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Human Performance 

 

The Human Performance emphasis is intended to prepare students for careers in clinical, commercial, corporate, and community health fitness settings. In addition to completing the required courses, Human Performance students will select an elective specialization in one of the following areas:

A. Sport Performance
B. Fitness Management
C. Health Promotion
D. Pre-Professional
(see 2008-09 Degree Plan)

Description of Program


From a societal perspective, the study of physical activity and its practical application has the potential to significantly impact the health and quality of life for every individual, regardless of age, race, gender, and health status. In keeping with this basic premise, it is the mission of the Human Performance program, within the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire , to enable prospective exercise professionals to develop the skills, knowledge, and abilities required to effectively promote physical activity as an essential component of a healthy lifestyle.

These critical competencies are developed through active student engagement in a variety of theoretical and applied educational experiences related to the following areas of study: (a) Anatomy & Biomechanics, (b) Exercise Physiology, (c) Human Development & Aging, (d) Pathophysiology & Risk Factors, (e) Human Behavior & Psychology, (f) Health Appraisal & Fitness Testing, (g) Safety, Injury Prevention & Emergency Care, (h) Exercise Programming, (i) Nutrition & Weight Management, and (j) Program Management. In each of these curricular areas, the students are taught the importance of a developmental perspective concerning physical activity program design, implementation, and evaluation for a number of diverse populations.

It is our ultimate goal that upon graduation, students will possess the required combination of formal academic preparation and practical experience required to meaningfully contribute to the health fitness profession. Furthermore, the involved faculty and academic staff share the University's commitment to excellence in the areas of teaching, scholarship, service, and advising.

The following sections describe our key programmatic values:

Benefit to Society. Each member of the Human Performance program (students, academic staff, faculty, and alumni) remains fully aware and appreciative of our profession's potential contributions to the improved health and quality of life for all individuals (regardless of age, race, gender, and health status) through the promotion of physically active lifestyles.

Developmental Perspective. Each member of the Human Performance program maintains a developmental perspective regarding physical activity program design, implementation, and evaluation. This perspective enables us to readily account for the wide range of individual needs and differences that may be encountered across various segments of the population.

Innovation. Each member of the Human Performance program is committed to enhancing the quality of professional practice though innovative thinking and the practical application of sound theory and research in a variety of human movement contexts.

Lifelong Learning. Each member of the Human Performance program is committed to remaining actively engaged in the profession as both a lifelong learner and scholar-practitioner.

Professional Competence. Each member of the Human Performance program is expected to develop and maintain a level of professional competence that is consistent with the industry standard. This degree of competence is typically expressed through the successful completion of various professional certification programs and/or exams.

Technology Integration. Each member of the Human Performance program appreciates the value of technology as an increasingly important resource for our profession. Accordingly, the use of technology in teaching, research, service, and advising remains an area of primary interest.

Visit the following websites to learn more about Human Performance as an area of study:

Career Opportunities

In combination with the general education component of the undergraduate experience, the Human Performance curriculum has been designed to prepare students for work in a variety of health fitness contexts. The following program categorizations and descriptions are referenced from Grantham, W.C., Patton, R.W., York, T.D., & Winick, M.L. (1998). Health Fitness Management. Champaign , IL: Human Kinetics.

Commercial Programs. Commercial programs include those health fitness facilities that share the common primary objective of generating profit through various departments or program areas, such as fitness, racquet sports, food bar, retail outlets, and personal training (Grantham, et al., 1998, p. 18). These types of facilities generally offer a wide range of services for clients and related career opportunities for Human Performance graduates in the areas of exercise leadership, personal training, membership sales and marketing, facility management, and so forth. The Fitness Management specialization is most ideal for students planning to pursue careers in commercial fitness.

Corporate Programs. In contrast to commercial programs, corporate health fitness programs target the employees of a specific company or organization rather than the general public. Human Performance graduates who are employed in work site health promotion settings typically engage clients in a number of intervention strategies (e.g., health risk appraisals, exercise programming, smoking cessation, nutrition education) for the purpose of improving overall employee health and productivity. The Fitness Management or Health Promotion specialization would be appropriate for students who have a specific interest in workplace health promotion.

