson. Specific focus addresses the application of the Integrated Coaching and Sport Education Model (I-CASE) developed by Ronald Quinn to school and community-based sport.
This course provides an examination of leadership in sport, and critically examines of the role of competition and character development. Discussions revolve around the complexity of leadership development in sport for all participants, how character development should occur in sport and how organizational structure and communication influence all three areas.
This course explores the basic steps for successful practice and team management of participants and athletes. This includes risk assessment and handling life-threatening emergencies, injuries and medical concerns; teaching about healthy lifestyles, disease transmission and safety and injury prevention, as well as CPR, First Aid and AED use.
This course provides an exercise science foundation to coaching that includes energy systems, muscle physiology and how the body adapts to the physical and psychological demands placed upon it. Sport-specific training and conditioning programs are also addressed as they relate to developmentally appropriate sport training. Additionally, the effects of performance-enhancing substances and drugs on athlete performance and health are discussed.
The discipline of coaching education and coach development continues to grow, and it is important that coaches are familiar with the latest trends, best practices, and research. Students in the CEAD program achieve this component of a coach’s professional development by attending the North American Coach Development Summit, sponsored by the United States Center of Excellence, please visit: https://www.uscoachexcellence.org/ Attendance at this conference is a program graduation requirement, but does not carry a credit requirement.
This course examines various coaching methods and takes a qualitative analysis of coaching behaviors and athlete movement. The result is a more reflective coach regarding his or her own coaching behaviors, as well as his or her ability to teach, analyze and correct sport-specific movement techniques and skills.
This course creates the foundation to understanding LTAD and addresses the motor development, motor learning, nutritional needs, information processing and physical, social, emotional and psychological characteristics and abilities of children from ages 3-19. The discussion and course content is within the context of youth sport programming and developmentally appropriate sport training.
This course continues the LTAD process discussion, but in the context of sport training and programming for elite and senior athletes, by addressing the needs of those ranging from ages 20-90. Research shows that individuals are capable of maintaining a high level of fitness and physical competence well into later life. Therefore, LTAD II not only addresses coaching the elite athlete, but also individuals who wish to continue their competitive careers.
This course is designed to expose the coach to the research process, synthesizing the literature to support coaching practices and to solve real-world coaching problems through the scientific method. This concludes a line of inquiry identified by the student early in the program and culminates with the presentation of student research.
This final residency occurs during graduation week in early May on Xavier’s campus and consists of a 2- or 3-day workshop that includes a comprehensive exam, presentation of research projects and program assessment.
Students enrolled in Xavier’s online master of coaching education and athlete development program will learn from our exceptional faculty members, including:
Dr. Sheri Huckleberry holds the B.S. in Exercise Physiology and Sport Science from the University of Connecticut, the M.S.P.E. in Athletic Administration and the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Ohio University. In the fall of 2017, she became a Teaching Professor for the online master’s in Coaching Education and Athlete Development in the Department of Sport Studies at Xavier University.
Before coming to Xavier, Dr. Huckleberry spent 10 years at Ohio University in Athens, OH. While at Ohio University, she completed her doctoral studies and served as an assistant professor and program coordinator (campus-based and online coaching education) in the Department of Recreation and Sport Pedagogy and The Patton College of Education, where she taught campus and online courses.
Dr. Huckleberry’s dissertation focused on the commitment and self-efficacy of youth soccer coaches. She has research interests in the role that deliberate play and practice has on the retention of youth sport participants and novice/volunteer coaches.
Furthermore, Sheri has a passion for working, researching and volunteering in the Sport and Development field. Over the last nine years, she has traveled to South Africa, Ecuador and El Salvador to educate soccer coaches and work with children in marginalized communities.
In 2018, Dr. Huckleberry was inducted into the YMCA of Frederick County’s Alvin G. Quinn Sports Hall of Fame for her accomplishments as an athlete (soccer and track and field), coach and educator.
