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People running at the Aims Community College fitness course

Health and Human Performance

Earn an Associate Degree With an Emphasis in Health and Human Performance at Aims

Do you want a career that allows you to stay active and gives you the chance to help others? Take your passion for health and fitness further and earn an associate degree from Aims. Increased awareness about the benefits of health and fitness in our society has expanded job opportunities within the industry. Careers in health and human performance are diverse, rewarding and in high demand. 

The only program of its kind in Colorado, this liberal arts degree with an emphasis in Health and Human Performance works a bit differently than other degrees at Aims. You'll begin by declaring a general Associate of Arts Degree and work with your Pathway Advisor to make sure you are taking courses toward earning your emphasis in health and human performance. Upon graduating, you can either enter the workforce immediately or go on to earn a bachelor's degree. 

Your Pathway Advisor will help you choose the appropriate coursework to allow you to transfer to one of three Colorado universities:

  • The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) - Bachelor's in Sport and Exercise Science, Human Performance concentration;
  • Colorado State University (CSU) - Bachelor's in Health Promotion; or 
  • Regis University - Bachelor's in Exercise Science

If you plan to transfer to UNC, the Aims2UNC transition program can help you get an affordable start on earning your four-year degree with support every step of the way while enjoying perks from both schools.

The Health and Human Performance degree with emphasis can prepare you for a career where you’ll help people lead healthier lives. The Aims physical education associate degree program has everything you need to begin your career path in health and human performance, including a newly renovated 46,000-square-foot facility with a cross-training room, cardio theater, indoor track, yoga studio and more. 

Discover the many possible careers in health and human performance and help people live healthier lives by earning a physical education degree at Aims.

Gain the Knowledge and Skills You Need for a Career in Health and Human Performance

Video - PE Nikki Smiley v3

The Health and Human Performance program is led by experienced professionals like Nikki Smiley, who is dedicated to helping students reach their goals in the health and fitness industry. Our unique health and human performance emphasis, along with transfer agreements with other institutions, opens up countless career paths for you.

The Aims physical education degree program is an associate of arts program with a heavy liberal arts emphasis. This program gives you a strong start toward earning a bachelor’s degree at a much lower cost. 

Your physical education degree courses will challenge you to:

  • Write workout programs
  • Teach workout techniques
  • Tape joints
  • Use a metabolic cart to measure metabolic rate
  • Operate a bioelectrical impedance scale
  • Use an Anatomage table to study anatomy in 3D

You’ll graduate from the Aims physical education associate degree program with an associate of arts degree with an emphasis in health and human performance. This degree will give you 60 guaranteed transfer credits to the corresponding programs at UNC, CSU or Regis if you choose to continue your education.

“The best part about a career in health and human performance is that you get to be an essential part of helping people achieve something — whether it be a physical or a mental challenge.”

DJ Arebalo
Student, Health and Human Performance
DJ Arebalo

Earn a Certificate in Health and Exercise

For students interested in health and exercise, Aims offers three certificates as part of the Health and Human Performance program. Students may earn either the Health and Fitness certificate or the Exercise Specialist certificate separately or complete both certificates to earn the comprehensive Health and Exercise Specialist certificate. These certificates are also available to high school students and are offered through the Aims Career Academy program.

  • Health and Fitness Certificate
  • Exercise Specialist Certificate
  • Health and Exercise Specialist Certificate

Launch Your Career in Health and Human Performance

Whether you start your career after graduating from Aims or choose to earn a bachelor’s degree, the Aims physical fitness associate degree program can help you begin your career path in physical fitness.

Examples of health and human performance careers include:

  • Fitness instructor
  • Personal trainer
  • Aquatics instructor
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Health educator
  • Cardiac rehab specialist
  • Fitness center owner/manager
  • Athletic trainer
  • Strength coach
  • Sports psychologist
  • Weight loss counselor
  • Geriatric specialist
  • Massage therapist
  • Human movement analyst

Health and Human Performance Faculty and Staff

Learn from instructors who have professional experience as trainers, instructors, nutritionists, physical therapy assistants and more. Your instructors are invested in your success and can teach you the practical applications that extend beyond your textbooks.

  • Photo of Nikki Smiley

    Nikki Smiley

    Program Director III, Physical Education, Recreation & Fitness
  • Tanner Wiemers headshot

    Tanner Wiemers

    Assistant Director II, Physical Education, Recreation, & Fitness
  • Katie Hansen

    Katie Hansen

    Instructor, Physical Education
  • Amanda Sheehan

    Amanda Sheehan

    Staff Associate, Physical Education, Recreation & Fitness