Community Programs. Community health fitness programs serve clients in community settings, including voluntary health agencies (American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, YMCA, YWCA, JCC, American Red Cross, etc.), schools, churches, and private social service agencies (Grantham et al., 1998, p. 20). While community programs vary considerably in their specific goals, programming generally emphasizes the role of regular physical activity in the promotion of healthy lifestyles. Human Performance graduates working in community settings plan and implement physical activity promotion programs for various groups within the community (e.g., children, teenagers, adults, older adults, families). The Fitness Management or Health Promotion specialization would be appropriate for students who anticipate working in a community-based program.

Clinical Programs. Clinical health fitness programs share many of the same characteristics as commercial, corporate, and community programs. Clinical programs are usually operated in a hospital and/or health care setting. Clinical programs are associated with outpatient services, such as physical therapy, sports medicine, and cardiac rehabilitation and frequently provide both types of programs in the same facility (Grantham et al., 1998, p. 10). Human Performance graduates who are employed in clinical settings also spend time engaged in community outreach programs related to various aspects of health promotion. The Health Promotion specialization would be ideal for students who plan to seek employment in a medically-based fitness setting. The Pre-Professional specialization is the best option for students who are planning to pursue graduate study in a clinical area (e.g., physical therapy, chiropractic, occupational therapy, exercise physiology, cardiac rehabilitation).

Strength and Conditioning Programs. Strength and conditioning programs are more highly specialized than the previously described types of facilities in that they target athletes and/or vigorously active clients who are interested in improving sport performance. University athletic departments, professional sports teams, and commercial facilities regularly employ Human Performance graduates who work in the field of strength and conditioning. The Sport Performance specialization is clearly the best choice for students who are interested in strength and conditioning.

Visit the following websites to search for specific career opportunities in Human Performance:

Points of Pride

  • The Human Performance program is the largest emphasis within the Department of Kinesiology and currently serves over 200 undergraduate students.
  • The Human Performance program is the home for several University pre-professional programs including pre-chiropractic, pre-physical therapy, and pre-occupational therapy. A number of students continue their graduate education each year in these clinical areas.
  • Human Performance students administer an adult fitness program each semester. The program attracts members of the Eau Claire community who are looking to begin a physical activity program. Students within the program are responsible for working with a client(s) in the areas of (a) Needs Assessment, (b) Program Planning, (c) Implementation, and (d) Evaluation.
  • Faculty members within Human Performance have worked closely with Career Services personnel to develop an integrated model for professional development in which students learn to research career options, establish networks, enhance personal qualifications, conduct a job search, write cover letters/resumes, prepare for job interviews, and develop a plan for continued education.
  • The Human Performance curriculum has been recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a part of its Educational Recognition Program (ERP). The NSCA ERP was developed to acknowledge and recognize academic programs that prepare college students for careers in the field of strength and conditioning.
  • The KINS 358 Health Fitness Instruction course has been reviewed and approved by the National Council for Strength and Fitness (NCSF). Students enrolled in this course have the option of sitting for the NCSF Advanced Personal Trainer certification following successful completion of the course. Students from the program have achieved a passing rate of 100 percent on this certification exam.
  • Human Performance students are required to complete a semester-long internship prior to graduation. The University has partnered with a variety of national and international internship sites including the following:
    • Arizona Heart Institute in Phoenix, AZ
    • Cooper Institute in Dallas, TX
    • Health Fitness Corporation in Minneapolis , MN
    • Land's End Comer Health and Fitness Center in Dodgeville, WI
    • Lifetime Fitness in Minneapolis, MN
    • McMahon Chiropractic and Physical Therapy in Eau Claire, WI
    • Med X of Estes in Estes Park, CO
    • University of Notre Dame Strength & Conditioning in South Bend, IN
    • U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO

