Additional Insights From Professionals on Continuing Education
American Public University
American Public University (APU) offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Sports and Health Sciences that include courses that prepare you for the National Academy of Sport Medicine (NASM) certification. APU focuses on instructor-mentored education, with specific attention to practical application of the theories and methods necessary to succeed in any club. The curriculum is aligned with NASM and the American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM) fitness standards of practice and exercise implementation.
Students are grounded in research-based methods of exercise and sport science and obtain a professional level of business expertise. Instructors are industry leaders and are well versed in the day-to-day operational needs of the business side of fitness and sport.
Club owners need to be aware of the value and advantage of obtaining a degree in a club-related discipline. The correct degree can bring an added layer of expertise to your club through your employees, but the wrong degree will leave you frustrated. For example, a degree in political science is great, but how will that translate into recognition of a client in distress or exercise program development? Hired employees with degrees in sports and health sciences will have had years of training under the supervision of skilled professors.
Accredited certification programs should be the only types of programs accepted by your company. University degree programs are under federal mandates to maintain specific standards of instruction that ensure students receive quality educational standards throughout the curriculum. Quality fitness certification programs will ensure their programs are accredited through an independent certifying agency such as the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Accreditation ensures the examination process is fair and unbiased, accurately measures the minimal competence of the candidate, protects the public from unqualified practitioners and gives the organization the means to support its professionals.
Validate your employee’s degrees and certifications. You don’t have to ask for college transcripts; however, do ask for a copy of a diploma and the certifying program’s completion certificate. Employers should also ask for an employee’s portfolio. Yes, even personal trainers have portfolios. They include sample exercise programs for a variety of clients, their coaching and training philosophy, risk management plans and references of past clients, professors and employees.
As an assistant professor at APU, I can vouch for the importance of fitness professionals having an accredited degree. I currently develop curriculum and teach in order to provide a new generation of quality fitness professionals with the skills and guidance necessary to create an immediate impact on our industry.
Jenny D. Johnson, MS, NASM-CPT, is an Assistant Professor at APU. She can be reached at Jenny.Johnson@mycampus.apus.edu. For more information on APU, call 910.554.0671.
For over 27 years, NASM has provided comprehensive, customized and highly effective continuing education offerings and solutions to health clubs, fitness facilities and schools of higher education. NASM offers premier certification, credentials, continuing education and curriculum packages that meet and exceed the needs of large chains and single facilities, and deliver proven results.
From certification package discounts to all-encompassing education and training programs, NASM delivers education solutions that develop and enhance the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to achieve and maintain success in the industry. NASM offers a progressive career track for fitness professionals that include a vast and diverse range of advanced specializations and credentials, live training workshops, innovative online courses and access to accredited undergraduate and graduate programs.
The purpose of the recertification program is to ensure that qualified professionals maintain entry-level guidelines by participating in approved continuing education programs. Continuing education programs are intended to promote continued competence, development of knowledge and skills, and enhancement of professional skills beyond the levels required for entry-level practice.
In today’s competitive landscape, it is absolutely critical to develop and maintain an educationally-diverse fitness staff. Credentials and specializations that offer proficiency and expertise in working with special populations or various modalities are ideal continuing education deliverables for the professional and the facility alike.
Continuing education programs should promote continued competence, development of knowledge and skills, and enhancement of professional skills and judgment beyond the levels required for entry-level practice. Continuing education should be research-based, purposeful and enhance qualifications and marketability. Continuing education is necessary to maintain certification.
The NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) and Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) credentials are the most popular and coveted NASM continuing education offerings amongst industry professionals. These credentials are highly sought after and respected by personal trainers, physical therapists, athletic trainers and sport performance coaches throughout the world. The CES and PES deliver the expertise and proficiency necessary to improve performance, prevent injury and maximize performance.
The CES and PES, as well as the extensive range of other NASM credentials and specializations, not only deliver evidence-based education, but also provide professionals with an extensive scope of other services offering deliverables beyond personal training.
David Van Daff is the Vice President of Business Development & Public Affairs for NASM. He can be reached at David.firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.460.6276.