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College of Education expands physical education program

Tonya Butler-Collins demonstrates trigger-point therapy
Tonya Butler-Collins helping students learn trigger-point therapy techniques.

The College of Education at University of North Georgia has expanded the physical education program to include a new emphasis for the Bachelor of Science in physical education degree program.

The new emphasis in sport, science, and recreation (SER) will begin fall 2013, and will be housed on the Gainesville campus.

“This expansion will capitalize on the strengths of the Gainesville faculty, who continue to show excellence in the fields of sport and recreation,” said Dr. Bob Michael, dean of the College of Education. “By offering more choices, we attract more students, and by recognizing and utilizing the collective strength of our combined faculty, we gain broader input and a more effective program.”

Before the consolidation in January of Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University to create UNG, Gainesville State did not have a four-year program in health and physical education. The new program adds a fourth area to the three emphasis areas already in place in the College of Education.

“The current Bachelor of Science in physical education has three emphasis areas: exercise science, leadership, and teacher certification,” said Anne Forrest Prim, coordinator of the Health and Physical Education Program. “Students seeking a degree with the new SER emphasis will have the opportunity to do the majority of their upper-level coursework on the Gainesville campus and seek advisement from the Gainesville faculty.”

Butler-Collins assists a student.

Butler-Collins assists a student.

Tonya Butler-Collins, assistant professor of health and wellness on the Gainesville campus, described the degree as ideal for those who desire to move into a career as an athletic or recreation director at a university, private club, or public municipality. Currently the fields of exercise science and recreation and leisure studies do not adequately prepare students to become athletic or recreation directors.

“With the demands increasing and the field expecting students to come in with some coaching, programming of camps, and a primary understanding of the workings of the human body related to fitness, this degree will better prepare students wanting to take a different path,” Butler-Collins said. “This unique degree emphasis will give students a competitive edge when applying for jobs in the fields of fitness, recreation, or athletics.”

The first graduates of the new program are expected in summer 2015.

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