Physical Education

Brian Solberg (department head)

Required Physical Education

A seven-week physical education skills activity (PE 110) and a seven week Fitness and Wellness class (PE 100) are required for graduation. Each is offered for one hour of credit. The skills requirement may also be completed with PE 180. The physical skills requirement (PE 110) will be waived for students who have participated in varsity athletics at Luther for at least two traditional seasons in the same sport. A student may apply a maximum of four credit hours of physical education skills (PE 100 and PE 110 classes) toward the 128 hours required for graduation. Additional classes may be completed, but may not be counted toward the 128 hours. A student may audit skills classes by following the college procedures for auditing. Any student may register for physical education skills classes on a credit/no credit basis.

Subsequent to a medical examination or review of documentation, a student's program in physical education may be modified to follow the limitations suggested by the college physician or disabilities coordinator.

Physical Education Major/Minor

The physical education major is designed to prepare students to serve as professionals in the field of physical education. Our graduates are knowledgeable in physical education and are well prepared to serve as teachers, researchers, or practitioners in physical education. Students may select a teaching or non-teaching major.

Required for a major:

Plan I (teaching): PE 100, PE 110 (dance), PE 110 (selected from the courses titled "racquet sports," "individual and dual sports," or "team sports"), PE 190, 221, 247, 250, 251, 260, 261, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 365, 366, 456, 490. Writing requirement completed with PE 342. See education department for requirements specific to the K–12 physical education teaching minor.

Plan II (exercise physiology): PE 224, 247, 261, 323, 342, 365, 366, 490; BIO 151, 152, 255; CHEM 141 or 151; PHYS 151; one selected from MATH 115, BIO 256, or PSYC 350. Writing requirement completed with PE 342. Recommended electives: BIO 243 and 362.

Required for a minor: PE 100, 190, 247, 261, 342, 366; two selected from PE 224, 248, 250, 251, 260 or 323.

Required for second teaching area: See Education department for specific requirements. The second teaching area license is offered only in the state of Iowa.


Required for coaching endorsement (men and women): PE 190, 250, 251, 261, 342, 366, PAID 450. Recommended: PE 244.

Physical Education Courses

PE 100 Skill: Personal Fitness and Wellness

  • 1 hour
  • Fulfills: Wellness

This course will focus on the knowledge and skills necessary for developing and maintaining a healthy, physically active lifestyle throughout one's lifespan. General topics include major health issues such as physical fitness, nutrition, stress management, substance abuse and disease prevention. Students will participate in both lecture and activity during each week.

PE 110 Skills Class

  • 1 hour

Skills courses are designed to expose students to lifetime activities. The major emphasis of these courses is to acquire basic knowledge of the activity, enhance/improve skill performance, and develop health related fitness. Courses may be selected from aerobic fitness, archery, badminton, bowling, disc golf, fly fishing, golf, individual and dual sports, insanity, pilates, racquetball, racquet sports, rock climbing, ropes course, swim fitness, lifeguard instruction, social dance, soccer, team sports, tennis, strength training, and yoga. A student may apply a maximum of four credits hours of physical education skills (PE 100 and PE 110) classes toward the 128 hours required for graduation.

PE 130 Experiential Leadership

  • 2 hours

This course will examine current and historical leadership theories and practices that have effectively instilled change in education and society. Students will explore personal leadership styles through experiential application and example. A personal leadership profile will be completed. This course is specifically designed to follow the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) curriculum.

PE 180 Wellness and Fitness Abroad

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Skills

This physical education course affords students a unique opportunity to explore wellness concepts and participate in fitness activities in an international setting. The course is designed to promote healthy lifestyles and increase the enjoyment of physical activity. The international setting, which may vary from year to year, exposes students to a different culture and unique fitness activities. This course will fulfill the health and physical education general education skills requirement. Consent of instructor required.

PE 190 First Aid

  • 1 hour

Instruction, preparation, and practice in first aid techniques, principles, and procedures necessary in providing emergency care. The test for First Aid and CPR certification from either the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association will be administered to students enrolled in this course. Students successfully meeting the minimum standards set by the appropriate agency will be certified.

PE 221 Lifetime Skills and Activities

  • 2 hours

This course will provide students with instruction and participation in selected physical activities and lifetime skills. In addition, students will receive specialized instruction that focuses on preparation and implementation of these activities in education, corporate, or commercial settings where exercise programming is a primary focus. Activity selections will vary depending upon societal or industry trends.

