Exercise & Sports Science Program FAQ’s

Should I consider exercise and sport science as a career?

Yes, if you are interested in attaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed as a fitness professional and personal trainer, and are committed to assisting others in improving their health and physical fitness by increasing their participation in safe and effective exercise.

What degrees and certificates do you offer?

The ESS program offers a full-time, two-semester curriculum towards the completion of the Certificate of Achievement in ESS (ESS-C.A.). For those students who want/need to earn an Associates in Science in Exercise and Sport Science degree (ESS-A.S.), The same ESS-C.A. curriculum, plus one additional ESS course, will be required in addition to Program Support and UH General Education courses. Interested students are required to attend either a scheduled information sessions or to schedule an advising appointment with the ESS program director in order to determine which of the two program tracks best fits the student’s academic and career goals.

How do I become an Exercise and Sport Science major?

Students interested in pursuing either the two-semester Certificate of Achievement or the two-year Associate in Science – ESS degree must apply for admittance into the program. The first step is to attend an information session or a scheduled advising meeting with the program director. The second step towards applying for admittance is to apply to attend KCC. A full listing of admissions procedures is found in the Programs Toolbox.

When can I enter the program?

Health Science counselors will accept applications to the ESS program from the first day of the fall semester until April 30th of each academic year.  Applicants who meet all application criteria will be considered and students accepted into the program for the following fall semester will be notified by June 30th.

What should I take in my first semester at KCC?

Recommended course work during the first semester at KCC will depend on the ESS track you choose. The best answer to this FAQ is to attend a scheduled information session or to schedule an advising meeting with the ESS program director to discuss your course schedule. A pdf file containing the schedule of information sessions for the current semester is located in the Programs Toolbox.

Are there minimum entry requirements to the ESS program?

Yes. Students who apply to enter the ESS program must earn a minimum COMPASS Reading score of 74 or higher, or pass ENG 22 or higher, and earn a COMPASS placement score at MATH 24 or pass MATH 24 or higher. Since a student’s COMPASS Reading and MATH scores or the student’s ENGLISH and MATH grades will be required as part of your ESS program application materials, the COMPASS placement tests or course work must be completed by the application deadline.

Do I need to maintain a certain grade and grade point average?

Yes. For the ESS-C.A. and ESS-A.S., you must maintain:

  • A minimum KCC cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (“C” average) and
  • A grade of “C” or better in all ESS courses

[Note]: Entry into the Health Exercise Science degree program at UH Manoa requires a minimum GPA of 2.50.

Are there other requirements?

Yes. You must acquire certification in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Automated External Defibrillator (AED), and First Aid before the 10th week of the fall semester.

Can I work towards completion of the ESS program with a part-time course load?

The ESS program is a full-time course load program. Part-time course completion is not an option.

What is a national certification? Does the ESS curriculum prepare me for it?

Most employers expect fitness professionals to have earned professional certification from a nationally recognized fitness organization. Students will be prepared for and expected to register for a certification exam during the spring semester of their ESS course work.

Are there employment opportunities in this field?

Yes. Students who successfully complete their ESS course work and pass their certification exam may find entry-level employment in fitness centers, health clubs, resorts, military-based fitness programs, community recreational programs and by providing private consulting.

What is the difference between the Certificate of Achievement (ESS-C.A) the Associate in Science degree (ESS-A.S.)?

  • The ESS-C.A. is a full-time, two-semester program designed to provide the practical experiences and theoretical knowledge needed to pass a nationally accredited personal trainer certification and qualify the student for entry-level employment as a personal trainer.
  • The ESS-A.S. degree includes the specialized instruction of the certificate and also the college-level general education and support courses needed for students interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science or another health-related field (e.g. Strength and Conditioning Coach, Athletic Trainer, etc.).

I plan to transfer to a four-year college. Will I be able to apply my Exercise and Sport Science credits to that degree?

Please check with the director of the Exercise and Sport Science program for more information.

I already have a four-year degree. Can I use these credits toward my degree in Exercise and Sport Science?

It may be possible to use credits earned in obtaining other degrees toward the ESS-A.S. College credit earned in a previous degree are evaluated in the same way as other transfer students. An official transcript evaluation determines the credits which can be applied toward your degree in Exercise and Sport Science, and is completed by the Kekaulike Information and Service Center (KISC, Ilima 102) when all your academic materials have been received.

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