Fitness Leadership

Program Information

Degree Type: 
Associate in Applied Science

Provides knowledge necessary for careers as group exercise instructors, personal trainers, and exercise leaders in national fitness clubs, corporate wellness centers, recreation facilities, and hospitals. Explores areas relative to exercise science such as nutrition, exercise physiology, methods of teaching exercise, and first aid. Many student graduating from this program transfer to university programs in physical therapy, exercise science, athletic training, nursing, and health.

Learning Outcomes: 
  • Devise the appropriate exercise prescription for a variety of populations (e.g., obese, athlete, diabetic) following the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines.
  • Demonstrate communication skills necessary to lead one-on-one and group exercise.
  • Demonstrate procedures for assessing skill and health-related components of physical fitness based on guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine.
  • Diagram the facility requirements for a wellness center as defined by the American College of Sports Medicine.
  • Describe the physiological changes that occur to the systems of the body as a result of exercise.
  • Perform the appropriate response to the injury situations that are likely to happen in an exercise setting.
Admission Requirements / Eligibility: 

There are no special admission requirements to the program, but early in the program students should contact the director of the program to understand the sequence of classes in the program.

Degree-Specific Requirements

All students receiving an Associate Degree are required to meet Degree-Specific Requirements AND General Education Requirements. Courses listed in the Required Core and/or Required Support Courses may also be used to fulfill Degree-Specific and General Education Requirements. Developmental courses (those numbered below 100) cannot be used to fulfill these requirements.

Attention: It is the student's responsibility to review the entire program form before making course selections for registration purposes. The College recommends that students meet with an advisor or counselor well in advance of registration deadlines and before making course selections.

General Education Requirements: 

The following courses are required in this program and satisfy HFC’s General Education Outcomes for this program. Students who change their program will need to confirm in advance that they are completing all required courses for their specific program of study, including additional General Education courses. All Associate in Applied Science degrees require at least 15 credits total including at least three credit hours from each of the five areas below. For this program:

  1. Civil Society & Culture: Complete one of the following:

  2. Communication: Complete the following:

  3. Computer Technology: Complete the following:

  4. Critical Thinking & Information Literacy: Complete one of the following:

  5. Quantitative Literacy: Complete one of the following:

Degree-Specific Requirements: 

Fulfill the Required Core, Required Support, and/or Elective Courses for this program.

Minimum Number Of Credits To Graduate: 
60.0 (Including Options/Electives)

Requirements are Subject to Change

The information represented here is for the current catalog year. If you were admitted prior to this year, please check your requirements under the Program Evaluation section of WebAdvisor.

Other Information

Registry / Certification / Licensure Exam Information: 

Students interested in taking industry certification exams such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE) or American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) may elect to do so at the completion of the program. Two courses in the program, HPE 150-Exercise Physiology and 
HPE 151-Methods for Teaching Exercise, are designed to help students be successful with certification.

Year Established: 
Program Code: 


Social Science, Arts, and Fitness Division: 313-845-9625,, Fine Arts Bldg, Room: F-140
Carole Sloan: 313-845-6318,, Athletic Memorial Bldg, Room: H-11

Transfer Information

Transfer Options/Requirements: 

The College has articulation agreements and/or transfer guides to help students who want to transfer to other institutions once they have completed their studies at HFC. Articulation agreements ensure that graduates from HFC can transfer to another institution and work towards a bachelor’s degree without a loss of coursework completed at HFC. Transfer guides denote the transferability of HFC coursework toward specific degree programs at other institutions. It is important that students who intend to transfer to another institution consult the appropriate articulation agreements and/or transfer guides to ensure the transferability of the courses they take to the institution they plan to attend. Articulation agreements and transfer guides are available on the HFC Transfer Resources page. For additional resources and assistance with transferring, students are encouraged to work with HFC’s University Transfer, Advising, and Career Counseling Center (313-845-9612,, Learning Resource Center). Students enrolled in this program frequently transfer to institutions such as:

  • Eastern Michigan University
  • University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  • Michigan State University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Wayne State University
Career Opportunities: 

A third party independent study funded by the American Council on Exercise completed a study of salaries on people working as personal trainers and group exercise leaders in 2013. The study reported a 12% increase in salaries since 2010, the time of the last study. Currently, the average national salary for personal trainers and group exercise leaders working full-time is $52,537 and for those working part-time in north central United States, exercise instructors are averaging an hourly rate of $26. The survey can be accessed at

A future exercise leader who can work one-on-one with people wanting to improve their health as well as teach classes in aerobics, yoga, or water exercise can find an exciting career path with the Fitness Leadership program. This program provides the student with the credentials and experience to become a leader in the fitness industry.