In this age of information technology, the traditional ways of doing things are changing rapidly. Newer technologies are making older ones obsolete. Similarly, the traditional way of learning is slowly changing into online learning. Online learning is gaining popularity among people, who want to get an education from their homes. Moreover, every field of study is online today. In the past, physical education was considered as something to learn on campus. But now, universities and colleges are offering it online. Many universities in the U.S. are even offering specialization in physical education via online learning. Some online physical education programs are in a hybrid format, while others are fully online. There are some online platforms which are offering free online education to students.
Physical Education Degree Programs in the US
Physical Education is one of the most important courses in the U.S. The curriculum of American K-12 schools is incomplete without a physical education course. The purpose of physical education is to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle. With time, the importance of physical education is increasing, because people are becoming health conscious. Therefore, the need for qualified and good physical educators has risen as well. In the U.S, 928 colleges and universities offer physical education programs. More than 600 institutions offer a bachelor’s degree in physical education. And 213 educational institutions offer a master’s or advanced degree in physical education. Lastly, there are more than 100 educational institutes in the U.S. that offer physical education through their online platforms.
Physical Education Career Options
People with a physical education degree can make their careers in sports, fitness, and teaching, etc. Most of the jobs like nutritionists, therapists, physical trainers require a physical education degree. Graduates of physical education are eligible to teach in public and private schools. A person with a physical education degree can become an instructor, trainer, college instructor, and physical education specialist. A person who is interested in sports can be an athletic coach, sports dietitian, or a sports psychologist. Moreover, the person who is interested in health and fitness can be a health and fitness consultant, nutritionist, or personal trainer. However, a student has to study additional courses for choosing career paths.
Top 7 Online Physical Education Programs in the US
Nowadays, most professionals in the education field want to advance their careers by getting a college degree in physical education. Unfortunately, in some cases, they don’t have time to attend classes. So, nowadays, these professionals can enroll themselves in online physical education programs offered by universities in the US. Some online programs are given below which provide quality education to their online students. The criteria used for ranking these programs are Affordability, Graduation Rate, Accreditation, and Online Programming.
1. University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas is in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Its online programs are one of the top programs in the U.S. Currently, more than 7000 students are learning online programs. The university has also started offering a 100% online physical education degree. A student has to complete 33 credit hours for acquiring a master’s degree in physical education. The tuition fee for the program of 2 years is $430 per credit hour. The faculty of the program includes people who have worked in fitness-oriented careers or professional sports industry. It means the students can learn from professionals. A personal academic advisor guide and supervise students throughout the course. Arkansas Teacher Opportunity Program provides grants and scholarships to students with financial needs.
2. University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is located in Tampa, South Florida. USF’s College of Education is among the top 100 best education institutes in the U.S. Similarly, the “U.S. News & World Report” has ranked the College of Education as the 36th most prestigious online programs in the U.S. The University of South Florida offers a Master of Arts in Physical Education, which can be completed online. USF charges $704 per credit hour for its online physical education program. The credit hour requirements of the 2-year program are 30 credit hours. This online physical education degree helps physical educators in their career advancement. The students have to study in-depth elective courses, which cover vast areas related to physical education. These courses help students develop in-depth knowledge. It also helps professionals explore new topics related to their career goals. The graduation rate of this program is 73%.
3. Eastern New Mexico University
The Eastern New Mexico University is located in Portales, New Mexico. The university is accredited by the High Learning Commission. It offers a fully online Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education (with an emphasis in Sport & Recreation Management). ENMU provides one of the most affordable online programs in the U.S. The tuition fee of its 4-year Bachelor’s program is $10,918 per year. The university offers its online services through Mediasite and Blackboard. Online students access these platforms for attending lectures and seeking advice regarding the course. Other services that are accessible to students are Golden Student Success Center, and the Online Writing Center (OWL). The success center has a lot of eBooks, journals, and research papers for students. Through OWL, students can improve their writing. Along with the coursework, the university also offers an internship experience as well. ENMU Foundation offers scholarships to its students and even provides free online education to some needy students.
4. State University of New York, Cortland
The State University of New York is located in Cortland, New York. SUNY Cortland has started offering two online programs in physical education. The university’s Master of Science in Education (MSEd) in Physical Education Leadership (PEL) is available in a hybrid or online format. It also offers MSEd in Physical Education with concentrations in Coaching Pedagogy (COAP). Each course has a requirement of completing 30 credit hours. The tuition fee is $544 per credit hour. These programs prepare educators for K-12 level programs in New York and other states. The emphasis of these courses is on teaching physical education and research methods. The graduation rate of this online program is 71%. The Financial Aid Office of SUNY Cortland provides financial assistance to students.
5. University of Nebraska
The location of the University of Nebraska is in Lincoln, Nebraska. Its online program is ranked as one of the best online programs in the U.S. University of Nebraska runs online programs through the collaborations of its four divisions. Which is: the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska-Kearney, University of Nebraska-Omaha, and University of Nebraska Medical Center. Recently, it has launched an online physical education degree. Students interested in online physical education can get a MAEd in Physical Education from the university. The credit requirements are 36 credits, and the duration of the program is 2 years. The university’s tuition fee is $415 per credit hour. Its physical education program has two-degree emphasis, i.e. Pedagogy Emphasis and Special Populations Emphasis. The graduation rate of this online program is 69%. This physical education online program is accredited by the Nebraska Department of Education.
6. Eastern Oregon University
Eastern Oregon University is located in La Grande, Oregon. EOU’s online physical education degree is affordable. It offers Bachelor’s in Health & Human Performance with a concentration in Exercise Science, Community Health, and Physical Education & Sport. It is a 4-year BS program and the credit hours for completion are 180. The university charges $265 per credit hour. The program focuses on sports, health, teacher education, recreation, and exercise science. The university provides opportunities for internships, community partnerships, and capstone experiences to online students. Upon graduation, a person can start working as a fitness instructor, personal trainer, or health education specialist. The online program is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities.
7. Fresno Pacific University
Fresno Pacific University is a Christian university based in Fresno, California. FPU offers a variety of programs online. The university is also offering a physical education program online. The courses in physical education are Adapted Physical Education, Athletic Training, and Kinesiology (with a concentration in Physical Education). The credit requirements for each program are 36 credits, and it can be completed in 7 semesters. The tuition fee for each online program is $560 per credit hour. Kinesiology is beneficial for teachers and trainers because it enhances their skill set with advanced field training. A program director guides online students, and supervise their progress throughout the program. The graduation rate of this program is 66%. This online program meets the standards set by the Society of Health & Physical Educators (SHAPE) and the National Standards for K-12 Physical Education.
The above-mentioned educational institutions provide top quality online physical education degree programs. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 100 institutes that provide online physical education programs. Individuals who are interested in acquiring a degree in physical education can enroll in one of the online programs mentioned above or can explore more online physical education programs. Remember! The more you explore, the better chances you will have to get a better course.