Mercy’s Accredited Bachelor’s Program in Exercise Science Earns National Recognition

Photo of strength and conditioning students

The Education Recognition Program (ERP) designation, awarded by the National Strength Conditioning Association, has singled out Mercy’s Exercise Science Bachelor’s Degree Program for its commitment to quality education leading to careers in exercise science. The recognition follows the program’s accomplishment last spring, when it earned continued accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education, the accrediting body for health sciences education, for the maximum period of ten years.

It was a noteworthy achievement by any standard. “Mercy’s Exercise Science Program became the second program in the State of New York to earn full accreditation. Now other programs are following suit,” said Astrid Mel, program director and assistant professor of exercise science. “The continued accreditation and the ERP recognition of our performance track — now given to Mercy for the third time — assures our students that the exercise science education they’re receiving at Mercy College is the gold standard.”

“The exercise science program at Mercy College is one of only 11 programs in the state to earn ERP recognition, and in the tri-state area it stands alone,” said Dr. Kathleen Golisz, professor and Interim Dean of the School of Health and Natural Sciences. “We are very proud of this accomplishment.”

The bachelor’s degree in exercise science offers two concentrations: clinical, which is geared toward a range of careers in the health sciences, and performance, which focuses on high-level athletics, coaching and sports competition.

“Our graduates leave Mercy with the strong foundation they will need for a wide variety of careers in athletics and the health sciences,” said Mel. The BS degree also serves as an entry point for students embarking on graduate studies as preparation for allied health careers, such as physical therapy, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, sports nutrition, biomechanics and much more.

Mel, a former semi-professional soccer player who has taught exercise science at several colleges, asserted the Mercy program is top-level. “The breadth and depth of our program is extensive for an undergraduate setting, especially when you factor in our dedicated lab,” she said.

As a key contributor to the development of Mercy’s state-of-the-art exercise science lab, Mel cited the lab’s “bod pod,” a sophisticated body composition tracking system; the metabolic cart for measuring pulmonary function; a wet lab, EKG machines and motor learning assessment tools. Treadmills, stationary bicycles, examination tables and a wide range of other tools of the trade round out the sophisticated array of equipment.

The internships available to students in the strength and conditioning program are noteworthy, too. Students in the clinical track intern at physical therapy or physiology clinics, while those in the performance track can work side-by-side with professional trainers and conditioning coaches. Some have landed internships at high-level performance centers where professional and Olympic athletes train. “We’ve had students intern with the New York Jets and other professional sports teams,” said Mel. Additional networking opportunities include events to which professionals in the field, including alumni, are invited to give talks and answer student questions. Students also volunteer, sponsoring an annual 5K/10K run for charity; last fall they helped out at the New York City Marathon.

“There is so much to learn about the body, how it moves and changes,” said Mel. “We know that whatever path our students take, they are on track for a great career.”

To learn more about Mercy's Exercise Science Bachelor’s Degree Program, please click here. To watch a video about the Program, please click here

To learn more about Dr. Astrid Mel, please cick here

To learn more about the Exercise Science Program Facilities at Mercys' Dobbs Ferry Campus, please click here