how to address them. We accomplish this in a number of ways, including collaboration with our community, industry, and
university partners. As outlined in Section III, the Fitness Technology Advisory Committee serves as a representation of
many of these partnerships. We have developed partnerships with many of the businesses in the area so that our students
can gain valuable experience as interns and then potentially become successful employees. Another example of successful
partnerships is the Health and Fit Fest that was held each spring quarter from 2004 to 2006. In this event, the second-year
students, along with the Fit Tech faculty and staff, worked with community businesses to secure vendors and donations for
the 1-2 day event. The Health and Fit Fest events were open to the Sylvania community, surrounding communities, high
schools, and other PCC campuses. Not only did these events reinforce the importance of healthy lifestyles, they also
generated revenue (approximately $4,000 net) that went towards the PCC Foundation to create a Fit Tech Scholarship
We also partner with the community by giving our students the opportunity to perform services in the community. Many of
our students have given their time and resources to events and organizations such as PCC‟s Heart Beat, the PCC Sylvania
employee wellness pilot project - Fit For Life, “The Run for the Hungry”, the Special Olympics, and the American Heart
Association (AHA). Specifically, the AHA identified a need to increase resources in order to deliver expanded healthy heart
programming to local public school kids. Fitness Technology faculty, staff, and students addressed this need by putting on
a 5 K Run/Walk called the “Heartbeat 5K” in 2007. The event brought vendors from the industry and the AHA together AND
generated revenue. Revenue from this event was split between AHA program materials ($1,500) and Fitness Technology
student scholarships (PCC Foundation-$1,500).
In order to increase access for our students to quality evidence-based certifications, the Fitness Technology faculty
networks and puts in additional time beyond teaching, to bring certification workshops to the local area. Collaborating with
the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and other contracted workshop providers, ACSM Certified Personal
Trainer (CPT) and Health Fitness Instructor/Specialist (HFI/HFS) workshops have been held several times in recent years at
PCC Sylvania. We are continuing this offering with another ACSM CPT workshop this coming May 2010. These workshops
provide students with a national certification workshop that is conveniently located and timed at the end of their 1-year
certificate or 2-year AAS degree. In our hosting agreement we also are allowed to “comp” a couple of registrations to the
workshop, which we provide to students selected by an application process. These workshops are a community service in
the Oregon and SW Washington regions because they are open to the community and the only ones offered in the region at
In order to provide a diverse education to our students, we also partner with various PCC departments periodically.
The previously mentioned Gerontology partnership is our largest example of this, but we also collaborate with other
departments as needed. In delivering curriculum based upon children‟s fitness, we work with the Early Childhood Education
and Child Development Center to gain valuable experience with fitness assessments and programming for children.
We have recruited older community education fitness participants to help our students gain experience with fitness testing
seniors. We hope to continue these PCC partner relationships, strengthen them, and form new ones in the coming years.
We have increased our communication and partnering with other colleges and universities in the Oregon and SW
Washington region. Fitness Technology faculty regularly attend and participate in conferences, retreats, and committees in
order to further the educational opportunities for students in our community. We have forged relationships with universities
and are in the final stages of articulation agreements with two, Portland State University (PSU) and Oregon State University
(OSU). Since our students will most often transfer to the Exercise Science, Health, Nutrition, and Physical Activity
departments at these schools, we have put much effort into these articulation agreements for the last few years (starting
over five years ago). Please see Section III for details on the already solidified agreement with PSU and Appendix F for the
credit transfer guide articulation document. The articulation with OSU is in the works and we hope to have it in place before
the end of 2010. We have also been approached by Eastern Oregon University (EOU) about articulation since they have
many online offerings for students wanting to complete a Bachelor‟s degree. We will continue to work with other 4-year
colleges/universities to provide solid information to student‟s about transferring to those schools. We will collaborate with
schools when needed to advocate for entry requirements and transferability of courses for our students.
