Kinesiology Program Provides Options in Health and Human Performance

August 7, 2023

 Students in Florida College’s Kinesiology Department learn about human movement and its effect on health, well-being and quality of life. Introduced in 2021, FC’s Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology opens the door to careers in health and human performance by providing the opportunity to concentrate in Exercise Science, Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy.

“As Christians we bear one another’s burdens and put ourselves in others’ shoes, and that’s really what you do in kinesiology,” said Faculty Chair and Program Founder Jessica Miles, PhD. “It really supports the whole person beyond just the physical.”

Two years after its launch, the Department’s inaugural cohort now includes 16 juniors and 13 seniors, slated to graduate May 2024. Core classes include exercise physiology, biomechanics, principles of strength and conditioning, and athletic injuries and care. Specialized courses range from facility design to sports management, and are tailored to the unique interests of each cohort. Additional science classes are offered for students who wish to pursue graduate work — a three-year doctorate degree is now required to become a physical therapist, while master’s or doctorate degrees are necessary for a career as an occupational therapist. Abby Wright, a member of the Department’s first graduating cohort, said her experience at FC has allowed her to spread her wings and gain experience in an environment that feels safe, while also receiving valuable research experience — a rarity in most undergrad programs.

“The Kinesiology Program has helped deepen my understanding of the field I’m headed into by allowing me to make connections with professionals in the community,” she said. “Overall, the Program at FC has given me both the academic tools and the confidence to pursue my goals. The small class sizes combined with the attentiveness and availability of the professors have been so crucial in helping me build a support system that helps me succeed both academically and spiritually.”

Dr. Miles said building a strong application for graduate school means meeting more than minimal undergrad GPA requirements. “Schools are looking for students who are involved in clubs, research, leadership positions and service hours,” she explained. “You’re not going to fade into the background at FC because everyone in the program will know you.”

Exercise Science students typically graduate ready for a career field that might include corporate wellness programs, medical sales or health insurance, or decide to sit for a fitness professional licensure exam. Others might go on to pursue masters’ degrees in athletic training.

“At Florida College you really build your own opportunities,” Dr. Miles said. “If you pursue Exercise Science we can give you what you need to get there, and if you want to attend school beyond FC we can help you exceed prerequisites to secure a spot in a program. Students have a lot of opportunities to shine that they don’t always have at bigger schools.”

To learn more about our kinesiology program, click here.