Responding to a boom in demand for personal trainers, Santa Monica College (SMC) has announced the launching of the new Online Professional Certificate in Personal Fitness Training, with classes starting Monday, May 29th.

The comprehensive interactive Web-based certificate program, with an optional field internship elective course — offered through SMC’s Continuing and Community Education Program — will allow students from around the world to fit courses into their work and home schedules, a college spokesman said.

The course is designed to train students in careers at medically- based fitness facilities, community wellness programs, personal training studios, physical therapy clinics, corporate fitness centers and private and commercial health clubs, said Ken Baldwin, an award-winning trainer and coordinator of the online personal fitness training program.

“More people are turning to personal fitness trainers to design exercise programs and serve as guides to combat obesity and obtain healthy lifestyles,” Baldwin said.

“Students will learn how to apply their clients’ health history, goals and abilities integrating exercise science curriculum and training techniques into a systematic model that teaches students to progress their clients through different training levels and phases,” he said.

The certificate program will include courses in anatomy and kinesiology, exercise physiology, fitness assessment techniques, designing exercise prescriptions, business administration for personal trainers and the optional internship course.

For a basic certificate, five core courses are required, and an additional three courses are needed for the advanced certificate. The cost for each certificate course is $199.

The SMC program is being offered as demand for personal trainers is increasing dramatically, SMC officials said.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, overall employment for personal trainers is expected to increase 44 percent from 2002 until 2012.

The program is offered in partnership with the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Students graduating from the program will be eligible to receive a preferred discount on the ACE Personal Training Certification Exam and study materials. Current ACE-certified professionals who complete courses in the SMC program will be eligible for ACE continuing education credits toward recertification.

Information, SMC Office of Continuing and Community Education, (310) 434-3400.

For course descriptions and an online demonstration, www.efs.pageout.net

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