Exercise Physiology Program Updates

From September 11, 2014

The Exercise Physiology program at Valdosta State University has undergone a history of academic and numerical growth. The program of study first appeared in the 1994-1995 undergraduate catalog as a Bachelor of Science in Health Fitness within the Department of Health, Physical Education and Athletics. In October 1998, the program of study transitioned from the Bachelor of Science in Health Fitness to the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. The Department of Health, Physical Education and Athletics was changed to the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education in 1999. In July 2001, the status of “Educational Recognition Program” was conferred upon the Exercise Science program by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). The Exercise Science curriculum received recognition by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) University Connection Program (UCEP) which was developed to assure program quality and consistency among colleges and universities. The Exercise Science program was recognized by the ACSM Committee on Certification and Registry Boards (CCRB) as meeting the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) for the ACSM Health Fitness Instructor® certification and for the ACSM Exercise Specialist® in November 2001 and May 2005 respectively. Two years later, the program of study was renamed as a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology with approval by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and is one of a miniscule number of undergraduate programs nationwide officially confers the “Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology” on the graduation diploma. The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology curriculum is based upon the desired educational content and outcomes recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine. “The ACSM is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. With more than 50,000 members and certified professionals worldwide, ACSM is dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.”  (www.acsm.org)

Since 1994, the program of study was located on the main campus in the Physical Education Complex and was one of many programs within the Dewar College of Education. On July 1, 2013, the Exercise Physiology, Athletic Training, Nutritional Science minor and Dental Hygiene programs officially became the School of Health Sciences and merged with the College of Nursing to form the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. The Exercise Physiology program will undergo formal review by the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES) during this academic year to receive accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). In addition, plans are underway to submit a new program prospectus this academic year for approval to unveil a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology program within the next two years.

Exercise Science is one of the fastest growing majors among colleges and universities nationwide (Inside Higher Education, 2010). Historically, students were guaranteed program admission if they met established criteria. However, students must now apply online in the spring term for potential admission into the EP program. The first cohort of forty students entered the program this fall 14 under the new admission criteria. Once students complete the EP program they are able to utilize the principles of exercise physiology in a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings. Individuals for whom services are appropriate include, but are not limited to, those with cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, immunologic, inflammatory, orthopedic and neuromuscular diseases and conditions. The program of study also provides a foundation for graduate or professional studies in related allied health professions. Examples include exercise physiology, physical and occupational therapy, nursing, physician assistant, chiropractic medicine, medical school, biomechanics, dietetics, sports nutrition, personal training, strength & conditioning coach, public health, wellness coaching, pharmaceutical and medical equipment sales and other allied-health careers. Students are required to sit for an American College of Sports Medicine certification examination during their last semester in the program.

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