Give kids a head start on a healthy life as a physical education teacher. The teaching option within our exercise science major prepares students for state certification as a K–12 health and physical education teacher. Designed to meet all state requirements, this option integrates a science-based health and exercise science curriculum with a teacher-preparation program focused on the latest knowledge and best practices in physical development for youth.
The physical education option also provides a solid foundation for many other careers, in both school and professional settings. Athletic or wellness coach, physical or occupational therapist, fitness specialist or recreation leader, and more: Health and human performance is a rapidly growing career field.
High Quality and on the Cutting Edge
Our program is not only high quality—fulfilling the standards of our national accrediting agencies—but on the cutting edge of theory and practice. Students learn and practice in a curriculum informed by the latest advances in health and human performance as well as the whole child approach to exemplary teaching.
- Our faculty are respected scholars, contributing expertise to the New Jersey guidelines on K–12 physical education, among other initiatives.
- Our human performance lab provides students with hands-on skills practice and research opportunities.
- Students are welcomed on research projects, from a lab study of circuit workouts to a school-based study of the correlation between physical fitness and health behaviors in local second graders.
- Teaching candidates present their research at conferences and are published in professional journals.
Extensive Fieldwork and Student Teaching
The curriculum integrates broad study across specialized health and physical education subjects—from anatomy and physiology to childhood and adolescent development—with teacher-preparation courses that provide deep immersion in local schools.
- School exposure begins in the sophomore year, in classes that integrate fieldwork components, and builds continually through the senior year.
- Teacher candidates are well prepared to enter student teaching as seniors, having accumulated hundreds of hours of practical experience in a variety of school settings.
- Seniors complete student teaching experiences for health and physical education at the elementary and secondary levels.