Fitness education gets pumped

College creates personal training certificate 

Going to college can be financially stressful. However, there is a new program that only takes one year to earn, which could save time and money.

Clackamas Community College currently offers a one-year certificate in fitness technology. The certificate gives students core skills and experience needed to enter the fitness industry at an entry-level position. The outcome of the program could present career opportunities as a personal trainer, health coach, nutrition specialist, athletic coach and many other careers.

The program has only existed for about a year and a half and currently has about 50 students enrolled. Instructors at CCC such as Tracy Nelson, who is a National Council on Strength and Fitness Certified Personal Trainer, encourage students who have any interest in fitness and health to consider the program.

“We would love to have as many people who are interested in doing it,” said Nelson. “We just want to let people know we have this program because it is fairly new, and we want to help everybody who goes through this program get jobs.”

Nelson said there are a lot of cooperative work experience options designed to get students to work with fitness professionals to get hands-on experience.

Kendra Goulter is currently enrolled in the program. She said that all the classes are fun and the teachers are mostly funny, sarcastic and entertaining, which makes taking the classes much easier.

“I’ve always been in fitness,” said Goulter. “I heard about the program when I started at CCC andit was perfect because I’m interested in  becoming a personal trainer or health coach.”

As for her experience with the program, she said, “There is a lot of learning on your own, and it can get overwhelming if you are not familiar with Moodle and taking a lot of online classes, but all the classes are pretty simple and enjoyable for me.” Because the program is fairly new, some students have not heard about it until recently.

Ryley Tishendorf, a first-year student at CCC, is currently taking a fitness class. He had never heard of the program but thought it sounded convenient. Tishendorf said,“From what I know, there is a demand for personal trainers, and it doesn’t sound too hard to earn it [the certificate] if you get it at CCC.”

The certificate program could be a good option for students who want to go straight into the health and fitness industry instead of transferring to a four-year university. New or returning students can get their certificate within about a year and be able to have experience and find jobs.

“Even though the program is at a community college, I feel like the stuff I learn is equivalent to going to a university,” said Goulter. “So I’d definitely recommend it to other students.”

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photos by Taras Kovch