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Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


Board of Trustees Approves Two New Degree Programs for Fall 2002

FORT MYERS, FL - Southwest Florida is getting more professionals in the areas of environmental science and human performance thanks to two new fall 2002 degree programs approved by the Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees June 20 at FGCU.

The College of Arts and Sciences begins its first post-baccalaureate program, Master of Science in environmental science, in response to local potential employer needs and a 2000 report by MGT of America Inc. that identified environmental studies as an opportunity for FGCU, citing FGCU could become a “center for environmental research at the graduate level.”

The new program, housed under the Division of Ecological Studies, enhances FGCU’s ability to meet the research needs of Southwest Florida. The program provides the knowledge necessary to manage natural resources and increases the success of the region’s economy, which is linked to maintenance of a healthy environment.

Graduates are prepared for jobs as environmental scientists, planners and educators to perform tasks such as planning, researching and monitoring environmental regulations and permitting, and serving as environmental and science educators.

The College of Health Profession’s Department of Physical Therapy offers a Bachelor of Science in human performance enveloping the physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual dimensions of movement. The degree prepares students for careers that focus on the preventative and restorative aspects of movement science, and for advanced study.

“It is very common to see departments of physical therapy teamed with human performance or exercise physiology programs,” assistant dean of the college and chair of the department Ellen Williamson says. “It is a natural synergy that draws on the combined knowledge and experience of faculty in both areas, making for really strong programs in both disciplines.”

Students in the program focus on one of two concentrations.

Athletic Training teaches students to evaluate, advise and treat athletes of all ages. Athletic trainers also help athletes to avoid and recover from injury and maintain peak physical fitness. Athletic trainers work in traditional settings such as K-20 education and sports teams, as well as physician’s offices, orthopedic rehabilitation clinics and hospitals.

Physical Performance prepares students to work in the field of health promotion and wellness. Careers include public and private corporations, wellness programs, health fitness facilities, personal training, K-20 education, sports, resorts, youth agencies and sports camps.

Consumers and organizations are part of the drive for the program, demanding educated and credentialed professionals in the areas of health, wellness, athletic training and personal training.

“There is a real need in this part of Florida for this kind of program and we are convinced that the local health and wellness market is very interested in local graduates,” Williamson says.

For more information about the MS in environmental science, contact division chair Win Everham at (941) 590-7169.

For more information about the BS in human performance, contact college advisor Dennis Hunt at (941) 590-7536 or

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