Kaitlyn Lundy, Staff Writer
Current and future North Greenville University students seeking to make a difference in the education community in regards to the health of children K-12 now have access to a new degree program.
On Dec. 12, 2018, North Greenville University got the approval necessary to begin the Bachelor of Science in K-12 Physical Education degree program. This semester is the first to implement the new program at NGU.
Prior to this major, there were no resources available to pursue a Physical Education profession at NGU.
North Greenville University officials have been wanting a program of this regard for several years, but were awaiting approval from the South Carolina Department of Education.
This program connects the College of Education and College of Wellness and Sports providing students with a teaching certification for grades K-12.
In addition, teachers who move out of the state of South Carolina and return have the opportunity to apply for certifications in both the state as well as other states across the country.
This degree is only offered in the form of a major. There are no electives included in the curriculum and no options for a minor.
Dr. Tom Coates, chair of the physical education department and professor of physical education, says the reasons why department officials chose this was to “minimize the amount of credit hours and ensure certification that comes with the major.” This will unlikely change in the future.
The curriculum includes general education courses, education courses, and major physical education courses. These courses cater toward the requirements of the state and national standards in place for certification purposes in particular.
The process of implementing all physical education courses at NGU will take four semesters starting next fall.
Within the program, students will learn about health, setting fitness goals, how to plan/teach lessons and promote habits pertaining to overall well-being. Students will also have taught a full semester of physical education by their senior year.
Each faculty member within the department have one or more graduate degrees in physical education under their belts as well as teaching experience in the field.
Once the major was announced in the press release, three students declared it. Currently there was another student added and another considering. Admissions feels extremely confident about the success of the program, expecting pretty good numbers this coming fall and beyond.
Dr. Coates commented, “NGU students in these programs can model a Christian lifestyle to their students and colleagues. K-12 students model what they see. They don’t see Christian lifestyles in their homes or in society. Physical educators are able to interact with their students in a unique way; students admire and remember the impact of their coaches and physical educators. We can make a big difference.”
There is an overall shortage of educators especially specialists in physical education. This program will equip future coaches, athletic directors, PE teachers, fitness directors, fitness instructors, etc. bringing Christian worldview to numerous employers.
“We are excited about this and its potential. We want to put out more good teachers from here,” says Dr. Coates.