Best Health Degrees, the free online source for information on health care degrees and careers, ranked College of DuPage’s Physical Education, Fitness and Sport Studies program as the third best Exercise Science and Kinesiology associate degree program in the U.S. for 2021.
Using data from a variety of sources, including Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Niche and U.S. News and World Report, Best Health Degrees ranked colleges and universities according to accreditation, cost, reputation and salary potential.
COD Associate Professor of Physical Education Gail Tait said she is thrilled that the quality of the program was recognized nationally.
“This ranking validates our excellent curriculum that prepares students for success,” she said. “It is rewarding to be recognized but also motivating, encouraging us to continue on as we strive for excellence in what we offer to our students.”
The Physical Education, Fitness and Sport Studies program lays the educational foundation for transfer to baccalaureate-granting institutions and toward careers with a wide range of organizations. Featuring several educational tracks, COD’s comprehensive and flexible program gives students a variety of options.
“Encompassing both theory and practice, COD provides one of the largest course offerings in the state,” she said. “Because we provide so much variety, students can explore the breadth of the kinesiology field and eventually learn more about which branch they want to pursue. In addition, we offer four different pathways for success. Whether a student wants to go into exercise science or kinesiology, become a physical education teacher or coach, or go into the sports management field, we have classes and paths that are specific to those main areas, as well as a Fitness Instructor certificate program which can give students an early launch into the field.”
In addition, the program maintains streamlined transfer agreements with Northern Illinois University, Lewis University, Elmhurst University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Tate said that recent curriculum changes have enabled the program to be even more beneficial to students.
“There is a strong science foundation to this field and our newer classes reflect that,” she said. “This approach has brought our program into the current philosophies that four-year colleges embrace. On completing the program, our students are academically prepared for the next level in their education.”