Promoting the success of all students is one of four institutional goals at Texas State University. Retention and graduation rates provide information regarding the academic progress and success of specific student cohorts. To gain a deeper insight into student success within the undergraduate kinesiology/exercise and sports science program at Texas State University, an equity audit was conducted during the fall 2019 academic semester. An equity audit provides a lens to critically examine institutional data to identify inequities in academic programs and student achievement based on specific variables, such as gender, age, race, and socioeconomic status. This article provides a model for conducting an equity audit in kinesiology/exercise and sports science programs, reports the findings, and highlights strategic actions implemented to combat inequities in student success.
See, Reflect, and Act: Using Equity Audits to Enhance Student Success
Michelle Hamilton, Karen Meaney, and Melissa Martinez
Assessing Student Perceptions to Enhance Undergraduate Research in Kinesiology
Isabel Valdez and Ting Liu
The benefits, barriers, and methodologies of the enhancement of undergraduate research have been widely studied in higher education. However, there are limited studies on undergraduate research in the field of kinesiology. The previous studies centered around student or faculty evaluation of existing curricular or extracurricular undergraduate research programs. The extent to which these studies may inform a kinesiology department that does not have an established undergraduate research curriculum or program is questionable. This article provides a general overview of existing undergraduate research enhancement programs in other universities, presents a recent research study on perceptions of undergraduate research in exercise and sports science students at Texas State University, and offers future recommendations on enhancing undergraduate research in kinesiology.
A Constant Balancing Act: Delivering Sustainable University Instructional Physical Activity Programs
Sheri J. Brock, Christina Beaudoin, Mark G. Urtel, Lisa L. Hicks, and Jared A. Russell
The goal of university instructional physical activity programs (IPAPs) is to provide quality instruction through best practices to encourage college students to lead healthy and physically active lifestyles. As IPAPs have continued to decline due to enrollment and budgetary concerns, the importance of quality and sustainability has become particularly paramount. Furthermore, it is imperative to the existence of IPAPs that we strive to learn and share with each other in order to independently survive, but more essentially to flourish collectively, as we are better together. In our varied experience, while some IPAPs face unique challenges, many obstacles are common, regardless of institution size and composition. This paper will offer the perspectives of four strikingly different colleges and universities in their quest to navigate challenges in delivery, maintain and support quality instruction, and advocate for IPAPs.
Enhancing Graduate Student Research, Recruitment, and Retention via a Summer Research Experience
Jared A. Russell
Programs that provide student research experiences at the undergraduate level are an impactful means of recruiting and preparing students for graduate academic programs. Notably, such programs, when combined with faculty mentorship, exposure to graduate-school-level academic curricula, and socialization experiences, are considered crucial to the effective recruitment and retention of students from diverse cultural backgrounds into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-oriented graduate academic programs. This work outlines the strategic efforts of Auburn University’s School of Kinesiology to enhance its graduate student diversity recruitment and retention processes. Highlighted are the School of Kinesiology’s goals and guiding principles related to diversity and inclusion initiatives. A detailed description of the centerpiece of this effort, the Future Scholars-Summer Research Bridge Program, is provided. Additionally, related Future Scholars-Summer Research Bridge Program topics are discussed, including securing donor support, aligning the program with institutional strategic goals, forming institutional or academic program partnerships, and addressing administrative and logistical challenges.
Exploring the Possibilities of Outdoor/Adventure Education
Physical education in recent years has undergone modifications in order to meet the changing demands of students. The traditional paradigm has been to teach physical education from a sport- and skill-based approach, whereby traditional teams and individual sports are emphasized (e.g., basketball, volleyball, flag football). However, this curriculum may be less impactful on student learning than alternatives and is not viewed favorably by administrators because it is perceived as lacking relevance to broader educational goals. The purpose of this paper was to reintroduce a curriculum that has the potential to address student learning in physical education and broader educational goals. The outdoor/adventure education curriculum, while neglected in recent years, is demonstrating promising gains as a viable model.