Access and Diversity
The group of students in the Fitness Technology program represents the PCC student population as a whole, particularly in
age diversity. We encourage our younger and older students to work together to share experiences and various approaches
to learning. Older students often end up providing natural leadership and mentoring within the program. We accommodate
students who have physical and/or learning barriers and provide support, along with other PCC student services, for these
individuals. Although we typically don‟t have large ethnic or cultural differences in our students, we would do our best to
accommodate related learning environment issues if they became apparent.
Access to the PCC Fitness Technology program has been open for anyone meeting the entry requirements (HS Diploma,
WR 121, and MTH 65). In previous years, we have not had entry deadlines or other application requirements and students
could start the program two times per year (Spring or Fall). However, the recent popularity of the program has lead to the
need for application deadlines of two months prior to FT course enrollment. These deadlines will help us plan for quality
classes that have appropriate teaching assignments and adequate teaching spaces.
We have improved access to the program recently by allowing a greater number of students into the program. Room
improvements and increased equipment inventories have allowed us to increase max enrollment numbers in our individual
classes. We have also improved access by revising the current FT Certificate and creating a shorter term Certificate of
Completion. Revisions in the one year Certificate have streamlined advising and encouraged all students entering our
program to leave with at least that FT Certificate after one year.
To ensure that the PCC community has full access to this program we currently “market” the Fitness Technology program in
various ways. We have a PCC Fitness Technology website and a print brochure that explain the particulars of the program
to prospective students. The SAC Chair, faculty, and sometimes Fit Tech students attend high schools, career fairs, and
health fairs to talk about our program. PCC‟s Fitness Technology program is listed on a number of local and national fitness
industry websites as a quality program to attend for fitness education. Word-of-mouth is another way that student‟s hear
about and come to the program. Through current students, PCC faculty and staff, Advisory Committee members, four-year
college articulations, and internship sites, information and high praise about our program extends to people interested in
Where Are They Now?
We measure student successes as students who 1) finish our one year certificate, 2) finish our AAS degree, 3) successfully
obtain work in the fitness field, and/or 4) move onto another fitness, exercise science, nutrition, or health-related educational
environment. With the addition of the HOAF Certificate, we will add completion of this certificate to our list of student
successes in the future. The number of students who finish the program and graduate with an FT Certificate or Degree has
continued to rise. Below are the graduation records for the last few years. Keep in mind these numbers do not reflect
student successes that fall under #3 and #4 above. At this time neither PCC nor the FT program has a tracking system for
counting these non-graduation successes. This is an area that needs addressing for all PCC CTE programs.
FT 1yr Cert
Of these graduates, many are finding jobs right after graduating and others are transferring to another educational
institution. A survey sent to Fitness Technology graduates in January 2010 yielded the following interesting information
about successful Fitness Technology students:
Survey responses = 20
10 responding graduates earned an FT Certificate and an FT AAS Degree
6 graduates earned an FT Certificate only
4 students transferred to a 4 year college before getting an FT Certificate or Degree
70% are employed in a fitness-related position
50% have worked as a group fitness instructor making $15-50 per hour
80% felt that their PCC Fitness Technology Certificate and/or Degree enabled them to meet the qualifications for
employment in the fitness industry
The 4 students who transferred felt that the Fitness Technology program and PCC in general helped them meet transfer
requirements for entry into 4-year programs
60% felt that the FT Certificate or Degree enabled them to become fitness certified
Overall, PCC Fitness Technology students who are successful find themselves certified, working in a fitness-related position
in the community, or completing a Bachelor‟s degree in a related field. This proven success of previous Fitness Technology
students should continue for current and future students as well.
