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Offices: Registrar - Catalog

Physical Education

Physical Education


Jonathan Jenkins (Chair)

Alexa Fry

Sandra Griffiths

Matthew Harris

John Kiser

Kimberly Lessard

Matthew Reynolds

Ben Arminger

Max Kurland

Roy Dunshee

Heidi Yetman


The courses in the Physical Education program are designed to develop capacities, knowledge, and carry-over skills in health and movement essential to daily life based on the needs, interests, and abilities of the students with an emphasis on scientific bases of exercise and wellness and to develop an appreciation for physical activity as a foundation for a healthy life.  The variety of Physical Education courses provide the pertinent information so the student can guide himself/herself in this direction to develop sufficient skill and knowledge in several activities in which the individual may participate throughout life in order to maintain fitness and health, as well as to constructively and enjoyably utilize leisure time. The purpose of the program is to expose the student to numerous activities and to seek individual improvement in those he/she finds most suited to his/her specific goals and capabilities.


All full-time students may take theory and activity classes in Physical Education for academic credit. Students may receive a maximum of four credits — two of which must be Basics of Strength and Conditioning. Theory courses and combined theory/activity courses (such as Lifeguarding/CPR and Scuba) yield two credits; activity courses are one half semester in length and yield one credit (see below).  Classes may be taken for grades or on a pass/fail basis. While students may receive only the maximum of four credits in physical education, they may audit any class any number of times.


In order to receive the maximum total allowed of four credits in Physical Education, students must take one section of the CORE COURSE Basics of Strength and Conditioning (two credits)—and any other two credits in Physical Education. Without Basics of Strength and Conditioning, students may receive a maximum of two credits in Physical Education.


Theory class grades are judged on the basis of normal academic criteria, including reading assignments, composition, and class participation and testing. Activity credit is assessed on the basis of skill acquisition; skill analysis; knowledge of strategies, rules, techniques and required reading and testing.


While there is no major or a requirement in physical education, students are encouraged to take a variety of credit-bearing classes. The program offers activities in sports, fitness, dance, and aquatics, which serve to improve health and physical fitness, develop recreational and leisure-time skills, and facilitate functional and aesthetic body movement. The classes also impart knowledge of health and fitness, skills performance, game strategies and rules, sport coaching, nutrition, and sport history as well as offering American Red Cross certification in Advanced Emergency Care, CPR/Lifeguarding Red Cross certification, NASM Personal Trainer certification and PADI certification in Scuba.


Students are also encouraged to take advantage of instructional and recreational opportunities available through the use of the Johnson Fitness Center, Cain Gymnasium, Casey Swim Center, and the waterfront facilities. Recreation and dance programs, club sports, and 16 intercollegiate sports are offered as extracurricular activities. Contact the Physical Education Department, Athletic Office, or Rec Sports Office for details.



Theory and Activity Classes in Physical Education


  1. Bodyweight and Core Conditioning (one credit). The course is designed for conditioning of joints and muscle groups, strength, flexibility, coordination, and agility using one’s own body weight. As well as garnering an understanding of the body’s core musculature


  1. Tennis (one credit). The course focuses on instruction in the sport’s fundamental strokes: forehand, backhand, volley, and serve. The course also includes an explanation of the rules, as well as basic singles and doubles strategy.


  1. Golf (one credit). The course offers instruction and practice in golf skills—chipping, pitching, full swing, putting, the rules of golf and golf etiquette.


  1. American Red Cross Lifeguarding/CPR (two credits). The course stresses physical fitness and strength and endurance combined with the skills and techniques needed to be a certified lifeguard. Participants will take standard ARC test, and cards will be issued for successful completion of the course.


  1. Sailing (one credit). The course offers instruction and practice in small sailboats on the Chester River. Students must be able to swim to take this course.


