University of Georgia students must accumulate 120 course credit hours and complete specific courses conditions before being eligible for graduation.
In addition to general and major-related courses, the UGA requires a basic physical education course (PEDB). The UGA University-wide requirements page indicates that these courses may or may not count towards the total required 120 hours, depending on the decisions of “individual schools and colleges”. Looking more closely at UGA DegreeWorks course attendance, the PEDB credit hour “does not count toward the total number of hours required” to graduate.
If UGA requires us to devote our time and money to a PEDB course, this should count towards the total of 120 credits required for graduation.
For starters, there is the cost. I know I’m not the only one who struggled to pay for college, books, and associated costs. Prices go up with every class added, and it can get expensive quickly.
The same fees apply for physical education classes. Students should provide any clothing or sports equipment they require and pay the club fees specific to the PEDB course the students have chosen. If a student wishes to take an online course due to a disability, schedule, insecurities or any other reason, there is an additional cost of $ 200 to obtain the heart monitoring equipment. Despite this investment, UGA does not offer any rewards or incentives different from the rest of the students in the PEDB course.
Money is hardly the only investment required by these compulsory courses. Just like other classes, most PEDB classes meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, or Tuesdays and Thursdays for 50 minutes or one hour and 15 minutes, respectively. These meeting times can easily be found on the UGA Athena webpage. If students devote the same amount of time and energy to PEDB classes, if not more, than we do in general or majors-related classes, why are they treated as less than in the hierarchy of requirements? degree subject?
These classes do their intended work to help acquire lifelong health knowledge, but they also allow students to develop social habits and relationships. Dr Janet Buckworth, head of UGA’s kinesiology department, said many of his students are happy to “go out to meet people and make social connections,” which positively contributes to mental and physical health. Making connections within the classroom allows students to have activity partners who share similar interests.
Getting from high school to college and balancing your classes and social life, including making time for physical activities and the outdoors, can be difficult. Dr Ilse Mason, the coordinator of the basic physical education program, said her students are expressing their desire to find that balance. “It’s something they plan to do,” she shared with me, but they often don’t have time to make it work. The PEDB class structure helps them begin to establish schedules that ensure time spent in physical activity.
The benefits of PEDB courses should come as no surprise to the university: the Internal Resources page of the Mary Frances Early College of Education states that the goal of implementing PEDB courses is to “promote physical activity and fitness throughout life for the improvement of health and well-being”. Overall, these classes succeed in this mission, as the overall benefits of PEDB classes are undeniable.
They offer a healthy way to relieve stress, show students how to integrate physical activity into their daily lives, teach students new knowledge about physical health, and add a social element for students to connect. That said, if UGA administrators recognize the positive impacts of PEDB courses on the lives of students – which they do – then UGA should value the time and monetary contributions we devote to these courses.
Paying for courses that don’t count towards the total number of hours we need to graduate isn’t fair. Spending time in class, studying, and being asked about content that doesn’t count towards the total number of hours we need to graduate isn’t fair. Adding extra hoops to pull off for those taking the classes virtually isn’t fair.
UGA Administrators: Please respect our time and money and take your mission seriously, and make PEDB courses count.