In looking at current and projected demand for the professionals in the health and fitness industry, the future seems to be
bright for Fitness Technology graduates. According to the Oregon Employment Department (OED Occupational Report,
March 2010), the projected demand statewide for “Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors” (FTAI) will increase over 12%
in the 10-year period from 2008-2018. Additionally, overall employment rates, job openings, and occupation growth are
projected to be above statewide averages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Tomorrow‟s Jobs” listing, the FTAI
occupation is listed with other postsecondary vocational occupations that are projected to have the largest increases in
employment in the above 10-year period. Although these projections were made prior to the economic downturn, the job
market for fitness trainers seems to remain strong for qualified, educated, and certified individuals. The U.S. Dept. of Labor
reports in 2009 that the fitness industry is still growing and job opportunities are expected to increase by 27% through 2016.
This greater than average growth is attributed to an increase in public concern for staying healthy and fit and people
prioritizing their time and money on personal fitness and family fitness (IDEA Health & Fitness, 2009).
In 2009, the average hourly wage for a FTAI professional in Multnomah/Washington County was $21.08/hr ($17.59/hr.
statewide) and the average annual salary in Multnomah/Washington County was $43,837 ($36,576 statewide).
According to a survey done by the American Council on Exercise (ACE, 2005), full-time FTAI professionals in the Pacific
Northwest earn an annual average salary of $42,500 (and/or $36/hr.) if they work full-time and part-time FTAI professionals
earn $28,500 and/or $23.50/hr. The Portland Business Journal reported in September of 2008 that “despite a slowing
economy, Portland-area fitness clubs report that membership remains robust and continues to expand over last year”.
With these promising numbers, we are confident that the FT Program will help facilitate student transitions from school to
work. In a survey sent out to various fitness businesses in the Portland area, 86% of those that responded have had
Fitness Technology interns in the past and 57% have hired Fitness Technology interns before. The good news is that 71%
indicated that they were “very likely to hire a Fit Tech Grad into an entry level position”.
As previously mentioned, students in the Fitness Technology program may matriculate into four-year colleges instead of, or
in addition to, working in the fitness industry. With the opportunities for transfer and articulation outlined in previous sections,
we contend that students have many options for additional educational successes if they so desire. We hope to continue
strengthening these opportunities for FT students.
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Barriers to Success
Even with great program outcomes, curriculum, faculty, community partners, and overall job/transfer opportunities, some
students are not successful in our program. These students drop out early or late in the program and we are constantly
challenged to figure out why. We have approximately 40-60 students start in the Fitness Technology Program each year,
and, as seen above, graduate about 12-15 FT Certificate students and eventually 8-11 FT AAS Degree students. This
means we have about 25-40 students leave the program by the end of the academic year. We strive to improve upon this
retention rate by exploring new ways to create an environment in which students can succeed. In order to do that we first
need to know what challenges or barriers to success students encounter in our program.
In a survey completed in the spring of 2009 we asked the current Fitness Technology students to rate barriers to being
successful in the Fitness Technology program using the six criteria listed below. The percentages reflect the students who
marked “strongly” or “somewhat” agree that these are barriers for them.
1) Program entry requirements were difficult (17%)
2) Coursework is more difficult than originally thought (58%)
3) Underestimated the time commitment involved to complete the program (63%)
4) Personal issues interfering with program completion (59%)
5) Cost of tuition and books (44%)
6) Not finishing program because already have a degree or are transferring to a 4 year institution (26%).
In addition to asking the students to rate these areas, we also asked them to “indicate the top three barriers/challenges
faced while in the program”. This question was open ended, and the top responses are as follows:
1) Lack of flexibility in course schedule and inherent registration problems that follow (11 responses)
2) Large quantity of work/assignments (7 responses)
3) Lack of time to appropriately cover all of the material (4 responses)
4) Balancing work and school (4 responses)
Looking at 32 students who started but did not finish the Fitness Technology program in the last four years (2005-2009),
we discovered that seven had transferred to other educational programs and five were employed in the fitness industry.
However, we do not know what became of the remaining 20 students who left the program without finishing.
