Solutions 101: Nationally Accredited Certification

The campus recreation industry is a rapidly growing field which aims to serve the needs of universities and enhance student life. Much as college prepares students academically through higher education, campus rec centers can be a resource for students to learn, expand healthy behaviors and build a habit of fitness for a lifetime. Cultivating a culture of continued learning stems from having a well-educated staff who can ensure people are engaging in fitness behaviors and performing exercises safely and effectively. Nationally accredited certifications can help equip professionals in the campus recreation industry to educate, inform and inspire communities to lead active, healthy lifestyles.

A Foundation for Success

For everything from the principles of fitness to the latest trends, the fitness industry has a multitude of educational resources and organizations offering certificates and certifications. Nationally accredited certifications are important for helping fitness professionals meet the highest standards of knowledge in the industry and stay on the forefront of the field.

A strong foundation in evidence-based research, as provided by several nationally accredited certifications, gives fitness professionals the knowledge and ability to develop individualized programming to meet a variety of student goals. A strong foundation also allows certified fitness professionals to implement the latest research, assess industry trends, and discern the good from the fad when it comes to new programs and the latest technology.

Because campus rec centers offer a wide variety of programming, from boot camps to aquatics, a background based in research-backed applications can help establish credibility not only for a program’s offerings, but in employees’ abilities to:

Modify and adapt programs for individual skill and ability, especially in a group exercise setting.

Understand and evaluate emerging fitness trends, what works best for whom and how to tailor for individuals.

Provide safe and effective guidance to individuals with a wide variety of skills, abilities and fitness levels.

Nationally Accredited Certifications Matter

Accreditation from a national body such as the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is a third party check-and-balance system that ensures an organization’s certification process and examination systems are fair and valid. NCCA accreditation shows an organization’s program has met the stringent standards of the credentialing community and is both credible and legitimate. Nationally accredited certifications exhibit the highest standards of excellence within the health and fitness industry.

With a wide variety of associations offering certification within the fitness industry, it’s important for institutions and campus rec centers to align with an organization that best fits their needs and goals.

Improved Quality of Service Improves Lives

Given the importance of fitness today, it’s equally important to ensure the quality of service provided matches the state-of-the-art facilities and the ever-increasing demand. Certified staff ensures campus rec centers can fulfill their missions of enriching student life, encouraging healthy lifestyles and developing relationships.

J. Scott Douglas is the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) senior director of membership and business development. For more info, visit

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