West Virginia University’s Sport and Exercise Psychology program was recognized with the Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training in Exercise and Sport Psychology award by Division 47 of the American Psychological Association.

SEP is a component of WVU’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences and is one of the first true sport and exercise psychology undergraduate programs in the United States. The undergraduate program has more than 400 graduates. Approximately 60 percent of its graduates move on to graduate school in SEP or closely related disciplines.

“As one of the oldest sport and exercise psychology programs in the United States, the SEP program at West Virginia University has created a strong reputation for turning out excellent researchers and practitioners in both sport and exercise psychology,” said Jack Watson, professor and chair of the department.

The APA has 54 division, organized by members into interest groups that represent a variety of disciplines in the field of psychology. Division 47 includes the field of exercise and sport psychology.

Every three years the APA awards a sport psychologist or training program that, over time, has consistently provided significant contributions to education and training in exercise and sport psychology. The award will be presented at the 2013 APA Convention in Honolulu from July 31 to August 4.

This is the first time in history that the APA has awarded a group rather than a single individual. The SEP program has established much strength and credibility prior to earning this recognition.

The WVU Board of Governors selected SEP as a “Program of Excellence” based on its national reputation of distinction, strength in the area of curriculum and assessment, success of its graduates, and the quality of its faculty.

“At the graduate level, this program has taken strides to ensure that it is able to serve its students on an individual level,” said Watson.

SEP faculty at WVU made the decision years ago to focus many of their resources on the doctoral program. All students admitted into this program also complete a master’s degree in community counseling, making them eligible to sit for licensure as a professional counselor.

In the past seven years, the SEP program has graduated a total of 20 Ph.D. students. While the majority of these students have gone on to take faculty positions at prestigious universities around the United States, others have taken positions as practitioners and researchers in the field.

“The SEP program at WVU has always striven to be at the forefront of the field with regard to the programming that we offer and the opportunities available to students,” Watson said. “Faculty continues to stay abreast of current developments in the field with the goal of maintaining a cutting edge approach. It is because of these contributions to the field of exercise and sport psychology that I believe the SEP program at WVU was recognized with the 2013 Distinguished Contributions to Education and Training Award.”

For detailed information about the curriculum in place in the SEP program, visit http://cpass.wvu.edu/doctorate/sep/degree_requirements/curriculum, or contact Jack Watson at jack.watson@mail.wvu.edu. To learn more about the APA award and ceremony, visit www.apa.org.



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CONTACT: Kimberly Cameon, CPASS
304.293.0827, Kimberly.Cameon@mail.wvu.edu