BY REBECCA HERSH
Middlesex College is launching a new Associate of Science – Health and Exercise Science (HES.AS) course this fall, just in time for the new academic year.
“The health and fitness areas have expanded rapidly as the population returns to focus on their health and wellbeing. Graduates will find numerous well-paying and satisfying careers in the health and fitness industries, ”said Professor Timothy Hack, chairman of the Department of History and Social Sciences of the Liberal Arts, which will host the HES.AS program.
The new degree is designed to develop students’ ability to understand the effects of physical activity on the human body in order to maintain or improve health, fitness and athletic performance, and combines a general educational core with basic courses in exercise science, health and sports studies according to the university.
According to Hack, the general education courses of the program serve the dual purpose of supporting immediate career entry and ensuring transferability.
“The program is ideal for students who want to start their careers immediately in professions such as fitness or personal trainer, health education, sports nutrition, strength and conditioning coaching, wellness coordination and many other health and fitness-oriented areas,” said Hack in the statement.
He added that for students who wish to continue their education, all of the program’s specialized courses through best practices in the field and a careful review of four-year program offerings at institutions in New Jersey including Kean University, Monmouth University, Montclair State, be informed University, New Jersey City University, Rider University, Stockton University and William Paterson University.
And the program could also be the entry point beyond the fitness profession into a career in physical therapy.
“The general education and the selection of core courses in the HES.AS program fit well with the transfer institutions and should form the basis for seamless connections,” Hack said in the statement.
The college currently has four full-time faculty members who have the expertise to teach the content in the program’s new courses, as well as six additional faculty who can teach various courses within the new degree if necessary.
And while purchasing some smaller new equipment is required, the college’s sports center is home to an extensive fitness center, year-round Olympic-size pool, and various classrooms dedicated to physical education to aid program results, the statement said.
Hack estimates that up to 25 students will be enrolled by the end of the year.
The new degree responds directly to labor statistics showing employment in sports science and related fields continues to grow both locally and nationally, the statement said. Employment growth in the Middlesex County area is expected to be 8.6% in health and physical activity (2013-23) with an average hourly wage of $ 25.37, according to labor market analyst Emsi.
More broadly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is forecasting 10-year growth (2019-29) in occupations that conform to the sports science curriculum, including fitness coach and instructor (15%), sports coach (16%), and exercise physiologist (11th) . %).
“Middlesex College has long used economic and employment data to identify emerging areas and develop programs that serve the students and align with the academic mission. Given the expected growth of the industry and global shift towards more health awareness, this new course will help satisfy the job market in our region, ”Hack said in the statement.