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New undergraduate academic programs offered through KU Edwards Campus

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

New programs geared for students seeking careers in therapeutic sport and fitness-related settings are now available in entirety at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus. The new online undergraduate certificate in strength and conditioning program prepares students for careers in strength and conditioning, including personal training and tactical strength and conditioning. Career opportunities range from coaching positions at educational institutions or professional sports teams, to personal training at a fitness facility, to gym management and gym ownership. The curriculum focuses on the physiological, biomechanical and metabolic aspects of strength and conditioning. 

A completely online bachelor of applied science degree in exercise science will begin in fall 2019. A hands-on component of exercise technique and assessment through video applications and virtual classroom opportunities is included in the program in addition to coursework. Earning this degree will allow students to pursue careers in personal training, corporate wellness, military/law enforcement first responder readiness, and strength and conditioning.

In addition, the existing bachelor of science in exercise science degree continues to allow Kansas City-area students to complete coursework and engage in research and clinical experiences at the Edwards Campus. Students finish 48 hours of coursework, including classes in biomechanics, exercise physiology and clinical fitness evaluation techniques, as well as admission and general education courses. Many students will go on to further study in graduate programs in physical therapy, physician’s assistant school or other related programs.

The program also provides a strong scientific core that lays the foundation for careers in cardiac rehabilitation and strength and conditioning. Jordan M. Taylor, undergraduate exercise science program director and a lecturer at the Edwards Campus, notes, “These two different undergraduate exercise science degree programs and a certificate program make an option available for any student who seeks eventual employment in the healthcare, fitness, corporate wellness, or strength and conditioning industries.”

Taylor continues, “Several of our on-site exercise science classes utilize the brand new exercise and human performance laboratory to engage students in active learning. Students use the lab to conduct fitness assessments and to participate in various physiological tests (e.g., measuring resting metabolic  rate, or evaluating lung function via spirometry) and exercise tests (e.g., measuring oxygen consumption to assess cardiovascular fitness). In addition, students learn about other topics in the lab such as evaluating body composition; instructing proper resistance training exercise techniques; performing and coaching various plyometric, speed and agility drills; and implementing efficient warm-up and stretching exercises into exercise programs for a variety of different populations. The lab is where students apply the scientific principles from classroom sessions in a ‘hands-on’ manner in order to evaluate and improve human health and performance.”

The exercise science programs also have a second lab, the metabolic and body composition research laboratory, under the direction of Ashley Herda, assistant professor in the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences. Herda’s research engages students in the opportunity to perform analyses they have learned throughout the program on subjects participating in various ongoing research projects. Although students in the online programs are not required to utilize the space, they are always welcome to do so.

KU’s exercise science program is a designated Education Recognition Program through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Students in the program have priority access to NSCA grants, scholarships, internships, assistantships, and training opportunities and resources. Prior to applying, students should consult with Taylor, Herda or the academic success coach to decide which program best fits their future academic and career goals. More information can be found here.



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