Physical Education

Program Details

The Department of Kinesiology at Western Illinois University has been preparing future physical educators for over a century. The curriculum for the Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education balances time spent in the classroom learning concepts, theory, and skills with time spent applying this information during hands-on experiences.

Physical Education students take Kinesiology coursework in five movement disciplines that provide foundational knowledge of the field: Anatomy/Physiology, Motor Behavior, Sport and Exercise Psychology, Biomechanics, and Exercise Physiology. From that foundation, students study physical education content—for example, team sports (basketball, volleyball, soccer, and volleyball), racket sports (badminton, tennis, and “pickleball”), individual and fitness activities (yoga, gymnastics, and swimming), and outdoor activities (high ropes course, rock climbing, canoeing, and orienteering). These content courses serve as the foundation for the development of a physical education curriculum that meets the needs of K-12 students. The remaining courses in the Physical Education major are designed to provide students with knowledge and skills in developmental progressions, teaching cues, classroom management, learning assessment, and curriculum development.

The Physical Education program leads to licensure as a K-12 physical educator. Students are encouraged to complete additional Health Education coursework leading to a health endorsement that certifies them to teach health education as well. Western Illinois University’s Teacher Education Program is accredited by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (formerly NCATE). Due to the long-standing tradition of preparing highly talented, well qualified, ethical professional educators, teacher education has been designed as one of the Signature Programs at WIU.

Student Activities

Physical Education students are encouraged to be members of the Association of Physical Educators in Kinesiology (APEK) through which they can further their scholarship, leadership, service, and professional skills. Students demonstrating academic excellence are invited to join Phi Epsilon Sigma, the departmental honor society.

Special Opportunities in Physical Education

In addition to classroom teaching, WIU students engage in a series of “field-based” experiences that progress from peer teaching to observation in schools to teaching actual lessons at elementary, junior high/middle school, and high schools in Macomb and the surrounding communities. In addition, Physical Education students participate in the Adapted Physical Education Motor Clinic where they work cooperatively with students majoring in Adapted Education, Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Elementary Education. Altogether, students will accumulate 100+ hours of K-12 field experience in a wide variety of areas beginning the very first semester they are enrolled in the program.

The Department of Kinesiology is located on the north edge of campus in Brophy Hall. The facility contains a gymnasium, pool, dance studio, fitness room, weight room, athletic training facilities, and laboratory spaces, plus five electronic classrooms and two computer labs. The average class size in Physical Education courses is 18 students.

Department Minors

  • Coaching
  • Scuba Diving

Additional Resources

Brophy Hall contains a gymnasium, pool, fitness room, weight room, and athletic training facilities used in daily coursework.

Possible Careers in Physical Education

Physical Education majors who complete mandated competencies are qualified to apply for K-12 teacher license/certification required to teach physical education in public schools in the state of their choosing. The Department of Kinesiology Physical Education program is aligned to Illinois licensure exams with a 100% passing rate for our graduates. Graduates of the Physical Education program are also qualified to seek employment in private and parochial school physical education programs, coaching, recreational facilities such as YMCA, and private sector exercise gyms.

Kinesiology (KIN) Courses

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

102 Swimming. (1) (General Education/Human Well-Being) For individuals who have some experience and feel comfortable in the water. The individual should be able to move on the face and back and should have had some experience in deep water. Front crawl, back crawl, elementary back stroke, breast stroke, side stoke, fall-in dive, standing front dive, and surface dive will be taught.

107 Lifeguard Training. (2) Students learn basic lifeguarding skills. Includes American Red Cross certification in First Aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Automated External Defibrillator (AED), and Lifeguarding. Prerequisites: Must be able to swim 300 yards continuously and submerge 13 feet underwater.

108 Open Water Scuba. (2) Provides classroom and confined water work needed to scuba dive safely in open water. Certification is available, but not required. Must be able to swim 250 yards continuously, tread water 10 minutes, and swim underwater 50 feet. Physical examination required.

115 Social Dance Forms. (1) Basic fundamentals of ballroom movement. Beginning levels in Fox Trot, Lindy, Waltz, Polka, and country western dances.

