Kinesiology department to offer new concentration

Starting next fall, Northwestern College’s kinesiology department will offer a strength and conditioning career concentration, further expanding career opportunities for kinesiology and health science majors.

Courses in the program emphasize strength and conditioning program design and implementation, exercise and performance testing, coaching and leadership, and facility and personnel management. As an addition to an athletic training or exercise science major, for example, the program prepares graduates for careers as specialized strength and conditioning coaches or fitness instructors.

Dr. Dean Calsbeek, exercise science professor and director of the program, says that according to a recent issue of American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, the top three worldwide fitness trends are educated and experienced fitness professionals, fitness programs for older adults, and strength training.

“In fact, educated and experienced fitness professionals has been the top trend for four years in a row, leading to a growing market for college graduates with degrees focused on fitness,” he says.

Certified strength and conditioning specialists must have a bachelor’s degree, preferably
in an area of kinesiology, CPR certification, and must pass a two-part examination administered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

The addition of a strength and conditioning program to the college’s kinesiology program also benefits Red Raider athletes because a certified specialist will both teach classes and serve as a strength and conditioning coach for Raider teams.

Students in the program will participate in practicums with Raider teams, gaining hands-on experience that may lead to internships or jobs with university or professional sports teams.

For more information about the program, visit