NGU News

NGU Announces New Physical Education Major

Posted on: February 2, 2021
By LaVerne Howell,

Children At Physical Education Lesson In School GymTigerville, SC – (January 16, 2019) The College of Wellness and Sport Professions and the College of Education at North Greenville University (NGU) are pleased to announce the establishment of the Bachelor of Science in K-12 Physical Education degree to be implemented in the spring 2019 semester. This program will be offered as a new baccalaureate degree in the traditional delivery mode.

“We are very excited to be rolling out the new Physical Education K-12 Certification degree program in January 2019,” said Dean of the College of Wellness & Sport Professions Dr. Jeff Briggs. “Physical education is a fundamental part of the total education for all children from kindergarten through high school. Our goal is to prepare teacher candidates to be effective practitioners, caring leaders, and lifelong learners while viewing their work as kingdom ministry in the marketplace of life and education.”

NGU’s K-12 Physical Education teacher education program will enable students to integrate academic discipline, Christian lifestyle, and an enriched cultural experience through an academically rigorous course of study leading to state certification. Specifically, this program will prepare students to teach physical education in elementary, middle, and secondary school systems throughout South Carolina and beyond, thereby adding a significant avenue for employment and service to the state and nation.

The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) Center for Education Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) produces an annual report entitled “Supply and Demand Survey.” In this publication, SCDE reports on the number of educator positions in public schools by subject areas. This report includes not only the number of positions per subject area, but the number of vacancies and new hires.

The Supply and Demand Survey for 2014 reported a total of 1,744 physical education teaching positions in South Carolina. Of the 1,744 positions available, 202 were new hires during the 2014-2015 school year. This was an increase of 59 percent from 2010 when South Carolina reported having only 83 new hires. The growth in the number of physical education teaching positions, as well as the increase of new hires, indicates that there continues to be a need for physical education teachers in the state. In fact, in the same 2015 report, of the 1,744 positions available, seven positions went unfilled by any candidates. This evidence supports the need to produce more physical education teachers in South Carolina. Dean Briggs noted, “Our demand studies, early on, supported the state reporting of employment opportunity and we plan to meet that need through our program.”

“The main goal of our program is to produce Christian physical educators that instruct and demonstrate a Christian worldview regarding physical activities and a physically active lifestyle,” said Dr. Tom Coates, chair of the physical education department and professor of physical education.

Coates noted NGU physical education majors will spend much of their time studying health, setting and achieving personal fitness goals, and planning and teaching lessons to both small and large groups. Students will learn about developing and implementing physical education programs, teaching health and fitness, and promoting well-being to a variety of age levels, as well as how to apply this knowledge in their work.

“By their senior year, they will have taught for a full semester in a South Carolina public school setting. After taking and passing all state-required exams, the student will be able to apply for teacher certification in the state of South Carolina. Program graduates become certified to teach at elementary, middle, and secondary levels throughout South Carolina and beyond,” said Coates.

The curriculum for the physical education department is comprised of three parts: general education requirements, required education courses, and required physical education courses. The general education component for the degree consists of a series of courses required of all NGU students pursuing a baccalaureate degree. The required education courses are a series of courses specifically developed and implemented to address South Carolina requirements for teacher certification. Finally, the required physical education courses have been specifically designed to meet state and national standards for those seeking teacher certification in the area of physical education.

Examples of careers that begin with an undergraduate physical education degree are athletic director, coach, corporate fitness program director, elementary physical education (PE) teacher, fitness director, fitness instructor, high school PE teacher, middle school PE teacher, PE teacher, private school teacher, public school teacher, resort fitness coordinator.

Careers that require further graduate or professional education are a college instructor, college-level coach, professional-level coach, and university instructor.

Physical education is an open major that can be declared at any time by students currently enrolled as undergraduates at NGU. To declare the major or learn more visit

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