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TAMUK exercise science program receives historic accreditation

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KINGSVILLE (May 9, 2024) — The department of health and kinesiology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) has achieved a significant milestone as the exercise science program has been awarded accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). It is currently the only public institution in Texas that has a CAAHEP-accredited exercise science program.


“Being at the forefront, at least in Texas, of this accreditation push that we are seeing in the exercise sciences nationwide is certainly a good look for our program,” said Dr. Christopher Hearon, professor, human performance laboratory coordinator and former chair of the department.


“Our exercise science programs already have an excellent reputation at the state, regional and national levels given the numerous student and faculty accolades that they have received over the last 15 years from organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Kinesiology Association. This accreditation is another feather in our cap and further justifies our reputation for excellence,” he added.


“Accreditation is a key factor in the world of higher education for several reasons, ensuring the quality and credibility of programs offered by institutions,” said Dr. Daniel Burt, associate professor, interim department chair and sport business program coordinator. “Accreditation is crucial due to quality assurance and ability to transfer credits between highly recognized programs.


“It also improves the potential for graduate education and employment, allows for continuous improvement in an ever-changing field and increases the confidence in the program with our community and external stakeholders in the health science fields,” Burt added.


“In essence, accreditation is essential for ensuring that higher education programs maintain a level of quality that benefits students, educators and the broader community. It underpins the integrity and reputation of educational institutions and the value of the degrees they offer,” he said.


Hearon added, “This means that the students and graduates of our exercise science programs are entitled to all rights and privileges that come from being a student in or a graduate of an accredited exercise science program. This includes being able to sit for the Exercise Physiologist Certification from the American College of Sports Medicine, that starting in 2027, will be restricted to graduates from accredited exercise science programs.”


He added that the current curriculum will not change because the programs aligned their curricula with the standards and competencies for this accreditation a number of years ago.


In addition to Texas A&M-Kingsville, two private schools, Our Lady of the Lake and Hardin-Simmons University have this accreditation. “A large number of programs in Texas are currently in the process of applying for this accreditation which by 2027 will be more common than not in exercise science programs that are centered around the learning competencies set forth by the American College of Sports Medicine,” Hearon said.


This prestigious accreditation was awarded upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercises Sciences and is in recognition of the program’s adherence to the rigorous standards and academic competencies set forth by the American College of Sports Medicine. The process also incorporated standards from a coalition of other esteemed organizations including the American Council on Exercise, the American Kinesiology Association, the American Red Cross, the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the National Council on Strength and Fitness.


The initial accreditation is valid through 2028, however, it mandates annual updates, reviews and reports to ensure sustained excellence and adherence to evolving standards and to afford the program the opportunity to apply for continued accreditation through 2038.



Category: Edu/Kines , General Univ

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