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SUNY Plattsburgh Offers New Fitness and Wellness Leadership Major

This fall will see the launch of the new Bachelor of Science in Fitness and Wellness Leadership at SUNY Plattsburgh.

Initially open to 20 students, this program will prepare those students for career opportunities in medically-based fitness facilities, commercial health clubs, Pilates/yoga/group exercise centers, sports performance clinics, physical therapy clinics, personal training studios, senior centers, hospital wellness centers and more.

In providing this degree, SUNY Plattsburgh is preparing students to meet the needs of a changing job market. After all, the Department of Labor predicts the employment of fitness workers in such careers to increase 27 percent over the 2006-2016 decade.

"These workers are expected to gain jobs because an increasing number of people are spending time and money on fitness, and more businesses are recognizing the benefits of health and fitness programs for their employees," according to the Department of Labor Web site.

"There is a growing need for health/fitness academic programs to educate and train their students incorporating assessments, correct exercise techniques and an empathetic approach when designing exercise programs for individuals of all ages and specialized health concerns," said Kenneth Baldwin , assistant professor and the coordinator of the program.

"I believe our graduates will be the health and fitness professionals of the future. They will be the ones who meet the needs of a growing population of people wanting to become healthier."

Offering Science, Practical Experiences and Business Curriculum

"After researching the strengths and weaknesses of over 300 health/fitness/exercise science degree programs from both two- and four-year universities around the country, we have been able to establish a major that integrates exercise science, clinical/practical experiences and business curriculum into a unique program that we hope establishes a national standard for developing a successful health/fitness professional," said Baldwin.

Through this new program, students will learn the science of fitness and how to use it. They will take part in business, management and clinical rotations. They will also receive training in the college's on-site personal training laboratory.

Preparing for National Certification

In addition, students will receive a comprehensive and standardized curriculum within the major that addresses the knowledge, skills and abilities specified by the American College of Sports Medicine Committee on Certification and Registry Boards. This will prepare students for both the ACSM Certified Personal Trainer SM and the ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor certification examinations.

Furthermore, students will be prepared to take the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists certification by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Enhancing Career Options Through Minors

Students wishing to specialize can take just a few credits more and earn a marketing or a business minor.

"These options allow our students to separate themselves another way from other college graduates in a similar field when it comes to having the best opportunity toward employment," said Baldwin.

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