By Dee Gillen and Hanna Knowles
As a kinesiology student at Oregon State, you’ll graduate with practical, hands-on experience in your area of interest.
This job experience is baked into your kinesiology degree requirements and is officially called kinesiology experiential learning courses.
Graduating with relevant job experience will give you confidence to enter the workforce and make you a more appealing candidate to future employers.
Now, let’s dive into how to pump up your resume — and fulfill graduation requirements.
What is experiential learning?
Experiential learning is a fancy way of saying “learning by doing.”
For kinesiology majors, it can be achieved through a kinesiology course — either an internship, practicum, projects or research.
You get out of the classroom and learn in real-world settings, adding skills to your toolbox and building your resume.
Most of all, you’ll gain:
- Hands-on application of kinesiology course material
- A sense of community and collaboration
- Self-confidence and leadership skills
Do I have to complete all credits in one location?
No way! Kinesiology majors go on to work in a variety of careers, so this is the perfect opportunity to explore your options.
For example, you could divide your required three credits in different locations, such as cardiac rehabilitation, worksite wellness and adaptive fitness instruction.
This is your time, and it’s valuable! Create the best experience for yourself by dreaming big and going for it.
How do I find a kinesiology experiential learning site?
All general kinesiology majors work with Dee Gillen, kinesiology experiential learning coordinator.
If you are pursuing the pre-therapy and allied health (PTAH) option, you’ll work with Emily Norcross, clinical experiences coordinator of clinical experiences for students in the PTAH option.
Finding a site can look like a job search and is great practice.
It will take persistence and follow-up with your potential site to show your dedication and interest. You may end up calling, emailing or stopping by sites to ask if you can shadow.
To start strong, review the kinesiology experiential learning orientation page for important steps and deadlines.
What are some examples of past kinesiology internship and practicum locations?
There are just as many internship and practicum locations as there are career options.
- Samaritan Health Services, The Corvallis Clinic, and other health care organizations.
- Some campus locations include the OSU Sports Performance Center, Dixon Recreation Services, Faculty Staff Fitness, Physical Activity Courses, the Adaptive Exercise Clinic, IMPACT and research with OSU faculty.
- Synapse Fitness with Rocksteady Boxing allow you to work directly with participants with Parkinson’s disease.
- Fitness options include Fitness Over 50, G3 Sports and Timberhill Athletic Club.
- The Boys and Girls Club and local school districts are great choices if you want to work in physical education or adaptive physical exercise.
What will I do during my experiential learning kinesiology course?
You’ll learn what your future as a kinesiology professional may look like through hands-on experiences, such as:
- Receiving feedback on your work and insight on future opportunities
- Networking and building references
- Shadowing and teaching individual or group fitness
- Helping community members with adapted physical activity exercises
- Observing and talking with health care professionals
- Participating in research studies
- Attending meetings and onboarding
- Creating new processes for an organization
How do I make sure I get academic course credit for experiential learning?
Work with Dee Gillen if you’re in the kinesiology general option or Emily Norcross if you’re pursuing the pre-therapy and allied option (PTAH) to ensure you complete the required steps to get credit.
Kinesiology majors need three experiential learning credits to graduate, and one credit is 30 hours over the course of one term.
Be sure to apply for your experiential learning kinesiology course by week 5 for PTAH or week 8 for the kinesiology general option of the term before you plan to complete the course. Review the details on the orientation webpage.
Anything else I should know?
Remember, this is a great time to explore different career paths.
You could do a special project with CPHHS’ Adaptive Exercise Clinic, IMPACT, IMPACT for Life or Go Baby Go.
You could conduct research with a kinesiology professor through KIN 401.
You could complete a practicum or internship at the Samaritan Athletic Medicine Center.
Get out there and see what you can do!