Consideration of the Temporary Suspension of Admission to the Physical & Health Education Program

After consultation with a range of stakeholders including Alumni, the Faculty of Education, Career Services, students, prospective students, Admissions, industry champions and experts, Faculty and Staff, I have decided to temporarily suspend new admissions to the Physical and Health Education program, which will allow us time for a thorough review of the program including additional consultations. In order to arrive at this decision, I ensured that there were opportunities for affected individuals and groups to provide input into the decision, explored the feasibility of alternatives and considered the impact on the unit and the Faculty. I considered a number of factors, including the overlap in curriculum between programs within the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies; declining number of opportunities for physical education teachers (including the fact that our own Faculty of Education is no longer  offering a teaching subject in this area); declining interest in the prospective student pool across Canada; industry accreditation no longer aligning with the curriculum within the program; and the limited teaching pool available for the program due to a significant decrease in PhD programs in the field. Faculty and Staff in the program or within the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies will not be adversely affected by this decision and the students currently in the Physical and Health Education Plan will be able to complete their studies as intended.

Dr. Gordon Smith
Interim Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science

Commitment to Students

No matter what the outcome is, the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies along with the Faculty of Arts and Science commits the following:

  • No effect on current students, or students starting in 2016.
  • Keep the unique experience of SKHS students.
  • Keep emphasis on experiential learning (e.g. new internship coordinator).
  • Keep strong social science/socio cultural stream of courses (e.g. two new faculty members).
  • Better use of faculty complement; better use of current strengths.

Rationale from the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies

There are several factors that led to the faculty within the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies to vote in favour of suspending admissions to the program last summer and submit a request for consideration to the Dean. Changes to the program and the school have taken place over the last 10 years with continued input from the students which include curriculum changes, changing the name of the school, the separation of Queen's Athletics and the academic programs and where alumni are finding work. The main considerations in their request were:

  1. The similarity between PHE and KIN programs in SKHS;
  2. Application trends in PHE and KIN;
  3. SKHS external review process;
  4. The changing landscape of PHE and KIN professions;
  5. SKHS no longer offers traditional physical education activity courses (e.g. sport skills).

Rationale for the Temporary Suspension

  • The number of opportunities for physical education teachers within the school system is showing decline; including the fact that our own Faculty of Education is no longer offering a teaching subject in this area;
  • There has been declining interest in physical education programs throughout Canada while at the same time increasing demands for degrees in Kinesiology and Health Studies;
  • Across Canada, physical education programs are being replaced by kinesiology programs with very minor changes to the curriculum (e.g. University of Toronto, University of Alberta). This is largely due to broader changes in the professions of physical education and kinesiology.  More particularly, Kinesiology became a regulated health profession in Ontario in the Spring of 2013 under the Regulated Health Professions Act (1991);
  • Similarly, the BPHE & KIN programs in SKHS have considerable overlap in curricular content;
  • The BPHE program in SKHS did not achieve the Canadian Council of University Physical Education and Kinesiology Administrators (CCUPEKA) accreditation in 2015, due to both insufficient numbers of regular faculty members teaching the program and not meeting the standard for physical education practicum courses which must include a focus on formalized games, sport, and physical activities;
  • None of our current PhD-level faculty members hold doctoral degrees in physical education, conduct research in the pedagogy of physical education, or are qualified to teach core physical activity courses that require instructional strategies and analysis of movement. Furthermore, very few PhD-level personal are now being trained in this field as it is felt to be of increasingly marginal importance to the discipline. Therefore it would be extremely difficult to find high quality candidates;
  • Our staffing finds it challenging to administer three undergraduate programs, and our high student/faculty ratio means we rely heavily on term adjuncts and teaching fellows to deliver many of our core undergraduate courses; and
  • The urgent need to develop a more robust model for the sustainability and integrity of the School’s undergraduate programs. This is best summarized in a key recommendation made by the external reviewers of the School’s Cyclical Program Review:

“The most challenging recommendation would be one of possibly restructuring the programs in the School. Briefly, from the review, it appears that no current full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty member would self-identify as a PE faculty member. Interest in the field is diminishing among the faculty and incoming student interest is decreasing as noted in the lower number of applications. Furthermore, the quality of applicants to the PE program is lower based on minimum grade requirements for admission. Moreover, as currently delivered, the PE program does not meet the CCUPEKA accreditation standards for re-accreditation. The students in the Kine program, after graduation, could pursue a B.Ed. with their current degree if they selected specific courses as electives in their program. Because, the necessary resources to maintain and strengthen the PE program would be significant and the Queen’s Faculty of Education has eliminated the PE teachable, it may be time for the SKHS to review their efforts in this area. In this context, therefore, it is recommended that the SKHS explore phasing out the PE program and focus their efforts on the thriving Kine program and the popular Health Studies program. This would allow for rationalization of some courses and allow for more alignment between the Kine and Health Studies programs. Should this restructuring occur, because of the different BIU between PE and Kine students, the unit could see a reduced enrolment at no net decrease in revenue allowing the School to maintain a smaller overall enrolment, thus achieving some of the needs to retain the small school feeling and the quality of teaching/ interaction/ program that can only be achieved in smaller cohorts.”


Summer / Fall 2015 - Preliminary consultations

External stakeholders (through external reviewers and accreditation bodies), alumni (through email, phone, homecoming breakfast and in-person meetings), Faculty Board (other academic units), students (through Faculty board, email and town hall), Provost and faculty of SKHS

March 11, 2016–  Dean’s announcement

1 year temporary suspension (for the September 2017 intake) of admission announced at Faculty Board

March 22, 2016 – Dean’s announcement to Senate

1 year temporary suspension (for the September 2017 intake) of admission announcement to Senate

March – August 2016

  • Dean to conduct any follow up consultations required (one-on-one meetings with stakeholders [including students] still wanting to present information related to the decision)
  • SKHS to conduct visioning exercise with current students

October 2016 – the Dean to notify Provost and Senate further intentions regarding the temporary suspension

  • to extend the temporary suspension by a further 2 years (maximum).
  • to lift the temporary suspension and resume admissions to the original Program.
  • to lift the temporary suspension and resume admissions to a revised/restructured Program [note: restructuring/revision may involve major modifications to a Program which, as defined by QUQAPs, will require approval by SCAD and Senate. Additional approvals by COU Quality Council (and an external accreditation body in the case of a professional Program) may also be necessary].
  • to consider closure of Programs in accordance with the Senate approved Policy and Procedures for the closure of Academic Programs

Opportunities to Provide Input

One-on-One Consultation Meetings with the Dean
DATE: April 4 and 8, 2016

Student Visioning Exercise
March 30 and April 14th
Provide input into what the program(s) could look like in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. What courses are important, what experiences are important, and what options should be considered. Open to all students in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies.

Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science
To provide rationale and comment on the future of the program please email the Dean of the Faculty Arts and Science

University Secretariat
*for questions or concerns about the Policy and Procedures for the Closure of Academic Programs

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Fax: (613) 533-2793