UNA Pressroom

University Of North Alabama Department Of Hper Gives Students More Choices With New Majors And Minor

Apr. 19, 2016

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

Bryan Rachal,
University Communications

FLORENCE, Ala. - In fall 2008 there were 127 students majoring in Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of North Alabama. Flash forward to fall 2015 and the number jumped to over 400, an increase of more than 300 percent in just seven years.

To say HPER is growing is an understatement, and with the recent addition of both the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, and the Bachelor of Science in Sport and Recreation Management; and the minor/certificate in Sports and Entertainment Management, that trend seems likely to continue.

Dr. Tom Coates, Chair of the Department of HPER, said the new majors have been approved by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) and are designed to provide more options than the previous BS in Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

"The original BS in Health, Physical Education and Recreation offered concentrations in exercise science, sport management, and recreation," said Coates. "But with these new degrees, students are now able to have an actual degree in those areas and not just a concentration. So, for example, a student wants to go into physical therapy might take the pre-professional studies concentration in the new B.S. in Exercise Science. Whereas, a student interested in coaching might want to look into the B.S. in Sport and Recreation Management," he said.

Coates said the department faculty was able to pull out these new majors after they looked at the existing structure and saw they could provide more options for students. However, the new degrees aren't the only changes that will be compelling to students.

Starting in the fall of 2016, students will be able to obtain a minor or certificate in Sports and Entertainment Management. Coates said for this new offering they teamed up with the Department of Entertainment Industry in the College of Arts and Sciences.

"If someone was working at say, a coliseum, this would be the type of certificate or minor they might want to get," said Coates. "One night you have a hockey game and the next night you have a concert to get ready for. You have to have a unique skill set to be able to handle that."

Coates said the sports and entertainment management courses will feature aspects from both areas: sports management and entertainment management. He said the main idea is to provide a truly unique student experience that will give them the real-world skills needed to succeed.

And Coates isn't stopping with the Department of Entertainment Industry; the new BS in Exercise Science and BS in Sport and Recreation Management have courses that deal with biology, physics, marketing, management and communications.

"We're providing a true liberal arts education, where our students can learn from all disciplines so they're better prepared to graduate and get a job. It's that simple," said Coates.

For more information on the new B.S. majors offered in HPER: https://www.una.edu/hper/