Adapted Physical Education Concentration

Program description

This online program for the master’s degree or state approval in adapted physical education delivers all courses online. Tuition for non-resident and resident students is the same.

This program is designed to prepare physical education teachers in providing quality adapted physical education for school children with disabilities in the least restrictive, most appropriate, and most inclusive environments. Program graduates will gain knowledge, skills, and experience in teaching students with disabilities fundamental motor skills and patterns, physical and motor fitness, as well as skills in aquatic, dance, individual and group games and sports, and leisure and recreational skills.

Admission instructions

WMU has a new online graduate application system that allows all students (domestic and international) to submit required information into one system. General application information for the University, as well as specific requirements for individual programs, are captured into this system. 

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Applicants are asked to include some program-specific information for the Master of Arts in physical education (adapted physical education concentration). Applicants are encouraged to bookmark this information for quick reference while working through the graduate application process.

Careers

The shortage of professionals in Adapted Physical Education, including school teachers and college professors, has been chronic and significant for many years. This shortage has been documented not only based on the number of professional positions funded by schools and universities, but also based on the number of students with disabilities who need adapted physical education services. The further information concerning this shortage can be found in the following research articles completed by the Director and advisor of this federally funded online master’s degree program.

Zhang, J. (2011). "Quantitative Analyses about Market- and Prevalence-based Needs for Adapted Physical Education Teachers in the United States." The Physical Educator, 68(3) 140-149. Full article

Zhang, J. (2010). "Quantitative Analysis of the Adapted Physical Education Employment Market in High Education." ICHPHE.SD (International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance) Journal of Research, 2-21-25. Full article

Zhang, J. & Chen, S. (2004). "Marketable Features of Adapted Physical Education and Therapeutic Recreation Careers in the Public Schools." The Proceedings of 2004 International Conference for Physical Educators: Innovation and Application of Physical Education and Sport Science, 399-410. Full article

Zhang, J., Kelly, L., Berkey, D., Joseph, D., & Chen, S. (2000). "The Prevalence-based Need for Adapted Physical Education Teachers in the United States." Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly 17(3), 297-309. Full article

Zhang, J., Joseph, D., & Horvat, M. (1999). "Marketable Features of an Adapted Physical Education Career in Higher Education." Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 16, 178-186. Full article

Curriculum

Core (six credit hours)

  • HPHE 6900 Research Procedures in HPHE (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6920 Analytical Techniques in HPHE (three credit hours)

Area of specialization (18 credit hours)

Physical education majors

  • HPHE 6210 Physical Activity for Exceptional Children (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6220 Programming in Adapted PE (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6250 Assessment in Adapted PE (three credit hours)
  • SPED 5300 Introduction to Special Education (three credit hours)
  • SPED 6380 Application of Behavior Theory to Classroom Teaching(three credit hours)
  • SPED 6610 Transdisciplinary Teaming (three credit hours)

Special education majors

  • HPHE 6210 Physical Activity for Exceptional Children (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6220 Programming in Adapted PE (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6250 Assessment in Adapted PE (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6400 Instructional Materials in PE (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6410 Teaching and Supervision Skills in PE (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6450 Curriculum Development in HPHE (three credit hours)

Electives options (three or six credit hours)

  • HPHE 6420 Human Growth and Motor Development (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6430 Physical Skill Acquisition and Motor Learning (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6450 Curriculum Development in HPHE (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6910 Psychological Preparation and Mental Training for Sport and Physical Activity (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6930 Sociology of Sport and Physical Activities (three credit hours)

Capstone (six or nine credit hours)

  • HPHE 7120 Professional Field Experience (three credit hours)
    HPHE 7100 Independent Research (three credit hours)
    Or
    HPHE 7000 Thesis (six credit hours) - Only three elective hours required if taking HPHE 7000.

State approval curriculum

Area of specialization (18 credit hours)

Physical education majors

  • HPHE 6210 Physical Activity for Exceptional Children (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6220 Programming in Adapted PE (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6250 Assessment in Adapted PE (three credit hours)
  • SPED 5300 Introduction to Special Education (three credit hours)
  • SPED 6380 Application of Behavior Theory (three credit hours)
  • SPED 6610 Transdisciplinary Teaming (three credit hours)
  • Capstone (see below for options)

Special education majors

  • HPHE 6210 Physical Activity for Exceptional Children (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6220 Programming in Adapted PE (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6250 Assessment in Adapted PE (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6400 Methods and Materials in PE (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6410 Skills, Strategies, and supervision (three credit hours)
  • HPHE 6450 Curriculum Building in PE (three credit hours)
  • Capstone (see below for options)

Capstone (four credit hours)

  • HPHE 7120 Field Experience (four credit hours)
    Or both
  • HPHE 7120 Field Experience (two credit hours)
  • HPHE 7100 Independent Research (two credit hours)

Degree approval

A student who completes 36 credit hours in the program of study will earn a Master’s Degree in adapted physical education. At the same time, he or she will earn an approval or endorsement.

This approval or endorsement is specifically designed for students in the state of Michigan. It is designed to qualify a person who will teach students with disabilities adapted physical education classes with a valid teaching certificate. 

Students who are Michigan residents will usually have valid teaching certificates before getting into this master’s degree program. Their approvals are added to their teaching certificates after graduating from this program.

For students who are non-Michigan residents, approvals for teaching adapted physical education classes may be accepted by their states. They should ask their state Department of Education or check these certification requirements for other states before applying for this program.

For students who earned approvals from this program, they may also be able to teach adapted physical education classes in other states. They should ask other states or check this interstate agreement before applying for a job position.

In Michigan a student earning approval to teach adapted physical education is required to complete 22 credit hours. A student is allowed to apply for this program for approval only if he or she does not need to earn a master’s degree.

Faculty

Financial support

  • Graduate assistantships
    Available for pre-service students on a nine month basis. Appointments involve teaching activity courses and supervising the adapted physical education lab.

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