The Kids Are Alright—Right? Physical Activity and Mental Health in College Students
Steven J. Petruzzello and Allyson G. Box
The status of physical activity in higher education has changed dramatically over the past 100 years. In this paper, we aim to (a) provide a brief history of physical activity on campus; (b) describe how that activity has changed from a requirement to an elective; (c) illustrate how mental health (particularly stress, anxiety, and depression) has changed in college students over the past few decades; and (d) describe the relationships between physical activity and mental health, particularly in college students. The paper culminates with recommendations for how colleges and universities might facilitate better student mental health through physical activity. There is room to improve the physical activity and mental health of college students, realigning higher education with the promotion of mens sana in corpore sano.
What’s Holding Them Back? Informing Retention and Success of Kinesiology Undergraduates
Jessica L. Kutz, Melissa Bopp, and Lori A. Gravish Hurtack
As the need for qualified medical and allied health professions has grown, so too have the natural feeder undergraduate programs of kinesiology across the country. With an impending “enrollment cliff,” it is necessary to assess the needs of our students and be proactive in addressing curricular issues, initiatives, internship opportunities, and academic advising support. The purpose of this article is to highlight formal and informal data collection strategies and suggest solutions to undergraduate issues that pertain to retention and success. Data from current students and alumni shed light on issues that plague kinesiology programs and present unique challenges to students as they attempt to pursue careers in the medical and allied health fields. Two R1 kinesiology programs identified similarly themed issues using informal and formal data collection approaches. Those themes were undergraduate major identification, career options, curricular issues, financial concern, and emotional fortitude. Suggested solutions and current best practices are provided to address the common themes that hold our undergraduates back from achieving their career goals.
Promoting Physical Activity Education Through General Education: Looking Back and Moving Forward
Bradley J. Cardinal
Concerns about college and university student health date back to at least the mid-19th century. These concerns were addressed through the development and implementation of required, service-based physical activity education programs. In the 1920s–1930s, 97% of American colleges and universities offered such programs. Today less than 40% do. However, student health issues persist. This essay asserts that kinesiology departments are best suited to address these needs by delivering physical activity education courses through their institution’s general education curriculum. General education courses are those that every student must take in order to develop the competencies necessary for living a full and complete life and contributing to society. Given the growing costs of higher education, any such requirement must be justifiable. Therefore, implementing and sustaining a physical activity education general education requirement is not for the faint of heart; it requires effort, resources, support, and time. This essay explores these issues.
Perspectives on the Feldenkrais Method
Developmental movement unfolds across multiple levels of a person’s biological hierarchy, and in multiple time frames. This article addresses some of the complexity of human moving, learning, and development that is captured in the lessons of the Feldenkrais Method®. It provides an overview of who Moshe Feldenkrais was and how he synthesized a body of work characterized by ontological, epistemological, and ethical stances that make his method unusual and provocative. An overview of his group and individual lessons, with examples, is followed by a closer look at how the complexity of the Feldenkrais method can be understood.
Re-Education: What Can Complementary and Alternative Approaches to Movement Education Teach Kinesiology?
David I. Anderson
The goal of this special issue of Kinesiology Review is to expose kinesiology to a body of knowledge that is unfamiliar to most in the field. That body of knowledge is broad, deep, rich, and enduring. In addition, it brings with it a skill set that could be extremely helpful to professional practice, whether in teaching, coaching, training, health work, or rehabilitation. The body of knowledge and skills comes from a loosely defined field of study I have referred to as “complementary and alternative approaches to movement education” (CAAME). The field of CAAME is as diverse as the field of kinesiology. This introductory article focuses on what the field of CAAME has to teach kinesiology and what the field could learn from kinesiology. The overarching aim of the special issue is to foster dialogue and collaboration between students and scholars of kinesiology and practitioners of CAAME.