Admission Criteria

The Human Performance Emphasis is intended to prepare students to work in clinical, commercial, corporate, and community health fitness settings. Formal application to the Human Performance Emphasis should be made during the second year of attendance while enrolled in Kins 251 Introduction to Human Performance. This will allow students to begin the two-year course of study during the following semester. The number of students admitted to the program each year is limited by available resources. Not everyone who applies can be guaranteed admission (currently 30 new students are admitted per semester). Program admission will be stratified based on primary interest in one of the four specializations (Sport Performance, Health Promotion, Fitness Management, and Pre-Professional), with the top five candidates being admitted in each area. Additional candidates will then be admitted based on merit regardless of specialization area.

The Human Performance Program Committee will screen students for admission to the program. At the time of application, students must submit:

  • a completed program application form and intended plan of study
  • a transcript indicating completion of Kins 251, 304, and 308
  • a cover letter and resume highlighting qualifications related to human performance
  • a student portfolio

Student admission will be based on the following criteria:

  • Resident, total, and major GPAs
  • Performance in Kins 251, 304, and 308
  • Evaluation of student cover letter, resume, and portfolio

Internship Program

WHAT IS AN INTERNSHIP?

An internship is a structured educational experience which incorporates productive work experience as a regular part of a college student's curriculum. It represents a partnership between the student, employer, and UW-Eau Claire. Through an internship experience, students are provided with the opportunity to improve their basic work skills, test career choices, develop professional competence, and witness classroom theories and principles being applied in real world situations.

WHY AM I REQUIRED TO COMPLETE AN INTERSHIP IN HUMAN PERFORMANCE?

The internship experience is an essential part of your undergraduate education that is intended to supplement theoretical knowledge acquired in the classroom while promoting your continued personal growth and professional development in the field. A well-designed internship merges theoretical with practical knowledge and adds relevant experience to your resume. While completing an internship, you will learn more about your chosen profession, continue to establish your professional network, and gain confidence in your ability to work in an actual human performance setting. Completion of an internship may also enhance your job search as many companies use their internship programs to recruit and pre-screen prospective employees. The primary objectives for our internship program include the following:

  • To facilitate the student's transition to post-college life.
  • To help integrate and bring successful closure to the undergraduate experience.
  • To provide regular opportunities for self-reflection regarding one's personal readiness.

Internships are currently offered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters each year. The required time commitment is a minimum of 30-40 hours per week for at least 12 weeks. Many placements exceed this minimum time requirement in accordance with facility needs. Some employers, for example, offer internships that last six to eight months in duration.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE HUMAN PERFORMANCE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM?

You are eligible to complete an internship if you are a junior or senior Kinesiology major who has completed the following courses:

  • KINS 251 Introduction to Human Performance
  • KINS 355 Human Performance Lab Assessment
  • KINS 358 Health Fitness Instruction
  • KINS 464 Programming in Gerontology and Special Populations

Students who are completing an internship must maintain current American Red Cross First Aid and CPR certification or equivalent. You will also be required to satisfactorily complete a background information disclosure check prior to the start of the internship experience.

Students are responsible for searching and selecting an internship that is closely aligned with their professional goals and interests. All prospective internship placements must ultimately be approved by the Department of Kinesiology. No one at UW-Eau Claire can guarantee that every student who wants an internship position will obtain one. Since most internship positions are awarded on a competitive basis, you should begin your search as early as nine months before the anticipated starting date. Some students start looking up to three years ahead in order to secure an internship that best meets their individual needs and professional goals.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO PREPARE FOR AN INTERNSHIP?

During your freshman year:

  • Meet with your academic advisor to discuss tentative academic and career goals.
  • Complete KINS 190 Concepts in Kinesiology, a required course that introduces students to the major including an examination of history, philosophy, careers, and current issues.
  • Take advantage of the available Career Services resources (e.g., working with a career counselor, career testing, SIGI Plus Online at (www.uwec.edu/career) to further clarify your own personal interests, skills, and values.
  • Explore and research career opportunities in the field by attending career information events on campus, using the Career Discover Center, and conducting informational interviewing and or “shadowing” in your chosen career area.

