PITTSFIELD — Physical fitness graduates from Berkshire Community College have a clearer path to enrolling in an internationally recognized program at Springfield College.
The two schools on Wednesday inked an articulation agreement allowing the BCC alumni to transfer as juniors into Springfield's Applied Exercise Science Program.
The private, coed university was one of the first to develop the major that has produced graduates making a difference in the health, nutrition and exercise industry around the world, according to college officials.
BCC is the first college directly linked to the prestigious course of study, much to the delight of Sherry Scheer, BCC's program adviser for physical education and fitness.
"As many of you know, I am competitive," she said. "I am all about winning and this [agreement] is a winner."
"I feel like we won an Emmy," added BCC President Ellen Kennedy referring to television's highest award.
During a signing ceremony at BCC's Patterson Field House, Kennedy noted the important of applied exercise science to the local economy.
"This is one more opportunity to connect with our workforce needs," she said.
A rigorous academic program, applied exercise science translate into a variety of disciplines in the health and physical fitness community, according to the program coordinator and associate professor Elizabeth O'Neill.
"You're not pigeonholed into one career path," she said.
The BCC-Springfield College articulation agreement brings to 68 the Pittsfield-based community college has with other institutions of higher learning around the country: RPI in Troy, N.Y., Colorado State University, and all the Massachusetts state universities including Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams to name a few.
BCC graduates with an associates degree and at least a 3.2 grade point average can transfer 60 of the 64 credits earned to Springfield's bachelor's degree program.
Jeffrey Moulton is one of several BCC alumnae to graduate with a bachelor's degree from Springfield's Applied Exercise Science program. He credits BCC for being prepared to enter the four-year school.
"The thing BCC does well is [provide] hands-on experience other schools don't," he told several current and former BCC students gathered in the Patterson Field House.
Moulton urged them to take a chance on Springfield College.
"Step out of your comfort zone," he said. "If you're comfortable, change won't be happening."
Springfield College's reputation for top-notch programs in health, science, physical fitness and sports stretches back to its founding in 1885 as a training school for YMCA workers.
Dr. James Naismith created the sport of basketball on campus as a way to keep students and athletes fit during the winter months.
U.S. News & World Report in its 2017 edition of "best Colleges" ranked Springfield one of the top colleges in the north region of the country.
Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233