  1. Basics of Strength Training and Conditioning and Human Movement (two credits). The course offers instruction, practice and lecture based learning on a variety of fitness concepts. Students will grasp the basic concepts of human movement, planes of motions, weight lifting techniques, strength and conditioning variables, cardiovascular exercise, flexibility, and mobility. Students will receive an extended orientation of the college’s fitness center, equipment, and how to appropriately write and follow an exercise program based on their over arching fitness goals. Students will spend 150 minutes per week for a full semester. Students needing accommodations will be asked to complete the theory portion of the class to its full extent. Based on the student’s ability level, the practical application will be graded based on observation and discussion. Students will also learn alternatives methods of exercise based on their accommodation.


  1. Horseback Riding (one credit). The course offers an introduction to riding in both English and Western disciplines. The course also includes basic skills and horsemanship, tack and application, equine anatomy, health and management as well as Equestrian techniques, theory and practice. The course provides an introduction to Washington College Equestrian Team opportunities. Additional fee of $650.00 is required.


  1. Pilates Mat Class (one credit). The Pilates Method helps to lengthen and strengthen muscles while building a uniformly developed body, focusing on core strength—abs, gluteus, and inner thighs. It is the perfect activity to tone and elongate muscles, rehabilitate from an injury, or train for an athletic event. Class will help with posture, alignment, breathing, control, balance, flow, and strength.


  1. Introduction to Rowing (one credit)

The course offers instruction and practice in Rowing & Sculling on the Chester River. Students will be taught proper technique through use of Washington College’s Rowing Equipment & Rowing Shells. Students will utilize both the Washington College’s boathouse water tanks, classroom for video analysis, and the Chester River for all instruction. A swim-test is required to take this course. Students will meet 100 minutes per week for the 7 ½ week course.


  1. Yoga (one credit). Hatha yoga exercises involve stretching, relaxation, and deep breathing to increase the circulation of the blood and the powers of concentration. Faithful practice can bring relief from tension and fatigue and will help develop poise, flexibility, balance, energy, vitality, and a firm figure. Course includes postures (asanas), breathing (pranayama) and yogic theories of movement and meditation.


  1. Racquet Sports (one credit). The course offers instruction and practice in fundamentals of badminton, racquetball, platform tennis, and squash. The Course also includes an explanation of the rules and etiquette of each sport.


  1. SCUBA (two credits). This PADI open water certified diver course would provide students with the knowledge and skills to visit the underwater world safely. Instruction includes two hours of classroom and two hours of pool time for six weeks plus a weekend open water dive. Advanced Scuba also offered. Additional fee of $200.00 is required for SCUBA, additional fee of $175.00 is required for Advanced SCUBA.


  1. Cycling (one credit). The course offers biking for aerobic exercise as well as the care, repair, and maintenance of bikes and techniques for safe riding.


  1. Advanced SCUBA (zero credits; audit only). See description above.


  1. Basics of Swimming (one credit). The course offers basic instruction on the concepts of Swimming. The Understanding and comprehension of the basic form and strokes (Breaststroke, Butterfly, Backstroke, Sidestroke, Freestyle) Students will learn basic safety maneuvers of treading, floating, etc… No prior experience in swimming is necessary. This class accepts varying degrees of experience. Class participates will also receive their swim test for Washington College water related activities during the course.


  1. Personal Training Certification (two credits) Washington College Physical Education Department has partnered with the National Academy of Sports Medicine to offer a certified personal trainer course. In this two credit seven week course students will follow an accelerated learning of the human movement system, fitness assessment, integrated training and theory application, design of fitness programs, nutrition and exercise, lifestyle coaching and professional development. Taking the course does not guarantee a personal trainer certification. Students must schedule and pass the NASMCPT exam at a certified testing center outside of Washington College. An additional fee of $475.00 is required for this course which covers the textbook, study guide, online content, practice exams and the NASM-CPT exam which must be taken at a certified testing center.


  1. Methods of Coaching (two credits). The course is directed to those individuals who are interested in coaching team or individual sports. The course focuses on responsibilities of coaches, including organization, pre-, post-, and in-season workouts, teaching fundamental skills, developing team play, sports psychology, game or contest strategies and scouting.


  1. Nutrition (two credits). The course concentrates on the study of foods and nutrients and their relationships to health and disease. Topics include vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, protein, water; additives and preservatives; diet and weight control; herbs; eating disorders; caffeine and alcohol.