Kinesiology works out core rejection
Faculty push the benefits of fitness, sport and dance courses.
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 16:09
Have you looked at your degree requirements lately? You might have noticed that kinesiology is no longer a requirement in most new degrees plans.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board removed kinesiology from core requirements for degrees in arts and sciences beginning this semester.
The board’s decision was not based on funding, Chair Bill Richardson of kinesiology and dance, said Sept. 17.
“The decision is predicated on a big push to have an educated workforce,” he said, referring to adding academic courses in the core in lieu of physical education. “There is more pressure and more pressure to produce more graduates.”
Richardson does not agree with the board’s decision. “A person who is fit is apt to be more productive,” he said. “The billions of dollars spent on needless health care because of people not taking care of themselves can be prevented.”
Richardson was expecting a drop in enrollment in kinesiology and dance this semester. Last spring, the department offered 100 sections, and this fall the number is 85 sections. So far, the department has not lost any full-time faculty.
He said he told his faculty of 10 full-time instructors and 11 adjuncts, “It might get worse before it gets better.”
The department has turned to several marketing campaigns to show the benefits of taking a class offered by the department, such as issuing incoming students brochures, periodically sending emails and hanging banners around campus informing students about new and existing classes.
Plans call for a course in what Richardson calls “extreme fitness,” which will combine cardio, spin bike and aquatic exercises to help train for triathlons.
Students may ask why they should take kinesiology if it is no longer required.
He encourages students to enroll in kinesiology classes to develop skills, attitudes and knowledge relative to fitness-related activities, lifetime sports and dance.
Richardson said, “Physically fit people are helping to stop early chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity.”
Former students have told him that his classes have changed their lives and they now know that being healthy truly is the lifestyle for them.
Another benefit that students on a budget might consider is the cost of a class over a standard gym membership that could reach in access of $300 a year.
For more information, visit the department’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sackinesiology or call 210-486-1010.