During your sophomore year:

  • Continue to consult with your academic advisor to review your academic and career goals.
  • Complete KINS 251 Introduction to Human Performance, a required course that introduces students to the foundational concepts associated with physical activity, fitness, and health that underlie the advanced study of exercise prescription that occurs later in the curriculum.
  • Apply for admission to the academic program and outline a tentative plan of study that highlights your remaining coursework following completion of KINS 251.
  • Join a professional organization related to your chosen major and/or career.
  • Explore the possibility of doing some volunteer work related to your career choice.
  • Begin developing your resume/portfolio and continue networking with other professionals.

During your junior year:

  • Work with your academic advisor to explore choices that will be available to you after graduation: graduate study, full-time employment, or other.
  • Complete KINS 355, 358 and 464, required courses in which students learn to develop, implement, and evaluate exercise prescriptions for healthy individuals and special populations.
  • Research internship placements, job descriptions, and work settings related to your career.
  • Begin applying for internship positions for your senior year.
  • Consider completing a pre-internship practicum, independent study, volunteer work, and/or summer employment to further build your resume.
  • Attend a professional conference and/or sit for a national certification exam.
  • Attend a graduate school workshop.
  • Continue networking and adding to your resume/portfolio.

During your senior year:

  • Register for and complete your required internship (KINS 491, 494, or 498).
  • Complete your remaining coursework in the major.
  • Reflect on skills and abilities that you have developed during your undergraduate education.
  • Attend additional workshops on resume writing, interviewing, and the job search process.
  • Refine and finalize your resume/portfolio.
  • Research potential employment opportunities.
  • Use Career Services for setting up and preparing for interviews with prospective employers.
  • Inventory personal and professional contacts that might help with your career development.
  • Apply for and take the necessary examinations for graduate study and professional schools.
  • Complete applications for graduate and professional school.

HOW DO I FIND AN INTERNSHIP THAT MATCHES MY INTERESTS?

Try to gain some practical experience in the field prior to applying for internships in order to build your resume and better prepare yourself to make decisions about the types of facilities you would like to intern with.

Career Services maintains a database of employers interested in hiring human performance interns, and also hosts Internship Mania, an event where students meet with employers to discuss internship possibilities. There are a wide variety of Internet databases where employers post internship positions in the field as well. Students can also find internship opportunities by joining professional associations and attending regional and national conferences.

You must locate an internship on your own. Once you have identified a specific company, you will need to develop a job description with the employer and submit it, along with information about the company to the Internship Coordinator. REMEMBER - all internship worksites must be approved by the internship coordinator in order for you to receive academic credit.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR AN INTERNSHIP?

Prepare your internship application materials and start your internship search as early as possible. Update your resume and attach a cover letter indicating the position you are applying for, a summary of your strengths, and information as to how the employer may contact you. Do you have questions about resumes and cover letters? Ask your academic adviser, internship coordinator and/or attend a Career Services Resume/Cover Letter workshop. Be aware that some employers might require additional application materials as well (e.g., application form, academic transcript, letters of reference).

Many employers will also require students to complete a face-to-face and/or telephone interview as part of the application process. Here are some suggestions regarding job interviews:

Before an Interview:

  • Try to anticipate the questions you might be asked during the interview. Need help? Ask your internship coordinator, read materials on interviewing found in the Career Services Resource Lab and/or attend a Career Services Interviewing workshop.
  • Research the company and develop a list of questions that you would like answered about the internship position you are interviewing for.

After an Interview:

  • Send a letter thanking the employer for the interview.
  • Check your answering machine and e-mail regularly, and promptly follow-up on any messages you receive.

Refer to the Career Services website at www.uwec.edu/career for additional suggestions on the job search process, resume writing, interviewing, and so forth.

I HAVE RECEIVED AN INTERNSHIP OFFER WHAT'S NEXT?