Sheri is a US Soccer Grassroots Instructor, is on the Kentucky Youth Soccer instructional and coaching staff, is a soccer coach with Georgetown Football Club (05 Boy and 01 Girls), and has been a longtime staff member with United Soccer Coaches Coaching Academy.
Ronald W. Quinn is in his 42nd year in teaching. During this time, he has worked at every educational level holding such positions as a school health and physical education teacher, an interscholastic director of athletics, collegiate sport information director, physical education department chair and coach of a variety of sport (soccer, tennis, JV basketball and swimming). At Xavier University, his primary responsibilities include coordinating and teaching in the graduate online program in Coaching Education and Athlete Development. He earned his M.Ed. in Physical Education and an Ed.D. in Sport Administration, both from Temple University.
Dr. Quinn designed the sport management curricula at DeSales University in Center Valley, PA and Xavier University. In 2015, he designed and delivered the first fully-online graduate program at Xavier University in Coaching Education and Athlete Development. Nationally, Dr. Quinn is known for his work in educating youth soccer coaches and player development. He is considered a leading authority in youth soccer and coaching education presenting at prestigious national and international conferences. He has authored, co-authored or provided chapters to 7 soccer-coaching books, and has published over 25 articles on various aspects of youth coaching and has conducted numerous coaching education programs.
Dr. Quinn’s professional service includes being an international tutor for the English Football Association (FA) for their online courses in psychology for football (soccer) and fitness. He served as a member of the board of directors for the National Council for the Accreditation of Coaching Education programs (NCACE) from 2006 – 2012, and is currently on the editorial board for the Soccer Journal (Official Publication of the NSCAA), and the Cincinnati Sports Professionals Network (CSPN). Additionally, Coach Quinn served as the Xavier University Women’s Soccer Coach from 1993 – 2004 holding a 134 – 95 – 16 record over the 12-year period, winning two Atlantic-Ten Tournament titles and qualifying for the conference tournament nine of 12 seasons. He coached at Seton High School, from 2009 – 2017, an all-girls Catholic high school in Cincinnati, OH, where he was selected as the 2013 Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association, Division I Girls, Private/Parochial Coach of the Year and the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Women’s Sports Association High School Coach of the Year.
To apply for official acceptance as a coaching education and athlete development student, submit the following:
Xavier University's free online application. Select "Sport Studies" as the program.
One official transcript directly from all colleges or universities that you have attended for any undergraduate and graduate course work. Applicants must have a degree from a regionally accredited university. Send transcripts to:
ATTN: Admission Processing Center
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207-5131
For electronic transcripts, send to:
Official test scores from the Millers Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are only required if your undergraduate GPA is less than 2.7. The test is waived if you have a 2.7+ undergraduate GPA or have already received a master’s degree.
Current résumé of work and volunteer experiences.
A 1-page, typed statement of your coaching experience and career goals, and how the Xavier Coaching Education and Athlete Development program fits with your goals.
2 letters from professional and/or academic references who are able to assess your potential for success in this program.
Applications are processed immediately upon receiving all required materials. Applicants are notified of the admission decision as soon as possible. The admission committee considers all information contained in the admission application, including prior grades, test scores and evidence for potential for success in graduate study.
International student requirements
Xavier University welcomes students from outside the United States to enroll in its online programs. However, some countries do not formally recognize foreign online degrees. This may have implications for enrolling in subsequent degree programs or for securing employment requiring these credentials. It is students’ responsibility to determine whether the online degree will be recognized in their country of residence or in any country in which they plan to work. Additionally, students should inquire in their country of residence how the collection of student data may be used and whether they will be subject to additional withholding taxes in addition to the cost of tuition.
- All international students are strongly encouraged to submit an official third-party course-by-course evaluation of their high school and/or college transcripts from an international credential evaluation service accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.
- International students must pass either the TOEFL or IELTS exam if English is your second language.
- International students may have additional application requirements. Click here for more information.
Note: International students in the U.S. cannot enroll in an online degree program to fulfill the legal requirement for an F-1 or J-1 visa.
Xavier University is authorized to offer this fully-online program in most states. View the complete list of approved states on the State Authorization page.