Departmental Name Changes Reflect Advances

October, 2006

Two PSU departments underwent name changes recently. The Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department (known as HPER) has become the Health and Human Performance Department (HHP); and the Department of Foreign Languages has become the Department of Languages and Linguistics.

Health and Human Performance is a name that reflects a complete revamping of mission, majors and curriculum for the department. Programs are now interdisciplinary and both concept and mission focused, rather than discipline focused. The changes were made in direct response to market demand as well as student requirements for programming, so that HHP graduates will be well prepared to work in top jobs in their respective fields.

“The revised curriculum resulted from careful consideration of the current trends in the occupational fields in which our graduates will be practitioners,” Associate Professor Barbara McCahan, who was department chair during the transition, said. “In all courses there is now a greater emphasis on facilitating the transition of students from participants to practitioners and leaders. Our graduates will be well prepared with the knowledge and skills to be professional clinicians and advocates of healthy, active lifestyles.”

“Languages and Linguistics” reflects new language opportunities being offered, as well as the department’s philosophy and approach to teaching and learning. Gaye Gould, formerly of PSU’s English department, is joining Languages and Linguistics, and bringing with her courses in Cantonese as well as English as a Second Language (ESOL), Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL), and linguistics. Other language courses offered by the department include French, German, Spanish, Latin and American Sign Language.

“The name change updates and expands our department objectives,” explained Barbara Lopez-Mayhew, chair of Languages and Linguistics. “Our majors will have greater flexibility within their programs to include linguistics as a minor. The new department name is welcoming to all students. It’s not so ‘foreign.’”—Marcia L. Santore

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