Emphasis on access and equity for students guides change in physical education

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With the goal of providing even greater access to in-demand physical education classes, expanding class offerings, and aligning resources with student-approved fee intentions, the Department of Sports and Recreation of UC Santa Cruz is making operational changes.

Physical education classes are fully funded through student-approved measures that require the ministry to manage these resources by maximizing the curriculum and complying with the intent of those measures.

“Physical education classes are an important part of the transformative experience,” said Sue Harriman, director of the sports and recreation department. “We are focused on serving our students and ensuring that their fees provide them with the best possible experience opportunities. “

UC Santa Cruz’s Sports and Recreation Department is committed to providing programs and activities that promote leadership, lifelong wellness, and experiential learning. Harriman said the restructuring and operational changes will not impact the quality of its courses. In addition, students will not have less physical education classes available – there will be a greater variety of classes and more sessions of the most popular.

The department will continue to offer physical education classes in scuba diving, aikido, dance and many other fields, and plans to start offering new classes, such as Introduction to racquet sports, in which students learn to play 5 racket sports, Officer 101, an introduction to the function of campus or community referee, official or referee; and more. The department will also no longer offer courses for which enrollment has remained low or non-existent over the past five years.

Beginning in fall 2021, UC Santa Cruz will hire most physical education instructors through contract appointments, which outline their duties and campus expectations.

This requires that some staff positions change for course positions, which is a more sustainable model that will help support the long-term health of sports and recreation. While the hiring process is changing, Harriman said instructors will need to be proven in teaching and hold all required certifications.

The operational changes will allow the department to expand its student services and continue to invest in its facilities.

In recent years, the campus has invested in the dance studio, including floor resurfacing, and plans to continue using this facility for teaching dance, Harriman said, responding to unfounded concerns that he was planned to install astroturf in the dance studio.

The department also recommends that several physical education courses be eligible for academic credit and expects all physical education courses to be taught with clearly defined learning outcomes with a curriculum that describes the progressive nature of the course. program and demonstrates the skills acquired.

To maximize existing funding and the positive impact on students, the department is reducing the overlap between physical education classes, fitness programs, and adventure recreation, and tries to minimize additional fees for students. There will be a limited number of times physical education classes can be repeated by students so that there is wider access for students who were unable to attend popular classes.

Harriman said educational and recreational equity underpins this decision. The department wants to ensure that all students can participate in recreational or sports activities, regardless of their financial situation.

“For many students, this will be their first opportunity to engage in athletic activities that support their well-being at UCSC,” said Harriman. “The goal is to promote physical activity, encourage health and wellness, and build community. This program is a great opportunity for students to build networks, friendships and a sense of belonging by participating in extracurricular activities on campus.

The pool is expected to reopen in early 2021 and the tennis courts on the west side of the campus will reopen after some maintenance work is completed, Harriman said.

The department is also preparing to begin offering outdoor group exercise classes, boating, surfing, kayaking, and day hikes on campus. Physical education classes will resume once the campus returns to in-person instruction.

Although UC Santa Cruz has not made any announcements for fall 2021, Harriman said the department plans to start offering in-person classes, as long as possible under public health guidelines. Scuba diving is part of the courses planned for the fall, along with other introductory swimming courses throughout the 2021-22 academic calendar.

“We may not be able to implement too much this summer due to the pandemic, but it just gives us more time to plan and consult with students on what they want,” Harriman said. “Athletics and Recreation plans to return after New Years to survey students as part of our new # MoreSlugs2021 campaign. We are here to serve the students.


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