This paper reviews the authors’ evolution as kinesiology scholars to a public health focus via their research on school physical activity (PA) and policy. The authors present key findings from their work, including their recent focus group discussion with 20 school leaders, to substantiate their perspectives about the role that the American Kinesiology Association could play in supporting public health goals and promoting school PA policy. The authors conclude the paper by appealing to American Kinesiology Association to clearly identify PA and its promotion as a central area of study in kinesiology, strengthen its ties to public health, and advocate for putting the “physical” back in the National Physical Education Standards.
Monica A.F. Lounsbery and Thomas L. McKenzie
Evidence supporting exercise as a medicine in the prevention and management of chronic disease is indisputable. Created in 2007, Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) aims to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care professionals with qualified exercise professionals to provide evidence-based physical activity resources and programs to everyone of all abilities. Opportunities exist for exercise professionals in several areas within EIM, including exercise referral and prescription, EIM on Campus, and physical activity and EIM education. Connections between EIM and kinesiology and the need for exercise professionals to contribute to the EIM evidence are discussed.
Michelle Hamilton, Karen Meaney, and Melissa Martinez
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.