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          • Edinboro exercise science: Fitting fitness into the curriculum

          Edinboro exercise science: Fitting fitness into the curriculum

          November 16, 2020

          Edinboro exercise science: Fitting fitness into the curriculum

          If staying fit is your way of life, you can also turn it into a career.

          A bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University in Exercise Science, part of the Health and Physical Education Department, will set you on the right path in a high-demand, exciting field.

          According to Dr. James Roberts, chairperson and professor of the department, the field started to grow exponentially years ago.

          The trend continues. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs for physical therapists, exercise physiologists, fitness trainers and instructors will grow faster than most occupations between now and 2026 as businesses, insurance companies and other organizations recognize the benefits of health and wellness and offer incentives for joining gyms and other health clubs.

          Roberts explained that graduates can use their bachelor’s degree to pursue many different occupations, including work in medical offices, personal training, strength and conditioning, cardiac rehab and other medical settings.

          The program also positions students for continuing education beyond undergrad. Through free electives and other coursework, students will be qualified to attend graduate school as well as physical therapy (PT) or occupational therapy (OT) schools.

          From there, the possibilities are endless. Opportunities include medical school, chiropractic, cardiac rehab, personal training, athletic training and strength and conditioning coaching.

          Students in the Health and Physical Education Department benefit from access to the health and fitness computer laboratory and state-of-the-art exercise science laboratory, which are set up to help them succeed.

          “The really unique part about us is that we’re small enough that we know everybody in the class, but we’re large enough that we have equipment that they get to experience true laboratory settings. They get to do their own research,” Roberts explained.

          In addition to top-notch facilities, expert faculty members in the department also steer the way for student growth.

          For instance, Roberts is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), an elite status granted to long-term professional members who have demonstrated high standards of professional development and shown a commitment to the goals and long‑range activities of the college.

          According to Roberts, out of 23,000 ACSM members, only 1,500 are fellows.

          Other faculty members in the department include a certified strength and conditioning coach, as well as a licensed athletic trainer, while others have published books in addition to perhaps abroad.

          “We’re all very excited about teaching them what we know and the experiences we’ve had,” Roberts said.

          Beyond the classroom, worksite field experience plus a full semester internship give students plenty of hands-on experience. Locally, the students have a chance to go to the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) cadaver lab to experience anatomy and physiology first-hand.

          In addition, the faculty accompany students to professional networking opportunities such as the ACSM Mid-Atlantic or national conferences.

          While they did plan a trip abroad in March, “A Sport & Athletic Tour of Greece 2022,” led by Roberts, will take place from June 14-22, 2022.

          With dedicated faculty, productive classrooms, professional facilities and endless opportunities to grow and flourish, students will be on their way to a career in Exercise Science.

          For more information about Exercise Science and the opportunities that await, visit the Exercise Science webpage or contact Dr. Roberts at