Program Highlights

Cortland is well known for the quality of its physical education programs and its leadership in the field. Our faculty are committed to excellence in teaching and are actively engaged in scholarship and service at the national level. When you earn your degree from Cortland, you will have the benefit of working with outstanding professors, experiencing a strong professional preparation, and becoming part of an extensive network of alumni in the field.

The physical education leadership program combines online course work with practical, in-school learning experiences to give you a comprehensive understanding of the role you wish to pursue. You will graduate with the skills required to take a responsible position in school or district physical education teaching or administration.

  1. Online course work. You can complete nearly all of the course work for this program online, allowing you to continue to teach while earning your degree in one to three years, as your schedule permits.

    Your course work will include these topics:
    • School-based Leadership Explore the leadership model and qualities required for effective leadership in a school district or professional organization.
    • Using Technology in Physical Education Learn, investigate, and create current technologies that support effective teaching and leadership in physical education.
    • Curriculum Construction Identify principles and methods of curriculum construction and alignment.
    • Research on Teaching Effectiveness and Evaluation Improve your own teaching and learn to evaluate effective teaching.
    • Physical Activity and Fitness Programming Explore the components of a comprehensive school physical activity program.
  2. On-Campus course work. During your course work, you will come to campus one summer for a two-week period for core courses in leadership and research. If you are coming from outside Cortland, you have the option to stay in a campus residence hall for the length of the program for a reasonable fee.
  3. Practicum courses. In addition, you will complete two practicum courses in schools, where you will work with current physical education leaders and explore their responsibilities.
    • Practicum I: Collaborate with school personnel including administrators, the physical education director, and faculty, to promote a school’s physical education program improvement.
    • Practicum II: Collaborate with community personnel and school administrators, including physical education directors, to promote school and/or community wellness initiatives.
  4. Culminating Experience. You will develop a school-based research project with a goal to improve a school's physical education/physical activity program and impact student learning.

You will complete 30 credit hours of course work to earn a graduate degree in physical education leadership.

This program fulfills the graduate degree requirement for New York professional certification. Once you have completed the program, you will also need three years of teaching experience to earn your certification in New York.