Serving Winning Opportunities

Hope has become one of only eight colleges and universities in the nation to offer Professional Tennis Management (PTM) certification, providing students with access to a career path with nearly 100-percent placement for new graduates.

PTM programs serve as a platform for aspiring students and professionals to pursue careers in the tennis industry.

Hope is offering its program in conjunction with its major in exercise science, placing a strong emphasis on player wellness and coaching as well as applied experience in program and facility management. Students, kinesiology department chair Dr. Kirk Brumels ’88 noted, will also benefit from the college’s award-winning tennis facilities and specialized staff that includes nationally recognized tennis-teaching professional Jorge Capestany, who is manager of the DeWitt Tennis Center and outdoor VandePoel-Heeringa Stadium Courts and is directing the program.

“The level of scientific and human performance background that Hope College students will gain through the exercise science major will set us apart from other institutions with PTM certification programs,” said Brumels, a professor of kinesiology. “We believe strongly that the combination of rigor associated with Hope College coursework, the relevant courses in kinesiology and exercise science, and the extremely well-respected tennis professionals at the DeWitt Tennis Center will provide a level of education and preparation that will be difficult to replicate at other institutions.”

Experience has shown that the career prospects for PTM graduates are strong. According to Tom Daglis, who has been the director of the PTM programs at Ferris State University and Methodist University, and is now with Berry College, “The PTM programs at Ferris State and Methodist that I have been a part of have had a 100-percent job placement rate since their inception. I expect the same to hold true now here at Berry where I am in the first year as director of the PTM program.”

Hope has developed its program, which will begin offering courses in May, with the United States Tennis Association (USTA), which is the governing body for tennis in the United States. Graduates of Hope’s program, which will exceed the standards that the USTA has established, will automatically receive certification through both the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) and the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR).

“It is important to support the development of the next generation of leaders in our sport,” said Scott Schultz, managing director, USTA-U. “We are proud to team up with Hope College to provide the education, resources and opportunities to excel in the tennis industry.”

Hope’s program will include coursework totaling 65 credit hours out of the 126 hours that students must complete across the curriculum to graduate. It will include existing full-semester courses in the Department of Kinesiology such as Anatomical Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, Human Anatomy, Nutrition, Performance Psychology and Philosophy of Coaching, many of which include a laboratory component, as well as in biology, chemistry and mathematics.

The Department of Kinesiology is also expanding its internship program and adding practicum courses to provide hands-on experience in tennis management, including staffing the college’s DeWitt Tennis Center, running programs such as tournaments and teaching lessons for players of a variety of ages.

“They will have learned how to string racquets, they will have taught children’s programs, they will have worked at the front desk. We will also take them beyond campus to gain broader experience — such as working with clay courts in the area, which they could expect to find more commonly in other parts of the country,” Capestany said. “I’m pretty excited about what we can offer.”