American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts will be launching the world's first Executive MBA program in Commercial Fitness in the summer of 2009. Courses will be taught by the AIC graduate faculty and commercial fitness industry experts from around the country, according to Marc Onigman of Stone Hearth Fitness who is consulting with AIC on the project.

"The faculty at AIC are very excited about this new program," says Onigman, who will be meeting with industry leaders at the prestigious SIBEC NA fitness industry conference in Frisco, Texas this week to introduce the program for the first time to the industry.

"There is a growing need for executive talent, and while certification in the pure fitness aspects of the profession is critical, we have discerned a growing need for skill sets in the managerial and business aspects of the field, he continued."

Students will take five courses during the summer of 2009, three online courses during the 2009-2010 academic year and finish up the program in 2010 with four courses and a Capstone Research Project focusing on a particular aspect of each student's job-specific segment of the industry.

"The core of the program will be very similar to a core MBA program; however, in addition, we have a number of courses that focus on current topics in the commercial fitness industry, and these will change from semester to semester in order to stay abreast of what is going on the field.

The initial class size will be small — 20 or under — says Onigman, and all students will attend all of the classes together.

The program is designed for middle- to senior-level managers from all segments of the commercial fitness industry.

AIC will have a booth at Club Industry 2008, staffed by the Dean of the School of Business, John Rogers.

Applications, the curriculum and more information can be found at www.aic.edu/fitmba.

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