Syllabus for FIT-280



Exercise and Nutrition for Special Populations provides a framework for developing exercise programs for individuals with disease, disabilities, or special health issues. Throughout the course we adopt a problem-oriented, rather than a disease/condition-oriented, approach. That is, the course focuses on exercise prescription through the management of problems created by disease, disability, and special health conditions. It includes a review of basic principles of exercise testing and exercise prescription, and builds on that foundation. Also covered are methods for assessment of functional capacity of individuals with the most common health conditions presented to fitness leaders. Specific attention is given to the distinctiveness of each health condition that warrants adjustments in exercise program development. In each situation, the emphasis is to maximize the clients’ benefits from the exercise and minimize untoward effects.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Identify and define the fundamental components of an exercise prescription for developing cardiorespiratory fitness, musculoskeletal flexibility, and muscular fitness.

CO2        Define the macronutrients and their roles in body metabolism.

CO3        Gather appropriate subjective and objective data on clients with special health issues.

CO4        Identify specific exercise intervention strategies for individuals with unique health problems.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

ISBN-13: 978-0736074339

Additional Requirements


Exercise and Nutrition for Special Populations is a three-credit, online course consisting of ten modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

Course objectives covered in this module: CO1, CO3, CO4

Course objectives covered in this module: CO1, CO3, CO4


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, complete a final project, and complete a final assessment. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in five discussion forums, each focusing on a different topic. The discussion questions ask you to reflect on issues relative to your current work situation or a health fitness facility that you attend or can observe throughout the semester. Credit is given based on the quality of the reflection.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates’ responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as “I agree” and “ditto” are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, you should state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete eleven written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

The written assignments pose questions and problems to solve. The intent is to reinforce the concepts and stimulate application. You will submit your responses to the mentor. Many of the assignments in this course will require interviewing an exercise facility. If you do not work at a facility, please choose a facility that you can study, interview, and observe over the duration of this course.

Case studies within an assignment are simulated “real-world” scenarios in which you apply principles learned to a client.

Final Project

The final project provides the opportunity to prepare a 3- to 5-page paper based on any special condition that has not been addressed in the course. You will use your textbook and other outside resources to support your paper. It’s encouraged that you to think of a topic as you go through the course and review the lessons on other topics as an example of what you will cover in your paper.

Final Assessment

The final assessment is open-book, open-note, and problem-based and consists of three sections. You will be able to use available resources to design exercise plans, weight loss programs, and other application-type problems. The intent of the assessment is to determine the extent to which you can apply information learned to real-world environments.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > Citing Sources.)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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