Personal Training Certificate

Personal Training at Harper College

Get an introduction to the fitness industry

Program facts  Liberal Arts icon


  • Credit hours: 27
  • Stackable to degree: No
  • Potential job outcomes: Personal trainer

Become a personal trainer with this 27-credit-hour program. This program can be completed in two consecutive semesters, and will teach you about the structure and function of the human body, exercise techniques, nutrition, and more.

The program is designed for the student to gain practical experience working with clients under the supervision of faculty who are certified as personal trainers.

Employment opportunities include personal training or positions available at health clubs, wellness centers, corporate fitness facilities, medical centers and senior centers.

Certificate program requirements

This 27 credit-hour program prepares the student for entry-level employment in the fitness industry as a personal trainer with the option to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science, Kinesiology, Physical Education or Sports Medicine, or continue in Allied Health. The program can be completed in two consecutive semesters and prepares students to pass a national certification exam from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

The curriculum emphasizes the application of the structure and function of the human body as it applies to movement integrating physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, nutrition, psychology, and methodologies of exercise technique and programming. The program provides students with a comprehensive learning environment including practicum experiences, laboratory instruction, and face-to-face classroom interaction. The program is designed for the student to gain practical experience working with clients under the supervision of faculty who are certified as personal trainers.

Employment opportunities include personal training or positions available at health clubs, wellness centers, corporate fitness facilities, medical centers and senior centers.

Required:

Number Course Title Credits
DIT 101 3

Description: Introduces the science of nutrition and its relationship to health and disease. Nutrients found in foods, their digestion, absorption and metabolism by the body; cultural, socioeconomic and psychological influences on food selection; and application of these concepts to promote good nutritional health and prevent disease will be covered.

KIN 111 1

Description: Provides the basic knowledge of the proper use of weight training equipment. Students will learn about the specific muscle groups used during weight training and the different methods of developing muscular strength and endurance. Students will also be able to apply the principles that they have learned and ultimately develop their own individualized program. This class is designed for students who are able to safely participate in cardiorespiratory and resistance activities and may include the use of equipment. This class is not designed for students who may have known heart, pulmonary, metabolic, physiological diseases and/ or orthopedic challenges. By registering for this class, you assume the full risk of any injuries, damages or loss which may be sustained and are responsible for any associated medical costs or individual damages.

KIN 202 1 3

Description: Provides a comprehensive first aid course which is taught under the guidelines of the American Heart Association (AHA). This course includes the American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) component, which covers adult, child and infant Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). This course is designed to prepare students to respond to emergency situations with confidence in their ability to perform the necessary skills. Two certificates are issued (Basic Life Support (BLS) and Heartsaver FirstAid) after successful completion of the skills and written tests.

KIN 214 2

Description: Provides practical instruction for the safe and effective execution of resistance exercise for all of the major joints of the body. Introduces students to basic strength training techniques and principles with functional anatomy. Exposes students to a variety of forms of resistance training. Emphasizes coaching and instruction of exercise with correction of errors and progression strategies.

Prerequisite: KIN 111 and prior or concurrent enrollment in KIN 236 OR BIO 135 or BIO 160.

KIN 230 3

Description: Provides an understanding of the physiological response and adaptation to exercise and other environmental stresses. Topics related to neuromuscular adaptation, metabolism, cardiorespiratory physiology, and hormonal responses will be examined. In addition, the physiological effects of age, gender, body composition, and the environment on human performance will be discussed.

Prerequisite: Placement into ENG 101. For placement options, please visit ENG_Placement_Grid_17_18.pdf

KIN 231 3

Description: Provides students with a study of the basic scientific components of physical fitness. Includes the measurement of different indices of fitness common to corporate, clinical, and lab settings. Addresses principles of exercise programming. Test results are used in developing individualized exercise prescriptions to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness, body composition, and flexibility.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in KIN 230 with a grade of C or better.

KIN 234 3

Description: Provides students experience with practical application of knowledge and hands-on skills in working with a diverse clientele. Students will conduct fitness assessments, design exercise programs, instruct clients in safe and effective program implementation, and evaluate the effectiveness of exercise regimens specific to client needs in a supervised fitness setting. The course includes a campus-based lecture series that provides review and supplemental knowledge of the personal training profession, with an emphasis on national certification exam preparation. Valid Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED certification through the American Heart Association is required to participate in this course.

Prerequisite: KIN 231 with a grade of C or better.

KIN 236 3

Description: Examines the structural and functional components of the human musculoskeletal system as it relates to normal and abnormal movement. Addresses joint structure and function, forces that effect motion and the resultant kinematics. Emphasis is on musculoskeletal anatomy.

