Shepherd offers new bachelor’s degree in health promotion and exercise science
Shepherd University’s Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Sport (HPERS) is launching a new major that will provide students with a professional baccalaureate experience in health promotion and exercise science. The degree will also provide the necessary theory and skills for undergraduate students who want to work in the health, wellness, and fitness industries.
The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission approved the bachelor of science in health promotion and exercise science on March 13. The new major replaces a concentration under the recreation and sport program in fitness and exercise science.
“In the last three years that has been our largest student enrollment area because of the growing concern of health issues not only in West Virginia but across the country,” said Dr. Stacey Kendig, assistant professor of recreation and sport studies and department chair. “On the academic side of things the major is very well rounded. It’s heavy in the health area. One of courses that will be a new core requirement is anatomy and physiology, which is being offered with the support of the biology department.”
Kendig said about 95 students are currently enrolled in the fitness and exercise science concentration under the recreation program. Current freshmen and sophomores at Shepherd and new students will have the opportunity to declare the new major, which is projected to have 15-20 new students in the fall. Information about the major will be included in the new catalog, which is scheduled to be published June 1.
Kendig said students declaring this major will take classes that focus on the foundations of the health and fitness industry, exercise science, physical therapy, and athletic injury rehabilitation
“This degree will provide students with the knowledge and required skills to be successful in a variety of graduate programs in health, exercise science, and allied health care professions,” Kendig said. “Students entering and completing this program will be prepared to acquire advanced certifications from some of the most respected and well known health and fitness organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.”
Kendig said the addition of the B.S. in health promotion and exercise science gives students in HPERS three comprehensive majors to choose from. The other two are recreation and sport studies and physical education teaching field, with the option of a health endorsement.