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.