Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Coaching

Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Coaching

Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Coaching

Williams Center

Steven J. Albrechtsen, chair
Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Coaching
Williams Center 123A
(262) 472-1140

Web site

About the Program

The Physical Education major programs provide course work to prepare students to teach in elementary or secondary schools or to work in careers outside of the schools. There are two options in the Physical Education Major: (1) a 54-unit major that includes course work leading to a broadfield (K-12) public school licensure. (2) a 35-unit non-licensure emphasis: Health Promotion, Human Performance and Recreation and this emphasis also requires a minor.

The four minors in the department are:

  • Health Education
  • Health Promotion
  • Recreation
  • Coaching

The HPERC Department, in conjunction with the Curriculum and Instruction Department, offers a master's degree in C&I with an emphasis in the areas of HPERC. It is a flexible program that allows the teacher and others in the field of HPERC to tailor a program to meet the needs of the students.


UW-Whitewater is regionally accredited by the North Central Association. The College of Education is fully accredited locally by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and nationally by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This holds true for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

The HPERC program is designed to allow future teachers and others in the field of health promotion/exercise science to tailor individual programs to meet ever-changing needs of today. The Southeastern Wisconsin Adapted Ski Program is a collaborative project between the HPERC Department and Student Affairs, in conjunction with private and public agencies in the greater Milwaukee area.


Career Opportunities

Exciting and challenging professional opportunities exist for graduates of the HPERC Department. The following list includes examples of career opportunities from both the public and private sectors: teaching physical education, health education or adapted physical education; coaching in a variety of areas in schools, universities or professional areas; health and fitness in corporate and community settings; cardiac rehabilitation; personal training; worksite wellness programs; health club management; nutritionists; parks and recreation programs; camp counselors; camp directors; recreation directors; and senior fitness director.


The focal point of the HPERC department is the Williams Center and attached newly constructed Kachel Fieldhouse. This complex features classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, a newly renovated and enlarged computer laboratory, human performance laboratory, motion analysis laboratory, weight and training rooms, gyms, dance studio, an Olympic-size swimming pool with a diving well, racquetball courts, an indoor track and tennis courts and more. Outdoor facilities include lighted tennis courts, a five-mile cross country course, softball and baseball diamonds, soccer and football fields, basketball courts, cricket field, sand volleyball court and more.


The HPERC faculty has a long time history of commitment to students and strives to meet their needs through individual advising and continuous revision of programs. Most faculty hold doctorates and academic staff hold a minimum of a master's degree. All assume and model leadership roles within the profession and most have published research articles, abstracts or books and given presentations at state, regional, national and/or international conferences. Active involvement in the College of Education, the university and surrounding communities is extensive. No classes are taught by teaching assistants.

High School Preparation

Physical education majors engage in a wide array of academic courses and must have a good command of the English language as well as preparation in math and science, with a strong interest in the movement sciences. Entry into the College of Education requires passing all three parts of the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST).

Honors and Awards

There are several ways the department recognizes the contributions of outstanding students:


  • The Florence Goodhue Teaching Certification Award for $300.
  • The Florence Goodhue Physical Education Service Award for $300.
  • The J. Homer Englund HPERC Scholarship for $300 and the Van Steenderen Student Teaching Scholarship for $500 per semester.
  • Outstanding Senior HPERC Award.


Internship Opportunities

Students in our program have the opportunity to participate in field studies and internships that may take the form of paid employment in both the public and private sector. Countries such as Hungary, Sweden, Jamaica and Australia offer opportunities for international study through cooperation with the university.


The average starting salary of HPERC graduates is about $27, 000. There are many of jobs in the area of health, physical education, recreation, exercise science and coaching especially for those who are not geographically limited.


Health Education Certificate Program - 22 credits

DPI 860 Certification for Physical Education/Special Education - 15 credits for certification in Adapted Physical Education


Student Organizations

The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and the American College of Sports Medicine are both national organizations. There are also several regional national affiliates and individual state organizations in which departmental majors may seek membership. The departmental student organization is Coaching, Health, Athletics, Recreation and Physical Education (CHARPE).


University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
800 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190-1790
Directory Assistance: (262) 472-1234

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Top 100 Workplaces 2014

Follow Us

  • Flickr
  • Flickr