Physical Education Path to Certification, Undergraduate Certificate
There is a need for highly effective physical education teachers in PreK-12 schools. Individuals who have a non-teaching bachelor’s degree may feel a calling to shift to a teaching career. The Physical Education Pathway to Certification Certificate (PEPC) is designed for baccalaureate-holding individuals to become highly effective physical education teachers. The certificate is designed to meet Arizona Department of Education requirements for PreK-12 or secondary licensure in physical education.
This online program will help certificate recipients learn and apply effective pedagogies, present developmentally appropriate content, and demonstrate pedagogical content knowledge that helps all students develop skill competence, autonomy, and social skills necessary for a lifetime of physical activity.
This program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Education (AZBE)
Requirements Accordion Open
To receive an undergraduate certificate (at least 15 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.
Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program). See the "Details" tab for additional information.
Overview Accordion Closed
In addition to University Requirements:
- Complete individual plan requirements.
Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
|Minimum Units for Completion||23 - 27|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Required|
|Some online/blended coursework||Required|
This program may lead to licensure.
The purpose of PreK-12 physical education is to guide youth to become and remain physically active for life. This post-baccalaureate certificate aims to guide emergency certified or alternative pathway physical educators to learn and apply effective pedagogies, present developmentally appropriate content, and demonstrate pedagogical content knowledge that helps all students develop skill competence, autonomy, and social skills necessary for a lifetime of physical activity. The Physical Education Pathway to Certification is designed to meet Arizona requirements for the PreK-12 or the secondary certificate in physical education with PreK-12 endorsement.
Student Learning Outcomes
The PEPCPEPC learning outcomes are the SHAPE America Initial Teacher Standards and performance outcomes.
Content and Foundational Knowledge - Physical education candidates demonstrate an understanding of common and specialized content, and scientific and theoretical foundations for the delivery of an effective PreK-12 physical education program.
- Describe and apply common content knowledge for teaching PreK-12 physical education.
- Describe and apply specialized content knowledge for teaching PreK-12 physical education.
- Describe and apply physiological and biomechanical concepts related to skillful movement, physical activity and fitness for PreK-12 students.
- Describe and apply motor learning and behavior-change/psychological principles related to skillful movement, physical activity and fitness for PreK-12 students.
- Describe and apply motor development theory and principles related to fundamental motor skills, skillful movement, physical activity and fitness for PreK-12 students.
- Describe historical, philosophical and social perspectives of physical education issues and legislation.
Skillfulness and Health-Related Fitness - Physical education candidates are physically literate individuals who can demonstrate skillful performance in physical education content areas and health-enhancing levels of fitness.
- Demonstrate competency in all fundamental motor skills, as well as skillful performance in a minimum of four physical education content areas (e.g., games and sports, aquatics, dance and rhythmic activities, fitness activities, outdoor pursuits, individual-performance activities).
- Achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of fitness throughout the program.
Planning and Implementation - Physical education candidates apply content and foundational knowledge to plan and implement developmentally appropriate learning experiences aligned with local, state and/or SHAPE America National Standards and Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education through the effective use of resources, accommodations and/or modifications, technology and metacognitive strategies to address the diverse needs of all students.
- Plan and implement appropriate (e.g., measurable, developmentally appropriate, performance-based) short- and long-term plan objectives that are aligned with local, state and/or SHAPE America National Standards and Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education.
- Plan and implement progressive and sequential content that aligns with short- and long- term plan objectives and that addresses the diverse needs of all students.
- Plan for and manage resources to provide active, fair and equitable learning experiences.
- Plan and implement individualized instruction for diverse student needs, adding specific accommodations and/or modifications for all students.
- Plan and implement learning experiences that require students to use technology appropriately in meeting one or more short- and long-term plan objective(s).
- Plan and implement learning experiences that engage students in using metacognitive strategies appropriately to analyze their own performance results.
Instructional Delivery and Management - Physical education candidates engage students in meaningful learning experiences through effective use of pedagogical skills. They use communication, feedback, and instructional and managerial skills to enhance student learning.
- Demonstrate verbal and nonverbal communication skills that convey respect and sensitivity across all learning experiences.
- Implement demonstrations, explanations and instructional cues that are aligned with short- and long-term plan objectives.
- Evaluate the changing dynamics of the learning environment and adjust instructional tasks as needed to further student progress.
- Implement transitions, routines and positive behavior management to create and maintain a safe, supportive and engaging learning environment.
- Analyze motor skills and performance concepts in order to provide specific, congruent feedback to enhance student learning.
