Career and technical education students from Williamson County high schools got a first-rate tour of Department of Health and Human Performance facilities in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences at Middle Tennessee State University recently.
The students enrolled in exercise and health sciences classes at Fairview, Ravenwood and Nolensville high schools learned about potential career pathways at the Oct. 20 tour.
“We went through how our degrees get them prepared for these careers,” said John Coons, professor and graduate program director of Exercise Science in Health and Human Performance. “High school students are learning this in class, but their schools don’t have these laboratories.”
Undergraduate programs in the department lead to the Bachelor of Science with majors in athletic training, exercise science, community and public health, leisure and sport management, physical education, sport pedagogy (physical education), tourism and hospitality management, and speech-language pathology and audiology.
Minors in athletic coaching and officiating, driver and traffic safety education, healthcare administration, health and human performance, health and physical education, health care services, leisure and sport management, public health, somatic movement education, Speech language pathology and audiology, and tourism and hospitality management are also available.
Students formed groups and were led through a guided tour of facilities. These included innovative exercise physiology labs equipped with underwater treadmills, electromyography, open-circuit metabolic systems, pressure mapping systems, force dynamometry, and dual X-ray absorptiometry scanners that measure bone density and body composition.
Additionally, students explored “our top-notch athletic training facilities” that boast modalities such as ultrasound, electrostimulation, and diathermy, Coons said.
“With an undergraduate degree, they’ll be exercise physiologists, strength and conditioning specialists, health fitness professionals and fitness trainers,” Coons explained. “But it also allows them to go into degrees that require graduate degrees like allied health, physical therapy, occupational therapy and athletic training.”
The students also toured the speech language and pathology lab, where students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and apply classroom instruction in a real-world setting. MTSU has the first undergraduate program — one of fewer than 10 programs in the country — that offer clinical practicums for undergraduates.
“We got to answer questions and interact with students,” Coons said. “A lot of it is connecting what they are going over in classes. Teachers love coming here.”
— Nancy DeGennaro (Nancy.DeGennaro@mtsu.edu)