Samford Fitness and Health Promotion Program Eighth To Achieve National Accreditation

Posted by William Nunnelley on 2007-05-03

Samford University's Fitness and Health Promotion program has earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The program, part of the Exercise Science and Sports Medicine curriculum, is only the eighth in the nation to achieve the distinction.

CAAHEP was founded in 1994 as an accrediting body for allied health programs, but the accreditation process for college and university programs in the area of exercise science is relatively new, having begun only in 2005.

"This is outstanding news and is a testament to the work that our department does to provide exceptional undergraduate preparation in exercise science," said department chair Chuck D. Sands IV.

The initial accreditation was awarded through Jan.31, 2011. Dr. Sands cited faculty members Patrice Donnelly and Alan Jung as "the primary force" behind the accreditation process.

The Fitness and Health Promotion major–one of six majors in the ESSM department–prepares students for employment in corporate wellness programs, fitness centers, YMCAs, cardiac rehabilitation and recreational facilities. The program coursework and practicums are designed to prepare students for ACSM certification exams for Health Fitness Instructor (HFI) or Exercise Test Technologist (ETT).

The ESSM department also offers majors in Athletic Training, Exercise Science, Physical Education, Sports Medicine and Nutrition and Dietetics. The department, part of the Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies, has more than 200 student majors, including more than 35 in Fitness and Health Promotion. Its graduates are highly sought by graduate and professional schools as well as employers and frequently are already employed at the time they graduate.

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ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.