Central College became the first college in Iowa — and one of just four in the nation — to earn accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Strength and Conditioning Programs. The program is predominantly focused on preparing athletics coaches.
By achieving initial accreditation, CASCE certifies that Central’s program has completed a rigorous peer review process and demonstrated its commitment to offering a program that is measurable, accountable and of the highest quality in preparation of students pursuing careers in strength and conditioning.
“The strength and conditioning major is important for Central students. We are really good at getting students ready to coach at the collegiate level,” says Dave Pavlat, associate professor of kinesiology. “Our program creates very strong entry level coaches.”
The CASCE accreditation ensures that Central graduates are professionals who know how to safeguard their athletes from unnecessary injury, while elevating the credibility and necessity of the profession in the eyes of the public.
Pavlat explains that students who are seriously interested in becoming a strength and conditioning coach at any level need to go through an accredited program. The CASCE seal shows that Central is serious about being the best strength and conditioning program. Central has been producing strength and conditioning coaches at the national level since 1998 when Pavlat came here.
“We are a leader in the field and create a tremendously applicable program for our students,” Pavlat says. “When they graduate from Central, they are ready to coach at a high level. Our alumni would agree. We have had strength and conditioning coaches at Florida State, Nebraska, Tennessee, Boise State, Washington, Missouri, Auburn, Kentucky, Harvard, Brown, Notre Dame, Minnesota, the University of Iowa and Iowa State. Even in our athletic conference we have had strength and conditioning coaches at Central, Luther, Loras and Simpson. In the last year we have had students work with the University of Iowa, the Air Force and Nebraska.
“By 2030 if a coach wants to sit for the certified strength and conditioning specialist exam, they will need to graduate from an accredited program,” he adds. “To be one of the first in the country is an honor but also shows our commitment to the program and the profession.”
CASCE accreditation is chosen by programs that are leaders in strength and conditioning education. The high-level quality assurance of accreditation provides students (prospective, current and graduates) the confidence in their choice of institution. In the future, only graduates of CASCE accredited programs will qualify to sit for the certified strength and conditioning specialist exam.
Information about the National Strength and Conditioning Association is available at https://www.nsca.com/education/casce/why-casce/.
Central College of Pella, Iowa, is a private, four-year liberal arts college. Central is known for its academic rigor and leadership formation and for cultivating diversity of thought and culture through the arts and sciences, professional fields of study and experiential learning.