The Kinesiology Department exists within the College of Natural and Social Sciences. The department houses three major programs: the Athletic Training Program (ATP), Applied Health Science and Exercise and Sport Science; we also offer one minor program in Athletic Coaching. The ATP and Exercise and Sport Science programs offer the Bachelor of Arts degree and the Applied Health Science major offers the Bachelor of Science degree.
The Department of Kinesiology offers students many unique opportunities. As part of the educational program, students participate in practical laboratory and internship programs, observe and participate in hospitals and physical therapy centers, observe surgery and participate in a lecture series with medical doctors and other healthcare experts. Other opportunities include original experience with research under the direct supervision of faculty, sports medicine trips to Europe, and internships in coaching, teaching and with local professional teams and with the Olympic Training Center.
Graduates of the Department of Kinesiology are prepared for a variety of opportunities that await them after leaving Point Loma. Some students become teachers, coaches, or program directors at hospitals and sports clinics. Most students go on to graduate schools in physical therapy, physical education, exercise physiology, physician assistant, and athletic training. Some students become professional and intercollegiate sport team athletic trainers for teams such as the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego Padres.
Clinical Experiences: The clinical education component of our majors is considered the pinnacle of the course of study as students prepare to be practicing professionals.
Internships: Students are encouraged toward semester-long internships at healthcare, educational and fitness entities in San Diego, as well as with professional sports teams.
Teaching: Core coursework for Point Loma graduates aligns with State of California teaching credential. Graduates who desire to become teachers are encouraged to matriculate to the credential program at PLNU or another university.
Major Events in Program History
The Kinesiology department has a rich tradition of training students to become physical educators and coaches, to assume leadership in athletics programs, and to pursue the exercise science professions including pre-allied healthcare. The department has historically offered students a liberal arts education emphasizing practical and theoretical foundations in physical education. Activity courses have been designed to assist the student in gaining the knowledge and experience necessary for establishing a healthful and fit lifestyle and social cooperation.
Over the past 10-15 years, a shift has occurred in student career interests. While students have continued to be interested in the traditional teaching/coaching professions, increasing numbers of students are entering the department interested in the allied healthcare professions.
In the Fall of 2015 our department launched the first cohort in our 12-month accelerated master of science in kinesiology. This program is designed to prepare knowledgeable and career-focused professionals for the dynamic and growing fields of exercise science, sport management, and rehabilitation science.
In 2013, the Exercise and Sport Science major was added to our department and the Physical Education major was phased out. The new major has two concentrations: Fitness Professional and Physical Education & Sport Performance. The Fitness Professional concentration will prepare students in Exercise Physiology, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Strength Training & Conditioning, Personal Training, and Group fitness & wellness; the Physical Education and Sport Performance concentration will prepare students for coaching and teaching physical education.
Our Applied Health Science major, which currently accounts for the majority of students within the department was recently changed from a bachelor of arts to a bachelors of science degree. The sole purpose of this major is to prepare students for graduate school through basic and applied sciences with the intent of providing a prerequisite foundation for advanced studies. Students who declare Applied Health Science as their major are preparing for careers as a Physician Assistant, Physical Therapist, Podiatrist, Chiropractor, or Occupational Therapist.
In 2002, the Athletic Training Program received its initial national accreditation by the Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Care Programs (CAAHEP). With the accreditation, the ATP graduated the inaugural class in 2003. Then, in 2008, the ATP underwent a self-study and site visit for continuing accreditation. The re-accreditation was awarded by a new accrediting body, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training programs (CAATE). As a result, the ATP was awarded the highest accreditation offered by the CAATE, a 10-year accreditation through the 2018-19 academic year.