For the first time in its 48-year history, the United States Sports Academy in Spring semester 2021 will begin admitting Freshman students into its renowned sport education degree programs. The Academy has received accreditor approval to begin offering the first years of the Bachelor of Sports Science (B.S.S.) degree program to complement its longstanding and highly regarded bachelor’s degree completion program.
Founded as a graduate school of sport in 1972, the Academy admitted its first bachelor’s degree students in the Fall semester of 2004. The Academy’s application for four-year bachelor’s status was recently approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The landmark change means that the institution will begin admitting freshmen for a four-year B.S.S. degree program and teaching general educational core curriculum courses in the Spring semester 2021.
“Since its founding in 1972, the sole focus of the Academy has been sports and this has been the driving force behind all of the institutions sport education programs,” Academy President and CEO Dr. T.J. Rosandich said. “However, the Academy has been fielding many requests from here and abroad to build an undergraduate degree program that would allow first-time college students to pursue their aspirations for a career in sports. This new development will allow the Academy to bring these requests to reality.”
“This expansion of our bachelor’s degree program is a part of our long-term strategy to broaden our course offerings and to appeal to a wider audience of students,” Academy Provost Dr. Tomi Wahlstrom said. “Starting to teach general education core courses is a departure from our tradition to only teach sport specific courses and a significant evolutionary step in towards the future of the Academy. New high-school graduates are a new target market for us and we are very excited to be working with freshmen and sophomores.”
As America’s only freestanding sports university, the Academy has been continually accredited by SACSCOC since 1983 and was recently reaffirmed by the accreditor in 2018. The Academy’s B.S.S. degree programs also have a programmatic accreditation. The B.S.S. in Sports Coaching through the National Council for the Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) and the Sports Strength and Conditioning degree has been approved by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a part of their Education Recognized Partner (ERP) program. The B.S.S. in Sports Management is also a candidate for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business School and Programs (ACBSP).
SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern United States. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission.
The mission of SACSCOC is to assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions. Its vision is to serve as the premier model for shaping and ensuring the quality of higher education throughout the world.