By REBECCA HERSH
Middlesex College is launching a new Associate of Science degree program – Health and Exercise Sciences (HES.AS) – just in time for the new academic year this fall.
“The fields of health and fitness have grown rapidly as people return to focus on their health and well-being. Graduates will find many well-paying and satisfying careers in the health and fitness industry, ”said Professor Timothy Hack, chair of the Liberal Arts History and Social Sciences Division, where the HES program will be located. .AS.
Designed to promote students’ ability to understand the effects of physical activity on the human body for the purpose of maintaining or improving health, fitness and athletic performance, the new curriculum combines a core of general education with basic courses in exercise science, health and sports studies, according to information provided by the college.
According to Hack, the program’s general education courses serve the dual purpose of supporting immediate career entry and ensuring portability.
“The program is ideal for students looking to immediately enter the workforce in professions such as fitness or personal trainer, health education, sports nutrition, strength training and conditioning, coordinating wellness and many other areas focused on health and fitness, ”Hack said in the statement.
He added that for students who wish to continue their education, all specialty courses in the program are informed by best practices in the field and careful consideration of four-year program offerings at New Jersey institutions, including the University. Kean, Monmouth University, Montclair State. University, New Jersey City University, Rider University, Stockton University, and William Paterson University.
And the program could also be the entry beyond the fitness profession into a career in physiotherapy.
“The general training and selection of core courses in the HES.AS program align well with zonal transfer institutions and should provide the basis for transparent articulations,” Hack said in the statement.
The college currently has four full-time faculty members, who have the expertise to deliver content for the new courses in the program, as well as six adjunct professors with credentials to teach various courses in the new program leading to a diploma if the need justifies it.
And although the purchase of new minor equipment is necessary, the college’s physical education center is home to an expansive fitness center, an Olympic-size swimming pool open year-round, and various classrooms designated for education classes. physical in order to support the results of the program, the statement said.
Hack estimated that by the end of the year, up to 25 students will be enrolled.
The new curriculum responds directly to labor statistics which show employment in exercise science and related fields continues to grow both locally and nationally, the statement said. According to labor market analysis firm Emsi, there is an expected 8.6% employment growth in health and exercise (2013-23) in the Middlesex County area , with a median hourly wage of $ 25.37.
More generally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast 10-year (2019-29) growth in professions aligned with the exercise science curriculum, including fitness coaches and instructors (15%), athletic trainers (16%) and exercise physiologists (11%).
“Middlesex College has a long history of using economic and labor data to identify emerging areas and develop programs that would serve students and fit the academic mission. Given the expected growth of the industry and the global shift towards more conscious health awareness, this new curriculum will help satisfy the job market in our region, ”Hack said in the release.