Careers

The Department of Exercise Science has unique career preparation and outcomes for each of its specializations.

Athletic Training

Departmental Career Overview

Southern’s Athletic Training Program is designed to prepare its graduates to meet the increasing demands of the athletic training profession. Transitioning itself into an entry-level master’s degree from its roots as the longest accredited undergraduate program in Connecticut, the curriculum offers coursework and clinical experiences that will prepare its graduates for the many traditional and emerging professional settings such as college, high school, occupational/industrial, and physician-based practice. Whether through our accelerated athletic training or our traditional two-year MAT program, our graduates engage in reflective evidenced-based practice in care of patients and clients.

General Career Assistance

You'll work with departmental faculty to receive career assistance through academic advising and through your clinical experiences; attending local, regional, and national conferences; and the network of professional contacts of program faculty. Students are contacted through direct interaction and email, while graduates are informed of professional opportunities through our alumni social media site. Additionally, the Office of Career and Professional Development is available to provide various levels of focused career assistance. You should visit the Office of Career and Professional Development throughout your tenure at Southern.

Internship and Experiential Learning Opportunities

Our students have the opportunity to gain extensive clinical experience during their time at Southern. Students in our graduate program complete four eight-week immersive experiences during their two years of graduate study. These 32 weeks of intensive hands-on clinical experience exceed the four-week national accreditation requirement.

During this time, students function and learn under a series of athletic training professionals, physicians, and other health care professionals. They practice and master their skills in the areas of injury prevention, clinical diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. In addition to local high schools and colleges, they gain valuable experiences at occupational, rehabilitation clinics, physician offices, and surgical observations.

Some of our clinical sites include:

  • Albertus Magnus College
  • Amity Physical Therapy
  • Branford High School
  • East Haven High School
  • Hopkins School
  • Shelton High School
  • Southern Connecticut State University
  • University of New Haven

Human Performance

Our concentration in human performance is a non-teaching Bachelor of Science option for Exercise Science majors. The curriculum provides students with an understanding of the exercise sciences, which include physiology of exercise, biomechanics, exercise testing and prescription, pathophysiology, nutrition and exercise, strength and conditioning, and psychology of sport. The required six-credit internship provides the student an opportunity to apply scientific course work principles in an exercise/fitness, clinical, or strength-and-conditioning setting. Human Performance graduates are prepared for a variety of employment opportunities or graduate schooling detailed below:

Pre-Professional Health Science Advising

The Human Performance Program embraces the Exercise is Medicine™ initiative from the American College of Sports Medicine, which encourages the institution of physical activity as part of a health care provider’s treatment plan. The Exercise Science-Human Performance major prepares students for a wide range of graduate programs in the health sciences. These programs include professional graduate education in physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, and chiropractic.

Professional Exercise Sciences Advising

The major also prepares students to enter careers in exercise/sport performance physiology, strength and conditioning, personal training, cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation, biomechanics, nutrition, adolescent wellness, and sport psychology.

Please contact Dr. William Lunn, undergraduate program coordinator of the Exercise Science-Human Performance program, to schedule a meeting to discuss your professional interests and how we can help you prepare for your professional future.

General Career Assistance

SCSU students have the opportunity to work collaboratively with department faculty to receive career assistance through academic advising sessions, academic coursework, the Exercise Physiology club, and departmental events throughout the year. Additionally, the Office of Career and Professional Development is available to provide various levels of focused career assistance.

Practicum (Internship) Opportunities

Students gain and apply experience in clinical and performance movement science through a variety of opportunities within the Greater New Haven area, the State of Connecticut, New England region, and throughout the United States. A sample of student opportunities include the following:

  • Strength and conditioning (SCSU, Yale, UNH, Quinnipiac, UConn)
  • Applied performance physiology (Olympic Training Center – Lake Placid, N.Y.)
  • Clinical and exercise performance research (Yale - John B. Pierce Lab; SCSU Human Performance Lab)
  • Clinical exercise physiology – Cardiac Rehabilitation (Griffin Hospital, Yale New Haven Hospital)
  • Personal training (SCSU Fitness Center, Ranfone Training Systems)
  • Pediatric physiology (Yale School of Medicine Bright Bodies program)

Success Stories of Recent Graduates

Graduates of the Human Performance Program have the opportunity to work full time or attend graduate school after graduation. Sample graduates have transitioned to the following roles:

  • Wellness operations coordinator, ESPN
  • Head track and field coach, University of New Haven
  • Project manager, Joslin Diabetes Center
  • Echosonographer, Yale New Haven Hospital
  • Research associate, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine
  • Exercise physiologist, Griffin Hospital
  • Program coordinator and certified exercise physiologist, Yale School of Medicine
  • Admission to Doctor of Physical Therapy programs:
    o University of Southern California
    o Columbia University
    o University of Connecticut
    o University of Rhode Island
    o MGH Institute of Health Professions
    o Baylor University
  • Admission to Master of Occupational Therapy programs:
    o Columbia University
    o Sacred Heart University
    o Stony Brook University
  • Admission to Master of Science in Physician Assistant programs:
    o University of Bridgeport

Respiratory Care

Program Career Overview

The AS-to-BSRT program is designed to enhance the student’s professional career in Respiratory Therapy. The curriculum provides students who hold Associate degree in the field of respiratory care and RRT certification, with the necessary skills and knowledge to be fully prepared to further assume professional leadership roles in clinical practice, research, education, marketing and management.

