Student Achievement Assessment Committee
Exercise Specialist Program
Learning Outcomes for the Exercise Specialist major:
1. Students will demonstrate proficiency in computer utilization, and verbal and oral communication.
2. Students will display knowledge, skills, and abilities to screen, classify, test, prescribe, motivate, counsel, educate, and individualize muscular strength and endurance, cardiorespiratory training and/or other physical fitness and lifestyle programs for normal and special populations.
3. Students will understand the scientific bases of exercise programming, not limited to but including exercise physiology, human anatomy, biomechanics, care and prevention of injuries, safety and emergency procedures, and basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid for exercise settings.
4. Students will demonstrate use of marketing, budgeting, management, legal information, and facilities and equipment m exercise programming.
5. Students will demonstrate attainment of high level of personal well-being (i.e., physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually) and personal excellence in an active and healthy lifestyle
1. Learning (or Service) Outcomes assessed this year:
The purpose of the Exercise Specialist major is to prepare students to understand and complete all aspects of exercise programming for “apparently healthy”, “at-risk”, and “with disease” clients.
The Exercise Specialist major is based on the theoretical knowledge, professional guidelines, and certification competencies established by four international professional societies that institute standards for the profession:
1) American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) - Exercise Specialist and Health Fitness Instructor certifications;
2) National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) certification - Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS);
3) American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) — Certified Exercise Physiologist;
4) National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE is a subgroup of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) — Standards for exercise science undergraduate programs.
2. Assessment Methods and Procedures:
As students progress toward successful completion of the Exercise Specialist program, learning outcomes and student performance are continually evaluated. Students are assessed through evaluation of oral and written projects, written exams, practical laboratories with written laboratory reports and quizzes, case studies, entrance into the program criteria, and field experience criteria (i.e., practicum and internship).
The Exercise Specialist faculty routinely obtain external feedback from exercise specialist students, agency field experience (i.e., practica and internships) supervisors, alumnae/i and employers. When each student completes a practicum or field experience, he or she writes a reflective summary report and fills out questionnaires evaluating the field experience site, the site supervisor, etc. In addition, each agency supervisor completes a midterm and final evaluation for each student. Every 5 years the Exercise Specialist agency supervisors, alumnae/i, and employers are mailed an extensive questionnaire that is used to obtain external feedback concerning the program. Questionnaires were sent out in 1995 and 2000. In 2001-2002 a SAAC grant obtained by four faculty in the School was used to establish online questionnaires for the continued evaluation of students’ opinions of the Exercise Specialist program. Data from these questionnaires were used for the Academic Program Review in 2002 and for updating the student learning outcomes and assessments for the Exercise Specialist major.
Summary of Exercise Specialist Alumnae/i Survey - 2002
In 2002, questionnaires were mailed to 100 alumnae/i. There were 25 responses to the alumnae/i survey. These low response rates are probably due to: 1) high staff turnover in entry level jobs in the fitness industry; 2) the difficulty in tracking recent graduates of the Exercise Specialist program. Results indicated that the majority of graduates were satisfied with their overall undergraduate preparation in the Exercise Specialist major:
Overall Quality of Program (3.4 ± 0.8)
Faculty Accessibility (3.4 ± 0.8)
Field Experience supervision (3.4 ± 1.1)
To improve, it was recommended that the program:
1. include more practical application learning modules;
2. include an electrocardiography course;
3. more strongly encourage students to obtain certifications during undergraduate study or immediately following graduation.
The following activities were completed in 2002-2003 to address these recommendations:
1. In 2002-2003, KNS 425— Exercise testing and prescription for special cases that includes much EKG content was approved as a required course for the major.
2. Preliminary paper work for registering the Exercise Specialist major with the ACSM University Connection was completed.
The following activities were completed in 2003-2004 to address these recommendations:
1. Further documentation for receiving endorsements by the American College of Sport Medicine and National Strength and Conditioning Association was assembled during 2004. A Final checksheet edits and updates were completed and approved for use in 2004-2005.
2. More “hands-on” experiences were incorporated into KNS 361 — Applied Exercise Physiology laboratories.
The following activities will be completed in 2004-2005 to address these recommendations:
1. Further documentation for receiving endorsements by the American College of Sport Medicine and National Strength and Conditioning Association will be submitted by September, 2004.
2. Construction of distance education courses for the Exercise Specialist major will be discussed and br implemented in 2004-2005.
3. Inferences from Assessments:
1. Currently, the Exercise Specialist major produces well-prepared students that are successful in their internship experiences, employment, and continuing education.
2. Students choose field experiences and employment at a variety of sites (e.g., cardiac rehabilitation centers, health and wellness sites, sports medicine clinics for performance enhancement, fitness centers, etc.).
3. Professionals in this area need the knowledge and skills developed through completion of the Exercise Specialist major.
4. Actions Taken/Program Improvements:
The Exercise Specialist faculty are involved actively in their professional organizations (i.e., ACSM, NSCA, etc.) and continue to revise and update the Exercise Specialist curriculum. Exercise specialist program and course requirements have changed in order to balance the demands and rigors of the professional bodies that certify Exercise Specialist graduates, and the desire for “student choice and flexibility” in course selection.
In the future, the Exercise Specialist faculty will: 1) continue to request new equipment and software; 2) continue to utilize suggestions from site supervisors for better preparing students; 3) continue to document and explain the need for an additional exercise physiology faculty member because there is a great demand for exercise physiology courses, and many advising needs for majors in the Exercise Specialist program.
1. Hire an additional Exercise Physiologist.
2. Continue to update the Exercise Specialist curriculum.
3. Enhance students’ preparation in the area of strength training and performance enhancement and expand content and application of exercise programming across the life span (i.e., the academic focus at the undergraduate and graduate program levels).
4. Complete registration of the program with the American College of Sports Medicine endorsement program — the University Connection. Program accreditation will be required in the future for exercise physiology programs.
5. Complete registration for the program with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
American College of Sports Medicine. (2004). Web site.
American College of Sports Medicine. (2000). ACSM Certification Resource Catalog. Baltimore, MD:
Williams & Wilkins.
American College of Sports Medicine. (2000). ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
American College of Sports Medicine. (1993). Resource manual for the guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.
American College of Sports Medicine. (2001). ACSM’s clinical certification review. Philadelphia:
Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
American Society of Exercise Physiologists. (2002).Website.
Applied Exercise Science Council of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. (1995). Basic standards for the professional preparation in exercise science 1995. Reston, VA:
Baechle, T.R., Earle, R.W. (Eds.) (2000).Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Champaign, IL:
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Darby, L.A., Browder, K.D. (1998). Sportsmedicine. In Parks, J., Zanger, B.K., Quarterman, J. (Eds.) Contemporary Sport Management. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers.
National Strength and Conditioning Association. (2002). NSCA website. Colorado Springs, CO: National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Ohio Job Outlook 2008 (2002). http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocolOO6.htm