117 (Cross-listed with DAN 117) Pilates Exercise. (1) Pilates-based, mat-work fundamentals and basic concepts of Core Dynamics and floor exercises for physical/mental conditioning that change, tone, center, balance, and strengthen the body. Holistic exercise uses specific breath support while the body is engaged in dynamic exercise and includes a posture analysis to determine individual needs and goals. Not open to students with credit in DAN 117.

118 Aerobic Dancercise. (1) (General Education/ Human Well-Being) Concepts and principles of aerobic dance movements; routines consisting of different beats, tempo, and movement forms.

121 Badminton. (1) (General Education/Human Well-Being) Beginning level skills and techniques and appreciation for the game of badminton.

123 Golf. (1) Beginning level skills, techniques, knowledge, and etiquette. A one-time lab fee of $15 will be charged for this class.

124 Educational Gymnastics. (1) Performance and analysis of educational gymnastics skills appropriate for children. Prerequisite: Physical Education Teacher Education major.

127 Riflery. (1) Ammunition charge.

128 Tennis. (1) (General Education/Human Well- Being) Beginning skills, strategies, and rules used to play the game of tennis.

130 Fitness Running. (1) Individualized jogging and running programs for fitness and enjoyment.

131 Aerobic Conditioning. (1) (General Education/ Human Well-Being) Designed to acquaint students with cardiovascular endurance exercise. Various training programs will be introduced which are directed at conditioning of the vital organs.

135 Lifelong Leisure Activities. (2) Surveys contemporary noncompetitive activities suitable for participation throughout the lifetime. Examples include hiking, walking, rope challenge course, and adventure activities. Prerequisite: Physical Education Teacher Education major.

140 Personal Fitness Program. (1) (General Education/Human Well-Being) After initial assessment, each student undertakes an individualized conditioning program designed to improve the function of his/her cardiovascular system.

142 Conditioning. (1) A course emphasizing physical fitness and weight control. Much time is spent on conditioning exercises and their benefits. Correct posture is also covered.

147 Weight Training. (1) (General Education/ Human Well-Being) Includes learning skills of beginning weight training through familiarity with various types of strength training machines.

149 Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques. (1) (General Education/Human Well-Being) Designed to help one learn causes, consequences of, and techniques for handling stress through a systematic mind-body approach. Progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training, visualization, deep breathing, as well as other techniques will be taught to help relieve stress and muscle tension.

151 Basketball. (1) (General Education/Human Well-Being) Includes basic skills, strategies, and rules for games of basketball.

154 Football. (1) Skills, strategy, and rules of play.

155 Soccer. (1) Skills, strategy, and rules of play.

158 Volleyball. (1) (General Education/Human Well- Being) Includes basic skills, strategies, and rules for the game of volleyball.

160 Introduction to Physical Education. (2) Introductory course in Physical Education that presents educational and professional responsibilities and foundations of Physical Education. Designed to help students considering a career in Physical Education to formalize their decision to study Physical Education. Requires 10-hour field experience.

170 Introduction to Physical Wellness. (3) An introduction to concepts of physical wellness with an emphasis on fitness and eating strategies. Designed to help students develop an understanding of the field of Exercise Science.

208 Advanced Open Water Scuba. (2) Students will learn to navigate underwater and dive at night. Each student will also choose three scuba specialty areas to gain diving experience. Certification available, but not required. Must have a current scuba physical exam on file. Prerequisite: KIN 108 or permission of instructor.

226 Net/Wall Games. (2) Content knowledge and skill development in movement concepts and tactics associated with games where a ball is sent to a wall or over a net (e.g., tennis, badminton, volleyball). Development of resource notebook required. Prerequisite: Physical Education Teacher Education major.

247 Power Training. (1) Designed to enhance the individual’s power development and overall performance as well as increase his/her knowledge of plyometric training and Olympic lifting techniques.

250 Instructional Foundations in Physical Education. (2) Theoretical and philosophical foundations of instruction and learning in Physical Education with opportunities to apply these essential concepts. Grade of C or better required. Prerequisites: KIN 160, 270.