Students that have complicated or time-consuming commitments outside of school (work, family, personal issues) may find
that the Fitness Technology course scheduling limits their success. Being a relatively young and somewhat small program,
Fitness Technology does not have the luxury of being able to offer all of its courses every quarter. So, a student with
conflicting outside commitments may have to wait for another opportunity to take a particular class. This may even mean an
extra year to finish the program, causing some students to drop out of the program rather than coming back to finish those
few courses. Additionally, the rigorous curriculum overall seems to be a stumbling block to many students. Helping students
to overcome these barriers and challenges will be our “challenge” in the Fitness Technology program. Recommendations
addressing these issues are found below and at the end of this document.
Students and Community Summary and Recommendations
Overall, the Fitness Technology program partners well with the community to provide a relatively diverse group of students
an enriching educational experience. Students that complete the program and graduate with their FT Certificate or AAS
Degree find success in job placement or are able to pursue additional education. However, the Fitness Technology program
currently offers no FT courses in the evenings, weekends, online, or condensed courses. Adding some of these offerings,
when possible, would assist with students who have family and work issues that conflict with their participation and success
in the program.
To improve access to the program, our “presence” in the community could be improved. We will strive to increase our
representation at high school health fairs, career fairs, general health fairs, and career change organizations and events.
We will also work to continually improve our online and print informational materials about the program. With increased
interest and participation in the program, we have added application due dates to help us plan for the numbers of students
coming in each term. If interest continues to grow, we will have to discuss options for program growth or limiting program
Barriers to program completion are centered on financial issues, course scheduling, and issues for students who have
families and full-time jobs. Early intervention with students may help identify personal and program challenges before the
student becomes at risk for dropping out. Improved advising, tracking, and mentoring programs will help with these early
interventions and hopefully with the retention rate in the program as well. In first term classes (FT 101, 102, 131), we have
withdrawal rates of 2-18%. Our goal is to keep this at the lower end by monitoring prerequisites better and educating
students about the program and course expectations prior to enrollment. In fact, revisions to the application process have
already begun for Spring term 2010 and include mandatory program orientations and a greater emphasis on the need to
have the pre-requisites completed (WR 121 & MTH 65) prior to submitting the program application and beginning FT
In addition, the development of a standard follow-up procedure for students who leave the program (graduates,
transfers, inactive students) will assist FT faculty in their planning for student success in the future.
For the last 4 years we have conducted FT student meetings and socials each term to increase retention. These are
scheduled at the start of each term to facilitate camaraderie and mentoring among FT students. We schedule the events at
times when most FT students are on-campus already and participation and feedback has been very positive. We will
continue to schedule these events. We would also like to expand our mentoring program. Second year students are great
informal mentors to our first year students. We are going to explore creating a more formal mentoring program that will
utilize our FT student resource labs and contribute to student success and retention.
The Fitness Technology program continues to be strong in student enrollment and FTE numbers. In order to ensure
continued student success and quality fitness professionals in the community, we will keep our faculty to student ratios
within best practice guidelines, aim for increased retention via tracking, mentoring, and thoughtful course scheduling, and
improve communication with students prior to official entry into the Fitness Technology program. In addition we will work
toward attracting a diverse group of committed individuals who are passionate about promoting lifelong fitness within their
FT 202 Service Learning @ Holladay Park
VI. FACILITIES and SUPPORT
The FT program shares most facilities, equipment, support staff and services with many users: the Sylvania PE department,
Sylvania Dance department, PCC Community Education, Intramural and open recreation participants and of course,
Facilities & Equipment
In this continually evolving fitness field, it is essential that PCC‟s FT program remain relevant and competitive in facilities
and equipment if possible. The classrooms and facilities in the HT building at the Sylvania Campus are good and
reasonably well equipped. There are challenges in this older building but the FT faculty has been adaptable and creative in
finding ways to best use these facilities with limited funding. However, we would be remiss if we do not mention that to
continue to meet the needs of all the users, physical space needs to be addressed. This includes finding a way to add
another room to accommodate the growing group fitness and dance enrollment numbers. Actual square footage is
available; the need lies in finding the funding for building useable studio space. While this may not be possible within the
next academic year, it is a fairly inexpensive fix in the big picture, which could be accomplished before the next FT program
review. Currently, instructors take students outdoors and make use of half of a half of the HT gym to create enough lab and
group exercise space for the Professional Activities courses. In doing this, instructors have to forgo sound systems or simply
using inadequate sound systems. It is for this reason, that the FT faculty highly recommends a new sound system in the HT
Gym. Another relatively easy fix lies with the conversion of HT 103 from a small classroom-meeting space to a smart
classroom with a full podium available for use by FT lecture or lecture/lab courses. While currently HT 103 is used as a
lecture classroom with a portable computer cart and projector, this takes time and resources from both the FT department
and PCC Instructional Media Services department.
