Humber College’s Exercise Science and Lifestyle Management (ESLM) program is helping those with an undergraduate degree in kinesiology find careers in the field.
Kristan Lingard, associate dean, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences with Humber’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness, said the Ontario Graduate Certificate program is one year in length and is designed to build on the knowledge learners gained during their undergraduate degree. It’s for those who want to develop their practical skills through training before starting their career or don’t have the required courses to take the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario entry-to-practice exam.
Laura Adams is a graduate of the program. She came to Humber from university with an undergraduate degree in kinesiology and wanted to continue her education in a way that would help further her career. When she found the ESLM program, it piqued her interest.
“It was taking a lot of the theory we learned in university and applying it to a real-world setting,” said Adams.
The program provides in-depth, hands-on instruction in the areas of fitness assessment, health and lifestyle counselling, exercise prescription and delivery, health promotion, group exercise leadership, health and fitness management, marketing and entrepreneurship, ergonomic assessment, and functional abilities assessment.
“There are many career opportunities – whether it’s in a clinical or high-performance setting, workplace health, occupational biomechanics or other – but some new graduates aren’t sure where to look for them or they read the job description and don’t feel confident in the skills that are required,” said Lingard.
The Humber program can address some of those issues, she said.
Students learn in small groups with instruction from expert faculty with extensive clinical and industry experience. They have access to state-of-the-art facilities including two dedicated fitness assessment laboratories, a private exercise prescription lab, a biomechanics lab and two fully equipped group exercise studios that are also used for therapeutic exercise, with plenty of opportunity for hands-on practice and skill building.
Program Advisor Committee member John Gray said that Humber’s program has been beneficial in helping graduates with their careers.
“In my experience of over 25 years, I’ve found that kinesiologists who have graduated from the Humber ESLM program have excelled in their careers more than their peers that have gone other routes, including the Master of Professional Kinesiology programs in Ontario,” said Gray.
Lingard added that career exploration is also part of the program. There are networking events and one of its courses is Kinesiology as a Profession. Students are introduced to areas of potential employment and learn about the profession through guest speakers, networking events and an informational interview with a Registered Kinesiologist.
“It was quite valuable getting to see all the positions a Registered Kinesiologist can hold,” said Adams.
Work-integrated learning is another important aspect of the program. Through these experiential learning opportunities, the students can go into a professional work setting and put their knowledge and skills to use.
Anne Ritchie is a Registered Kinesiologist with more than 25 years experience and a part-time instructor in the program. She feels the program provides training that allows learners to step into their careers and thrive.
“I have been involved with mentoring and training new kinesiology graduates we hire to prepare them for our workforce,” said Ritchie. “It’s clear that the ESLM students are much better prepared for entry into kinesiology roles within our healthcare environment. “
The program is still accepting applications for the Fall semester. More information can be found by visiting the Exercise Science and Lifestyle Management website.