N.C. A&T Announces Departmental Name Change to Kinesiology

By Jackie Torok / 12/17/2020 College of Health and Human Sciences, Kinesiology

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Dec. 17, 2020) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s nationally recognized Department of Human Performance and Leisure Studies has been renamed the Department of Kinesiology.

North Carolina A&T ranks No. 2 in the United States in graduation of African American bachelor’s degree earners in this discipline, and was ranked No. 1 last year. It is one of A&T’s most popular majors, with its strong connection to careers in health-related professions.

The name change was initiated to reflect the approval of the new B.S. in Kinesiology, which replaces the B.S. in Sports Science and Fitness Management. The renamed department remains in the College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS).

“Both changes will enhance students’ understanding of their field, degree, possible future work options, and the connection to graduate fields of study,” said Lenora R. Campbell, Ph.D., CHHS dean. “These changes will also make it easier to identify and achieve accreditation status, an important goal of the department and one which will position both the program and students for greater success.”

Additionally, the changes demonstrate an increase in academic rigor to prepare students for graduate study and a wider variety of careers, reinforcing the commitment to improving diversity and addressing disparities in health care.

“Kinesiology students will be more competitive as the program will broaden their views of the field, give them more experiences in lab settings, and provide rigorous internship and research opportunities where they will be able to use the hours of experience they have earned to sit for national certification exams,” said Robert Lyons Jr., Ph.D., Kinesiology Department chair and associate professor of kinesiology. “Students will also be more competitive for graduate programs in science and management, as well as allied health professional programs.”

The renamed major includes foundational STEM-related classes in biology, chemistry, physics, and statistics. Seventy-five credit hours of exercise science core classes include fitness assessment, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, neuromuscular control, genetics, and exercise physiology. Several laboratory courses also provide students with more practical and extensive hands-on learning experiences.

The program is designed to provide students with the foundation needed to pursue professions such as athletic trainer, occupational therapist, physical therapist, exercise physiologist, cardiac rehabilitation specialist, strength and conditioning coach, nutritionist, personal trainer, athletic director, fitness center manager, health care administrator, and physician assistant – many of which require advanced study and graduate degrees.

“According 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, only 10.2 percent of occupational therapists, 5.9 percent of physical therapists and 4.5 percent of physician assistants are African American,” said Lyons. “Our kinesiology program will serve to increase diversity in the growing fields of exercise science, rehabilitation and health care.”

The new B.S. in Kinesiology offers two concentrations: exercise science, and recreation and sports management. The official implementation date is Jan. 1, 2021.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

College News