CLEVELAND, Ga. (Christian Examiner) – Adding another health-related degree to its growing offering of 26 educational programs, Truett-McConnell College (TMC), a Georgia Baptist affiliated school, was recently approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) to offer a bachelor of science degree in exercise science.
"As the field of health-related services grows, Truett-McConnell is prepared to raise up godly professionals who share Christ and serve others," said TMC President Emir Caner. "And we are blessed to have some of the premier faculty related to Exercise Sciences, ensuring our students will be well equipped to meet the needs of the next generation."
The concept of offering a undergraduate degree. in Exercise Science first surfaced as the division chair for math and science, Robert Bowen, whose background in exercise physiology led to the development of the new degree program.
"I am absolutely thrilled about receiving SACS-COC approval to offer a B.S. in Exercise Science at Truett-McConnell," Bowen said. "I am looking forward to seeing how God begins to use our Exercise Science students to heal the sick and call home the lost."
Bowen shared his student-centric goals for the degree, which is set to begin in spring 2016. "We want to see our students prepared as exercise scientists with the hearts of evangelists."
Referencing the school's commitment to her four pillars to love the Lord, love the lost, love the church and love God's Word, Bowen echoed his desire to train students to be well-prepared for the marketplace and graduate programs while remaining committed to the foundations taught at Truett-McConnell.
"Our students will be prepared to successfully complete certifications to work in the areas of clinical rehabilitation sciences, corporate and personal fitness, sport and athletic performance, among other career fields," Bowen said.
Continuing on to higher education in medicine, occupational and physical therapy, athletic training, and other types of research through masters and doctorate level academic programs will also be an option for graduates.
"The exercise science degree adds a new dimension of academic excellence to our already vibrant community of students," Bowen said. It will "also act as the practical gateway to the development of additional undergraduate and graduate programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
State Recognition for Online Degree Programs
In a recent ranking by Affordable Colleges Online (AC Online), TMC was named as one of the 2015-2016 Best Online Colleges for Georgia.
TMC began its online program in 2010 and now offers four online degrees in Christian Studies, World Missions, Business, and Psychology.
After analyzing hundreds of colleges with bachelor's level online degree programs, AC Online created a list of colleges which offer the best academic programs, student support, and affordability for online students.
"We wanted to highlight the schools in each state that are driving innovative learning and meeting demands of students," said Dan Schuessler, CEO and Founder of AC Online in an online news release produced by the company.
"These schools are not only offering great programs, but they have expanded their program excellence to the much-desired online environment," Schuessler said.
"Online is an ever-changing world that is fast paced and a catalyst for change," said Joseph Wiegand, Associate Vice President for Academics and the interim Vice President for Finance and Operations. "The online program at Truett-McConnell is no different."
Over the last year, Wiegand shared how the online department added key personnel to help support the growing program in hopes of expanding.
"The building blocks are in place to expand the online offerings so additional bachelor's and master's degrees can be offered," said Wiegand. "Ultimately, Truett-McConnell Online is an incredible tool to help equip college students of all ages for their calling and to make an impact for the Kingdom."