BLOOMINGTON – Kinesiology and Exercise Science students took a hands on approach to educating others on how to choose healthier food options. Students met with local volunteers over the course of Fall Semester 2018, who acted as case study clients, so that students could obtain practical experience counseling and educating people on the nutritional concepts covered in class. The goal of the project was to improve dietary choices and ultimately health. 

“Diet is just a four letter word,” said Cassey Connelly, program chair and assistant professor of Kinesiology and Exercise Science. “Many people think of going on a diet as something temporary, but it is really reflective of what you eat on a daily basis. The key is incremental change and a good, better, best approach slowly replacing foods one at a time.”

The assignment began by assessing the client’s alimentary challenges and teaching them how to analyze the labels of the food they regularly buy at the grocery store. Students and their clients take into account budget, food processing, nutrient density, added sugars, healthy fat content, and whole food options to suggest more nourishing alternatives.

“I enjoyed going to the grocery with my student nutrition coach and looking at the products I buy for me and my family,” said Debra Vance, nutritional client and volunteer. “Although we spent nearly two hours comparing labels, I wish we could have had more time together. I learned the names of hidden sugars in products, and that if sugar is one of the first five ingredients then it may not be the best product choice for me.”

Ivy Tech Bloomington is now offering an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Kinesiology and Exercise Science. The AAS degree is career-focused and enables students to earn multiple certifications before graduation, including Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, and Certified Health Coach. Enter the fitness job market with a leg up on other candidates. For more information, visit or email Connelly at

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.