Langara College: The Perfect Starting Point For Your Kinesiology Journey

Published On: January 30, 2020Categories: Career, Industry

Langara College is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Its inception was in 1965 and was part of Vancouver Community College. In 1970, Langara opened its West 49th Avenue campus and this is the College’s current location.  

On April 1, 1994, under the Provincial College and Institute Act, Langara became an independent public college. Langara is currently celebrating its 49th anniversary on 49th Avenue. The college has grown tremendously over the last 49 years, and currently is one of BC’s leading undergraduate institutions. Langara offers University Studies, Career Studies, and Continuing Studies program for more than 21,000 students annually. The College is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam First Nation, which gave Langara the name house of teachings

One of the programs that Langara College offers is a diploma in kinesiology. It is a program that has a rich history, as it started when the 49th Avenue campus was opened. It was originally a diploma in Physical Education. The name of the diploma changed from Physical Education to Human Performance in the early 1980s. When the College became an independent public college the diploma name was changed to Human Kinetics. In 2013 the diploma was changed again to Kinesiology.

The current diploma is a two-year university transfer program that has direct articulation with the University of British Columbia’s Kinesiology Degree program. So students that receive their Diploma in Kinesiology at Langara can be accepted to UBC to start directly into 3rd year Kinesiology. The courses in Langara’s Kinesiology program are transferable throughout post-secondary institutions. The transferability and lower tuition costs make the Kinesiology program very attractive to students. 

Another reason students attend Langara College’s Kinesiology program is the quality of education and instruction they receive. The Department of Kinesiology has a variety of instructors from different backgrounds and areas of expertise. Their teaching focus is in the area of Human Movement Science and how they relate to anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, growth and development, sport psychology, health education, coaching, exercise physiology, sport medicine, sport history, and strength and conditioning. Their teaching is multi-faceted and includes traditional lecture-style presentations augmented by group work, “real life” practical experience, hands-on classroom and laboratory participation, and laboratory data collection and analysis sessions.

The department offers excellent instruction, smaller class sizes, and hands-on experiential learning. The faculty also takes pride in being knowledgeable and respected in their areas of expertise.  

The diploma requires one to complete 60 credits of 1st and 2nd-year courses to obtain the Diploma in Kinesiology. The diploma requirements are 39 credits of core Kinesiology courses, 6 credits of university transferable English, and 15 credits of university transferable electives. One can view the Diploma requirements here  for more information. Students can complete these sections throughout three different semester offerings. Fall, spring, and summer semesters are offered with a variety of courses for the students to attend. 

One of the university transferable electives that most Langara students choose to use to fulfill 3 credits of electives is Kinesiology 3303, High Performance Strength and Conditioning. This course was introduced in 2013 and has been a popular course ever since. The Department of Kinesiology runs this course 2 to 3 times per academic year and fills each section. This course examines various techniques associated with improving athletic performance through strength and conditioning. The course covers movement analysis, athletic testing, and advanced program design and methods of training. The course is delivered through participation in lab activities, in-class lectures, and through group-based activities. The learning outcomes for the course are as follows; 

  1. To understand human adaptation to performance-based training protocols with respect to each biomotor ability and the principles of training. 
  2. To translate sport-specific energy system requirements into relevant conditioning drills. 
  3. To apply the concept of periodization to advanced program design. 
  4. To effectively design, set up, and implement accurate methods of performance testing in a field setting 
  5. To have the ability to critically analyze research and scrutinize media claims with respect to training methodology 

One of the reasons this course is so successful is due to the level of instruction the students receive. I co-lead the course with Carmen Bott. Together we developed and taught this course from the beginning. Carmen offers a section in the fall semester, while I offer a section in the spring semester. Carmen and I are both Certified Strength and Conditioning Coaches through the NSCA and leading experts in their field for the Province of British Columbia. Carmen is also one of the Directors for the CSCA, while I am currently a member of the CSCA’s Advisory Team. Both of us are very active in the strength and conditioning community through training, speaking at conferences, collaborating and being advocates on social media. 

The curriculum for the course was developed through collaboration between Carmen and Brent, and they are constantly growing the course with their unique styles of delivery. With their collaboration and experience in the field of strength and conditioning, the students are receiving an educational experience that will give them superior theoretical knowledge. But also hands-on practical experience that will give them the tools to be successful in their own educational and career paths.  

Carmen and I take great pride in their instruction and design of this course. Their courses explore a variety of training principles and how to incorporate those principles into program design and delivery. The class is 4 hours a week and is broken up into 2 hours of theory and 2 hours of lab time. The theory is the foundation of the course, while the lab builds on that foundation with practical hands-on experience. The students enjoy and get a variety of experiences from lab time. Topics covered in the lab are testing and evaluation, resistance training techniques, speed, velocity, and various assessment techniques. Carmen and I also teach extensively about periodization and how to cycle an athlete’s training program. We find this helps tie all the material together.  

The course is taught in the Langara’s state of the art Kinesiology lab. This is where they use a variety of data collection and field-testing equipment to demonstrate how to incorporate science into testing and program design. Some of the equipment they use are force plates, accelerometers, heart rate monitors, metabolic carts, and timing gates. But most importantly they teach the students how to observe an athlete’s movement. Carmen and I are believers in the importance of research and science, but with their years of coaching experience in the field, they stress the importance of understanding the athlete as well. The mix of science and interpersonal skills help make their course different from others. It’s a great balance that every student that has registered for the course has enjoyed throughout the years it’s been offered.  

The Department of Kinesiology is also part of the NSCA’s Educational Recognition Program. Langara is the only institution in British Columbia with this distinction and only the second college in Canada. The program is developed to allow the students to receive a certification after their diploma is complete. Once students complete the Diploma in Kinesiology, they will be prepared to write the NSCA-CPT exam, potentially giving them an employable certificate moving into their third year. A large part of why the Department of Kinesiology was accepted into this program was due to Kinesiology 3303. The course covers the key principles that will give the students the tools they need to pass the NSCA certifications including, the NSCA-CPT and CSCS. The course could also be used as a study course for students with a degree wanting to write the NSCA CSCS exam.  

Langara College’s Department of Kinesiology is a great place for students to start their post-secondary journey or receive some additional education. The small class sizes, price of tuition, and quality of instruction help students prepare for 3rd and 4th-year studies in degree-granting institutions while saving some money. The hands-on experience they receive from various courses in addition to their diploma will give them plenty of opportunities to find entry-level employment in the field of Kinesiology. This will allow them to work while they finish up their degree once they finish their diploma. Langara Kinesiology alumni are also a proud group of people who think fondly of their time at Langara.  

Brent Day is a faculty member and Department Chair for the Kinesiology Program at Langara College.  For more information about the Department of Kinesiology, please visit 

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