The University of New England’s Applied Exercise Science (AES) program recently received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Coupled with a previously secured certificate of endorsement from the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) Education Recognition Program (ERP), which AES received at its inception in 2006, the CAAHEP accreditation distinguishes UNE’s Applied Exercise Science program as one of only four institutions in New England that hold this dual acclaim.
Heath Pierce, M.Ed., program director for the Applied Exercise Science program said that the CAAHEP accreditation is a significant achievement. “The recognition from CAAHEP’s board of directors that we are in compliance with national standards of excellence is not only an accomplishment for the program, but it gives our students an advantage in the job market as well,” said Pierce. “Just as a license in certain health professions ensures an employer that an individual is prepared to serve the public, accreditation ensures an employer that the program from which the individual graduated has made him or her well prepared for the workforce with the knowledge, skills and abilities to be successful.”
The CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor of the health sciences professions. In collaboration with its Committee on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits over 2,100 individual education programs in 30 health science occupations. CAAHEP accredited programs are assessed on an ongoing basis to ensure that they meet the Standards and Guidelines of each profession.
To become accredited, a program must successfully complete a CAAHEP Request for Accreditation Services Form, a self-study document and an on-site review and then must receive recommendation by the CAAHEP Committee on Accreditation. There are only 54 CAAHEP accredited exercise science programs nationwide.