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American Red Cross Lifeguarding

The McCoy Natatorium is an Authorized Provider of American Red Cross programs. Shawn DeRosa, Penn State's Director of Aquatics, worked closely with the American Red Cross to develop the revised 2012 American Red Cross Lifeguarding Program. Penn State lifeguards and staff also assisted with the new program, helping provide skill demonstrations for the new videos. What better way to start your journey as a lifeguard than to take the course from the people who helped develop the program?!

Each spring Penn State Aquatics offers the PSU Lifeguard Academy. This fast-paced lifeguard training course is designed for the busy college or high school student to learn the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies and to provide care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services personnel take over.

Participation in all class sessions is required. Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive an American Red Cross certificate for Lifeguarding/ First Aid/CPR/AED, valid for 2 years.

Spring 2015 PSU Lifeguard Academy - Full Course

Course Schedule
Attendance at all class sessions required:


Lifeguarding Full Course

  • Wednesday, April 15: 6 PM - 10 PM
  • Friday, April 17: 6 PM - 10 PM
  • Sunday, April 19: 9 AM - 6 PM
  • Friday, April 24: 6 PM - 10 PM
  • Saturday, April 25: 9 AM - 6 PM
  • Sunday, April 26: 9 AM - 6 PM
  • Course Price: $300


Prerequisites: To enroll in the Lifeguarding course, you must be at least 15 years old before the last scheduled class session. To participate in the course, you must be able to pass a prerequisite skills evaluation that includes the following:

        • Swim 300 yards continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. You may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both but swimming on the back or side is not allowed.
        • Tread water for 2 minutes using only the legs. You should place your hands under your armpits.
        • Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds:
          • Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. Your face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not allowed.
          • Surface dive, feet-first or head-first, to a depth of 7 to 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object.
          • Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on your back to return to the starting point with both hands holding the object while keeping your face at or near the surface so you are able to get a breath. You may not swim the distance under water.
          • Exit the water without using a ladder or step

The prerequisite skills evaluation will occur prior first day of the course. We strongly recommend that you practice the skills before the skills evaluation. If you are unable to complete the prerequiste assessment we will refund the price of the course less a $25 administrative fee.

To successfully complete the course, you must complete all online components, attend the entire course, participate in all skill sessions/drills, activities and scenarios, demonstrate competency in all required skills and scenarios, and pass the final written exams with a minimum grade of 80 percent.

The practice sessions will require some strenuous physical activity. You are encouraged to check with your health care professional before participating in the practice sessions. If a medical condition or disability exists that might prevent participation in the activities, or there are questions about fully participating in the Lifeguarding course, please contact Penn State Aquatics to discuss this before the course begins. If you have asthma and use a metered dose inhaler, we recommend bringing your inahler with you onto the pool deck and advising your instructor of its location.

If you have questions about lifeguard training classes, please contact Meredith Stille , Assistant Director of Aquatics.



American Red Cross Lifeguarding Review Course

Is your certification going to expire soon? Don't let your certification expire! As long as you have current American Red Cross Lifegaurding/First Aid/CPR/AED certification you are eligible to participate in a Lifeguarding Review course.  If your certification has expired by even 24 hours, you must enroll in the full course. 

For information on our Lifeguarding Review course, click here.

If you have questions about lifeguard review training classes, please contact Meredith Stille , Assistant Director of Aquatics.