Past Features

February 23, 2009 (Vol. 9, No. 3)

Lehman Offers New Program in Exercise Science; Aims at Promoting Better Health for the Borough—and Beyond

Lehman College has introduced a new degree program in exercise science to help meet the growing need for skilled professionals in areas like physical fitness and community health education. The goal is a healthier borough, city and nation.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported in 2003 that Bronx residents have the greatest percentage of obesity and diabetes in New York City. Across the city, more than 20 percent of elementary school students have a body mass index above the 95th percentile, and 31 percent of that group are Hispanic—an alarming indicator for the Bronx, where Hispanics make up the majority of students.

"Our goal is the promotion of a healthier nation through exercise and wellness programs," said Dr. Gul Tiryaki Sonmez, coordinator of the new program. "This major, which ties together anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, nutrition and exercise, also is an excellent way to tap into a plentiful job market."

Students will be prepared for positions in corporate and community fitness programs, health clubs and similar fitness-related industries, as well as for graduate studies. They also will be prepared to receive certification from the American College of Sports Medicine. The first group of students in the new program began classes this semester.

The third such program within CUNY and the second in the Bronx, the degree is designed to satisfy the criteria for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Unlike degree programs that combine exercise science with nutrition or physical education, Lehman's B.S. in exercise science is the only undergraduate program in New York City that focuses its curriculum solely on exercise science.