Physical education majors will require higher GPA in future

Joe Harrington

Next fall, freshmen physical education majors who hope to receive their teaching license in the future will be required to maintain a higher GPA than in the past.

A GPA of 2.75 is now required – increasing the current requirement of 2.5. The GPA change doesn’t affect current physical education majors. The Board of Trustees made the change official during a meeting in February.

Last summer, the College of Education, Health and Human Services added several new schools, including the School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport, which is the home to the physical education teaching program and teaching licensure program. The required GPA for all other majors in the College of Education, Health and Human Services is 2.75.

Compared to other schools in Northeast Ohio, Kent State’s physical education program was tied with Akron University for having the lowest GPA requirements for its program.

According to the memorandum the School of Exercise, Leisure and Sport submitted to the Board of Trustees, the number one reason for the change is “to ensure the highest possible standards for beginning teachers and thereby to increase the quality of beginning teachers graduating from our program and moving into teaching careers.”


• Bowling Green – 2.7 major, 2.5 overall

• Cleveland State – 2.76

• Akron University – 2.5

• Toledo University – 2.7

• Youngstown State – 2.67

Source: based on personal contact or from their Web site.

Raising the standards of the physical education program to match the rest of the college of Education, Health and Human Services is not the only reason for the change.

“Most graduate schools have a required undergraduate GPA to get accepted into their program, usually 2.75,” said Steve Mitchell, physical education professor and graduate coordinator. “With the GPA increase, we are helping our students advance.”

Another reason the school cites for the change is the stereotype that physical education majors are held to lower academic standards.

“We have terrific students,” Mitchell said. “Most of (our) students are over 2.75 already.”

Of the 47 current undergraduates approaching the advanced standing in the physical education and teacher licensure program, only six students had a GPA from 2.5 to 2.75.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Luke Armstrong, senior physical education major. “Everyone looks at us in a negative way, but we work just as hard as other education majors. We need to be on the same level (as other education majors).”

Bryan Snyder, senior physical education major, said he believes people’s opinions of physical education are based on their own personal experiences.

“In the big scheme of things they don’t realize how much we have to do (to graduate),” he said.

To receive a teaching license, students must pass the Praxis II exam, including those who wish to teach physical education. If a school drops below an 80 percent passing rate, it loses its accreditation. Mitchell believes a change in the GPA requirement will improve the success rate for students.

Contact College of Education, Health and Human Services reporter Joe Harrington at [email protected].