Unique curriculum offers added punch to career schools

If there is one universal understanding among school owners – besides the constant need for more leads – it’s that unique program offerings are vital to a school’s success.

In markets saturated with competition, potential students are being bombarded with billboards, direct mail and TV commercials from dozens of different schools. More and more career schools are realizing the key to standing out from the competition is to add one (or possibly two) unique programs that can help their school stand out from the rest.

That philosophy is the unique concept behind Professional Fitness Institute – Las Vegas and its new approach to personal training. PFI is making its curriculum available for purchase to other career schools. In turn, the PFI – Las Vegas campus, which has offered quality personal training courses to students for almost five years, will be arranged as the location for a week-long personal fitness training boot camp.

At these camps, students undergo an intense, hands-on experience from PFI instructors before certification. By bringing together hands-on training with the involvement and endorsement of fitness celebrities, PFI’s curriculum is unique and groundbreaking. But the School’s ultimate goal is to be the highest-quality provider of education and training for personal fitness trainers, said David A. Pettrone Swalve, PFI President.

“It sounds like an ambitious goal,” Swalve said. “But that’s what I like about it.”

PFI – Las Vegas has been synonymous with quality fitness training and education since its inception. Now, the administrators of PFI are determined to become the source for personal fitness training education, Swalve said.

Given the previous pattern of schools that offered personal training degrees without requiring hands-on training, PFI’s fitness boot camp blows that philosophy out of the water, taking its boot camp to an impressive new level.

Later this summer, four-time Mr. Olympia runner-up Jay Cutler will be the featured fitness celebrity at PFI’s boot camp. The event, occurring from Aug. 27 through Sept. 1 at the PFI campus in Las Vegas, Nev., represents the crowning achievement for students and schools participating in the curriculum.

“Where else would you host an event like this?” Swalve said. “Las Vegas hosts more fitness and training competitions than anywhere else in the world. This camp is the pinnacle of our personal training program. For many of our students, it’s one of the best experiences of their lives – and they get certified.”

Boot camps are offered quarterly to students across the country attending PFI affiliate schools. If schools continue to partner with PFI at the rate they are, Swalve said they will host boot camps every month. The PFI boot camp is the culminating event in the education of each student. In addition to receiving intense, hands-on instruction for new techniques and best practices, students complete their educational requirements by taking the National Strength and Conditioning Association-Certified Personal Trainer exam.

The NSCA-CPT certification was developed in 1993 for professionals who work one-on-one with their clients in a variety of environments, including health and fitness clubs, wellness centers, schools, and clients’ homes. The exam thoroughly tests the knowledge and skills that are necessary to successfully train both active and healthy individuals, as well as those who need special assistance.

PFI and the NSCA have entered into a unique partnership that will allow PFI to proctor the test at the end of each boot camp right on the PFI campus.

Training sessions at the camps are led by students as well as fitness celebrities and experts like Cutler, who is preparing for the 2006 Mr. Olympia, which will also be held in Las Vegas, Nev., on Sept. 30.

But there’s more to the PFI formula than hands-on training, expertise of fitness celebrities and exam certification. The organization offers accreditation body new-program approval support to schools offering the curriculum. PFI has retained fitness professionals and celebrities who will allow their likenesses and images to be used in advertising and marketing campaigns. Lastly, the School provides instructor training and support to ensure that the program is started properly.

“PFI has a proven curriculum that focuses on skills and attributes necessary for a career as a personal fitness trainer,” Swalve said. “We want to be able to share this knowledge with schools across the United States to standardize skill training for fitness professionals.”

For more information about PFI, its curriculum or its affiliated schools, contact David A. Pettrone Swalve, PFI President, at 702-434-8940 or via e-mail at dswalve@pf-institute.com.

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