For Christopher Richardson, earning his MCAA degree at CUI ignited his career.
Chris Richardson began his career as an assistant coach at Cerritos Community College with a goal of a full-time teaching and coaching career at the college—a goal that was out of reach without a graduate degree.
Richardson knew he needed to find a graduate program whose content matched his professional endeavors. He found that in the Master’s in Coaching and Athletics Administration (MCAA) program at Concordia University Irvine.
Throughout the admissions process, Richardson grew increasingly confident that “my inquiries and concerns mattered,” he recalls. “The personable staff and structure and content of the degree plan made me decide to pursue graduate school at Concordia over other institutions.”
During the course of his program, Richardson continued to be impressed with his choice. The professors in the MCAA program really made an impression: “I remember many times when I felt stressed or overwhelmed with an assignment or task, and the professor took time to address my specific concerns and needs. I knew how much time they took to guide me...and they were not obligated to do so.”
This dynamic of service continually impressed him as professors went above and beyond to help guide his professional pursuits and help him gain perspective in other courses. “They even sent messages of congratulations after I achieved a coaching position!”
Richardson earned his master’s degree at Concordia and became head coach at Moorpark College at the age of 24. He recently moved on to become a tenured professor at Cerritos Community College, where he also serves as the Director of Track and Field/Cross Country. He teaches Health Composition, Kinesiology and Physical Education. “As an alum, I take great pride in growing the intercollegiate program here at Cerritos College,” he says.
This program was the catalyst of my upswing professionally, financially, and [with my collegiate] affiliation. Overall, the MCAA program allowed me to develop a true professional foundation in all the pertinent areas of being a coach.
Richardson’s professional outcomes stem directly from the education he received in the MCAA program. “This program was the catalyst of my upswing professionally, financially, and [with my collegiate] affiliation,” states Richardson. “Overall, the MCAA program allowed me to develop a true professional foundation in all the pertinent areas of being a coach.” The depth and breadth of the program empowered him to understand and execute the many variables and complexities associated with coaching, giving him a “direct advantage over my peers who did not have that foundation,” he observes.
While most similar degree programs focus on sports-specific content, there is little focus on administrative and management development—a key area of effective sports management. As a coach, Richardson has oversight of travel, budget, personnel, and facilities.
Moving forward, it seems that the MCAA program has ignited more than his career—he already has plans to pursue his doctoral degree, declaring, “This is just a stepping stone!”