The University of Michigan announced that it would no longer provide students with the option to major in physical education, offering opportunities in health and fitness instead.
“Nationwide, the number of students enrolled in undergraduate kinesiology majors continues to increase, but the number of students pursing physical education has greatly declined,” the university’s provost Martha Pollack and dean of the School of Kinesiology Ronald Zernicke wrote in a memo to regents, according to the Ann Arbor News.
After a review by scholars, it was decided that continuing the program “is no longer viable,” according to the memo. There were eight PE majors at the University of Michigan this academic year.
Filling the void is the health and fitness program, which was established in 2013, and has 15 inaugural students aspiring toward the new major. The Ann Arbor News noted that this field has two tracks: one that focuses on leadership and another that includes a PE teaching certification.
“Physical education has changed names and forms over the last century at Michigan, from physical culture and hygiene, to physical education, to kinesiology, and now to health and fitness,” Zernicke said in a statement. “At Michigan, we take pride in the fact we are ranked in the top five kinesiology programs in the country and will continue to deliver ground-breaking research, interventions and programs that keep people of all ages and abilities healthy and active.”
The PE major at U of M will be defunct after the last students already enrolled in it graduate in 2016.
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