Oct. 8, 2019, (St. Petersburg, Fla.) — The WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) and WTBA (Women’s Tennis Benefit Association) today announced a partnership with the University of Florida, where WTBA will subsidize in-state tuition fees for WTA members who enroll in online master’s degrees from the UF College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) and the UF College of Health & Human Performance (UFHHP). The WTA, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the global leader in women’s professional sport and the principal organizing body for women's professional tennis.
"On behalf of the Women's Tennis Benefits Association, we are thrilled to announce our agreement with the University of Florida's College of Health and Human Performance and the College of Journalism and Communications to provide WTA players the opportunity to earn a master's degree,” said WTBA Executive Director Lisa Grattan. “With so many of the WTA players earning bachelor's degrees these past seven years, we look forward to seeing this partnership with such an esteemed establishment as the University of Florida succeed.”
UFCJC, considered one of the premier communication programs in the country with one of the top communication and media online graduate programs, offers a Master’s in Mass Communication degree with specializations in Audience Analytics, Digital Strategy, Global Strategic Communication, Political Communication, Public Interest Communication, Public Relations, Social Media and Web Design. Students can also earn certificates in Global Strategic Communication, Media Sales, Social Media and Web Design.
“We are excited to partner with the WTBA and offer the WTA members the opportunity to advance their education while simultaneously advancing their careers,” said Evan Kropp, director of Online Graduate Programs for UFCJC. “The flexibility to learn from our world-class faculty while geographically located wherever members’ careers might take them is a win-win for everyone.”
Consistently ranked in the top five best online graduate programs, the Master’s in Sport Management is one of four programs offered by UFHHP to WTA program participants. Additional programs include Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a concentration in Human Performance, Health Education and Behavior as well as Tourism and Recreation Management with a specialization in Hospitality Business Management.
“UFHHP is looking forward to working with members of the WTA community to help them reach their education and career goals through our online graduate degree programs,” said Michael Sagas, professor and director of Online and Distance Education for UFHHP. “We feel that our programs are a natural fit for WTA members and we will benefit from the experiences they bring to our classes as much as the WTA students will benefit from the expertise of our faculty.”
The UF partnership is part of a larger “Transitions” educational program offered by the WTBA designed to help current and alumnae players acquire concrete skills, training and career guidance through a range of programs.
Founded by Billie Jean King in 1973 on the principle of equal opportunity for women in sports, the WTA is the global leader in women’s professional sport with more than 1,800 players representing 85 nations competing for a record $179 million in prize money. In 2018, the WTA was watched by a record-breaking global audience of 600 million. The 2019 WTA competitive season includes 55 events and four Grand Slams in 29 countries, culminating with the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, offering an unprecedented $14 million total prize purse and honoring the season’s top singles and doubles players. Further information on the WTA can be found at www.wtatennis.com.
The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, recognized by its peers as one of the premier programs in the country, is driving innovation and engagement across the disciplines of advertising, journalism, public relations and telecommunication. The college’s strength is drawn from both academic rigor and experiential learning. It offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates, both online and on campus. CJC students have the opportunity to gain practical experience in the Innovation News Center, which generates content across multiple platforms, and The Agency, an integrated strategic communication and consumer research agency focused on marketing to young adults. The College includes seven broadcast and digital media properties, the Joseph L. Brechner Center for Freedom of Information and the nation’s only STEM Translational Communication Center and Center for Public Interest Communications.
The University of Florida College of Health & Human Performance is focused on solving health problems, advancing human performance and enriching the quality of life across the disciplines of applied physiology and kinesiology, health education and behavior, sport management, and tourism, hospitality and event management. The college offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates, both online and on campus. HHP is home to three research centers – the Center for Exercise Science, the Center for Behavioral Economic Health Research and the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute. HHP researchers use state-of-the-art facilities to win the battle against addiction, improve the quality of life for those suffering from debilitating neurological, cardiovascular and muscular disease and help span cultural divides through tourism and sport.