By: Abrena Rowe ~Staff Writer~
For all Xavier students who are interested in the study of exercise, a new undergraduate exercise science program is launching in the fall of 2016.
This major will allow students to learn about the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and biophysics of human movement. Students will also learn how to instruct patients through therapeutic rehabilitation, physical activity and exercise through courses offered during a four-year period.
This major is similar to the current four-year undergrad athletic training program Xavier offers, but with less of an emphasis on injury and rehabilitation.
From the courses offered in this major, the students gain a more comprehensive understanding of exercise science.
“Instead of an emphasis on rehabilitation of orthopedic populations, there is an emphasis on the affect of exercise on general populations,” Lisa Jutte, an associate professor of sports studies at Xavier said.
Most of the classes students within the major would be required to take are specifically based on exercise science.
They also will have to complete all the core classes that are required by Xavier.
Students will have the opportunity to work hands on with patients in their later years of the program. The experience will come in a practicum course, similar to the clinical courses offered in the athletic training program that the exercise science program will essentially replace.
Professions students can explore once acquiring just a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science include corporate fitness director, personal trainer, health educator and rehabilitation specialist.
Professions students can explore with additional graduate school include athletic training, exercise physiology, occupational therapy and sport nutritionist.
The introduction of the exercise science program means the dismantling of the current four-year undergrad athletic training program.
Xavier has decided to blend the program into a five year undergrad and graduate program, so students interested specifically in athletic training would be able to obtain a master’s in athletic training in five years instead of six.
Along with the exercise science major, Xavier is also adding an athletic training master’s program.
This addition arose from the accreditation issues set in place by the National Athletic Training Association (NATA), Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training (CAATE) and the Board of Certification (BOC).
In 2013 NATA, CAATE and BOC joined together and decided that by the year 2022 all Athletic Trainers must have at least a master’s in athletic training in order to sit for the BOC exam to be certified.
“Xavier is just getting ahead of the curve before accreditation becomes a problem,” Jutte said.
Those who are majoring in athletic training, occupational therapy, natural sciences and Nursing now have another option if their interests also lay within the exercise science aspect.
Professions that fall underneath the exercise science umbrella are projected to grow by 10-40% within the next five years, which makes it an appealing addition to Xavier’s programs.