Assessment of Student Learning - Physical education candidates select and implement appropriate assessments to monitor students’ progress and guide decision making related to instruction and learning.
- Select or create authentic, formal assessments that measure student attainment of short- and long-term objectives.
- Implement formative assessments that monitor student learning before and throughout the long-term plan, as well as summative assessments that evaluate student learning upon completion of the long-term plan.
- Implement a reflective cycle to guide decision making specific to candidate performance, student learning, and short- and long-term plan objectives.
Professional Responsibility - Physical education candidates demonstrate behaviors essential to becoming effective professionals. They exhibit professional ethics and culturally competent practices; seek opportunities for continued professional development; and demonstrate knowledge of promotion/advocacy strategies for physical education and expanded physical activity opportunities that support the development of physically literate individuals.
- Engage in behavior that reflects professional ethics, practice and cultural competence.
- Engage in continued professional growth and collaboration in schools and/or professional organizations.
- Describe strategies for the promotion and advocacy of physical education and expanded physical activity opportunities.
Details Accordion Closed
Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
To be eligible for admission to the program, candidates must meet the following requirements:
- Have completed a bachelor’s degree.
- Have a contracted job teaching physical education for the duration of the program. This might require the student to have a/an:
- Emergency Certificate
- Alternative Teaching (Teaching Intern/Teacher in Residence) Certificate
- Position at a private, charter, or other school that does not require a teaching certificate
- Have documented and verified permission to video record yourself and your physical education classes for educational purposes.
- Submit a copy of your State-approved Identity-Verified Print (IVP) fingerprint clearance card, obtainable through the Arizona Department of Public Safety (602-223-2279).
Take the following 23 - 27 units
Select one Track from:
PreK-12 Education Track (27 units)
Secondary Education Track (23 units)
- PE 315, PE 325, PE 345, PE 355, PE 435 (17units)
- ESE 330 (3 units)
- Select one course from the following (3 units):
Note: Taking PE 335 and BIO 201/BIO 201L along with the Secondary Education Track would meet the Arizona Department of Education requirements of 30 physical education credit hours for a PreK-12 endorsement in physical education.
Prior to Certification, students must:
- Be admitted to the NAU Professional Education Programs (PEP).
- Successfully complete the required state and university training modules.
- Successfully pass the National Evaluation Series (NES).
- Demonstrate professional and ethical standards of practice as described in the Model Code of Ethics for Educators and adhere to NAU's and PEP's Student Code of Conduct as well as have adequate physical health for teaching.
- Resolve all outstanding PEP Alerts must be resolved per improvement plan.
- Recieve a passing score on the required Arizona Educator Exam, Physical Education Professional Knowledge Exam.
Note: POS 220 - Federal and Arizona Constitution is recommended, but not required for the Physical Education Pathway to Certification Certificate: PreK-12. This is an allowable 3-year deficiency per the Arizona Department of Education.
This certificate must be pursued as a stand-alone certificate. Federal financial aid cannot be used for this certificate.
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.
Teach physical education without an education degree
Do you want to teach physical education in an elementary, middle, or high school in Arizona but don’t have a teaching credential? If you already have a bachelor's degree, then this program may be for you. The Physical Education Pathway to Certification (PEPC) is designed for individuals with an existing bachelors degree to meet the Arizona Teaching Experience and Coursework/Training Pathway to Teacher Licensure (Standard Secondary or preK-12).
The PEPC is designed for you to be successful teaching children and adolescents physical education in preK-12 schools. This includes effective classroom management, pedagogical skills, developing and delivering content aligned with Arizona state physical education content standards, and tools to differentiate instruction and help all students learn and be successful. We aim for you to become more confident and capable in teaching children and adolescents.
If you a) have a bachelor’s degree and b) are interested in (or already have) a school physical education teaching position, then this program may be for you. Coursework is designed to meet the Arizona Department of Education Teaching Experience and Coursework/Training secondary certification requirements.
Coursework is also designed to help you pass the NES Professional Knowledge and Physical Education Subject Knowledge examinations. All classes are available online. You will participate in online class activities designed to help you be successful teaching preK-12 physical education while completing hands on lab activities using your current physical education classes.
Graduate with little to no debt. PEPC students may qualify for the Arizona Teachers Academy full-tuition waiver.
Semester course availability (subject to change) Accordion Closed
|Summer 1||Fall||Spring||Summer 2|
|ESE330 or BME435||PE355||PE435||ESE330 or BME435|