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Fitness Specialist

Professional Studies: Fitness Specialist Certificate of Achievement

The mission of the Professional Studies program is to prepare Kinesiology majors for academic pursuits in the scientific study of human movement as well as vocational preparation for leadership roles developing education,  fitness, recreation, and sport programs that improve quality of life for members of their communities.  We inspire future professionals to respect and appreciate the objective, scientific perspectives of how and why we produce movements as well as the subjective, artistic aesthetics of how well we move.

The Fitness Specialist Certificate program prepares students for employment in the fitness industry by combining a science-based academic foundation with an abundance of experiential learning.  Students gain knowledge of Kinesiology principles while developing fitness assessment, exercise leadership, and individual & group exercise programming skills.  The program is designed to be completed within 9 months but includes transferrable coursework for students seeking to further their education in Kinesiology-related fields.  Upon completion, graduates of this program should expect to seek the appropriate National Certification before finding careers working in health clubs, country clubs, fitness or recreation centers, gyms, hospitals, universities, yoga and Pilates studios, resorts, and/or as entrepreneurs.

The program of study was developed to contribute to the mission of the college as well as serve the interests and needs of our students and community workforce. Labor market statistics indicate that employment for fitness instructors is expected to grow much faster than the average; 24% from 2010-2020. Fitness workers should have excellent opportunities for finding work due to continued job growth in health clubs, fitness facilities, youth sports academies, and entrepreneurial endeavors. In fact, regional labor market information (LMI) shows a need for 302 annual openings.  Median annual wages of fitness trainers and aerobics instructors in the Los Angeles / Orange County area is $40,047 (based on 2012 wages); however, self-employed trainers and those with advanced degrees can earn greater than $60,000 per year.  Please read the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Salary Report for Health and Fitness Professionals for additional information.  When considering that trainers rarely receive on the job training, certification and experience are critical to obtaining a job.  They are expected to know how to do their jobs when they are hired. Therefore, the program was designed to provide an abundance of experiential learning while preparing students for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and/or National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certification exams.

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to identify muscle groups and joints then relate that knowledge to the production of a variety of fitness, sport, and recreational movements.
  2. Students will be able to select, execute, interpret, and communicate results from various fitness assessment field tests based upon, age, gender, fitness level, and cultural differences.
  3. Students will be able to design a health-related or performance-related program for apparently healthy individuals and several special populations.
  4. Students will be competent at leading personal training sessions as well as a variety of small and large group exercise activities.
  5. Students will be able to express the scope of their practice and identify a market niche based upon their      personal strengths and interests.

Course Level Student Learning Outcomes (sample syllabus provided below):


KNPR 101 KNPR 201 KNPR 203 KNPR 205 KNPR 207 KNPR 209
KNPR 211 KNPR 213 KNPR 215 KNHE 104 KNHE 107 KNFI 101A



Santa Ana College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at: