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Credit Hour Comparisons Across Various Physical Education Teacher Education Institutions in the United States

Ashley Phelps, Xiaofen Keating


The physical education teacher education (PETE) landscape is in need of adjusting the types of credit hours allocated within its programs. In doing so, preservice physical education teachers will be better equipped to take on the challenges of today’s physical education milieu. PETE program credit hours have remained similar over the past 3 decades. That is, general education credits still outnumber physical education major credits. Colleges and universities appear to place more emphasis on general education, rather than on the specific content related to the physical education major. This study examined credit hour allocation leading up to and within PETE programs based on the 2018 Carnegie Classifications to understand how preservice physical education teachers are being prepared at different institutional levels. It also examined differences in general education credits and PETE major credits required for graduation. Analysis of variance, multivariate analysis of variance, descriptives, and a paired sample t test examined whether there were credit hour differences between content areas within the same institution and whether credit hours offered varied by institution. The results showed that general education credits outweighed PETE credits and that total required credit hours varied significantly by institutional type.

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Carnegie Classifications; course credits; PETE curriculum; preservice physical education teachers; general education credits; professional education credits; major credits; field experience credits

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