251 Invasion Games. (2) Content knowledge and skill development in movement concepts and tactics associated with invasion games (e.g., basketball, soccer, flag football, floor hockey). Development of resource notebook required. Prerequisite: Physical Education Teacher Education major.

252 Contemporary Physical Activities. (1) Content knowledge and skill in movement concepts associated with contemporary physical activities (e.g., yoga, Pilates, tai chi). Development of resource notebook required. Prerequisite: Physical Education Teacher Education major.

253 Target/Field Games. (2) Content knowledge and skill development in movement concepts and tactics in games where balls are pitched, hit, and fielded (baseball, softball) or where the objective is to place an object into a target (bowling, golf). Development of resource notebook required. Prerequisite: Physical Education Teacher Education major.

255 Elementary Movement Fundamentals. (2) Development of knowledge and skill in fundamental movement skills, movement concepts, and basic elements of dance. Designed to provide a content base for elementary school Physical Education programs. Prerequisite: KIN 160.

265 Skill Analysis and Assessment in Physical Education. (2) Techniques in analyzing motor skills and selecting and designing assessments of student learning in physical education. Emphasis on performance-based assessment. Prerequisite: KIN 160.

270 Motor Behavior. (3) Introduction to psychomotor learning and theoretical models of skill acquisition. Selected topics will include neurological structure and function, theory of motor control, scheduling of practice, use of feedback, and motor coordination.

290 Anatomy & Physiology I. (3) An examination of the structural organization and function of the human body with an emphasis on the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, and cardiovascular systems. 2 hrs. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

291 Anatomy & Physiology II. (3) A study of normal human anatomy and physiology. Topics include respiration, digestion, metabolism, urology, special senses, reproduction, and endocrinology. 2 hrs. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

292 Palpatory Anatomy. (2) This course will offer the student an opportunity to learn physical palpation skills. These skills are critical to an accurate and timely physical assessment within the practice of athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise science, and fitness. Prerequisite: KIN 290 or permission of instructor. 1 hr. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

293 Manual Muscle Testing. (2) This course will offer the student a practical experience in assessing muscular strength, endurance, and neurological deficits using manual testing procedures. These skills are critical within the practice of athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise science, and fitness. Prerequisite: KIN 290 or permission of instructor. 1 hr. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

300 Fitness Activities for the Older Adult and Target Populations. (3) Development of leadership skills, assessment techniques, and program designs necessary to be an effective fitness professional for older adults and selected target populations (e.g., arthritis, asthma, obesity, etc.). Prerequisites: KIN 170, 290.

308 Scuba Diving Specialties. (2, repeatable to 4) Instruction in rescue and at least two other diving specialties (e.g., deep, night, dry suit, ice, cave, wreck) within the realm of recreational scuba diving. Certification available, but not required. Must have a current scuba physical exam on file. Prerequisites: KIN 208 with certification or permission of instructor.

319 Principles and Leadership of Stress Management Techniques. (2) Development of leadership skills and assessment techniques for stress management. Principles will focus on the skills necessary to be an effective fitness professional of stress management and its relationship to physical fitness. Prerequisite: KIN 170.

325 Principles of Health-Related Fitness for the Physical Educator. (3) Principles of healthrelated fitness and policies of wellness in schoolbased Physical Education programs. Focusing on application, development, assessment, and teaching of cardiovascular and strength training principles. Prerequisite: Physical Education Teacher Education major or Coaching minor. 2 hrs. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

343 Principles and Leadership of Cardiovascular Exercise. (3) Development of leadership skills and assessment techniques for cardiovascular exercise. Principles will focus on the theories and skills necessary to develop and lead appropriate cardiovascular programs. Prerequisite: KIN 170, 391.

347 Principles and Leadership of Resistive Exercise. (3) Development of leadership skills and assessment techniques for resistive exercise. Principles will focus on the skills necessary to be an effective fitness professional of resistive exercise and other weight training techniques. Prerequisite: KIN 170, 290.

