It’s hard to get bored in one of Whitney Cliff’s classes.
“I remember what it was like in college to just be sitting in class talking. So on Monday and Tuesday we might be in class taking notes, but then on Wednesday we work in labs,” said Cliff, the instructor at the heart of Cleveland Community College’s new health and fitness program.
Those labs could range from the school’s walking track or at the YMCA, working with trainers and clients. Starting in the fall they could also include the college’s recently opened weight rooms.
The health and fitness program is a new addition to Cleveland Community College’s offerings, giving students an on ramp into careers in personal training, strength training and conditioning and dietician technicians, among others.
“It’s basically for those who want to work in the health and fitness realm. There’s no wrong path this degree can take a student down,” said Cliff.
Some of those jobs can be completed with only the two-year degree, others will require a four-year degree. Cliff is working with the college to ensure students can carry their course credits to four-year universities if they choose to go that route.
Cliff teaches each of the courses in the program, starting with exercise science and fitness center management up to group exercise and exercise programming classes.
Health and fitness programs are popular among student athletes, and Cliff’s program will be a good recruiting tool for the school’s track, baseball and softball programs. Though she hopes more people will take an interest in the program.
“I would love to see people who are not athletes in the program,” she said. “This is for anyone who wants to learn how to be healthy.”
Students interested in building healthy habits but not a full degree program can earn a certificate after three classes.
With the first year of classes nearly done, Cliff is already looking for ways to expand its scope. She’s working to secure agreements with the YMCA so students can do practical labs there, and hopes to offer the program to high school juniors and seniors in 2023.
“This year has been great,” said Cliff. “Everyone is so nice here. You don’t find that at most institutions. And it is nice that the community really wants to partner with the program.”
This article originally appeared on The Shelby Star: Cleveland Community College offers health and fitness program