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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Discontinuation of test-outs presents dual views

Published April 25th, 2013

Badminton course

Students participate in a badminton course, one of the possible activity courses offered at UWRF. Without the option of test-outs all students will have to complete two of these activity courses to meet general education requirements. (Photo by Laura Kropp)

The Health and Human Performance (HHP) department has decided that as of fall semester 2013, no more test-outs will be offered for the physical education activity courses that roughly 100 students take advantage of each semester.

According to goal five of the UWRF general education requirements, “Students will make and defend judgments with respect to individual conduct and well being, citizenship, and stewardship of the environment.”

The physical education activity courses are a part of goal five and students must take two in order to meet the requirements of this goal.

Joseph O’Kroy, chair of the HHP department, said that there are a few different reasons why they decided to get rid of the test-outs.

“The test-outs were not consistently applied as there were only some for specific courses and not for all of them. Also, our point is to keep students active and those students who do the test-outs are not really staying active.”

UWRF senior Sierra Johnson took a test-out for ice skating and was glad that she had the ability to do it as it helped with scheduling for her, but she also understands why the HHP department has decided to get rid of the test-outs.

“I thought that it was a good option for someone who already knew the sport or activity, but I can understand why they are getting rid of them because they want students to be active and a test-out completely defeats the purpose.”

The department receives questions every semester from student-athletes who are wondering why they still have to take the activity courses when they are active all the time or why they cannot just do some type of test-out for their sport.

The Athletics Representative on Student Senate A.J. Hansen agrees with the athletes that are already involved in a sport and said that they should receive at least one of the credits.

“They are always active and put in a lot of time training so I think they should be rewarded for that in some way and not forced to be more active.”

O’Kroy said that it does not matter whether you are already active or if you think you can easily test-out, but that you are engaging in activities that you may not have tried otherwise.

“We want to expose students to new activities and challenge them to try something new that might interest them and become an activity that they continue to do even after the course is done.”

The department is aware that without test-outs there will be more students taking the activity courses every semester and are therefore creating additional sections of the courses to make up for it.

There will also be a few new activity courses for students to choose from beginning in the fall semester including ultimate Frisbee, flag football and a scuba II course which would follow scuba I and allow students to further their knowledge of scuba and actually get certified.

Hansen said that despite what some students may think, the activity courses really are a good thing for them.

“It forces students to do something that is actually fun and it can also be a really good stress relief, which is something we all need as students.”

With no more test-outs, the only way that a student would not have to take the activity courses is if they had completed basic training as that is something that is accepted to meet the requirement.

O’Kroy said that the HHP department has also considered accepting firefighter training, police training or something equivalent.

He recommends that students plan ahead and get their activity courses done early on in their college career so that they do not have any problems getting into the courses they need once they are ready to graduate.

“There are no more test-outs so every student must look ahead and figure out how to take the courses that they find interesting so they can really enjoy it and hopefully continue to stay active in the future.”

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