359 Sport and Exercise Psychology. (3) An introduction to sport and exercise psychology theories and research including application to performance enhancement. Selected topics include motivation, confidence, stress and anxiety, exercise behavior and adherence, concentration, team dynamics, performance enhancement, and professional and ethical issues. Prerequisite: PSY 100 or permission of instructor.

360 Methods of Elementary Physical Education. (2) Introduction to teaching Physical Education in K–5. Designed especially for the elementary classroom teacher candidate. May include some field experiences and outside teaching assignments. Not open to Kinesiology majors.

365 Physical Education for the Elementary Grades. (3) Planning a curriculum of educational games, gymnastics, and dance based on a movement analysis and exploratory approach. Content centers on curriculum and teaching methodologies for grades K–5. Grade of C or better required. Prerequisites: KIN 124, 160, 250, 255, 265, 270; fully accepted in the Teacher Education Program (TEP). 2 hrs. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

369 Motor Development. (3) A study of the process of change in perception, acquisition, and performance of physical skills across the lifespan. Prerequisites: KIN 270, 290. 2 hrs. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

370 Advanced Techniques of Performance/ Management. (1, repeatable for different subjects/ performance to 6) Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Graded S/U only.

371 Principles of Coaching. (2) A study of philosophical, sociological, and administrative principles applicable to coaching. General problems encountered in coaching will be discussed and evaluated.

391 Physiology of Exercise. (3) A study of the physiological responses to exercise including acute effects, training adaptations, and health related benefits. Specific topics covered include exercise metabolism, neurological and endocrine regulation of exercise, cardiovascular and respiratory physiology, environmental influences, and ergogenic aids. Prerequisite: KIN 290. 2 hrs. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

392 Biomechanics. (3) The integrated study of applied anatomy and applied mechanics to the analysis of human motion. Prerequisite: KIN 290 and MATH 123 or higher. 2 hrs. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

393 Physical Activity for Learners with Exceptionalities. (3) Characteristics of individuals with disabilities across the lifespan. Emphasis on modifications and instructional strategies for physical activity in the physical education, recreation, sports, and fitness settings. Includes clinical experience. Grade of C or better required for Teacher Education majors. Prerequisite: KIN 290 or RPTA 251 or permission of instructor. 2 hrs. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

394 Management of Athletic Injuries. (2) The role of the coach in preventing sport injuries, recognizing injury mechanisms, and providing emergency care. Laboratory sessions emphasize wrapping, taping, and emergency first aid. Prerequisite: KIN 290 or consent of instructor. 1 hr. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

395 Assessment in Adapted Physical Education. (2) Content centered on purposes, methods, appropriate tools, and processes of assessment (referral, screening, assessment, program implementation, and evaluation) for individuals with disabilities. The focus of the assessment will be in the areas of motor skills and physical fitness. Prerequisites: KIN 265 and 393.

400 Internship. (12) An internship in an approved program; designed as laboratory field experiences for practical application of knowledge and theory in a professional setting. Prerequisite: 2.5 GPA in the major and permission of instructor.

401 Senior Seminar in Exercise Science. (2) Practical and theoretical information for professional career situations. Prerequisites: senior standing; Exercise Science major.

408 Divemaster. (2) Students complete supervised dives, perform dive briefings, act as safety/rescue divers, and lead underwater tours to learn to be responsible Divemasters and eligible for employment. Must have a current scuba physical exam on file. Divemaster certification available, but not required. Prerequisites: KIN 308, Dive Rescue certification, or permission of instructor.

440 Exercise Stress Testing. (3) Designed to provide an in-depth study of the theories, concepts, procedures, and techniques of exercise stress testing. Prerequisites: KIN 391, CPR Certification, and permission of instructor.

444 Exercise and Wellness Programming. (3) Administration of exercise science and wellness programming with special attention given to leadership skills and assessments necessary to direct exercise and wellness programs. Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) course. Prerequisites: senior standing, KIN 440, and permission of instructor; ENG 280.

