Good luck keeping Melanie Hosty away from sports or school.
“I didn’t know if I wanted a master’s degree, but I love going to school, learning and getting to know professors,” she said. “It was in the back of my mind when I finished my bachelor’s degree. I was done with school for a little bit. After a few months, I wanted to go back.”
The co-assistant athletic director at Cor Jesu Academy, in St. Louis, graduated from the online Master of Science in Sport Administration program at Arkansas State University (A-State) in May 2020.
“I was trying to decide between athletic administration and sports administration,” she said. “I talked to a friend who went through A-State’s program. He raved about it, so I looked into it and loved the pricing and that it was all online.”
Hosty is also a teacher and softball and track and field coach for the Chargers, so online was the only realistic approach to earning an advanced degree.
“I could hop on the computer and do homework at my own pace,” she said. “If I had a game or a track meet and needed to skip a night of school, I could do that, which was nice. I could pace myself throughout the week.
“I also liked the fact I could do it wherever — at a coffee shop or with friends. Plus, it was sport administration, so I could do high school athletics, minor league, major league or general sports.”
Gateway to Coaching
Growing up in St. Louis, Hosty played softball, basketball, track, soccer, figure skating and tried swimming and gymnastics. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a teaching emphasis from the University of Arkansas in 2017.
“I was going into teaching, but you don’t need a master’s degree to teach — especially for PE and coaching,” she said. “My main goal when I was graduating was to become an athletic director. You also don’t need a master’s degree for that, but it helps.”
Hosty started at Cor Jesu Academy as an assistant physical education teacher in 2015. She became a co-assistant athletic director four years later while enrolled at A-State.
“The information that I learned in the program was applicable,” she said. “With a lot of the discussion boards, I was able to bring in real-life things that happened to me personally or at my job. The program is way more interactive than I expected.”
Sport Law and Sport Governance & Operations were Hosty’s favorite courses in the online MS in Sport Management curriculum.
“I didn’t know everything that went on behind the scenes, so the law course was a new take on a lot of things for me,” she said. “The governance course went along with it.”
Hosty also liked the flexibility of setting her own workload in the program. She enrolled in January 2018 and wrote a thesis.
“You could pace yourself by doing one or two classes at a time,” she said. “You could do everything in one night if you had to, or you could space it out throughout the week. That was nice.”
Reaching For the Arch
Since Hosty graduated from A-State, she has gained valuable experience while working toward her goal of taking on new career challenges.
“Long-term, I am looking to branch out into minor league or professional sports,” she said. “Front office or facility management would be cool. I like my job now. For sure, having this degree will open some opportunities for me in my career as an educator.”
Hosty had plenty of encouragement from her family and friends during the online MS in Sport Management program. Both of her parents have master’s degrees.
“Everyone was pretty supportive,” she said. “I had a few other friends who were going back to get master’s degrees, too. I am considering going back to school for something.”
Hosty said that time management is essential to success for an online student, even for someone who loves school.
“You have the full week to get everything done, but don’t wait until 10:30 p.m. on Sunday when it’s due at 11:59 to start working on it,” she said. “Do it during chunks of time during the week.
“Pace yourself, do your reading and email the professors if you have any questions. They get back to you quickly and are very helpful.”
Hosty, who enjoys mountain and road biking and painting, is glad she went from Razorback to Red Wolf.
“Going to A-State was a great experience,” she said. “Plus, I got good value out of the program. It was amazing.”
Learn more about A-State’s online MS in Sport Administration program.