Your internship is finalized when (a) an agreement is reached between you and your employer, (b) you have completed the "Approval for Human Performance Internship" form and submitted the associated documentation, and (c) your employer has read and signed the University contracts mailed by the Internship Coordinator. At that point you will be cleared to register for the internship and must pay your tuition and internship course fee. The application deadline is April 30th for summer internships, July 31st for fall internships, and November 30th for spring internships.

IS THERE ANY OTHER INFORMATION I NEED TO KNOW?

Internship Contracts. As previously described, internship facilities need to complete two contracts with the University. The University Affiliation Agreemen (Adobe Acrobat file) addresses the main legal issues associated with the completion of an internship. The Program Memorandum (Adobe Acrobat file) describes the responsibilities of the student intern, internship facility, and Department of Kinesiology. You probably want to share these sample contracts with prospective employers prior to accepting an internship in order to be certain that they can agree to them. The official versions of the contracts will be sent directly to the internship facility after you have accepted an internship offer and received Department approval.

During the Internship. In addition to the work that you will perform for your employer, you will (a) complete an individual learning plan describing your goals for the internship, (b) submit weekly reflective journals to the internship coordinator, and (c) participate in periodic electronic bulletin board discussions with other interns. These course requirements are delivered in a web-based format so you will need Internet access throughout the course of the internship experience.

The On-site Visit. The internship coordinator will try and visit you at least once during your internship if possible. During this visit, they will meet with you and your internship supervisor to discuss how your work is progressing.

Problems. Most internships progress smoothly. However, if there is ever a problem between you and your employer which cannot be resolved, please discuss this problem with the internship coordinator immediately.

Performance Appraisal. Your employer will complete a performance appraisal prior to the end of your internship experience and submit it to the internship coordinator. The Department of Kinesiology also recommends that each employer conduct an exit interview with you before you leave the company. At this meeting, your employer should review your performance appraisal with you. Your employer may also use this interview to discuss future employment opportunities with you. You will be given the opportunity to evaluate the quality of your internship experience prior to its completion as well.

Internship Evaluation. Within four weeks of the completion of your internship, you must submit any outstanding materials that you have compiled in support of your individual learning plan to your internship coordinator. Your final grade for the internship experience will be based on completion of your individual learning plan, weekly reflective journals, electronic bulletin board discussions, and feedback provided by your internship supervisor.

Contact Information. The Department of Kinesiology internship program is administered in cooperation with Career Services. For additional information about the Human Performance internship program, please contact: Dr. Jeff Janot, Internship Coordinator, Department of Kinesiology, McPhee 229, 715-836-5333 (Phone), 715-836-4074 (FAX), janotjm@uwec.edu

EXAMPLES OF RECENT HUMAN PERFORMANCE INTERNSHIPS

Clinical/Medical Fitness

  • Arizona Heart Institute in Phoenix, AZ
  • McMahon Chiropractic and Physical Therapy in Eau Claire, WI
  • MedX of Estes in Estes Park, CO
  • Sacred Heart Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation in Eau Claire, WI

Commercial Fitness

  • East Bank Athletic Club in Chicago, IL
  • Gold's Gym in Eau Claire, WI
  • Lifetime Fitness in Minneapolis, MN
  • 24 Hour Fitness in Denver, CO

Community Fitness

  • Eau Claire YMCA in Eau Claire, WI
  • University of Minnesota Campus Recreation in Minneapolis, MN
  • UW-Eau Claire University Recreation in Eau Claire, WI
  • Vail Cascade Club in Vail, CO

Sport Performance

  • Acceleration Minnesota in Arden Hills, MN
  • HEAT Program at St. Cloud Orthopedics in St. Cloud, MN
  • University of Notre Dame Strength and Conditioning in South Bend, IN
  • U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO

Workplace Health Promotion

  • Fitcorp in Boston, MA
  • Health Fitness Corporation in Minneapolis, MN
  • Land's End Comer Fitness Center in Brookfield, WI
  • Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN

Other Information

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