In the last few years there has been only one major equipment purchase for the FT program. A Staff and Organizational
Development grant funded a Functional Anatomy Learning proposal that included purchasing a student resource lab
computer and anatomy software. Weight machines, cardio equipment, and fitness testing equipment that mimics what
students are likely to experience in their internships and employment are generally exceedingly expensive ($10-100k).
The FT faculty addresses any equipment deficits with students by explaining what students might expect to see “out there”
and how the equipment they are learning on may differ. Faculty will emphasize that new equipment is based upon the same
principles as some of the less sophisticated instrumentation and equipment they may practice with in FT classes.
FT faculty work to ensure that students understand these principles and can apply their knowledge and skills to newer
equipment they encounter in the work place.
The FT program has major equipment that has been purchased in the past which needs to be continually maintained and
occasionally repaired. This equipment includes: 1) ergometer bikes, 2) testing treadmills, 3) metabolic cart/gas analyzer,
and 4) an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine. The last two items are relatively rare in similar two year fitness programs and
are a program strength that adds to the experience of the PCC FT student.
Small equipment needs for the FT program are met through yearly inventories and new equipment ordering if needed. This
provides FT students with the hands-on equipment experience that internship site supervisors and employers expect.
Examples include blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes, body fat analysis equipment, group exercise class equipment,
and many others.
One equipment area in need of improvement is a more advanced assessment method for body composition or body fat (air
displacement plethysmography or underwater weighing hydrodensitometry). Currently, FT classes need to take several
field trips per term to an off campus corporate partner for lab experience with this type of equipment. If purchased, additional
opportunities exist to utilize this more advanced lab equipment by offering assessments for community members.
This could be free of charge to citizens to provide more hands-on experience for FT students or for a reduced fee to support
FT scholarships or contribute to equipment maintenance and updates. This would directly align with the FT Vision of
“building active futures and making a difference in the fitness and health of the community”.
While due more to finances rather than an actual strategy, the FT department has acquired equipment from several different
manufacturers. This has proved to be more important and beneficial than originally thought, because it ensures that
students will be adaptable and confident in their skills regardless of the equipment available.
While the FT SAC is very good at making the best of the PE/FT office, it is in need of a major remodel. The PE/FT office is
the only office in the HT building that has not been updated since the early 1980‟s. As the first stop for potential students,
new students, and new community or corporate partners, refurbishing the HT 215 space is high on the FT request list.
Student Resources & Support
The FT faculty members work closely with students to track success via ongoing coursework assessments, course progress
notifications (CPN), advising sessions, and our open door policy regarding office hours. The full-time FT faculty serve as
academic advisors to students in the FT program. The FT faculty, staff, and advisors provide administrative support,
tutoring, and advising to students in need. If a student is struggling in a particular FT course, the instructor will make contact
with both the student and their FT advisor to discuss a plan of action. The FT faculty advisors are conscious of life obstacles
that may inhibit student success. The department in general encourages ongoing communication between students and
instructors/advisors to provide as much support as we can.
Beyond advising for the FT program, faculty work to increase awareness among FT students in regards to the amazing
array of support services PCC provides. Some examples include the Veterans‟ Services, Disability Services, Counseling,
Tutoring & Writing Center, Student Success Center, the Women‟s Resource Centers, Academic Advising, and the Career
Resource Center. In addition to these services, FT students take advantage of the great technical support made available
through PCC‟s Help Desk and the Blackboard Student Help Desk.
