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Mercyhurst exercise science achieves national recognition

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Mercyhurst University Exercise Science Program has earned the Education Recognition Program (ERP) endorsement from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). The ERP distinguishes university curricula, upon professional review, that successfully prepare students to sit for NSCA certification exams.

Mercyhurst is one of only six programs in Pennsylvania to achieve the recognition, which affords its students numerous benefits, including preferential access to scholarships, internships, and assistantships, and significant discounts on NSCA certification exams, regional and national conference admission, and student membership.

NSCA is one of the largest and most influential professional organizations devoted to exercise science, sport science and human performance. NSCA professional certifications are considered a “gold standard” in the exercise training and medical fitness industry.

“I believe this represents a very important, positive step in the evolution of our department,” said Dr. Robert Chetlin, associate professor and clinical coordinator of Mercyhurst’s exercise science program, which is a major within the university’s sports medicine department.

Chetlin, an NSCA-accredited Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), will now also serve as Mercyhurst’s NSCA ERP director. “Our professional affiliation with such a renowned organization like the NSCA will reap many benefits for our students in the future,” he said.

Among those benefits is that students can sit for one-of-four discounted certification exams best suited to their future aspirations. These include:

  1. Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), for students interested in training and conditioning for athletic teams or groups of athletes;

  2. Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), for students interested in working with exercise clients individually, in a “one-on-one” application;

  3. Certified Special Populations Specialist (CSPS), for students interested in exercise prescription for persons with acute or chronic illness or disability, such as cardiovascular and neuromuscular disease, and;

  4. Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F), for students interested in specialized exercise training for military, law enforcement, fire and rescue, and other emergency personnel.

Secondly, he said, equipping students with the knowledge, skills and abilities to obtain a legitimate, recognized professional exercise certification satisfies one of exercise science’s missions, namely to provide students with an “employable degree” upon graduation. Lastly, for prospective students, the NSCA will provide a searchable listing and link to the Mercyhurst exercise science program on its website, as well as promotion of the program at its national conferences.

Chetlin expressed optimism that, eventually, the benefits of ERP will be extended to all students in the sports medicine department. He said he looks forward to working with all departmental faculty on ways “to best optimize this extension of professional development for as many students as possible.”