April 15, 2008
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
SRU launches adapted physical activity graduate program
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University is launching Pennsylvania's first graduate program in adapted physical activity. The launch comes on the heels of its minor being named the Outstanding Adapted Physical Activity Program of the Year for 2008. Adapted activities teach students how to devise and manage exercise programs for people with disabilities.
The 30-credit master's degree program, approved by the SRU council of trustees and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education board of governors, will begin fall 2008.
"We have more than 125 students in the minor and expect several of them to enroll, as well as students from around the country who are interesting in becoming advocates and leaders in the adapted education movement," said Robert Arnhold, SRU professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences and program coordinator.
Students will take eight courses and a six-credit internship. The program will include courses designed to promote healthy lifestyles, increase physical activity and reduce secondary health problems due to physical inactivity for persons with disability.
"The graduate program focuses on the entire lifespan, helping people from 3 to 93 years old," said Susan Hannam, dean of the College of Health, Environment and Science. "We're one of the few programs in the country offering programs in the gymnasium, swimming pool, equestrian center and fitness facilities within one program."
Course titles include "Disability in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective," "Lifespan Physical Activity and Disability" and "Leadership Training in Adapted Physical Activity."
SRU's minor in adapted physical activity serves more than 300 individuals with disabilities each week, and the graduate program will provide additional opportunities for community residents. The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance's Adapted Physical Activity Council honored the minor with its top award.
Many of the exercise programs that provide learning opportunities for students and help residents depend on grants and financial contributions. Arnhold has applied for and received more than $2 million in grants since 2001, including support from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Hannam said, but contributions are needed to keep the momentum going.
"We are determined to get adapted activity on the national agenda," Arnhold said. "Slippery Rock University is on the forefront of providing physical activity and wellness opportunities to those with disabilities. The graduate program will expand on our mission of improving lives and preparing young people in careers of service."
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.