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Physical Educatoin




Physical Education degree program | Phy Ed | University of Central Missouri

Physical Education

Corporations, hospitals and communities have expanded fitness and wellness programs as a result of published data which indicates their fitness and health programs have provided cost-savings in medical expenses and employee absenteeism, as well as a healthier employee population. This corporate wellness expansion has lead to the need for corporate fitness professionals.

Three areas of major emphasis are available:

1. Corporate Fitness

A graduate in corporate fitness is prepared to function as an exercise leader and specialist, wellness instructor, fitness specialist or personal trainer in a hospital, private, corporate or nonprofit agency.

View the four-year plan for corporate fitness.
View the 2014-2015 academic advising sheet for corporate fitness.

What can you do with a degree in Corporate Fitness?

Some career opportunities for those with a Corporate Fitness emphasis include:

  • Personal trainer: These individuals prescribe exercise routines and guide apparently healthy individuals according to the client goals. They also may be involved with helping individuals achieve specific outcomes regarding weight maintenance and fitness performance. Generally this individual will obtain certification upon graduation through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as a Health Fitness Specialist.
  • Strength and Conditioning Specialists: These individuals work with specific sport teams often at the high school and college level or professionals. The sport conditioning specialist designs specific programs instructs and council’s athletes in effective sport performance. Generally this individual will obtain certification as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) upon graduation.
  • Corporate Fitness Specialist: Often employers will offer programs specifically to employees to increase productivity and employee morale and reduce healthcare costs and absenteeism. This individual will work with clients of the company to reach these goals to design fitness programs to enhance employee health. Over half of all large companies have some form of fitness programs.
  • Community Health and Fitness: There are more and more communities involved with health promotion through exercise and fitness than ever before. These include a wide array of offerings from home schools fitness programs for children to adult programs and include also working with senior citizens. This may involve fitness assessments; diet and weight control programs, and also research with local hospitals. This individual would likely seek certification as a personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE), ACSM, or NSCA.
  • Fitness Center Manager/Owner Operator: The basis of the corporate fitness degree has several classes related to management, accounting, and general business principles with the addition of fitness assessment and exercise prescription. These classes well prepare an individual with entrepreneurial interests or management.
  • Sales/Marketing: Sport and exercise equipment hire these individuals for marketing and sales positions at many different levels from retail, wholesale, and online businesses.

2. Exercise Science

Exercise science is considered a broad degree that allows UCM graduates several career opportunities. Students in this major may choose to work with healthy clients or to work with injured or special populations in a clinical environment.

View the four-year plan for exercise science.
View the 2014-2015 academic advising sheet for exercise science.
Also interested in the Sport Nutrition minor, view the 2014-2015 Exercise Science with Sport Nutrition minor advising sheet.

What can you do with a degree in Exercise Science?

Some career opportunities for those with an Exercise Science emphasis include:

Working with the apparently healthy:

  • Personal trainer: Personal trainers prescribe exercise routines and guide healthy individuals according to client goals. They also may help clients achieve specific outcomes regarding weight maintenance and fitness performance.
  • Strength and Conditioning Specialist: Strength and conditioning specialists work with sport teams at the high school and college or professional level. The sport conditioning specialist designs and instructs tailored programs and councils athletes in effective sport performance practices.
  • Corporate Fitness Specialist: Today employers offer programs for employees to increase productivity, morale and to reduce healthcare costs and absenteeism. This individual will work with company employees to reach these goals through fitness programs and to enhance overall employee health.
  • Community Health and Fitness: More communities are involved with health promotion through exercise and fitness than ever before. These include a variety offerings from home school fitness programs for children, as well as adult and senior citizens programs. The community health field may involve fitness assessments, diet and weight control programs and research with local hospitals.

Careers working with clinical populations:

  • Special Populations: Working with special populations usually involves clinical certification such as ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist or one of many other disease specific certifications such as cancer, pulmonary, diabetes education, after graduation.
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation: Working in various phases of Cardiac Rehabilitation: These individuals typically work with patients rehabilitating from coronary revascularization, heart attack, or other diseases related to heart disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In addition to physical activity this usually involves lifestyle counseling.
  • Exercise stress testing: This individual conducts stress tests (EKG) in private cardiology practices and hospitals.
  • Diabetes education/Weight management: This individual works with specific populations often referred to programs by physicians.

3. Physical Education, K-12

A graduate of the physical education, K-12 program, will instill values of healthy lifestyles into the lives of children. Through the physical education teacher education program, students gain practical skill-sets associated with coursework that provides real-life experiences.

Physical education graduates from UCM have a placement rate of more than a 90 percent in public and private schools.

View the four-year plan for physical education K-12.
View the 2014-2015 academic advising sheet for physical education K-12.

Program scholarships are available.

  • William and Dorothy Brewster Scholarship
  • Shelby and Marjorie Brightwell Scholarship
  • Jessie B. Jutten Physical Education Scholarship
  • Dr. Robert Tompkins Memorial Scholarship