Mission Statement

The mission of the AS-to-BSRT Program in Respiratory Care at SCSU is to provide sound instruction and resources for currently practicing respiratory care professionals, to enable students to develop the knowledge, skills, attitude, and critical thinking necessary to function as successful and competent respiratory therapists. The AS-to-BSRT Program in Respiratory Care at SCSU fosters and promotes these important concepts through the advancement of education, teaching excellence, practice, research, community engagement and a commitment to lifelong learning.

Career Growth

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increased incidence of respiratory conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Respiratory therapists treat and monitor newborns for breathing disorders. A neonatal RT might monitor the breathing of premature babies, treat infants born with pulmonary diseases or disorders, or respond to the unique respiratory care needs of an infant in an emergency.

In addition, advances in preventing and detecting disease, improved medications, and more sophisticated treatments will increase the demand for respiratory therapists. Other conditions affecting the general population, such as smoking, air pollution, and respiratory emergencies, will continue to create demand for respiratory therapists.

Success Stories of Recent Graduates

Graduates of the AS-to-BSRT program have recently transitioned into the following roles:

  • Senior ECMO specialist, Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Lead respiratory therapist, Backus Hospital
  • Level II RRT, Yale New Haven Hospital

School Health Education

Departmental Career Overview

The School Health Education Program at Southern provides students with professional and educational experiences that promote positive health and educational outcomes for young people. Attaining health literacy and life-long healthy behaviors is essential for contributing to a healthy and productive society. The Program prepares students as leaders to coordinate, teach, and advocate for health education in and out of school settings. Such programs positively influence the well-being of children, families and communities.  

General Career Assistance

SCSU students have the opportunity to work collaboratively with department faculty to receive career assistance through academic advising session, academic coursework, and departmental events throughout the year. These opportunities are advertised via email. Additionally, the Office of Career and Professional Development is available to provide various levels of focused career assistance. Students should visit the Office of Career and Professional Development throughout their tenure at SCSU.

Experiential Learning Opportunities  

Students gain and apply insight through a variety of ways within the State of Connecticut, New England region, and throughout the United States. A sample of student opportunities include the following:

  • Service learning -– SCSU students have the opportunity to apply health education skills and content while serving local school districts and communities throughout the state.
  • Professional Growth – SCSU students are directly obtaining knowledge, skills, and competency acquisition in a variety of professional settings including, governmental and non-governmental organizations, local school boards of education, school districts, businesses, and community-based organizations.
  • Independent Study – SCSU students have the opportunity to develop new knowledge and scholarly inquiries within a topical area of their choice under the guidance and supervision of faculty members.
  • Student Research – SCSU students have the opportunity to work collaboratively with current faculty within their areas of expertise. Students have the opportunities to learn and apply skills within such areas as the link between health and achievement, health equity, current trends and contemporary issues in health and education, and health literacy.

Success Stories of Graduates

Graduates of the School Health Education MS Program emerge with skills and knowledge to lead, develop, and deliver such programs. Sample graduates have transitioned to the following roles:

  • Supervisor for health education and physical education, Connecticut Technical High Schools
  • Teacher of health education and physical education, numerous school districts in and out of state
  • Health educators for community- and school-based settings
  • Executive director of school administrator’s organization
  • School administrators
  • Supervisor for health education and physical education, numerous school districts in the state
  • School nurse supervisor
  • Police officer, community educator

Physical Education Teacher Education

Departmental Career Overview

The Physical Education Teacher Education Program, within the Exercise Science Department at Southern Connecticut State University, is designed to prepare students to teach physical education in PK-12 public and private schools. Successful completion of this program fulfills the academic requirements of the Connecticut initial educator certificate for PK-12 physical education. The program includes multiple opportunities to gain real-life field experience throughout the student’s matriculation, including 16 weeks of full-time teaching during the culminating student teaching experience. Course instruction is provided by experienced, dynamic faculty who have a sincere interest in each student’s development. The Physical Education Teacher Education Program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and fulfills all standards established by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America). Additional certification to teach school health education is available as an option for students.

