The Indiana University of Pennsylvania health and physical education department's Exercise Science program recently was awarded initial five-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

The award makes the program's undergraduate component one of 10 accredited undergraduate programs in the nation, according to the commission, which is the largest programmatic accrediting body in the allied health sciences.

Accreditation signifies compliance with nationally established accreditation standards and recognizes that the program has significant emphasis on practical application of classroom learning, tracking outcomes and following students past graduation, according to Madeline Bayles, coordinator of IUP's Exercise Science program.

Bayles said the accreditation occurred after a yearlong collaboration among program faculty members, including Mark Sloniger, Robert Alman, Leslie Stenger, Elaine Blair and Carleen Zoni, dean of the College of Health and Human Services.

“The entire department is to be congratulated on this achievement,” Zoni said. “Accreditation, especially first-time accreditation, is a vigorous and comprehensive effort and requires extensive documentation.”

IUP's Exercise Science program is endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine under the University Connection Program.