More than Just a Name Change

February 17th, 2006 by Adam

The department of Health and Human Performance (HHP), formerly Health, Physical Education and Recreation, has a new name, new mission, new curriculum, houses both undergraduate and graduate academic programs and has new faculty members dedicated to the success of its students and the department.

The department formally changed its name to Health and Human Performance in 2005 after a complete revamping of its mission, majors and curriculum. As noted in the department’s 2005 Academic Planning Update: “The new name reflects a change from being discipline-focused, to being interdisciplinary, concept- and mission-focused. All the majors now connect and interconnect in a more profound way through the department’s mission. Each major is distinctive in its content and specific skills, but all prepare leaders/practitioners who bridge the gap between theory and practice in the promotion of healthy, active living.”

Associate Professor Barbara McCahn, who was department chair during the transition from HPER to HHP, further explains, “The revised curriculum resulted from careful consideration of the current trends in the occupational fields in which our graduates will be practitioners. 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.”

HHP offers six majors: Adventure Education, Athletic Training (undergraduate, entry level graduate and certified graduate), Health Education and Physical Education. Adventure Education, formally known as Outdoor Recreation, was restructured from an administrative/business focus with low-level hard skills to a major that requires greater skills training and preparing students to teach intrapersonal and interpersonal skills using outdoor adventure activities. The undergraduate Athletic Training program was updated to reflect changes in, and stay current with, accreditation standards, while the graduate students concentrate on research and skills application. Physical Education was overhauled to include a greater focus on interpersonal, leadership and advocacy skills that are critical to students’ future success as professional K-12 physical and health educators, exercise science practitioners or health fitness industry leaders. The Health Education major continues to focus on community health promotion and school health.

All of the changes made with the rollout of HHP have been in direct response to better meet market as well as student demand for programming. HHP graduates will be well prepared to work in top jobs in each discipline’s fields. Some will teach physical education and health education in public and private schools; others will teach adventure education in private schools or for-profit and non-profit organizations. Athletic training students who become certified will work in high schools, colleges, sport medicine clinics, or professional sport. Some of our graduates will work as health educators in hospital and community settings, while some PE majors will become personal fitness trainers. And many will also be ready to pursue graduate work in related health and education fields.

Follow this link to learn more about the Department of Health and Human Performance.