Courses & Programs

Strength & Conditioning Specialist Certificate

Patricia Mantia

Chair, Health Fitness Nutrition

Health Sciences

Bartley Center 100B

413.552.2449 (Tel)

what will you learn?

The Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certificate is designed for the student who wants to specialize in the area of strength and conditioning for health fitness and sports and/or prepare for national certification in strength training.


Upon completion of this program, the student will be able to:

  • Define the roles and responsibilities of the strength and conditioning coach.
  • Describe and discuss human movement from physiological and biomechanical perspectives.
  • Define the components of muscular strength, endurance and power as related to motor performance and functionality.
  • Define ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) guidelines for fitness.
  • Describe and administer fitness assessments for each of the components of fitness and relate to program design.
  • Discuss exercise programming considerations for populations with medical concerns and demonstrate basic emergency care procedures.
  • Define and employ leadership competencies such as effective interviewing skills and motivational techniques.

what will you do?

Work toward your assocuate degree, or go right into the workforce! Job and career options include:

  • Personal training
  • Group conditioning
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy

Learn more at HCC's Advising, Career & Transfer Center and at What Can I Do With This Major?

24 total credits

15 credits program requirements + 9 credits electives

No online courses are available for this program.

program requirements

Provides the knowledge and skills called for in most situations in which emergency care is required and medical assistance is not excessively delayed. An introduction to CPR is included. Course will be taught by a Nationally Certified CPR/First Aid Instructor. Grading is on a Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory basis.Students can not receive credit for both HFN 104 and HFN 103.
This is a first aid and CPR course geared towards the physical educator, coach, and/or fitness instructor. The course includes assessment and emergency care for sports related injuries, illness, spine, and musculoskeletal injuries. CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver are included. This program is used for certification by American Sport Education Program. Students may not receive credit for both HFN 104 and HFN 103.
This course is designed to teach the student about positive and negative aspects of sports supplements for enhanced motor performance. Students will examine the history of sports supplementation in Olympic and other competitive events and discuss legal aspects of sports supplements. The role of the FDA and other agencies will be discussed as students examine various popular performance enhancing drugs and herbal supplements.
This course is designed to teach the student about the various tools that may be used to enhance resistance training. Students will learn how to use and practice techniques with elastic devices, hand weights, resistance balls, medicine balls and steps, body bars and other devices.
Covers the fundamental principles of coaching. Emphasis is on the development of a program, from organization through preparation for competition.
A survey course that examines the roles and responsibilities of a personal trainer/fitness counselor. This course is designed to prepare the student for the role of the fitness trainer and for successful completion of an International Personal Trainer Certification. This course includes both theoretical information and practical application of knowledge and skills used by the trainer. Topics include exercise science, components of fitness, fitness assessments, leadership skills and business aspects of personal training. Case studies and projects will be used to apply concepts to the practical environment.
A detailed study of strength/endurance training principles and practices. Topics include anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, nutrition, biomechanics, and measurement of strength and endurance. Students will learn to use the science of exercise in a practical format and design resistance programs to meet health related and motor performance goals. Students will examine and practice training techniques used in recreational fitness and competitive lifting. Prerequisite: HFN 183 or HFN 134 or BIO 217
An experiential course that includes classroom discussion and internship opportunities to enhance the learning experiences of the fitness professional. This course is open to all students pursuing a certificate and/or degree in fitness/physical education, e.g., personal trainers, group exercise leaders, exercise specialists, and fitness managers. Prerequisite: PER 134, PER 172, or PER 183, or with permission of instructor.
An introduction to the science of nutrition as it applies to everyday life. Students will learn how to apply the logic of science to their own nutritional concerns. Topics include the six major nutrients: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water. The course also will examine energy balance, weight control, the digestive process, nutrition fads, supplements, fiber, and disease as it relates to nutrition and fitness. A dietary computer application is used throughout the semester to track personal dietary, energy, and fitness. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101.



Choose two 3-credit classes from any HFN and/or NTR course in the HCC catalog.

From the HCC catalog, select three 1-credit courses with an HFN prefix.

Students who are seriously considering pursuing a degree program are encouraged to take BIO 217 Anatomy and Physiology I (has pre-requisite of BIO 100, 103, or 107 of C or better) and BIO 218 Anatomy and Physiology II in place of BIO 111 as they will be required for a degree program.

HFN 190 should be taken as one of the final classes in this program.