Rock Valley College

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of jobs can I get with an FWS degree or certificate?

Students who complete the A.A.S. in FWS will have the necessary knowledge and skills to obtain an entry-level position in sport, recreation, exercise, or fitness organizations. Exercise Science students may seek employment as personal fitness trainers, sports performance trainers, group exercise instructors, or fitness technicians. Sport Management students may seek employment in sport or recreation management, event planning, programming, facilities, marketing, or sales.

Personal training certificate students may seek employment as a personal trainer in private health clubs, public fitness centers, college/university fitness centers or personal fitness studios. Coaching Education certificate students may seek employment as an assistant or head coach at all levels between youth sports and high school varsity sports.

With additional education and/or work experience, graduates may find employment as: Parks, Recreation, or Sport Facilities Manager; Director of Sport Marketing; Athletic Director; Sports Media; Sports Information Director; Sporting Officials; Sporting Referees; Sports Psychologists; Agents of Athletes; Strength & Conditioning Coach; Athletic Trainer; Sports Medicine Specialist; Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Specialist; Exercise Physiologist; Employee Fitness Director.


How long will it take to complete the degree or certificate program?

The A.A.S degree in FWS can be completed in as little as two years. The FWS certificates can be completed in as little as 3 consecutive semesters. Some of the required courses are offered only during fall or spring semesters and some courses have pre-requisites, but most of the courses are offered year-round – Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. Courses are also offered during the day, evening and online.


If I already have a job, why would I want to complete an FWS degree or certificate?

For those already employed in sport, recreation, exercise, or fitness, the degree and certificate programs may provide an opportunity for professional growth while obtaining additional educational and practical experiences needed to advance your career and increase your earnings potential.


What type of students pursue these certificates/degrees?

We have a wide range of students with diverse ages, backgrounds, education, work and life experiences. According to a recent RVC Student Profile report, the average RVC student is 26 years old, but we have students that range in age from traditional college age to retired professionals.


What if I'm not sure whether I want to pursue a 2-year degree or not?


There is a significant amount of overlap in the courses required for the certificates and the 2-year degree options. So, you may start by taking courses toward a 24-credit hour certificate and decide that you want to pursue the A.A.S. degree. The majority of the certificate courses apply toward the FWS degree!


What if I want to transfer to a 4-year degree program?


All of the courses in the degree program and most courses in the certificate programs transfer as elective hours toward a 4-year degree. Several of the courses will transfer as program requirements. Students are encouraged to check the program requirements at their transfer program of interest and compare that to RVC courses by using the transfer guides found at and/or speaking with an RVC or FWS advisor.


Is there financial aid available?

Yes. Please see our Financial Aid website for more information. 


I've already taken some college courses at RVC (or another college/university). Do I have to start all over again?

Probably not. Some of our students already have a college degree and many have previous college course credits. Our program advisors can meet with you and review your transcript to give you an idea of what courses that you've taken may apply toward a certificate or degree and what courses you would need to complete.