To help reach your professional goals, the ESS program at Western provides you with a unique educational experience, including:
- Caring, student-centered faculty, who are accessible, approachable, and possess a wide range of expertise and professional experience
- Small classes that ensure individual attention, including personalized one-on-one advising
- An engaging learning environment, including multiple opportunities for "hands-on," applied learning and undergraduate research
- Opportunities for professional networking, including conference attendance, and internships
- The High Altitude Performance Lab, with state-of-the-art, exercise-testing equipment
- Advising for graduate school and entry-level careers in ESS
- Preparation for industry certifications
- ASESS student majors club
What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?
The ESS program helps you develop knowledge and skills required to complete nationally accredited certifications with the American College of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association, American Council on Exercise, National Association of Sports Medicine and/or USA Weightlifting. K-12 physical education majors will be prepared for Department of Education licensure requirements.
You’ll have the chance to work in our High Altitude Performance Laboratory through coursework, volunteer work and undergraduate research opportunities. In addition to acquiring a variety of exercise testing skills, you’ll build communication, critical thinking, writing, and problem-solving skills working with individuals of all ages to develop and implement evidence-based activity and nutrition plans for healthy living.
Beyond the Classroom
Our program prepares students for leadership roles in the development and administration of fitness, wellness and sport programs in both private and public sectors through practicum, internship and field experiences. Through community partnerships, we have placed students in hospitals, assisted living centers, adaptive sport programs, worksite health promotion programs, commercial fitness centers, sport and exercise performance laboratories, community parks and recreation programs, as well as intercollegiate and professional sport organizations. Students have learning opportunities outside the Gunnison Valley, including trips to the United States Olympic Committee training facilities and professional sport venues, such as the Pepsi Center and Sports Authority Field.
Internship supervisors consistently describe our students as well as, or more prepared than undergraduate students from other institutions. Many students are hired following the conclusion of an internship.
ESS students have opportunities for service learning through initiatives such as Gunnison Community School health screening, Gunnison Valley Health annual health fair, adult fitness & wellness programming, and work with local nonprofit organizations, such as Gunnison Country Mentors, Six Points Evaluation and Training, and City of Gunnison Parks & Recreation. s.
Students with a major or minor in ESS can pursue entry-level careers in teaching, fitness, sport and wellness in both private and public sectors. Other students pursue graduate degrees in areas such as physical therapy (DPT), exercise physiology, nutrition, athletic training, cardiac rehabilitation, sport psychology, teacher education, sport administration or other allied-health fields. Western is currently the only school in Colorado with a 3+1 agreement with the Palmer College of Chiropractic, allowing Western students who meet eligibility requirements to enroll at Palmer after three years at Western, completing the Western degree after the first year of Chiropractic school.
If you're interested in Western's ESS program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family.
Share your interest with friends and family:
- Get more information about the program.
- Schedule a campus visit so you can meet professors, see the beautiful Gunnison Valley, and find out if Western is the perfect school for you.
- Start the online application process - apply online now.
- Find scholarships, grants, or financial aid that match your interests and situation.