Health, Fitness & Nutrition
Food and fitness have become one of the hottest topics in healthcare and society in general.
Sedentary lifestyles, poor eating habits, and the aging baby-boomer population have increased the demand for individuals who can help their clients/patients maintain functionality and independence. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a growth rate of ten percent from 2016 to 2026, a faster rate than the average of all occupations! The Department of Health, Fitness, and Nutrition offers two degree programs and one certificate program. These are:
The Health, Fitness, and Nutrition Degree program provides students with tremendous opportunity and growth potential in settings such as health and fitness facilities, park and recreation, coaching, and allied health. Students who complete the A.S. Degree in Health, Fitness, and Nutrition are well prepared for National Certification in the areas of Personal Training, Group Exercise, Sports or Wellness Coaching, and Strength and Conditioning. Graduates may transfer to College or Universities to further their education and open doors to positions such as Teachers, Exercise Physiologists, Athletic Trainers, and Allied Health fields such as Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy. Additionally, students often use this science based degree as a foundation and transfer into medical studies for Nursing, Physician's Assistant, etc.
The newly revised Health and Fitness Specialist Certificate Program is geared towards students with an interest in the health, fitness, and wellness industry in settings such as fitness studios or health clubs. Many of our graduates have become fitness facility owners! Graduates of this program are well prepared for entry level National Certification as a Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Leader, and Wellness or Sports Coach. Courses in the Health and Fitness Specialist Program may be transferred into the Health, Fitness, and Nutrition Degree Program.
The A.S. Degree in Nutrition was developed for students who wish to begin nutrition studies at HCC and transfer to four-year institutions such as the University of Massachusetts, Fitchburg State University, Springfield College, Cornell University, and others. Students in this program follow a course of studies rich in liberal arts and science. In addition to general education requirements, students study chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, statistics, and nutrition specific to nutrition majors. This program is designed so that students transfer into a four-year program as a junior. Students develop interpersonal and leadership skills through coursework and participation in community service and internship opportunities.
Students in the nutrition program must continue their studies and complete a bachelor's degree followed by a one year full-time internship to qualify for the licensure and employment as a registered dietician. Once credentialed, students with a B.S. in Nutrition are eligible for a variety of career opportunities in food services, clinical environments, nutrition counseling, and other related positions.