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Work Based Learning Experience
Instruction hours per week: 3
Duration: 16 Week Online Course
Presented by: Lon Kilgore PhD
Methods of instruction: Online lecture, reading, formative activities, home/gym based activities, and externship
The work based learning course establishes relevance and meaning to the learning experiences, both knowledge based and skill based, that were presented in the previous courses within the personal fitness trainer program. Through the student's supervised and hands-on practice in a professional fitness operation their previous learning is contextualized, internalized, and developed to support future independent practice. By the end of the course, the successful student will have:
- Understood the personal and professional business skills required for entry into personal fitness training practice, and will have begun development of those skills.
- Created a set of professional development materials supportive of seeking employment within the field.
- Understood the day-to-day duties and requirements associated with successful employment in a commercial fitness operation.
- Gained supervised experience working within a commercial fitness operation.
- The work site must meet specific agreed criteria prior to the student commencing the course.
- Seeking a job as a Personal Fitness Trainer
- Developing a Professional Portfolio
- Practical Experience in Client Training
- Practical Experience in Gym Operations
This course is assessed through online assessment. Two student submitted experience logs are assessed. These logs detail the student’s delivery of instruction to clients and detail their activities in administrative and maintenance operations while in work placement learning. Each of the two aspects of the log (instruction - administration) are worth twenty five percent (25%) of the total course weighting (100%).
A student compiled professional portfolio containing a current resume, evidence of relevant professional qualifications (first aid & safety certificates, fitness instructor awards, etc.), two letters of recommendation from an employer or academic supervisor, evidence of professional insurance, a generic letter of application written by the student, and a video of the student teaching an exercise skill is also assessed. The portfolio is worth 50% of the total module score within which it is contained.
Each assessment must be passed with and a minimum aggregate mark of 70% is required to pass and count towards program completion.
The total hours spent in supervised work placement must equal 80 or more hours distributed over 16 weeks of the term.
Finding an Appropriate Work Site
You can find potential sites through various means. You can find a gym or fitness facility in your locale through direct search of local business directories or through word-of-mouth recommendation. You can also use a variety of web tools to search for facilities near you:
These are just a few possibilities.
It is strongly advised that you explore fitness facilities in your immediate vicinity during your first and second terms of study and begin dialog with the owner/manager of the most appropriate and convenient facility to you. You should share the placement requirements with them so that they may determine their ability and willingness to provide the required level of support.
Further Externship Information
The externship is formalized through the conduct of the course “Work Based Learning Experience”.
- The externship is completed through a collaborative effort of the student, work site supervisor, and the course tutor. The student must complete a total of 80 hours of supervised and developmental externship work over the 16 weeks of the course. The precise schedule will be determined by student and work site schedules.
- The maximum number of externs that can be placed simultaneously at an approved fitness operation is one if the business has 5 or less employees, two if the business has 10 or less employees, and three if the business has more than 10 employees.
- Copies of the externship agreement formalizing the learning experience parameters for the student, work site, and academy are available from the academy upon enrollment. Academy approved work sites and supervisors will have the following: Work site – Must be a registered fitness delivery business, a government operated fitness facility, a US 501 c3 fitness operation or other charity non-profit organization. Must deliver fitness instruction consistent with taught materials, have sufficient customer traffic to support student experience in client service and business administration, and is equipped appropriately to support; running training, free-weight training, and relevant machine based training. Work Site Supervisor – Will have university degree (Associates Degree, Certificate/Diploma in Higher Education, Higher National Certificate/Diploma, or higher) and >3 years of professional fitness delivery and management experience or >5 years professional fitness delivery and management, or similar approved professional history; Previous employee supervisory experience.
- Informal evaluation of the student will occur regularly at the work site. The work site supervisor will also complete a standard employee evaluation and review, mimicking that which occurs in the normal workplace, at the end of the externship term.
- In person visits are not possible due to geographic limitations. The
program is based in the USA and UK and students and externship sites may
be from any area of the state, other states, or countries abroad making in person visits impractical.
- The academy staff will be available for weekly contact with the work place supervisor and student. This will be accomplished by phone, Big Blue Button, or e-mail.
- Students will be required to maintain a daily record of their learning and work activities. Two logs, one for work with clients and one for work in the business aspects of the fitness operation are to be completed. These logs are submitted to the tutor for evaluation in weeks 8, 12, and 15 of the externship.
- The students do not complete an end of term report on their externship experience. Rather, they complete weekly reflections on their experience in their externship logs. The experience will become part of a submitted professional portfolio submitted for evaluation at the end of the course (the externship will appear on the resume and a letter of recommendation may be obtained from the worksite supervisor).
- Two student submitted experience logs are assessed. These logs detail the student’s delivery of instruction to clients and detail their activities in administrative and maintenance operations while in work based learning. Each of the two aspects of the log (instruction - administration) are worth twenty five percent (25%) of the total course weighting (100%).
- A student compiled professional portfolio containing a current
resume, evidence of relevant professional qualifications (first aid
& safety certificates, fitness instructor awards, etc.), two letters
of recommendation from an employer or academic supervisor, evidence of
professional insurance, a generic letter of application written by the
student, and a video of the student teaching an exercise skill is also
assessed. The portfolio is worth 50% of the total module score within
which it is contained. NOTE: For the WORKING FITNESS TRAINER PROGRAM and exemption for this course is granted following submission of the portfolio described here.
- Each assessment must be passed with a minimum aggregate mark of 70% to pass and count towards program completion.