Physical education still going strong at San Jac

The San Jacinto College Central Campus Physical Education Department’s (PHED) campaign to “Get Fit” features flyers and banners meant to encourage students to sign up for PHED classes.

San Jac, in response to the new core curriculum requirements brought forth by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), eliminated PHED requirements from the College’s core curriculum.

Although the College no longer requires PHED courses for the completion of academic degrees, the classes are still widely available on all three campuses and students can apply them as electives.

Physical Education Department Chair Sandi Morgan said PHED classes count for more than just elective credits.

“Physical activity is important to the overall health and well-being of everyone, including college students,” Morgan said. “Many students are still taking classes for fun, fitness, stress relief, weight loss, to learn a new sport like golf or bowling, and to meet people and make new friends.”

According to Morgan, different classes become popular with the changing years.

“Favorites right now are jogging, yoga, weight training, kickboxing and Zumba,” Morgan said.

In the meantime, Interim Dean of Student Development Chris Evans urges all students, regardless of whether they believe the curriculum changes applies to them, to visit the Educational Planning and Counseling Centers.

“All students who are seeking a degree are affected,” Evans said, “since there were changes to all associate’s degrees. However, the impact is more about how to choose the right courses, than there being any impediment to degree completion.”

According to Evans, all new students enrolling for the first time during the Fall 2013 semester are required to follow the new curriculum, but students who started a degree plan before that date will still graduate under their original degree plan.

Meanwhile, Morgan said the curriculum changes follow a wider movement in public education to reduce school time dedicated to physical activity and recreation.

“What we saw happen a while back,” Morgan said, “is the trend of removing or lessening the time spent in PE or recess for elementary schools and the trickle up effect this had. We have already seen that fewer students are taking PE, and our concern is for their health and well-being.”

In addition to PHED classes, San Jac offers open athletic facilities with weight rooms and cardio equipment at all three campuses.