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Faculty Board approves closure of Physical and Health Education program

A proposal to close the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education (BPHE) program was approved by the Arts and Science Faculty Board at its meeting on Friday, Jan. 27.

Admissions to the program were temporarily suspended in March 2016 following a recommendation from the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. A proposal was then brought before the Faculty Board at its Oct. 28 meeting.

“As I stated in the fall, recommending a program closure is never easy. This is a program with a long history and proud alumni. We undertook a considerable consultation process involving students, faculty members, alumni, and others, and to consider the many factors involved in any decision about the program’s status,” says Gordon E. Smith, Interim Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science. “After the announcement for consideration of closure last fall at our Faculty Board, we continued with additional consultation – students and alumni expressed fond memories of their time in Phys Ed at Queen’s while also demonstrating an understanding of the need for change. At Faculty Board on Friday, students voiced excitement for what is to come with new curriculum developments within the school. I congratulate the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies – students, faculty and administration – for working so collaboratively on this over the past months, and I look forward to continuing our work together.”

The proposal will next be brought before the Senate Committee on Academic Development on Wednesday, Feb. 8

In the proposal, the 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 potential faculty members with doctoral degrees in physical education and pedagogy.

 “Today’s decision is the result of almost two years of public consultation and of more than 10 years of internal discussion among faculty members in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies,” says Jean Côté, Director, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “We are deeply committed to all of our students, and will ensure that this change does not impact any current student in SKHS. All faculty members and staff look forward to collaborating with our students to maintain the positive, caring, and respectful environment that has always been the trademark of our school.”

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