The Fitness Specialist Certificate of Proficiency is designed for those who wish to find or build upon a career as a personal trainer in the  growing fitness industry.  Students will gain knowledge and develop hands on practical skills in exercise anatomy, basic and advanced exercise training techniques, health and nutrition, sport injury care, and exercise prescription and program design. After completing the courses for this certificate of proficiency, students will be prepared to take a national, accredited certification exam for personal trainers.

Program contact: Learn more

This certificate will be automatically awarded when the certificate requirements are completed. If you do not want to receive the certificate, please notify the Office of the Registrar at

Learn more about how certificate credits apply to the related degree.

Program Admissions Requirements

  • High School diploma/GED equivalency/approved College Credit Plus (CCP) student
  • ENG-0995 Applied College Literacies or appropriate score on English placement test


  • Students in the Fitness Specialist, Certificate of Proficiency must achieve a grade of "C" or better in all SES-courses in order to remain in good academic standing and progress through the certificate of proficiency.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes: 

  1. Effectively demonstrate and safely teach a variety of exercise modalities.
  2. Effectively demonstrate and safely teach basic exercise sessions.
  3. Effectively educate, motivate and communicate healthy lifestyle behavior modifications.
  4. Perform safe and ethical practices in a variety of sport, health and fitness-related settings within industry standards.
  5. Demonstrate skill in designing, planning, marketing and administering effective fitness, recreational, sport, and wellness activities and programs. 
  6. Show proficiency in functional anatomy, exercise physiology, nutrition, weight management, health promotion, training instruction, health screenings, fitness assessments and exercise prescription to be prepared to sit for an accredited Personal Trainer certification exam.
Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
SES-1001 Introduction to Sport and Exercise Studies 1 2
SES-1040 Teaching Exercise Training Techniques 1 3
SES-2000 Essentials of Sports Injury Care 1 3
SES-2010 Exercise and Movement Anatomy 1 3
HLTH-1100 Personal Health Education 3
Select one of the following: 1
Standard First Aid and Personal Safety
CPR-AED for Healthcare Professionals
Select one of the following: 1-2
Weight Training
Personal Fitness
Personal Strength Development
 Credit Hours16-17
Second Semester
SES-2300 Personal Training Certification Preparation 1 3
SES-2310 Advanced Training Concepts and Techniques 1 3
Select one of the following: 3
Fitness and Wellness Coaching 1
Health and Wellness Coach Certification Prep 1, 2
SES-2xxxElective 1 3
SES-2xxxElective 1 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours31-32

Must achieve a grade of "C" or higher in all SES courses in order to remain in good academic standing and progress through the program.


Highly recommend SES 2500 for students looking to gain eligibility for the National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) credential.

MATH-1140, MATH-1141, MATH-1200, MATH-1270, and MATH-1280 can no longer count towards fulfilling the college-level mathematics requirement.  These courses were re-classified as developmental mathematics by the state of Ohio in 2016.  Tri-C established a 5-year transitioning window for students who had completed these courses prior to 2016 to apply them towards meeting graduation requirements, which expired in Summer 2021. It is highly recommended to see a counselor to determine the appropriate math required for your current major.