Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Students can major in sport and exercise studies

Randolph College is launching a new major for students who are interested in becoming personal trainers, coaches, sports managers, and other professionals in the sports field.

The sport and exercise studies major was approved by faculty last semester, and classes for the major will be offered starting in the fall of 2012.
Carolyn Sarson, a physical education professor, leads the
new sport and exercise studies program.

The program offers students a background in the social and physical sciences related to sports, as well as activities such as prescribing exercise to increase health and managing sports facilities.

“We apply a liberal arts approach and offer a variety of classes that are in the sport and exercise studies discipline,” said Carolyn Sarson, a physical education professor overseeing the new major.

The College already has a physical education and health major focused on helping students get teacher licensure, but some students and prospective students have asked about studies focused more on exercise health and management, Sarson said.

Here are examples of some classes in the new program:

  • Exercise Physiology explores how the human body is affected during exercise and how it reacts to long-term exercise.
  • Sociology of Sport discusses the place that sports take in American society, and examines sociological issues, such as gender, as they relate to sports.
  • Sport Management covers strategies to manage athletic facilities, ranging from risk management to maintenance.
  • Exercise Testing and Prescription trains students to assess cardiorespiratory fitness and design exercise prescriptions that increase health.
  • Sports Psychology gives students insight into the mental and emotional factors affecting—and affected by—sports and exercise.

The core curriculum will be supplemented by classes such as weight training or dance.

Seniors in the sport and exercise studies major would complete an internship relating to their specific interests and participate in a seminar. Sarson also encourages students to select a minor such as business, communication studies, or psychology, to expand their knowledge in their area of interest.

Graduates would be prepared for careers in community, clinical, and corporate sport exercise fields, as well as master’s programs in exercise science, kinesiology, health promotion, wellness management, athletic training, sport psychology, and more.

Since the new major was announced, Sarson said she has had five students notify her that they intend to declare a sport and exercise studies major. She looks forward to welcoming new students with an athletic and academic interest in the major.