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Physical Education Teacher Education (B.S.)

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PETE, student encouraging kindergarteners in relay activity

The Physical Education Teacher Education major provides knowledge, skills and abilities to students who are interested in becoming physical education teachers in preK-12 schools. Coursework includes skill and fitness competencies classes designed to teach candidates how to teach the content that forms the basis of physical education in schools as well as refine their personal skills in those areas. Content also provides candidates with knowledge to develop curriculum, organize and administer physical education and sport programs, work with children with special/diverse needs, work in recreational settings and teach dance and health in preK-12 schools.

Program Details

With this major and the accompanying teacher education coursework required for teaching licensure, candidates are eligible to take the Praxis II content tests and apply for a teaching license in South Dakota. Our recent graduates have been employed in several mid-west states, such as South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska, but also on the west coast in California and as far east as Chicago. Not only does this major prepare students for teaching physical education, but it also leads to employment opportunities in areas such as Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs and recreation programs.

Career Opportunities

  • Coach
  • Physical Education Teacher
  • Park and Recreation Coordinator

Recent Employers

  • SD, MN and IA School Districts
  • Colorado School Districts
  • Chicago School District 

Not sure if this major is for you?

Check out the Degree Explorer in Physical Education Teacher Education, to learn more. 

For more information, contact: 

International Education Conference 2019

Faculty member, Tracy Nelson, presents at the International Education Conference in Oahu, Hawaii.

Tracy and long time colleague, Dr. Megan Adkins of the University of Nebraska- Kearney, presented on two topics at this year's International Education Conference.

Tracy Nelson and Megan Adkins presenting at conference

In the presentation, Exploration of Health and Physical Activity Opportunities for Home School Children in Rural Populations, Tracy and Megan highlighted the wellness disparities within rural communities and explored their current study, which combines the Community-Based Participatory Research approach, Health Belief Model framework and Logic Model to assess current home school children's overall health and to evaluate the biophysical side of development. 

The second topic the duo presented was The STEM of Academics is Physical Education. This session focused on how Physical Educators can STEM-ulate academic achievement through a cross-curricular approach that integrates Physical Education and STEM curriculum. This approach assists learners in developing physical and mental capacities, nurtures exploration and promotes academic and physical growth.