The Evolution of Physical Education at CHC
The early planners of Crafton Hills College’s curricula envisioned a physical education program that would focus on teaching skills and knowledge of physical activities that students could engage in long after their school years. Early class schedules include such sports as skiing, for which the College had an artificial ski slope; bowling, which was taught in a nearby bowling alley; golf, taught on CHC’s 6-hole golf course; and tennis. There were no golf or tennis teams because the focus was on developing skills for life-long participation, not competition. Students interested in participating in competitive sports could try out for a spot on one of Valley College’s teams.
[Include an early schedule of PE classes.]
Over the years this department has evolved from offering classes that focus primarily on fitness. First, the department is no longer Physical Education; it has been retitled as the Kinesiology and Health Department to include more of the Department’s offerings. Current students can select courses to complete an associate degree for transfer with a concentration in kinesiology, public health or nutrition and dietetics.
The facilities for this department have also changed. The College no longer has a golf course, but it does have an aquatics center with an actual Olympic-size pool at its center (One originally used in Long Beach, which Michael Phelps swam in when he was on his record-shattering journey to be the most decorated Olympian ever). This facility also has a fully equipped fitness center, a dance/acrobatics studio, and rooms for yoga and aerobics classes. A new gym building is in the planning stages.
Also, after years of pressure from students and the public to establish competitive sports, the Department has swimming and water polo teams and will soon have a cross-country team. Other recently established activities include new types of fitness classes (e.g., tai chi, mind-body, hiking, and Zumba), skills classes (e.g., aerial acrobatics, karate, soccer, and self-defense) and dance classes (e.g., hip hop, tap, jazz). In addition, there are now non-credit classes for seniors. Pickleball, which has become popular nationwide in the past several years, has also been added. And the fitness center and swimming pool are open to members of the community.
The Kinesiology/Health Department has also developed other activities that contribute to student life and the richness of campus activities. These include the Herbivore Festival, which celebrated and provided information about healthful and sustainable food production and consumption (not scheduled for the past couple years), a thriving community garden, and the Coach’s Cupboard, a food bank for students. Faculty in this department have set an example for community service by helping to provide food for those in need.