New Department at GSC

A new dept. is coming to GSC; Health and Human Movement Sciences. The new department will have four majors: Physical Education, which is currently in the education department; and Human Performance, Health Promotion, Athletic Coaching & Administration, all new majors.

Exercise science, which incorporates multiple disciplines, has been extremely popular over the last 10-15 years. For example, WVU’s Exercise Physiology program has the largest student enrollment of any undergraduate major at WVU with over 800 students. Not only is this program experiencing a surge in growth, but also a surge in job opportunities.  All jobs related to health and exercise science are expected to see a faster than average rate of increase over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In addition to creating job opportunities, all health-related disciplines are extremely important in West Virginia because the state suffers from a shortage of health care workers including nurses and medical doctors.  West Virginia always ranks at or near the bottom in terms of the general health of the citizenry. For example, we have the highest rate of type II diabetes, highest smoking rate, the third highest rate of heart disease, so in terms of lifestyle related health problems, we are one of the top - or the worst – states in the nation.

Human Performance is a great springboard to several careers. Exercise science and Human Performance are unlike nursing, for example, where you know exactly what you are qualified to do and exactly where you can and cannot work. With Human Performance you are prepared for a lot of things, but there is no particular career path so “Human Performance is a major that really lends itself to entrepreneurism,” says Dr. Grieco. Individuals who are interested in owning their own business or just entrepreneurial efforts would do well to choose that major.

If you are interested in coaching, Athletic Coaching & Administration will prepare you for both sport coaching as well as sport scouting. For students interested in health and fitness, but are more interested in an administrative role, Health Promotion would be the most appropriate major. Finally, Human Performance, commonly known as exercise science, may be taken for two different reasons. One track is as a pre-professional degree for individuals interested in medical career paths such as physical therapy, physician assistant, or physician because what is studied prepares students optimally to go into these programs. This differs from traditional preparatory undergrad programs like biology, which is not specific to how the body functions, while in Human Performance or exercise science everything revolves around how the body works. Another track is strength and conditioning leadership. Most colleges and universities have strength and conditioning coaches whose sole job it is to train the athletes. The military now adopts a similar concept and the majority of military units now has what are called tactical strength and conditioning coaches. In addition to that, you could do something like going into group fitness training or becoming a personal trainer.

Students may begin registering for these majors in the fall. The change-over from another major should be seamless as the General Education requirements remain the same. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required.

If you have any questions or are past your first two years at GSC, contact Dr. Carmine Grieco at or 304-462-6252.

For more information about careers in this field,  visit the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) website . They are a global leader in sports medicine and exercise science.

A few options you will find on their website:

ACSM Career Services

ACSM Job Center which allows job seekers to post resumes and search for jobs, internships, and assistantships

ACSM 2012 Profiles in Sports Medicine & Exercise Science which is a guide to graduate and undergraduate programs across the country. It includes helpful advice from professors and students

Career Webinars you can download and listen to career guidance on a variety of possible career choices in exercise science and sports medicine.

Careers in Dietetics and Sports Nutrition

Careers in Exercise Epidemiology

Careers in Physical Therapy

Careers in Primary Care Sports Medicine

Careers in Health Promotion

Careers in Exercise Physiology

From academicians to students and from personal trainers to physicians, our association of sports medicine, exercise science, and health and fitness professionals is dedicated to helping people worldwide live longer, healthier lives.

Leave a Comment