The FT SAC maintains an active relationship with the library staff. Faculty members often submit video and periodical
requests to the library. Several instructors take advantage of the library service to inform and educate students about how to
use the library for research projects and how to access journal articles. The library staff does an excellent job of providing
information and resources related to fitness and exercise science for classroom assignments.
The FT SAC believes that it is the multitude of amazing student support services available to PCC students that contributes
to student success and retention in our program.
Facilities and Support Summary and Recommendations
The FT SAC is well aware that space is an issue for many programs and departments. The PE/FT staff and faculty are
willing to work within the confines of the current PE/FT office footprint, but the challenge is finding a better design and/or
layout of the current square footage for use by over 30 faculty and staff members. Perhaps this is one area where PCC
administrators could advise the FT program and assist with a solution.
Other areas where administration can expedite action lie in 1) the conversion of HT 103 to a smart classroom with a full
podium available for use by FT lecture or lecture/lab courses by Fall Term 2010, 2) a new sound system in the HT Gym.
The FT SAC has started communications with librarians to improve the collection of resources available for FT students at
PCC‟s libraries. These discussions will continue and hopefully a yearly system will be introduced where FT faculty give
regular recommendations for book, journal, and media purchases, as well as input for removing outdated fitness items from
The FT SAC intends to maintain a quality program with the current caliber of training and student support. In order to do
this, our program will need to keep pace with the ever-changing industry needs and expectations as they relate to
technologies, equipment, and space.
The strengths of PCC‟s FT program are numerous; however, the most significant strength is the quality of instruction
delivered by a diverse group of talented instructors. Not only are the faculty members highly qualified through both
education and experience, but even more importantly, faculty are very dedicated and passionate about their subject areas.
The FT faculty consistently goes above and beyond to teach, assist, advise, support and provide opportunities for FT
students to grow and succeed.
Currently, three FT faculty members are full-time, however, hours and responsibilities are split between FT courses and PE
courses. In addition, each faculty member is responsible for student academic advising (~ 15 students per instructor), as
well as serving on both the FT SAC and the PE SAC. The FT SAC Chair is full-time and splits time between being the FT
program director and the Sylvania PE program director. These director responsibilities are only “1/2” time and the remaining
time is spent teaching PE courses, advising FT students, and serving on both FT and PE SAC‟s.
The FT program is fortunate enough to have 3 fabulous and qualified part-time instructors (all have Master‟s degrees and
national certification in their area of expertise) who oversee key professional activities courses (Mind-Body, Group Exercise,
Team Sports). This diversity in faculty gives the FT students a wide array of instructors, teaching styles and methodology,
not to mention the benefit of learning from professionals working in the field.
In response to both student feedback from course evaluations and increased enrollment, the FT SAC opened additional
sections of FT lab courses over the past two years. To accommodate this additional course load, adjunct (part-time and full-
time temporary) instructors were employed.
FT faculty profiles are available online at
, and resumes are provided in
Appendix F. While these profiles are accurate, the page pulls from the PE instructor profiles page and does not speak to
the courses each instructor teaches in the FT program. This should be a fairly easy fix and one the FT SAC will take on
before the 10-11 academic year.
During the Program Review process we also discovered that while each instructor exceeds the current FT instructor
qualifications, the posted qualifications (finished in 2002) were incomplete
The FT SAC is taking this opportunity to update the instructor qualifications to accurately reflect current educational and
industry expectations. Instructor qualifications would be in keeping with the PCC Instructor Qualification Policy for
Vocational/Technical Education Instructors. While the education minimums are stated adequately, national certifications are
not clearly stated. The areas that need to be addressed immediately relate to the qualifications for instruction of the
Professional Activities courses (Group Exercise, Weight Training, Aquatics, Special Populations, and Team Sports) and
general first aid and safety.
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested