Get Started in Sports Management @ GCC with New Athletic Facility Certificate

March 12, 2015

Want to jump into the world of sports management but aren’t sure where to begin? GCC’s new Athletic Facility Administration Certificate is a perfect first step toward working at a fitness center, stadium, or other sports facility, or continuing on for further education. The new certificate can be completed in one year of full-time study at GCC and includes a new Introduction to Sports Management course as well as existing GCC courses in Sport Stadium Economics, personal training, statistics, and basic first aid. Recognizing the importance of hands-on learning, the certificate program also requires an internship in a sports facility.

Those who complete the certificate will be qualified for an entry level job in an athletic facility and/or to continue study towards an Associate in Arts Business Administration Transfer (BAT) degree. Like other “stackable” certificates at GCC, all of the courses required for the Athletic Facility Administration Certificate can be applied toward a GCC Associates degree. The BAT degree is designed to provide a seamless transition to Bachelors degree programs at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst or other schools with sports management programs, including Westfield State University, Smith College, and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. All of the courses required for the Certificate and BAT degrees can be used to transfer into these Bachelors degree programs.

In designing the new Certificate program, GCC’s Business faculty looked at the educational background employers in the field of sports management want in their employees. The requirements of the new Certificate were affirmed at a recent seminar sponsored by the Boston Celtics. In February, nine GCC students and staff and eight students from area high schools traveled to TD Garden in Boston to attended the Celtics-sponsored seminar on how to break into sports management. Along with sports experience, the seminar presenters said that anyone wanting to pursue a career in sports management should have at least a year of college, get a business degree and complete internships related to sports management.

Danielle Bruffee, 31, from Greenfield, will graduate this spring with her Business Administration Transfer Degree and will return to GCC to pick up the new Certificate.  “It is very exciting that GCC is offering the Athletic Facilities Administration Certificate in 2015,” she said. “This will help many students wishing to pursue careers in the Sports Management field. It offers a hands-on experience creating great learning opportunities – I’m very eager to join this program.”

Thom Simmons, Co-Chair of GCC’s Business & Information Technology Department and Professor of Economics & Business, said, “This is a field that many students are interested in and one which is experiencing explosive job growth. Most students can’t become professional athletes, but they can live their dream of a career in the sports world by working in the marketing department of a major league sports team, managing a fitness center, or working in a college athletics program.”

Kathleen M. Vranos, GCC’s Dean of Business & Information Technology, Professional Studies, and Social Sciences, said, “The Athletic Facility Administration Certificate is one more avenue which puts GCC students on track to pursue desired fields while making continued progress toward earning a college degree.  As always, the program is in response to student interests in career and transfer opportunities.  We are thrilled to offer this new Certificate program at GCC.”

For information about the Athletic Facility Administration Certificate, contact Thom Simmons at or 413-775-1482 or visit

By Mary McClintock, ’82