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Exercise Specialist

2018-19 Exercise Specialist Grad Guide (PDF)

Certificate of Completion
Major Code: 310507
Courses for this Certificate

About the Program

The Exercise Specialist two-term certificate program prepares students for work in entry-level positions as professional members of preventive health care teams. Students could expect to find employment in a variety of health and fitness clubs, wellness centers, public and private recreation facilities, hospitals, and corporate fitness programs where a working knowledge of instruction and administrative duties is required.

The variety of duties that may be performed by a fitness technician include: directing safe and effective exercise programs, assisting at the front counter with phones and advertising, supervising weight and cardio areas, organizing adult and children’s programs, assisting residents in a retirement or Alzheimer’s setting, working as a personal trainer with clients, assisting with swim classes and conducting exercise classes. Additional duties may also include participating in open gym activities and sports organizations, conducting fitness testing and instructing clients in appropriate sport and fitness activities, sales, and club business operations and member retention efforts. Exercise specialists have a background in basic anatomy and physiology, fitness assessment and programming, training in interpersonal skills, customer relations, behavior modifications, and fitness promotion.

The program is designed to correlate classroom and laboratory experience with practical experience in facilities in the community. During the course of study, successful students may be certified by the American Heart Association (AHA) at the Health Care Provider level for CPR, the community level for first aid, and be prepared to take the Group Fitness Instructor certifying exam given by the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Students will also be prepared to take any one of several national personal trainer exams.

The U.S. Department of Education requires disclosure of specific information about career and technical certificate programs to prospective students. Data includes Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes, graduation rates, tuition and fees, typical costs for books and supplies, job placement rates for students completing the programs, and median loan debt incurred by students completing the programs. For more information visit

Program Learning Outcomes

Document a personal knowledge of demographic health changes and trends in chronic and acute diseases in the U.S. over the last 100 years.

Build personalized fitness programs based on best practices and industry standards.

Assess specific needs and motivate individuals and groups to make progress toward personal fitness levels.

Design and teach individual and group fitness classes effectively and safely.

Model professionalism through effective communication, appropriate attire, positive attitude and consistent learning policies and procedures.

Entry Requirements

Students are required to complete the Placement Process to determine skill level and readiness in math, reading, and writing. As part of their training program, students must begin with the courses within their skill level as determined by the results of their placement assessment.  In addition, students may also be required to enroll in classes that would increase their employability and success.

Students are also required to meet with an adviser prior to enrolling in the program.

Advanced Standing

Coursework from accredited colleges and universities will be accepted in accordance with college policies and the Health, PE, and Recreation Department coordinator’s approval. In order to ensure that coursework is current, program courses over five years old must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate department coordinator before being accepted toward core requirements. Each student with College Now credit must meet with the department coordinator to determine placement. Students requesting advanced placement or transfer credit from prior coursework must submit a written request to the department along with transcripts and course descriptions for all coursework.

Graduation Requirements

Students completing the credits in the program with a grade of “C” or better will receive their certificates. Certain required courses are graded on a pass/no pass basis only. A grade of “P” for these courses indicates a student earned the equivalent of a “C” or better grade. Credits earned in this program can be applied to the Associate of General Studies degree.

Course No.
Course Title
CS__ Approved 3-4 computer science class, CS120 or above or documented computer proficiency
Note: Required for graduation. Successful completion of CS120 or otherwise meeting the proficiency requirement within the last 10 years fulfills this requirement. Contact a computer science adviser to help determine placement.
MTH20 Pre-algebra or designated placement test score 0-4
RD90 College Reading or designated placement test score 0-4
WR115 Introduction to Expository Writing or BT113 Business English I or higher level composition class 3-4
  Total Prerequisite Credits 3-16
Required Courses
Course No.
Course Title
First Term
HE131 Introduction to Exercise and Sport Science 3
HPE295 Health and Fitness for Life 3
MTH60 Fundamentals of Algebra I or MTH63 Applied Algebra I or BT160 Business Math or higher level math 4
PE185D Physical Conditioning/Weight Training  1
PE194 Principles of Exercise Training and Conditioning 2
PE290 Fitness Instructor 2
Second Term
BI100SB Biology of Human Body Systems or BI121 Elementary Anatomy and Physiology I w/lab or BI231 Human Anatomy and Physiology I w/lab 3-4
BT101 Human Relations in Organizations or PSY101 Psychology of Human Relations 3
HE259 Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries 3
HE261 CPR/Basic Life Support Provider or HE112 Emergency First Aid 1
PE185E Yoga or  
  PE184 Adaptive Physical Education or  
  PE185J Pilates or   
  PE185L Lap Swimming or   
  PE185Q Aquatics for Personal Trainers or  
  PE185M Multi-level Aerobics or  
  PE185TC Tai Chi or  
  PE185F Karate  1
PE185K Core and Cardio or   
  PE185N Circuit Fitness Training or  
  PE185SS Step and Stuff  
  PE185T Toning, Training and TRX or  
  PE185WW Women and Weights or  
  PE185Z Zumba or Strong by Zumba  1
PE264 Fundamentals of Personal Training 2
PE280 Cooperative Work Experience/ Physical Education 2
  Total Program Credits 31-32

For more information contact the Health, PE, and Recreation Department at:

Grants Pass: 541-956-7140
Medford: 541-245-7504
Toll free in Oregon: 800-411-6508, Ext. 7140 or Ext. 7504
email: or
Web address:
TTY: Oregon Telecom Relay Service, 711