Program director Dr. Aaron Hall shared about the benefits of a human performance and fitness degree and the potential it has to catapult a career in fitness to the next level of expertise and opportunity. The first cohort in this program at Trevecca will begin in fall 2023.
What is the history of this degree program? How did it develop?
We were seeing that our undergraduate degree in exercise science was grad school-focused and students were going into physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training and physician assistant programs. We started seeing a rise in students who wanted to get into human performance and strength training so we wanted to provide an option that was specialized for those categories.
What is the goal of the program?
The focus is on equipping students with the skill set to go to the next level with philosophies, treatments and programming that will help them take their clients from just basic fitness improvements to high-level training. We also want our students to be able to deal with more advanced programming and complicated situations and pathologies that athletes may have.
Who should consider applying?
The degree is great for traditional undergraduate students who want to get a degree in strength and conditioning and coaches that coach high school, travel ball or summer leagues. It is perfect for people who are already strength coaches or personal trainers and want to get better at equipping their athletes. Finally, people who want to open their own gym or training facilities are also good candidates. This degree has an entrepreneurship and innovation track based in Trevecca’s MBA program. It is taught by business faculty and prepares students for the process of opening a business from start to finish. That really sets this program apart.
In what specific ways could this program advance an individual’s career?
First of all, just having a master’s degree is important. Many gyms, schools, teams and places of employment are master’s preferred. Students will also take a class that will prepare them for a strength and conditioning certification so they can be certified during their last class or immediately after graduation. What they will learn will separate them from the general population by allowing them to take on athletes at a higher level that have specific needs. The program is fully online but there are labs. Students will work with clients they’re already working with or friends or family and be able to directly apply the information being taught to them. It's the best of both worlds: you can do the work remotely while still making sure you have the hands-on learning that is so necessary.
What is your hope for individuals who complete the program?
In the exercise science department, our motto and mission is the three E’s: educate, equip and empower. We are going to teach them the didactic academic material they need in order to be prepared to become strength and conditioning coaches. We’re going to equip them with the hands-on skills they will need to implement programming and do assessments of their athletes. Finally, we will empower them to grow professionally and become leaders in their workplaces, training others and starting businesses to help individuals reach their full potential.