CNM fitness program offering internships to students

By Stephanie Stuckey, Staff Reporter

CNM’s Fitness Technician Certification Program has an internship experience unique to other programs offered on campus said Dr. Vanessa Mikan, director of the Fitness Technician Program Health, Wellness and Public Safety.

The internship program is the last step in the certification process in which the students will need to complete 135 internship hours, said Instructional Technician, Coren Anderson.

The students can fulfill the internship requirement by teaching three fitness classes on campus at CNM or by teaching two classes on campus and one class at an outside location, Anderson said.

The internship program requires the students to write and teach ten exercise routines for the semester, as well as obtain two student clients who are volunteers from class, she said.

The intern will devise a training plan and advise the student clients so that they can meet their fitness goals, she said.

The CNM Fitness program allows students to obtain outside experience at Sports & Wellness, Anytime Fitness, YMCA, Planet Fitness, JCC, and Elevate: PHW, Mikan said.

The program has also established educational partnerships with America Council of Exercise (ACE) and Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), she said.

“By giving the Fitness students the opportunity to work within our FITT courses, they are helping our CNM students become stronger both mentally and physically,” Mikan said.

CNM has also partnered with the YMCA this summer for the AFAA Primary Group Exercise Certification that would nationally certify students as Group Exercise Instructors, she said.

The Fitness Tech. Certification Program’s purpose is to better educate students who want to teach group exercise classes and become personal trainers, Anderson said.

The fitness classes are not only available to students wanting to enroll in the Fitness Tech. Certification Program, Debbie Romero said.

Fitness classes are program approved electives for science majors, criminal justice, and other degree programs, Debbie Romero said.

“The interns have excellent instructors to help guide them in their fitness career paths,” Mikan said.

Having a knowledgeable staff of instructors is what makes the program, she said.

Two instructors who have been with CNM since the fall of 2002 are Elias Romero and Debbie Romero.

“The internship program is a great opportunity for Fit Tech. majors to gain experience before getting a real job, it’s hands on experience,” Elias Romero said.

Travis Holt who is currently enrolled in the Fitness Tech. Certification Program is in the internship part of his certification, said that he was not very happy with his health and appearance so he decided to take a fitness class.

He enjoyed it so much he switched his focus to fitness training and enrolled in the program, he said.

Student Jeffry Chalan who is disabled and confined to a wheelchair due to a car accident is enrolled in Debbie Romero’s Physical Fitness 1 class.

He relies on public transportation to get from home to school, he said.

Debbie’s class will not only help him obtain his degree, it will help get and keep him in shape Chalan said.

He does not let his disability keep him down, he said.

Chalan is one of many examples that anyone can take these classes and you do not have to be a fitness buff to take a fitness class, Debbie Romero said.

“We are not just a P.E. class!” Mikan said.

The Fitness Lab is located in Ted Chavez Hall, rooms 113, 115, and 141, Anderson said.

There is also a locker room with showers for students’ convenience, she said.

To learn more about the Fitness Technician Certification Program, go to and select Health, Wellness & Public Safety under Programs of Study.

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