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Health and Physical Education Programs (K-12)

Health and PE teacher working with elementary students


WCU’s Health and Physical Education (HPE) Program is the perfect fit for those interested in molding bodies as well as minds, giving students healthy habits for a lifetime, and mentoring tomorrow’s athletes.

The HPE Program offers a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) degree which will prepare students to teach in elementary, middle, and secondary schools.  Our graduates can organize and administer intramural programs, coach varsity sports, and administer athletic programs in addition to teaching health and physical education, exercise, and dance. Outside of academia, our graduates also work in YMCA/YWCAs, community recreation programs, industry and corporate fitness, and in private clubs.

The Health and Physical Education Program has been historically recognized for its outstanding professional preparation of health and physical educators in North Carolina. The Health and Physical Education Program’s goals are aligned with the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium standards and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education standards for Beginning Teachers.

Our highly qualified faculty have years of public school teaching and higher education experience. They bring passion and enthusiasm to their teaching and develop close, professional relationships with their students that often carry beyond the classroom and their years at Western Carolina. 

Our major isn’t just about coursework. Our engaged students participate in clubs and activities, attend conferences, and enthusiastically volunteer in our region.

The Health and Physical Education Majors Club's community-related efforts build team skills and relationships as well as resumes. The Club has social events and actively raises funds so that every major can attend the North Carolina Alliance for Athletics, Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance, and Sport Management (NCAAHPERD-SM) annual convention, an excellent place to make contacts for future employment and continue professional development.

The Health and Physical Education degree requires 42 Liberal Studies hours, 27 hours in the Professional Education Sequence, and 59 major hours.

Successful completion of the health and physical education program will lead to a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) and an initial N.C. teaching license (K-12). 

Eight-Semester Plan for B.S.Ed. in Health and Physical Education

Catalog Listing for Health and Physical Education, B.S.Ed. (2019-2020)

Health and Physical Education Course Descriptions

Professional Involvement Activities Purpose 
The purpose of this requirement is to immerse the health and physical education major in a variety of self-selected professional activities. Some examples include participating in intramural sports, joining applicable clubs and organizations, obtaining CPR or First Aid certification and volunteering in public schools. Every professional in any career has an opportunity and obligation to contribute to the growth, development, and maintenance of the profession in a number of different ways. Most professionals support their local, state and national organizations through memberships in these organizations. Still others participate regularly in the activities sponsored by these organizations. To be a professional is to accept these responsibilities. In return, the physical education major receives the benefit of the collective wisdom of practicing professionals whose major goal is to further the profession and enhance its contributions to society in general.

Since one of the objectives of this program of study is to further an understanding of our profession, the physical education major must meet the professional involvement requirement by participating in a number of professional activities. There are, however, stipulations and guidelines for how you can meet this requirement. Below is a list of professional activities for which the physical education major can earn professional involvement points toward a required number of 50 by the Internship II semester. The physical education major is encouraged to take this opportunity to get involved early in the program of study and not put this requirement off until the last semester (note: it will be very hard to do during the Internship I semester).

The physical education major can earn up to 50 professional involvement points by participating in activities from all of the major categories below. All points must be earned by the end of the Internship I semester (the second to last semester of the program of study). It is anticipated that much more than 50 points will be earned. These are the kinds of activities that enhance a résumé and help the physical education graduate get a job.

Professional Involvement Activities Verification 
To receive credit for any of the listed activities a completed verification form with the appropriate signatures and supporting evidence (if necessary) is required. These forms should be filed in your folder in the Lab as soon as the activity is completed.

Upon completion of the B.S.Ed. degree in Health and Physical Education, the candidate will:

1. Understand and demonstrate effective teaching behaviors and can create instructionally appropriate learning experiences that make the subject matter meaningful for students. (1: Content Knowledge & 5: Pedagogy) [1: Content Pedagogy] {1: Content Knowledge & 6: Planning & Instruction} * see key below

2. Understand child and adolescent development, and can provide developmentally appropriate learning experiences for students. (2: Growth & development) [2: Student Development] {2: Growth & Development}

3. Understand how students differ in their learning styles and differentiates instruction for unique students. (8: Diverse Learners) [3: Diverse Students] {3: Diverse Students}

4. Understand and uses a variety of teaching styles to encourage cognitive engagement such as critical thinking, problem solving, and analysis to perform skills and activities. [4: Multiple Instructional Strategies] {6: Planning & Instruction}

5. Understand individual and group motivation and behavior to create an environment for learning that encourages affective engagement such as positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. (3: Management & Motivation) [5: Motivation and Management] {4: Management & Motivation}

6. Use knowledge of effective electronic communication and other media materials to foster active learning and cooperative interaction in the gymnasium. (4: Communication & 7: Technology) [6: Communication and Technology] {5: Communication & 9: Technology}

7. Plan instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals. [7: Planning] {6: Planning & Instruction}

8. Understand and use formal and informal assessment techniques to assess and ensure the continuous cognitive, affective, psychomotor and fitness development of the student. (6: Learner Assessment) [8: Assessment] {7: Student Assessment}

9. Evaluate consistently the effects of his or her teaching practices on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks out constructive feedback in order to grow professionally. (9: Reflection & Professional Growth) [9: Reflective Practice: Professional Growth] {8: Reflection}

10. Promote interaction with school colleagues, parents, and organizations in the larger community to sustain students' learning and well-being. (10: Collaboration) [10: School and Community Involvement] {10: Collaboration}

* Key:

• (NC DPI Standards for Physical Education Teachers)
• [INTASC Standards] 
• {NASPE Beginning PE Teacher Standards}

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