Dr. Jordan Bettleyon with kinesiology students

From training top-level athletes to helping people regain their skills of daily living to providing healthcare to families, Methodist University’s on-campus Kinesiology program opens doors to a variety of high-demand jobs.

From training top-level athletes to helping people regain their skills of daily living to providing healthcare to families, Methodist University’s on-campus Kinesiology program opens doors to a variety of high-demand jobs.

Take recent graduate Hannah Donnelly-Glave ’19, ’23M for example. The Fayetteville native now works at Cape Fear Valley’s outpatient neurological clinic as a physical therapist. But the journey to her rewarding career started at Methodist University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology in 2019.

“The faculty, especially Dr. Trey Hoyt, always went above and beyond,” said Donnelly-Glave. “One of the things I enjoyed most were the labs, which allowed us to get exposure to the things you need to do in graduate school or in the field.”

Donnelly-Glave’s education at MU did not stop there; she went onto earn a doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2023.

“The Kinesiology program taught me everything that I needed to know so that when I started graduate school,” she said. “I had a leg up on everyone. It was a very nice experience.”

Graduate School Connection

kinesiology studentsMethodist University’s rise in health sciences education allows for the Kinesiology program to stand out in a unique way. Graduates have a chance to find high-quality jobs, or they can opt to apply for one of the University’s exceptional graduate programs: Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, and Master of Physician Assistant Studies.

“We constantly have Kinesiology graduates that go on to our premier graduate programs, which is fantastic,” said Jordan Bettleyon, chair and assistant professor of Kinesiology. “But we also have a lot of graduates who get their personal training certification or strength and conditioning certifications and then work at hospitals, gyms, and schools.”

Spectrum of Careers

Kinesiology studies the art and science of human movement – focusing on the understanding of the human body, how it functions, and how it responds and adapts to physical activity. It can lead to a variety of jobs including kinesiologist, chiropractor, exercise physiologist, athletic trainer, physical therapist, sports scientist, and others.

“There’s even some instances where you can use kinesiology to develop video games to make human movement more realistic,” Bettleyon added. “From video games and entertainment to academics and healthcare, Kinesiology offers a lot of possibilities.”

Top-Notch Faculty

Dr. Jordan Bettleyon with kinesiology studentsMethodist University’s Kinesiology program allows students to learn from faculty who possess a wide range of skill sets in kinesiology – giving the program a leg up compared to other programs across the region.

While Hoyt (professor of Kinesiology) and Dr. Hugh Harling (professor of Kinesiology) offer stout experience in clinical exercise physiology and athletic training, respectively, Dr. Jamie Robbins (professor of Kinesiology) and Dr. Kyrstin Krist (associate professor of Kinesiology) provide strong knowledge in the psychology portion of kinesiology.

“This allows our students to understand the emotional, mental, or social standpoint of kinesiology,” Bettleyon said. “We have a strong core faculty that are able to guide students through the entire process and assist them with their goals.”

Hands-On Learning

Junior Carolina Simpkins, who is majoring in Kinesiology and minoring in Exercise and Sports Science, agreed that MU’s faculty provides a great learning experience to students.

“I’ve had a positive experience with the program,” said Simpkins, who hopes to pursue a career in physical therapy. “All of the professors are always looking out for your best interest and want to see you succeed.”

Simpkins pointed to the Kinesiology program’s anatomy labs as one of her favorite courses so far, while Bettleyon said students also seem to enjoy learning about weight training, resistance training, and personal training.

But some of the most impactful classes in the Kinesiology program are the for-credit internships.

“We allow the students to choose what they want to do,” he said. “If they want to specialize in strength and conditioning, we are able to connect them with out athletic teams. If they want to work in cardiac rehab or occupational therapy, we have connections that set them up for the future. The hands-on application allows them to retain knowledge.”

The program also features unparalleled access to equipment and facilities across Methodist University. Through their classes, students have access to Riddle Athletics Center’s weight room and performance lab, but they also can develop their skills at the McLean Health Science Building – which features a Bod Pod, underwater treadmill, metabolic cart, force plates, and more.

The wide range of resources and support are one the many reasons why Methodist University’s Kinesiology program is the perfect major for any student who wants to find their niche.

“Kinesiology at MU is truly a great program,” Simpkins said. “Everyone looks out for each other… the people you meet along the way can make all the difference and the people I have met within this program have made my experience here a hundred times better.”

As a growing field with a variety of career options, now is the perfect time to explore opportunities with Methodist University’s Kinesiology program. Take the next step by applying online.