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Coastal establishes new degree in exercise and sport science

October 9, 2007

Coastal Carolina University has established a new degree program in exercise and sport science, which will be offered beginning in the spring semester of 2008. The new Bachelor of Science program was recently approved by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and by Coastal's board of trustees.

The program, offered through Coastal's Spadoni College of Education, is designed to prepare students for careers in the allied health care fields related to the fitness/wellness, movement rehabilitation and exercise/sports sciences, industries which are on the rise all across the country.

The new major will offer a fuller range of careers and graduate study opportunities than Coastal's current offerings in the field, according to Gib Darden, chair of the university's Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Coastal's current health promotion major, with its sports medicine option, has been one of the university's fastest growing degree programs. The increased emphasis on the health-enhancing role of physical activity, and the increasing need for health care in areas such as physical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation has created a strong demand for qualified specialists able to serve a variety of populations in diverse settings, according to Darden.

"The curriculum that best prepares students for career entry and advanced study in these fields is a comprehensive and broad-based exercise science program," said Darden.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, overall employment in fitness and wellness is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations through 2012, as an increasing number of people spend more time and money on personal fitness, physical activity and wellness services, and more businesses recognize the benefit of exercise-based wellness programs. The Department of Labor projects the employment category of fitness trainers, instructors and leaders to increase by 62.1 percent by 2012, making this employment category one of the highest projected increases. Local and regional trends support this projection, according to Darden.

For more information, contact Darden at 843-349-2944.