The West Virginia University School of Physical Educations Athletic Coaching Education Department is launching its new group fitness instruction minor program with classes starting this summer.

Open to all WVU students, including those outside the School of Physical Education, the minor is designed to prepare students for a professional career in designing and conducting comprehensive group fitness exercise programs.

The minor consists of eight courses and an internship.

Students will demonstrate the necessary professional competencies to design and teach group fitness exercise classes in step, hi/lo, interval and use of resistance equipment using appropriate music tempo and progressive choreography. Students will specialize in fitness yoga, indoor cycling, mat Pilates, kickboxing and aqua fitness.

More specifically, students will design safe and effective group fitness exercise programs that adhere to all codes, laws, regulations and procedures within the recognized scope of practice for group fitness instructors set by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise.

This minor will complement current degrees in the School of Physical Education by strengthening the background of students in athletic coaching education, physical education teacher education and exercise physiology. Currently WVU is one of only two schools in the nation that offers a group fitness minor to prepare students for national certification.

Our new minor goes hand-in-hand with our already established Personal Fitness Trainer Minor, and it will benefit students because of increasing demand for these services,said Nancy Naternicola, instructor and fitness and wellness director for the Stansbury Fitness Center.

This unique contribution to the WVU School of Physical Education will enhance student opportunities in finding employment in the fitness industry, distinguish WVU as a leader in establishing academic opportunities for those who choose to work in the fitness industry and accomplish one of the goals and objectives set forth by President David C. Hardestys WVU Nutrition and Wellness Initiative,she added.

The minor consists of three required courses, three electives and an internship. No pre-requisites are required. Two of the required courses are during the first three weeks of summer, while one is during the last three weeks of summer. Electives are on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) throughout the summer. The internship can be completed any time throughout the year.

Course requirements will be listed on the School of Physical Educations Web site athttp://www.wvu.edu/~physed/. For more information, contact Naternicola at 304-293-3295, ext. 5208.