Exercise Science degree to be offered; new sports medicine center in works

Oct. 12, 2015

Evan Musick
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UCCS will be offering a new bachelor’s degree in exercise science.

The degree is a joint effort between the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and will be open for fall 2016 enrollment.

“This is going to be the first real joint degree program between two colleges,” said Andrew Subudhi, Biology Department chair.

“(We’re) kind of breaking down the walls between a couple colleges, to try and bring the best of two different colleges together to offer one degree.”

Jackie Berning, Health Sciences chair, explained what the degree entails.

“They get a really good education in both the basic sciences behind physiology and exercise physiology,” she said. “What’s unique to this degree is they also get the applied physiology part.”

Berning said the biology department will provide the natural and core science background while health science will take the core sciences and apply them. Berning said the degree will educate students on how the human body works, along with the science of exercise.

The degree will serve several purposes, one of which is to allow students to attend graduate school for exercise science. The department of biology already offers a Master of Science degree with an option in exercise science.

“If you want to work with a sport, work with a team, most of those people go on and have master’s degrees,” Berning said.

Subudhi said jobs are available with this degree.

“When (students) come out, there are jobs, you can be an exercise physiologist,” Subudhi said.

He also said most with that title work clinically, and some work at the Olympic Training Center.

Berning said Colorado Springs is unique due to the OTC and the 20-plus National Governing Bodies located in town.
Berning said the process for getting the new degree wasn’t difficult.

“It was a fairly fast and smooth process,” she said. “We’ve probably been working on it for about four years. I think you have to have that kind of planning when you’re dealing with two different colleges and two different departments in those colleges.”

UCCS is also on track to have a new sports medicine and performance center built as part of the City for Champions project. The project also includes an Olympic museum, Air Force visitor center and a possible sports center downtown.

“There are examples of centers like this around the country, where, there’s clinicians and there’s academics, but they don’t ever really interact. But putting us in the same building, we’re hoping to create a relationship that meshes better,” Subudhi said.

Subudhi said the new degree will benefit students, but the university too as it will have a large draw.

“If we can build the best program, exercise science program in the country, we could put ourselves on the map, and nobody is going to be able to reproduce that,” he said.

“We’re just thrilled that this is finally, finally, happening,” said Subudhi.