Health and Physical Education at Messiah College
Experience a broad-based health and physical education training program at Messiah College, a nationally recognized Christian college.
With health and physical fitness becoming a major focus of health care across the U.S., there has never been a more important time to consider a major in health and physical education. Messiah’s bachelor’s degree in health and physical education will prepare you to complete the state requirements needed to take the exam that certifies you to teach health and physical education for grades K-12 in Pennsylvania.
Messiah’s health and physical education degree curriculum is certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and is valid for both health and physical education in public schools. Your Pennsylvania teaching certification is transferable to many other states, too, through reciprocity agreements. Our graduates are also well-prepared to enter graduate school.
Health and physical education major distinctives
As a health and physical education teaching major, you will be able to:
- Gain a dual certification in health and physical education. Pennsylvania is one of the few states to offer dual certification.
- Experience student teaching in elementary and secondary placements, in addition to many other classroom observations and experiences
- Have access to facilities that include: a human performance lab, weight room, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, exercise science lab, and a bouldering wall and expansive Challenge course
- Benefit from advisor assistance and counseling from your first year through the process of seeking employment.
Career options for health and physical education majors
As a graduate of the health and physical education program, students are equipped to secure jobs such as:
- Health education teacher
- Physical education teacher
- Personal trainer
- Graduate student
For more information on career planning for the health and physical education program, visit the Messiah College Career and Professional Development Center.
Internship and teaching opportunities for health and physical education majors
Messiah helps place students in a variety of health and physical education field placements. A few examples include:
- Observation in local schools
- Student teaching experience
- Teaching in rural or urban settings with diverse populations
Mission & Goals
The mission of the Department of Health and Human Performance is to educate students as developing professionals, challenge students to communicate effectively and think critically, and mentor students as Christian servant-leaders.
- The student will research , critique, and effectively communicate an understanding of various philosophies, principles, and practices associated with their specific area of study.
- The student will begin to integrate faith and learning through a commitment to Christ and the application of Biblical truths.
- The student will develop abilities common to the liberally educated, including locating and managing information, solving problems and making decisions.
- The student will develop and apply knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for appropriate stewardship of the body and a lifetime commitment to overall wellness.
As a health and physical education major at Messiah, you will learn how physical activity affects mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Participation in a variety of cooperative and/or competitive experiences will deepen your understanding about the appropriate stewardship of the physical body and the value of healthful behavior for daily living. Training for the health and physical education major, both in and outside of the classroom, includes access to the proven faculty, coaching staff and facilities of Messiah’s championship-winning NCAA Division III athletics program.
Extensive hands-on experience
As part of the teacher certification program, you participate in early and continuing field experiences which provide opportunities to observe and participate in local schools prior to student teaching. The health and physical education teacher certification major also includes a semester of student teaching, plus related professional experiences.
Department of Health and Human Performance Policy for Health and Physical Education Teacher Certification majors: Students MUST meet the requirements for the state PAPA (Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment) exam by August 15 prior to their junior year (or for non-traditional students the fall in which they enroll in TEP 310 and HPED 326). This enables students to enter the TEP and enroll in their Junior Field Experience and HPED 326 (Curriculum and Instruction in Health Education). If a student fails to complete the PAPA requirement by August 15, that student will be required to either 1) change majors or 2) stay at Messiah an additional year to complete the curriculum as it is designed. There will be NO exceptions.