Alan Miller's blog for a Brave New World!
District trims fitness from degree
- News article written for The Voice (April 1995)
- Created: April 10, 1995
By Alan T. Miller | The Voice | Volume 30, Issue 14
Students will no longer need to bother with taking the two-credit physical-well-being requirement to obtain a degree from an MCCD college.
Following in the footsteps of ASU who recently did away with their physical-well-being requirement, and U of A, who did away with the department all together, the board felt that keeping the requirement was unnecessary and unfair to students.
With the exception of board member Linda Rosenthal, the board feels they made the right decision.
"I think some of the students just won't bother and I believe they are missing something as part of their education," said Rosenthal.
During the meeting, Rosenthal proposed that the district keep the requirement as part of the AGS degree citing that while the universities may feel physical-well-being isn't important enough to warrant the requirement, there was no reason MCCD should lower their standards as well.
After the meeting, Rosenthal still held the same view.
"It is in my way of thinking, a loss if students get out of our colleges without ever thinking about their physical well being while their so busy taking care of their mental well being. I am of the opinion that we need to be somewhat prescriptive and I believe in our own degree, we could be prescriptive," said Rosenthal.
With the requirement no longer in existence, the physical education departments that offered the now un-required courses may be left scrambling to secure enrollment, and some faculty members scrambling for their jobs. According to Rosenthal, creative marketing of these classes will be required.
"It will be interesting to see if they will restructure enough to attract students to take the classes and if not, the faculty will not have jobs, it's very simple, that's what happens, if there's no business you close the store," said Rosenthal.
Kent Staheli, Physical education director for GCC is just one of those shopkeepers who must now contend with the marketing challenge.
"We'll go ahead and offer some of those courses anyway, and hope the people will take them," Said Staheli.
Dr. Ted Coreley, math instructor who has worked out at the fitness center religiously starting from his first day teaching at GCC, has mixed feelings about the decision.
"An integral part of a liberal education ought to include some kind of awareness of health and fitness, but I don't know whether I agree or disagree with making it a requirement, although, I do know it's important."
One point that was brought up during the meeting was that the physical-well-being requirement encompasses a broad range of classes ranging from teaching the martial arts, bowling and backpacking amongst other lecture based courses focusing on nutrition and healthy living.
This Variety also played a role in Rosenthal's support for keeping the requirement.
"It isn't called physical activity, it is called physical-well-being and it was opened up. I'd go camping, to me that's a reduction of stress that you can get."
The requirement that originally called for four hours of physical education and later reduced to two hours of physical-well-being is now history, as is the debate.
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