The UAB Physical Education Teacher Certification Program prepares teachers and athletic coaches to implement developmentally appropriate physical activities that enhance the quality of life for all individuals across their life spans. Our Program is based on current research and the standards and recommendations of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
The Physical Education Teacher Certification Program has a strong reputation across the state. Our Program is unique to any other institution in Alabama in that we have faculty to cover the full range of ages the certification covers (Dr. Menear, early childhood; Dr. Hester, early childhood/elementary/middle; and Dr. Sims, middle and high school). We also have a faculty member with a strong background in coaching (Dr. Sims) and one of the few faculty members in all of Alabama with a background in adapted physical education (Dr. Menear). Our Program prepares students for entry into teaching and coaching positions in grades P-12. Classes are experience-based, meaning students are either physically active in our gym or are in the public schools implementing teaching assignments each semester. Service learning opportunities include Special Olympics, helping with field days and special events in elementary schools, and volunteer coaching opportunities. Our Teacher Certification concentration is unique in that students have teaching opportunities in diverse environments. UAB is geographically close to urban/inner city, rural and suburban settings. During the student teaching semester, students work in cooperation with the faculty advisor to select schools within a 50-mile radius of the metro Birmingham area for their student teaching experience.
The Physical Education Program includes the following non-teacher certification concentrations: Undergraduate (Bachelors Degree) concentrations Exercise Science, Fitness Leadership and a graduate Masters concentration in Exercise Physiology.
The primary goal of the Exercise Science concentration is to prepare students for graduate study in the exercise science sub-disciplines (Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, and Motor Behavior) and entry into professional programs such as medicine, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. The Fitness Leadership concentration prepares the students for a career within the fitness industry, and also a variety of graduate programs (e.g. Exercise Physiology).
Research: These concentrations offer students the opportunity to participate in cutting edge research that includes data collection in laboratories specializing in exercise physiology, metabolism, body composition, biomechanics, and skeletal muscle and cardiovascular systems with a specific focus on understanding the role that dysfunction to these systems contribute towards the progression of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.