PE 224 Principles of Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription

  • 2 hours

Theories of fitness training, review of clinical and diagnostic cardiovascular information, and program design and evaluation will be discussed. Areas of emphasis will be population characteristics, participant screening and referral process, and fitness planning and prescription.

PE 226 Ropes/Challenge Course Programming: Theory and Practice

  • 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: PE 110 (Ropes Course) suggested.

In this course students will study the integration of ropes/challenge course programming in physical education. This course prepares students to use and implement ropes/challenge course curriculum in elementary and secondary physical education. Students who successfully complete the course will test for Level 1 Challenge Course Certification endorsed by the ACCT (Association of Challenge Course Technology). Students will become aware of and understand the use of adventure activities and ropes/challenge course programming for various purposes and various populations. Prerequisite: PE 110 Ropes Course suggested.

PE 229 Elementary Physical Education, Health, And Wellness: Methods and Materials

  • 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: EDUC 185 or 215.

Required for elementary (K-8) majors, this course provides students with a strong foundation in elementary physical education content, basic health concepts, and methods, with an emphasis on developmentally appropriate physical education. Designed to introduce elementary education majors to the dynamic and rapidly changing field of elementary physical education, this course will: 1) familiarize students with current terminology and trends; 2) explore various activities, materials, units, teaching techniques, and methods of instruction; and 3) integrate elementary physical education with basic health, fitness, and wellness concepts. Practical teaching experiences are included with emphasis on unit and lesson planning, and implementation.

PE 231 Psychological Skills Training

  • 2 hours

This course is designed to teach skills and techniques that can be used to enhance performance and personal growth in sport and exercise. Managing competitive stress, emotion management, improving confidence, controlling concentration, performance preparation, and increasing communication skills will be emphasized. Offered alternate years during January term.

PE 243 Sport and Society

  • 4 hours

Students will examine how sport has influenced their lives and their perspectives and take a broader look at how sport has been influential in American society (e.g. family, gender, race, education, media, and politics). Offered alternate years.

PE 244 Psychology of Coaching

  • 2 hours

Intended to familiarize prospective coaches with the area of sport psychology, this course focues on the coach's role and influence on the psychological well-being of athletes, coaching philosophy, coaching styles, team building, and other topics. Offered alternate years.

PE 247 Foundation of Physical Education

  • 2 hours

An introductory course involving historical, philosophical, and sociological foundations of the physical education, exercise science, and sport. An overview of the field, as well as contemporary issues concerning physical education and the related areas of exercise science and sport, are examined. Emphasis is placed upon career opportunities in this multifaceted profession. Recommended for first-year and sophomore students.

PE 248 Foundations of Sports Psychology

  • 4 hours

This course examines psychological theories and research related to sport and exercise behavior. The course is designed to introduce students to the field of sport and exercise psychology by providing a broad overview of the major topics in the discipline. Offered alternate years.

PE 250 Coaching of Sports

  • 2 hours

Theory and technique of coaching baseball, a swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling. Taught in 2 credit hour units. A maximum of 4 such credit hours may be counted toward the 128 required for graduation. Some sports are offered alternate years.

PE 251 Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries

  • 2 hours

Instruction and practice in the recognition and inital care of injuries to physically active individuals. Instruction and practice in preventative measures and first aid techniques relating primarily to settings in physical education and athletics.

PE 260 Adaptive Physical Education

  • 4 hours

A study of the nature of neuromuscular and skeletal-muscular limitations of an atypical student and the methods of adapting physical and recreational activities to fit the student's needs and abilities. The primary emphasis is on experiental learning. Luther students work individually with young students (ages 3-18) from local and area school districts, to adopt activities to their special needs.

PE 261 Applied Human Anatomy

  • 2 hours

A study of the essential features of anatomy with special reference to the principles of structure in the human body. Applications of human anatomy to health, athletic injury, movement and principles of sports skills will be made. (NWNL when combined with PE 365)

PE 323 Principles of Strength Training and Conditioning

  • 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: PE 261.

The course will be taught in accordance with the principles recommended by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Course content will include: facility organization and management; equipment purchase and maintenance; program design and organization; theory of strength training and conditioning; and experiential learning in weight training and conditioning.

