CHADRON – Chadron State College’s Strength and Conditioning degree program is one of nine undergraduate programs in the U.S. to earn accreditation from the Council on Accreditation in Strength and Conditioning Education.

Dr. Willie Hoffman, Health Physical Education and Recreation Professor and Strength and Conditioning Program Director, said the HPER Department started to prepare in 2018 when the National Strength and Conditioning Association announced its plans to require students to graduate from a CASCE-accredited program before taking the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification exam. 

“We decided to get ahead of the situation and began altering the CSC program to align with CASCE standards in order to apply for accreditation as soon as possible. In 2020, we created a new Strength and Conditioning option as a part of our Sports, Fitness, and Recreation Management degree,” Hoffman said.

Students began to enroll in the program in the fall of 2021. Hoffman said one of the changes in the degree program was the addition of internship hours. CASCE requires 300 hours from two different site experiences.

“Our students will be required to do the first 150 hours within our Athletic Department and then they can do the other 150 hours at a location of their choice, as long as the site meets our standards,” Hoffman said.

CSC applied for CASCE accreditation in the fall of 2021 and proceeded to complete a required self-study from Oct. 2021 to Oct. 2022.

“This was a thorough evaluation. CASCE standards include specific guidelines related to faculty, curriculum, and facilities within the department. It also included campus services such as student regulations, rights, and any other services available to students. The self-study required documentation and evidence of compliance in all areas,” Hoffman said.

Following the self-study, a CASCE peer review team visited CSC in Feb. 2023. The HPER Department received its evaluation in April and notification of earning accreditation in June. The accreditation will be renewed in 2028.