General Career Assistance

SCSU students have the opportunity to work collaboratively with department faculty to receive career assistance through academic advising sessions, academic coursework, the Physical Education Club, and departmental events throughout the year. Additionally, the Office of Career and Professional Development is available to provide various levels of focused career assistance. Students should visit the Office of Career and Professional Development throughout their tenure at SCSU.

Internship and Experiential Learning Opportunities

A staple of the SCSU Physical Education Teacher Education Program is providing teacher candidates with real-life field experiences from the moment they enter the program. Teacher candidates participate in over 300 hours of field experiences before their student teaching semester! Students are provided opportunities to work with a variety of physical education and health education teachers at all levels (elementary school, middle school, and high school), and in a variety of urban and rural environments within the Greater New Haven area, the State of Connecticut, and the New England region. Student field experience opportunities include the following:

  • Introductory Field Experiences
    • EXS 191 – Introduction to Exercise Science – During the course, teacher candidates accumulate twenty (20) total hours of field experiences within multiple areas of Exercise Science.
    • EXS 291 – Exploring Teaching in Physical Education – Teacher candidates accumulate fifteen hours (15) of field experiences within a physical education teaching setting during this course. The teacher candidates observe and assist in routine tasks.  This course also provides guided teaching experiences with peers.
    • EXS 292 – Instructional Strategies for Physical Education – Teacher candidates spend an entire semester at a local school receiving a “world of work” experience through planning and teaching lessons in live teaching settings, all with guidance and supervision.
  • Intermediate Field Experiences –
    • EXS 350 – Teaching Physical Fitness – Within this course, teacher candidates visit numerous schools throughout the area teaching health-related fitness lessons, assisting in the administration of the Connecticut Physical Fitness Assessments, and promoting physical activity for PK-12 students in a variety of ways throughout the schools.
    • EXS 483 – Adapted Physical Education – In this setting, the teacher candidates observe, assist and teach activities and classes to students with special needs.
  • Advanced Field Experiences –
    • EXS 394 – Physical Education (Elementary School) and EXS 495 – Physical Education (Secondary School) – Teacher candidates are placed with PK-12 physical education teachers who will supervise them during their student teaching experiences during the following spring semester. Teacher candidates spend every Tuesday and Thursday at their student teaching sites (approximately 192 hours of experience in PK-12 schools). 
    • EXS 452 – Elementary Physical Education Student Teaching and EXS 453 – Secondary Physical Education Student Teaching – Teacher candidates spend 8 weeks at their elementary placement and 8 weeks at their secondary placement filling the roles and responsibilities of a full time physical education teacher. Teacher candidates work with the physical education/mentor teacher at each placement to experience and learn how to teach physical education full time.  
  • Volunteer opportunities – SCSU students have the opportunity to work collaboratively with current faculty within their areas of expertise. Students have the opportunities to learn and apply skills within the areas such as physical education, health education, physical activity, and/or coaching.

Success Stories of Recent Graduates

Graduates of the SCSU Physical Education Teacher Education Program have the opportunity to apply for their Connecticut initial educator certificate for PK-12 physical education and work full-time in PK-12 public or private school settings as physical education teachers. Graduates may also go on to work in related fields, such as physical fitness, physical activity leaders, and/or athletic coaches. Graduates of our program have the option to apply for a cross-endorsement in health education to add to their initial educator certificate. This allows graduates to work full-time in PK-12 public or private school settings as health education teachers. Some graduates of our program who have obtained positions within the physical education, physical fitness, physical activity, and/or coaching fields include:

  • Tara (Wener) Napolitano – Physical education teacher, New York City School District
  • Colleen Delaney – Owner and general manager, Greenwich Crossfit
  • Paul Templeton – Assistant soccer coach, Southern Connecticut State University 
  • AJ Huston – Physical education teacher, Geraldine Claytor Magnet School (Bridgeport)
  • Mary Glickman – Physical education teacher, East Rock Community Magnet School (New Haven)
  • Kristyna (Bertolone) Templeton – Physical education teacher, Spring Glen School (Hamden)
  • Michael Cebula – Physical education teacher, Hamden High School
  • Jason Cebula – Physical education teacher, Hamden Middle School
  • Brian Faust – Physical education teacher, Darien Middle School

Many of our graduates have been recognized by the Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (CTAHPERD).  Some of our graduates who have been recognized include:   

  • Dan Kahl – CTAHPERD Adapted Teacher of the Year – Benhaven School
  • Michael Fraioli – CTAHPERD Outstanding Young Professional – Veterans Park Elementary School (Ridgefield)
  • Amanda Mantello – CTAHPERD Outstanding Program – West Shore Middle School (Milford)
  • Danielle (Tammaro) McCauley – CTAHPERD Outstanding Program – Pomperaug High School