Frostburg State’s Exercise and Sport Science Program Receives Initial Accreditation

Aug 9, 2017 12:40 PM

Frostburg State University’s Exercise and Sport Science program has been granted initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences.

“Attaining CAAHEP accreditation is the ultimate measure of quality in the Exercise and Sport Science program,” said Dr. Boyce Williams, interim dean of the College of Education. “It is a professional seal of approval because it assures the public across the board – parents, business leaders and policy makers – that candidates coming from Frostburg State University have been prepared in exercise and sport science using rigorous national standards.”

Initial accreditation recognizes the program’s compliance with nationally established accreditation standards in the field.

Graduates of Frostburg’s program are prepared for graduate programs in health-related fields like human performance, kinesiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy and exercise physiology through a science-based curriculum. Yet exercise and sport science majors also gain the skills and credentials needed to work immediately after graduation.

“A lot of students come in wanting to do physical therapy, and then they change their minds. The good thing about them starting with this major is that now they have credentials,” said program coordinator and assistant professor Dr. Melody Kentrus. “Now they’ve got experience. They can actually get a job. For the ones who change their minds, it’s really beneficial to have this background in exercise and sport science.”

Students will take one of two national exams, both of which require a bachelor’s degree. Some seek to become a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Others attempt to become a Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine.

Both credentials qualify graduates for careers in the growing health and fitness industry, such as health fitness specialist, wellness coach, strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer or owner-operator of a training facility. Like athletic trainers, such careers focus on improving health and athletic performance, but exercise and sport science clientele have different needs.

“Athletic trainers work with injured athletes, while exercise and sport science professionals work with healthy athletes,” explained Kentrus. “They are both trying to make the athlete better, but they’re doing it in different ways.”

Students take courses in biology, physiology, biomechanics, health and fitness, business and more. They develop knowledge, skills and hands-on experience through Frostburg’s array of modern sporting and exercise facilities.

The program also requires fieldwork and internship experiences in professional workplaces. Students spend one semester observing in health and fitness organizations. A senior-year internship experience takes students deeper, requiring them to deliver health and fitness concepts directly to actual clients or patients.

Kentrus said that internships have sent some students to train athletes at an NCAA Division I school and even Olympians at Team USA’s training facility. Others intern at various health and fitness businesses throughout Maryland, and many students have found work at their internship sites after graduation, Kentrus said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment demand for fitness trainers and instructors will increase 8 percent by 2024.

Initial CAAHEP accreditation remains valid through July 31, 2022.

For more information about Exercise and Sport Science at FSU, visit www.frostburg.edu/academics/majorminors/bachelor/bachelor-in-exercise-and-sports-science.php or email fsuadmissions@frostburg.edu.

For information about CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, 25400 US Hwy 19 N, Suite 158, Clearwater, FL 33763, phone 727‐210‐2350), visit www.caahep.org.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.