NCPEID Feature Article: Graduate Program Accreditation in Adapted Physical Education in the United States: Starting a Conversation


  • Chad Nichols Nebraska Wesleyan University
  • Martin E. Block University of Virginia


Adapted physical education, graduate programs, recommendations, accreditation


Little is known about the state of graduate training programs (beyond a bachelor’s degree, but not a PhD) in adapted physical education (APE) in the United States. A recent exploratory study identified 39 university programs offering graduate training in APE and found scarce uniformity amongst them. This lack of uniformity complicates the prescription of baseline requirements for programs offering graduate training in APE. Nevertheless, it is important to create national recommendations that could standardize current programs. Thus, our goal was to begin the discussion on the national accreditation of graduate APE programs similar to what exists in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and athletic training programs. A comparison is made between the requirements for accreditation in these fields, and a call is issued for the field of APE to begin the process of bringing APE in line with these other fields that work on movement skills with people of all ability levels.

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