Genesee Community College’s Board of Trustees Monday evening approved a revamped Fitness and Recreation Management degree program proposed by Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Eunice M. Bellinger and Director of Health and Physical Education Rebecca L. Dziekan. The program adds an academic track for students wishing to pursue a career in personal training, as well as a track for students interested in golf management. Both fields are rapidly growing throughout Western New York.
The redesigned program will now be submitted to the State University of New York, and then to the New York State Education Department, for review and approval.
Students completing the program receive the Associate in Applied Science degree, and possess the academic credentials necessary to immediately find employment. As part of their academic requirements, students complete a semester-long co-op or internship in a work setting.
Graduates in the personal training track can work as coach assistants or athletic assistants, or as personal trainers. Personal trainers, often employed by health and fitness centers, health organizations, and recreational agencies, help people of all ages learn fitness skills, including weight loss, cardiovascular strength, and general conditioning. A growing number of physicians and health professionals recommend the use of personal trainers to individuals who face illness or health challenges, as well as to healthy individuals seeking to meet new fitness goals.
Graduates in the golf management track can work as staff members or managers of golf clubs, golf instructors, or contractors to golf clubs and other recreational facilities. Golf is a rapidly growing sport, and golf facilities and golf-related programs continue to expand across the region. The growing popularity of golf among senior adults, an increasing portion of the area’s population, means that employment opportunities in the field will continue to grow over the next decade.
Students in the personal training track will complete courses in health sciences for coaching, personal training, and emergency response. Students in the golf management track will complete courses in teaching methodology, golf course management and planning, turf and pest management, and equipment design. Students in both concentrations will also complete a variety of general education courses, including mathematics, accounting, computer information systems, business, and liberal arts electives.
“Our Fitness and Recreation Management program is strong, but breaking the program into two academic concentrations will be good for students and good for our communities,” Ms. Dziekan told trustees. “Jobs in both the personal training and golf management fields are on the increase, and this is a great time for students to enter these professions. But just as important, these programs will prepare students to become part of what we call the ‘fitness infrastructure’ of Western New York. Our graduates will help area residents become healthier and improve their overall fitness and lifestyles.”
In its new strategic plan, the State University of New York identified “a healthier New York” as one of six key goals for the 64-campus SUNY system. Dr. Bellinger said that the new academic concentrations support SUNY’s emphasis on improving the health of citizens.
In addition to the Fitness and Recreation Management degree program, Genesee offers a Sport Management degree program (Associate in Science), which focuses on the management of athletic and recreational organizations and business enterprises. The College also offers a Physical Education Studies degree program (Associate in Science), geared toward students interested in coaching or teaching careers. Both the Sport Management and Physical Education Studies programs are ideal for students wishing to transfer to baccalaureate colleges.
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