UNC: A Leader in Physical Education Teacher Preparation

Our bachelor’s degree in Sport and Exercise Science: Physical Education K-12 Teaching prepares you to stand out in the job market and in your profession. You’ll get exceptional preparation for your teacher’s license at UNC, which has a sterling reputation among K-12 employers throughout Colorado. As a UNC grad, you'll follow in the footsteps of hundreds of alumni who have gone on to successful careers as physical education teachers. 

UNC’s professional physical education teacher education program stands out for its high degree of hands-on field experience. You’ll start working directly with K-12 students in your sophomore year, leading to more than 800 hundreds of hours of practical experience. Our small class sizes ensure direct faculty attention and one-on-one mentoring. You’ll complete a student teaching assignment in your senior year, entering the job market with a strong resume, a bachelor’s degree that employers respect, and all the prerequisites you need to earn a teaching license.

Degree Options

B.S. in Sport and Exercise Science: Physical Education K-12 Teaching

The bachelor’s degree in Sport and Exercise Science program with Physical Education K-12 Teaching emphasis is nationally recognized by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE). The program includes coursework in physiology, biomechanics, and social and psychological development. You’ll also take courses in teaching methodologies for net, wall, target and invasion games, as well as individual activities such as weight training, track and field, and dance.

Sport and Exercise Science: Physical Education K-12 Teaching Minor

UNC’s Physical Education K-12 Teaching Minor is designed for students who are enrolled in a teaching major. The strength of this minor is based on the unique integration of courses in skill analysis, movement sciences and teaching methodology. You’ll need to be accepted into the PTEP before you can take SES PTEP courses.

Your Future in Physical Education

UNC has a very large, active network of alumni who work as K-12 physical educators throughout Colorado. Employers recognize our graduates’ high professional standards and excellent training, which provides you with a strong advantage in the job market. You’ll stay current with the latest innovations in K-12 physical education, including the integration of iPads, activity monitors, and other advanced technology. In addition, UNC helps you build a foundation for long-range career growth in physical activity leadership.

Consider UNC’s B.S. in Physical Education K-12 Teaching if you want to:

  • Earn a degree from one of the nation’s top Sport and Exercise Science programs
  • Get top-notch preparation for your teacher’s license
  • Train for a career as a physical education teacher
  • Acquire hundreds of hours of field experience
  • Work with outstanding faculty who stand out as instructors and researchers

You’ll learn:

  • Teaching techniques for physical education
  • Physical, cognitive, and affective development in school-aged children
  • Measurement of student outcomes
  • Integration of technology in physical education

Sample courses:

  • Motor Learning and Development
  • Social Influences on Sport and Exercise Behavior
  • Teaching and Assessing School Health
  • Outdoor and Adventure Programming

Beyond the Classroom

UNC maintains an innovative Sports Pedagogy Lab, where you can get specialized training in new teaching techniques. For example, you can work in the lab to experiment with teaching applications that involve iPads, digital video, heart-rate monitoring or other technologies. You’ll have opportunities to test and refine your ideas during your field placements in K-12 settings.

Where can your degree take you?

  • Teaching license and employment as a K-12 physical educator
  • Graduate school in exercise science or education
  • Recreational leadership
  • Professional in youth sports at a community rec center, private gym, or other setting

“What I enjoyed the most about the PE program at UNC was how caring and helpful the professors were for me. I was not just a number to the professors. I could develop personal relationships with all of my professors, and I knew that whenever I needed help my professors would be more than willing. When it comes to preparation to become a PE teacher, I don't think there is a better school out there.”

–Derek Rodriguez, Graduation: Spring 2015
Cougar Run Elementary School Physical Education Teacher, Highlands Ranch, CO

Current Research in Physical Education

Scott Douglas, Ph.D.

Coaching in Para-Sport and Perceptions of Disability

Scott Douglas is researching a variety of questions related to coaching in para-sport. One project explores the question of what makes a good coach and how and when these attributes develop. Another investigation is focused on the apparent lack of appropriate coaching education in para-sport, and identifies solutions to provide more comprehensive training for coaches in adapted sport. Dr. Douglas also has a project exploring able-bodied individuals’ stereotypes and perceptions of people with disabilities, so as to educate and inform societal change through critical thinking and authentic experiences with disability.

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Scott Douglas

Jennifer Krause, Ph.D.

Instructional Technology in Physical Education Teacher Education 

Jennifer Krause’s research focuses on the best methods for training teachers to integrate technology into physical education. One of her most recent studies, “Preparing 21st Century Educators: Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge in Physical Education Teacher Education” was funded by the Society of Health and Physical Educators America’s Early Career Investigator Grant. The results of this study will inform physical education teacher preparation programs of some of the most successful methods to teach pre-service teachers how to integrate technology for the enhancement of teaching and learning.