PE 342 Growth, Development and Motor Learning

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Human Behavior
  • Prerequisites: PE 247.

This course is an examination of the growth and development patterns across the lifespan, with emphasis placed upon infancy, childhood, adolescent and adult stages. Developmental theories and findings in typical and atypical human growth and development are explored. Basic principles of motor learning theory and motor control will be incorporated as related to teaching movement at selected life stages. This course involves a laboratory and service-learning component.

PE 343 Elementary School Physical Education Content, Methods and Assessment I

  • 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: EDUC 185 or 215, PE 247, and admittance to Teacher Educ Program.

This course is an examination of the teaching techniques, strategies, practical applications, and methods commonly used by master teachers of elementary physical education (K-6), according to NASPE standards. Emphasis is placed upon lesson and unit planning, evaluation procedures, class and behavior management, teaching strategies, health promotion concepts, assessment, reflection, and the importance of physical education as an integral part of general education.

PE 344 Elementary School Physical Education Content, Methods and Assessment II

  • 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: PE 343, EDUC 366, and admittance to the Teacher Education Program

This course is designed to study the dynamic and rapidly changing field of elementary physical education (grades K-6), while acknowledging that the motor domain is integral to the complete education process. Current trends, assessment techniques, components of the elementary physical education program, core content, and NASPE standards will be discussed. Emphasis is placed upon developmentally appropriate physical education content: movement experiences and body mechanics; fundamental locomotor, non-locomotor and manipulative skills; fitness activities; rhythmic activities; stunts and tumbling; simple games and relays; sport skills and activities.

PE 345 Middle/Secondary School Physical Education Content, Methods and Assessment I

  • 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: PE 343 and admittance to the Teacher Education program

This course provides the knowledge, theory and practical application of physical education within the middle and secondary school setting, according to NASPE standards. Students will explore various teaching techniques, class and behavior management strategies, and methods used to teach and evaluate middle and high school students. Students will: 1) design and implement course unit and lesson plans; 2) develop appropriate skill practice sessions; 3) evaluate activities and cognitive knowledge appropriate for middle and secondary students, and, 4) discuss the importance of becoming a reflective practitioner.

PE 346 Middle/Secondary School Physical Education Content , Methods and Assessment II

  • 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: PE 345, EDUC 366 and admittance to the Teacher Education Program

This course will provide students with the knowledge and understanding required to develop quality middle and high school physical education programs, according to NASPE standards. Applications of fundamental movements in traditional sports and games, adventure activities, and lifetime or leisure-oriented activities will be examined. Students will: 1) develop a conceptual and practical understanding of health-related fitness, as well as an awareness of the vital role that physical education plays in assisting students in maintaining health-related fitness levels; 2) refine the skills and knowledge needed to select physical activities appropriate for middle and high school students; and, 3) develop knowledge of assessment, evaluation, and grading procedures appropriate for the content presented.

PE 365 Kinesiology

  • 2 hours

Designed to introduce students to the study of human movement. It will include the identification of planes of motion and the movements possible at the various joints. It will focus on the primary muscles that accomplish each movement and those which serve to assist and stabilize. It will also include the analysis of basic movement patterns such as walking, running, jumping, throwing, and striking.

PE 366 Physiology of Exercise

  • 4 hours
  • Fulfills: Natural World—Lab
  • Prerequisites: BIO 115, 151, 152 or PE 261

Designed to provide scientific background and laboratory experience essential for understanding the nervous, muscular, cardiovascular, and respiratory system responses and adaptation to physical stress. (NWNL when combined with PE 261)

PE 370 Personal Trainer Practicum Practicum

  • 1, 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: PE-323 PE-224 and PE-247

This experiential learning course is designed to give students the opportunity to apply knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired in the classroom. Students will serve as personal trainers for members of the campus community; provide physical assessments; prescribe appropriate exercise, provide proper instruction on equipment usage; and develop and retain a client base.

PE 456 Administration and Curriculum in Physical Education

  • 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: PE 247.

Administrative and curricular issues in physical education will be explored. Current topics and trends involving physical education and athletic programs will be examined. Students will also explore curriculum models and be afforded practical work in projects involving the elementary or secondary physical education setting.

PE 490 Senior Project

  • 1, 2, or 4 hours