450 Professional Workshop. (1–3)

451 Basketball Coaching. (2) Beginning and advanced strategies for coaching basketball at the high school and collegiate levels.

454 Football Coaching. (2) Beginning and advanced strategies for coaching football.

459 Individual/Team Sport Coaching. (2, repeatable for different topics to 4) Beginning and advanced strategies for coaching individual or team sports other than basketball, football, or volleyball (e.g., tennis, golf, swimming, soccer, baseball, softball, or track and field). Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

460 Observation and Practice. (1, repeatable for different topics to 2) Preservice practical experiences in Kinesiology activity courses under the supervision of staff. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

461 Field Experiences. (1) 30-hour observation and teaching experience in area K–12 Physical Education programs with on-campus seminars sessions. Grade of C or better required. Prerequisite or Corequisite: EDUC 439 in the Department of Kinesiology and KIN 477; fully accepted in the Teacher Education Program (TEP).

463 Personal Training. (2) Provides practical application of theoretical information in personal training for Exercise Science students. Prerequisites: KIN 440 and senior status—majors only.

464 Field Experience in Exercise Science. (1) A 30-hour field experience in Exercise Science settings for the practical application/observation of theory and skills. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, permission of instructor, and one of the following: KIN 300, 343, or 347.

466 Organization and Administration of Physical Education and Athletics. (2) Investigation of administrative principles and policies as they related to budget, finance, equipment, staff, facilities, public relations, and legal issues in Physical Education and athletics.

470 (Cross-listed with WS 470) Gender and Sport. (3) Examines relationships between gender, sport, and physical activity. Gender is examined within the context of stereotypes and the structure/philosophy of sport and physical activity. Sport and physical activity are investigated as social institutions relative to cultural constructions of gender. Not open to students with credit in WS 470. Prerequisite: WS 190 or permission of instructor.

471 Practicum in Coaching. (1) 40 clock hours of observation and practice under the supervision of a middle school or high school teacher, coach, or outside agency administrator. Prerequisites: KIN 451, 454, or 459, and permission of instructor. Observation and coaching will be required in an outside setting.

477 Physical Education Curriculum. (3) Planning, sequencing, implementing, and evaluating developmentally appropriate and standards driven Physical Education curricula in K-12 Physical Education programs. Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) course. Prerequisites: acceptance into the Teacher Education Program (TEP); ENG 280. Corequisite: KIN 461.

485 Independent Study. (1–3, repeatable for different topics to 3) Individualized study of a particular topic or problem in the field of Kinesiology. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Student must secure approval for independent study prior to semester registration.

490 Honors Thesis in Kinesiology. (3) Independent thesis project resulting in a substantial original research paper and oral presentation. Students will work under the direction of one or more members of the Kinesiology Department faculty who will oversee and evaluate the project. Prerequisites: junior or senior honors major in Kinesiology, with good standing in the Centennial Honors College. Approval of thesis advisor(s).

493 (Cross-listed with RPTA 493) Sport and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities. (3) The course will provide students with information about sport and recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities across the lifespan at all levels from community programs to elite levels of competition. Not open to students with credit in RPTA 493. Prerequisite: KIN 393, RPTA 251, or permission by instructor. (Physical Education Methods)

439 Methods and Materials in Physical Education. (3) Planning, developing, and teaching Physical Education content at the secondary level. Includes a field experience at the middle or high school level. Grade of C or better required. Prerequisite: EIS 301; KIN 115, 124, 135, 226, 251, 252, 253, 365; fully accepted in the Teacher Education Program (TEP). 2 hrs. lect.; 2 hrs. lab.

Contact Information

Department of Kinesiology

Dr. Renee L. Polubinsky, Chairperson
Location: Brophy Hall 220A
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-2050

Kinesiology Website

Kinesiology Directory

College of Education & Human Services (COEHS)

Dr. Erskine Smith, Dean
COEHS Email:
Location: Horrabin Hall 117G
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1690

COEHS Website

Physical Education Advising

Cheryl Hutchins
Horrabin Hall 91F
Phone: (309) 298-1438

Brophy Hall