Central College is at the forefront of the strength and conditioning field, not only in providing sophisticated and highly individualized training programs for athletes but with an academic component through a unique strength and conditioning major within the kinesiology program. Through classroom study and practicums, Central’s program prepares students for professional opportunities. Many other colleges and universities hire Central College graduates to lead their own strength and conditioning programs.
In 2022, Central’s strength and conditioning program became the first college in Iowa to earn accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Strength and Conditioning Programs — demonstrating Central’s commitment to the highest standard of excellence for its students, faculty and athletes. This process ensures that Central graduates are well prepared to enter the strength and conditioning profession with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to meet industry standards and keep athletes safe.
In 2023, the program earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of the Exercise Sciences. Central’s kinesiology program is the only accredited program in Iowa and one of 99 in the nation.
To practice as a strength and conditioning coach, you must first pass the NSCA’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist examination. In this exam, you will be required to demonstrate competency in many areas, including anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, strength and conditioning. Each student will go through a series of hands-on practicum classes. The practicum classes take place in the Schipper Fitness Center weight room.
You’ll spend a great deal of time in the Ron Schipper Fitness Center, which features a 2,000-square-foot strength and conditioning area. In Central’s state-of-the-art kinesiology building, the Helen Jean Hislop Center, you’ll find a dedicated classroom that features taping stations and exam tables instead of desks. The human performance lab features a hydrostatic underwater weighing tank, one of only three in the Midwest. The building uses LCD screens and classroom capture technology.
Central students conducted research in biology, chemistry, genetics, kinesiology and musical theatre over the summer.
Strength and conditioning students are asked to become members of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the professional group that strength and conditioning coaches work with.
No matter what your interests are, Central has a student group for you! Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.
Formal application to the strength and conditioning program occurs during students’ first year at Central. To enter the program, students must complete prerequisites from the kinesiology department, maintain at least a 2.7 GPA and complete an interview and the required experiences in the strength and conditioning room.
Students progress through an educational sequence that stresses critical thinking skills. Clinical skills are evaluated regularly by faculty and healthcare professionals throughout the four years. The strength and conditioning program is affiliated with kinesiology.
Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.
Central students consistently excel on the Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) Exam, far outperforming the National Pass Rate.
|Graduates taking exam||5||1||1||7|
|Graduates passing exam on first attempt||3||1||1||5|
|First attempt pass rate||60%||100%||100%||71%|
|Overall pass rate||100%||83%||100%||94%|
|Student graduation rate||100%||100%||100%||100%|