Augustana announces new health, wellness and performance center


Augustana College in Rock Island announced on Tuesday the addition of the Austin E. Knowlton Center “for innovation in health, wellness and human performance.”

The facility, which is expected to open in 2020, will offer hands-on learning in health fields, expanded opportunities for athletes and a new kinesiology major.

The aquatic center will include a 25-yard pool and therapeutic pool. With this addition, the college will expand men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s club water polo and add women’s varsity water polo. 

Fact sheet from Augustana College:

Austin E. Knowlton Center for Innovation in Health, Wellness and Human Performance 
+ An exciting addition is coming to Augustana College that will change the landscape, both metaphorically and literally, of our campus.

+ Adding to our renowned and rigorous programs in the sciences, public health and pre-health fields, Augustana is introducing new programming, starting with a major in kinesiology.

+ Kinesiology is the study of physical activity and human movement and their impact on health, society and quality of life, including the study of exercise, daily living, play, sports and work.

+ According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, students with a kinesiology background could fill jobs in 5 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations.

+ This new program, and the new building that will help support it, is a shining example of the college’s vision and student-first approach to career preparation.

+ Building will feature spaces for academic engagement including team spaces, classrooms, faculty offices, a joint resource area, community outreach coordinators and exercise laboratories, and physical and mindful engagement spaces including a 25-yard therapeutic pool, mindfulness laboratory and practice areas.

+ The college will expand men and women’s swimming and diving, men’s club water polo and add women’s varsity water polo.

+ The world needs Augustana students who are problem-solvers, critical thinkers and excellent communicators, to help solve the problems around health, wellness and the health care system. o Medical school acceptance rate is 50 percent above the national average.

+ Augustana’s public health program is academically rigorous and attractive to students. The program was launched in 2015 and has grown from six majors to 31.  

+ Public health graduate acceptance rate is 100 percent.

+ Augustana students complete an average of 150 health care-related internships or job shadows each year.

+ The academic programming and capital investment for this $14-16 million campus investment will be partially funded by a challenge grant of $8 million from the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation. This grant will require college leaders to raise additional funds from other donors, foundations and government agencies to fulfill this ambitious vision to ensure Augustana College students are equipped for emerging careers in health and wellness.  

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