Rockford-area students with plans to major in kinesiology now have another option toward NIU Student Career Success.
NIU’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KNPE) has signed a “2+2” agreement with Rock Valley College (RVC) to provide a smooth transition between its associate degree and our bachelor’s degree.
The agreement helps students to identify relevant and recommended RVC coursework that transfers to NIU.
Future Huskies must complete the exercise science option of Rock Valley’s A.A.S. degree in Fitness, Wellness and Sport; with the 2+2 agreement, they are able to earn their NIU bachelor’s degrees within two years.
Chad McEvoy, chair of the NIU KNPE department, said that he and his colleagues at both schools saw not only a pressing need but also an exciting opportunity to provide a strong and comprehensive academic experience.
“More students than ever before are choosing to attend community colleges,” McEvoy said.
“But when community college graduates explore how to continue their higher education at a four-year institution, a major challenge is finding a program that will allow them to count their full two years of community college work toward the four-year bachelor’s degree,” he added. “Our partnership delivers a seamless transition.”
Shaine Henert, professor and chair of the RVC Department of Fitness, Wellness and Sport, said he and his Rock Valley colleagues were motivated by two factors.
“We connected with NIU for the high quality of education we think students will receive, not only at NIU in general but in the Exercise Science program, and we wanted to provide a local option. NIU has a well-established and well-respected program,” Henert said.
“Our students who complete the two-year program are essentially completing the first two years of NIU’s four-year program,” he added, “and when they transfer, this will help them complete the four-year degree in four years.”
Meanwhile, Henert said, the 2+2 makes financial sense for his students.
“Bachelor’s degrees definitely increase their earning potential,” he said. “The majority of our students want to continue on. They understand that with a two-year degree, they’re looking at entry-level positions. With a four-year degree, they have a substantially higher median salary.”
Courses taken at Rock Valley include communication, composition, statistics, life science, anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, psychology, sociology of sport, sport and exercise psychology, exercise and sport science, nutrition for fitness and sport, and nutrition, exercise and weight control.
At NIU, Rock Valley graduates who transfer their credits will enter the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education ready for 300-level courses in the kinesiology major.
Kinesiology majors explore scientific principles that regulate behavior change and performance, such as physiology, biomechanics, psychology, measurement, gerontology and nutrition, while they engage in a variety of clinical experiences and an industry-related internship.
Graduates are equipped to work in a variety of health, wellness and sport performance settings. Students also can prepare for graduate school in exercise physiology, physical therapy, athletic training and sport, and exercise psychology.
The kinesiology major received the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Education Recognition Program award for meeting established criteria in strength and conditioning.
For more information, call 815-753-8285 or email [email protected].