Dixie State anticipates bachelor’s program in exercise science, proposes new facility

A concept rendering by MRW Design Associates showing what Dixie State University contemplates for a Human Performance, Student Wellness Center. DSU notes that this is not a design rendering. July 2015 | Image courtesy of MRW Design Associates, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Dixie State University announced in a press release Friday that it has been approved by the state Board of Regents to offer a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, subject to final approval from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

“This is a huge area of growth for us. Through the strategic plan, we identified academic programs we would like to build, and there is so much potential within the health sciences,” Dixie State President Richard B. Williams said. “We are excited to bring these programs to Dixie.”

The new degree to be offered through Dixie State’s School of Health Sciences includes science-based curriculum that will provide students with a firm foundation in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, psychology and biomechanics. This knowledge can be applied in a variety of ways, including optimizing exercise sessions, increasing ease and productivity in everyday endeavors, preventing and fighting disease, preventing and rehabilitating injury and training for specific athletic performances.

The exercise science program will provide students with many hands-on experiences through laboratory courses, community engagement opportunities and a required internship experience. Additionally, the curriculum will prepare students to pass credentialing examinations.

School administrators expect that the program will be popular with students who are pursuing professions related to health care as well as those attracted to the geography and culture of St. George, which promotes enjoyment of the outdoors, physical activity and athletic competition.

Gaining approval of the exercise science degree meets a goal outlined in Dixie 2020: “Status to Stature,” the university’s strategic plan. The plan, which outlines how the institution intends to build its academic programs and shape its other offerings for the next five years, identified the need for the university to expand its academic offerings in key programs, such as health sciences.

As part of this effort, Dixie State is working to add more health science degrees, such as Bachelor of Science in health promotion, recreation and sports management, athletic training and physical education teacher education.

New facility contemplated

To accommodate the new programs, Dixie State University is working toward gaining approval and funding for a Human Performance/Student Wellness Center. If approved, the facility will house specialized classrooms, labs and exercise facilities that will support student success.

Additionally, the center would include an Olympic-size swimming pool complete with a spectator gallery, three full-size basketball courts that convert to indoor soccer venues, a fitness center, running track, climbing wall, intermural offices and locker rooms.

See elements the facility may accommodate here: Human Performance Building Concept – Information Outline – 20150731 Dixie State University

Williams outlined plans for the building with the Board of Regents’ Finance and Facilities Committee earlier this week. To come to fruition, the center must be prioritized by the regents and the state building board and approved by the Utah Legislature.


Dixie State University’s School of Health Sciences, visit website

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