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Physical and Health Education Program closure proposed

Proposal initiates further consultations with students, alumni, faculty, and staff. 

A proposal to consider the closure of the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education (BPHE) Program was presented to Arts and Science Faculty Board at its Oct. 28 meeting. Admissions to the program were temporarily suspended in March 2016 following a recommendation from the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. 

“Recommending a program closure is never easy. This is a program with a long history and proud alumni. The temporary suspension of admissions to the program allowed us to undertake a considerable consultation process involving students, faculty members, alumni, and others, and to consider the many factors involved in any decision about program’s status,” says Gordon Smith, Interim Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science. “Those consultations will continue as we examine the recommendation to close the program.”

As described in the proposal, reasons for the recommended closure include:

  • The Physical Education and Kinesiology programs at Queen’s have considerable overlap in curricular content.
  • Declining interest in physical education programs throughout Canada, including a 15 per cent decrease in applications at Queen’s over the past five years, combined with a 35 per cent increase in applications to kinesiology in the same time period. 
  • Fewer opportunities for physical education teachers within the school system.
  • A lack of faculty members with doctoral degrees in physical education and pedagogy.

“The School of Kinesiology and Health Studies has undergone considerable development and change in the past 10 years, largely in response to major changes in the research and professional fields represented in the school,” says Jean Côté, Director, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “As a result of those changes, and considering the research direction the school wishes to pursue moving forward, faculty members in the school have unanimously agreed that the school should close the BPHE Program and focus its strengths and resources on the Kinesiology and Health Studies programs. Should the closure move forward, we plan to incorporate where possible much of the existing physical education curriculum and course offerings into the remaining two programs.” 

The proposal to consider closure was announced to Senate at its Nov. 1 meeting. Following the university’s policy for the closure of academic programs, further consultation will take place with various groups including students, alumni, faculty and staff prior to a final decision. The first official vote on the proposal will take place at the Jan. 27 Faculty Board meeting.

The proposal and details about the consultation process are posted to the Faculty of Arts and Science website.