Prerequisite: Placement into ENG 101. Also BIO 135, BIO 160 or equivalent is recommended. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf

SPE 101 3

Description: Theory and practice of oral communications. Development of poise, confidence and skill in speech organization and delivery. Emphasis on frequent speaking, development of standards of criticism and selection and organization of material. IAI C2 900

Electives: Students must complete three credit hours from the following list of courses:

Number Course Title Credits
BIO 160 4

Description: Introduces the anatomy of the human body; the following systems studied either regionally or systemically: integumentary, skeletal, articular, muscular, circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, respiratory, digestive, excretory, endocrine and reproductive. Includes some introductory histology. Specially designed for students in health careers, biology, and physical education. Strongly recommended preparation: One year of high school biology with a grade of C or better taken within the last five years, or BIO 110. (NOTE: Lab science credit.)

Prerequisite: Placement into ENG 101. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf

BIO 161 4

Description: Emphasizes physiological principles at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and system level, as they pertain to the human organism. The following systems are studied in detail: skeletal, muscular, circulatory, nervous, digestive, respiratory, urinary, reproductive and endocrine. In this course, special applications will be made to meet the needs of students in health careers, biology and physical education.(NOTE: Lab science credit.)

Prerequisite: BIO 160 with a grade of C or better, or consent of instructor.

HED 200 3

Description: Provides an in-depth look at the physical, psychological, emotional, social, spiritual and environmental factors which contribute to the overall quality of a person’s life. An investigation of how our lifestyle compares with other people in the world and the role and impact of the World Health Organization is emphasized. Mental health, nutrition, fitness, communicable and non-communicable diseases, killer diseases, drugs, human sexuality, family living (marriage, divorce, parenting), middle and old age issues and death and dying are some of the topics covered. Physical and psychological assessments are included in this class.

HED 204 3

Description: Focuses on health issues as they pertain to women and the barriers unique to women in gaining a higher status. Includes physical, mental and spiritual aspects of health; women's anatomy and physiology; pregnancy, childbirth and infertility; violence against women; body image and eating disorders; and societal, historical and political influences of the global woman. Discusses the detection, treatment and prevention of illnesses in women.

HSC 112 2

Description: Emphasizes the origin and the basic structure of medical words, including prefixes, suffixes, word roots, combining forms and plurals. Offers pronunciation, spelling, and definition of medical terms based on the body systems approach. Emphasis on rendering a professional vocabulary required for work in the health care field.

KIN 200 3

Description: Provides a fundamental introduction to the academic content areas that make up the discipline of kinesiology, including: anatomy & physiology, exercise science, biomechanics, motor control & learning, psychology and sociology. Introduces the professional field of kinesiology and looks at career paths within the major such as: Rehabilitation, Sports Management, Personal Training, and Physical Education. This course assesses students' personal traits and professional skill sets, with emphasis on development for increased candidacy in academic and/or professional pursuits related to the field of kinesiology.

KIN 203 3

Description: Provides students with the knowledge of how to become fit and well and the information and tools which will assist them in formulating a personal fitness/wellness program. The course will cover physical fitness, nutrition, weight management, addictive behaviors, diseases which are lifestyle related and stress management. Students are actively involved in their learning process through the use of computers and lab sessions and will be required to attend weekly workout sessions in the fitness center. This class is designed for students who are able to safely participate in cardiorespiratory and resistance activities and may include the use of equipment. This class is not designed for students who may have known heart, pulmonary, metabolic, physiological diseases and/ or orthopedic challenges. By registering for this class, you assume the full risk of any injuries, damages or loss which may be sustained and are responsible for any associated medical costs or individual damages.

KIN 223 3

Description: Provides an overview of sport and exercise psychology by focusing on human behavior in certain types of situations in sport and exercise settings. Examines what motivates people, how they regulate their thoughts, feelings and emotions and how their behaviors can become more effective. Also teaches students how to apply these psychological concepts.

PSY 101 3

Description: Investigates human and animal behavior with emphasis on the scientific nature of contemporary and classic psychological investigation. Emphasizes psychological theories, principles, and research applications. Introduces the divisions of the American Psychological Association. References biological processes, sensation, perception, learning, memory, thinking, emotional life, mental disorders, intelligence, aptitude, personality, development, daily life and everyday problems. IAI S6 900

1 - Students who currently have American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) and Heartsaver First Aid certificates may choose to substitute a 3 credit hour course from the list of electives in place of KIN 202.

Next steps

For more information about personal training courses at Harper College, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.