Recreation: Exercise Studies
Physical fitness is a fast-growing, popular and necessary field in America and around the world. The Recreation: Exercise Studies degree program is designed to prepare students for careers in public or private fitness centers, YMCA’s, hospitals, and other wellness centers. Students will develop a foundation for fitness assessments, exercise program, aerobics, personal training, recreation leadership skills and knowledge required to be an effective and competent fitness leader, to apply for certification from several different national accredited fitness agencies. Students will graduate with a background in the liberal arts and sciences; they will also be prepared for transfer to a Fitness or Recreation related baccalaureate degree program and to work effectively and safely in the field. Students considering this program should note the intensity of coursework and with all exercise programs, a complete physical exam by a licensed health professional is strongly recommended prior to starting this program.
Graduates are employed in a variety of settings, including Curves For Women, the YMCA (Cortland), the YWCA (Cortland), Finger Lakes Fitness (Ithaca), Cortland Fitness Center (Cortland), Littlefield’s Personal Training (Ithaca), Anytime Fitness Center (Cortland), Nautilus Fitness Center (Binghamton), and the YMCA (Johnson City). Local and national opportunities also include Gold’s Gym, and Bally’s Total Fitness.
Explore more careers related to all of the Recreation programs and learn more about related jobs:
When I was completing my undergraduate degrees in Recreation, Outdoor Management, and Leisure Commercial Management at Lock Haven University, I stumbled across a sign while rock climbing during spring break at Seneca Rocks in WV. It read, “Here ends the Realm of the Hiker...” As an Outdoor Educator and Associate Professor, I heed the message from this sign as I help people overcome their own challenges to experience something greater or more intense in the field of Recreation and Leisure Studies.
PATTY TVAROHA, MAAE
Associate Professor, Human Services
Patty Tvaroha is a proud alumnus of Tompkins Cortland’s Human Services program. After graduating from Tompkins Cortland in 1998, Patty transferred to SUNY Cortland to become the first student to complete the two plus two articulation agreement and earn a BS in Human Services.
The program provides a strong foundation for transfer as a junior to a four-year college.
For specific transfer information, contact the Counseling, Career, and Transfer Services office. Potential graduate transfer options include
- SUNY College at Brockport
- SUNY College at Cortland
- CUNY Brooklyn College
- Ithaca College
- Lock Haven University
- SUNY Morrisville State College
Grad of Note - Deanna Kilanowski
Why did you choose to attend Tompkins Cortland?
TC3 is close to home and offers many courses online, allowing for a lot of scheduling flexibility.
Who at TC3 had the greatest positive impact on your experience?
I've always liked my classes with Tammi Young. It's great to see fierce, passionate women in your field.
What were your extracurricular involvements at and how did they contribute to your college experience/future aspirations?
I participated in an outdoor club and a few volunteer activities (food drives, leadership activities, etc.) when my schedule allowed. I think these helped to cement my dream of doing something that will help people in some way.
What are your next steps after graduation (employment, transfer, etc) and how did the College prepare you for that?
My plan is to transfer to SUNY Cortland to continue education in this field. Patrick Mercer did a great job advising me on who to talk to and what to expect in this process; he was able to introduce me to the chair of the Therapeutic Recreation department who, in turn, was able to give me a lot of beneficial information about programs and opportunities available. Pat was the one who helped me figure out that therapeutic recreation was the field I wanted to be in, when it had previously been a big, nameless idea floating around in my head.
Chad Miller is a 30-year-old Army National Guard Veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Now in his last semester at Tompkins Cortland, he has made a lasting impression, currently serving on the board as Student Trustee. Still, even having faced combat, the experience has challenged him in new ways, like when he stepped out of his comfort zone to speak at the inauguration of President Orinthia Montague. Mostly though, higher education and recreation have both presented a natural fit. The commitment and work ethic they demand are nothing new. Next up? The nutrition program at Syracuse he hopes, and a career as a registered dietitian.
Symphony Howe is a working mother of two. She is also a second-degree black belt, self-defense instructor, and NETA certified personal trainer, graduating in May. Already accepted at SUNY Cortland to pursue Exercise Science in the Fall, she hopes to continue on to become a physical therapist. It is a field she felt drawn to after finding something less than fulfilling about her desk job in construction. Practicing martial arts since 2012 and seeing a physical therapist after a hip injury, she finally felt the pieces fall into place when she considered taking health and fitness from an after-hours hobby to a full-time career.