Cody Rec Center users may be surprised to learn the person working out beside them during fitness class is earning college credit.
City council members recently approved a memorandum of understanding with Northwest College that benefits both entities. NWC approval was still pending at the time.
The Rec Center provides NWC students opportunities to take classes in Cody that qualify for wellness credits toward an associate degree. At the same time, the arrangement adds people to existing rec center classes.
Kelly Serfas Bower, Rec Center fitness coordinator, oversees and coordinates the program and sends final grades to NWC.
“The relationship has been a win-win for both entities, as it allows us to bolster enrollment in existing classes without additional resources or expenses and it enables the college to offer access to (PE) classes in the Cody community,” she said.
The option to earn wellness credits locally saves Cody-area students time, money and provides flexibility.
The MOU is good for one year; however, the arrangement goes back to 2012. Recent council approval was needed to update documents.
Serfus Bower said students earn one-half credit for a two-month class. They first enroll through the college and then submit proof of enrollment at the Rec Center.
Initially, Rec Center staff created classes specifically for college students, she said. But that setup resulted in just a few students enrolled per class.
“So we decided to revamp the schedule to offer our existing classes,” she said.
Now fitness and aquatic classes at the rec center are paired with similar NWC offerings.
For example, the college offers weight training and conditioning class. Rec Center classes eligible for credit include Morning Mix, Monday-Thursday, 8:30-9:30 a.m.; Lunch Box, Monday-Friday, 12:15-12:45 p.m. and Down and Dirty Circuit Training, Tuesday and Thursday, 7:15-8:15 p.m.
“It provides a lot of flexibility for students,” Serfus Bower said. “So instead of one class being available, students may have two, three or four classes to fulfill that credit.”
NWC also offers wellness credit for beginning yoga.
The Cody Rec Center has two qualifying morning class options – Blender and Fusion Core Fitness – and two late afternoon or early evening classes – Yogilates and Yoga.
According to the MOU, the city will receive $30 per student to cover its costs to provide facilities and maintenance. Plus NWC agrees to reimburse the city $61 per student for any class with up to seven students. If enrollment is 8-20 students, the city will receive a flat rate of $488, which is the standard instructional amount paid all NWC adjunct faculty.
For its part, the City of Cody provides all necessary instructors, equipment, information, supplies and materials.
Since the fall of 2014, additional revenue to the city has totaled $8,736, resulting in a five-year average of $1,747 per year.