The Accelerated Pathway (B.S., Physical Education to M.S., School Health Education) Program is available to individuals interested in completing their Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education (preK-12 teacher certification; see all information related to this program) and Master’s degree in School Health Education within five years.


This contemporary program prepares students to teach, lead, coordinate, and advocate for physical education and school health education programs for students  in grades preK through 12. Students will gain the professional knowledge and skills necessary to become a certified physical education and health education teacher.


The physical education teacher education portion of the program provides various opportunities for future professionals to learn, practice and develop the skills, knowledge and dispositions necessary to become effective physical education teachers. The health education portion allows students address a broad range of issues, from skills-based curriculum development and advocacy to health communications and effective policy. Graduates enter the physical education and health education fields equipped to drive and shape change as impassioned leaders of student health and wellness.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Physical Education (preK-12 teacher certification) Teacher Education Program is to provide undergraduate students with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to effectively educate various populations about how to live healthy, active lifestyles. This program guides student professionals towards meeting all of the requirements to apply for a Connecticut preK-12 teaching certification in Physical Education.


The mission of the School Health Education Master’s Program is to prepare leaders that are equipped with the skills and knowledge to coordinate, teach, and advocate for school health education programs. This program guides student professionals towards meeting the requirements for certified teachers to apply for Connecticut teaching cross-endorsement in prek-12 health education. This graduate program is designed to support the individual learners through real-life experiences and whenever possible, application within school communities.


Topics covered

The Physical Education (preK-12 teacher certification) Teacher Education program curriculum is aligned with the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) National Standards for Initial Physical Education Teacher Education (2017) and the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) 2019 Health Education Teacher Preparation Standards. Program completers meet the following standards:

Physical Education:

Standard 1: 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.


Standard 2: 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.


Standard 3: 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.


Standard 4: 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.


Standard 5: 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.


Standard 6: 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.


Link to standards and components:

Health Education:

Standard 1: Functional Knowledge

Candidates possess functional health education knowledge about effective curricula, health behavior theories, health education standards, the whole child approach, risk and protective factors, ways to prevent chronic and communicable diseases, and the multidimensionality of health plus the literacy skills of an informed consumer that helps them create meaningful learning experiences.


Standard 2: Assessing Needs

Candidates assess needs and assets of learners, learning, and the learning community in order to inform their practice.


Standard 3: Planning

Candidates use needs assessment data, health education standards, and principles of learning to plan cohesive, sequential lessons and units that include ways to accommodate students’ differing strengths and needs and that use 21st Century technology in order to support students’ acquisition of functional health knowledge, health-related skills, and health beliefs.


Standard 4: Implementation

Candidates employ a variety of research/theory-based instructional strategies in a well-managed classroom that encourages all learners regardless of race, ethnic origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, family structure, English-language proficiency, and physical or cognitive ability to adopt healthy behaviors and to interact positively with others; candidates reflect on their practice and adapt practice in order to meet students’ and instructional needs.


Standard 5: Evaluation

Candidates use multiple assessment methods that are aligned with standards and learning objectives to measure students’ achievement, document their progress and guide instructional practice.


Standard 6: Professionalism

Candidates demonstrate professionalism and ethical practices; make the case for the value of health education to academic success as well as wellness; advocate for both programs and students’ welfare; make appropriate referrals; engage students’ families regardless of race, ethnic origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, family structure, English language proficiency and physical or cognitive ability; engage colleagues within the school and community as well as the community at large using a variety of media including social media; and demonstrate a life-long learner disposition.


Link to standards and components:


Evolving (possible areas of employment, expected growth etc.)

Professionals with graduate-level experience are more competitive upon entering the workforce. This program will provide graduates with an advantage in the job market and increased earning potential. This contemporary program prepares students to teach, lead, coordinate, and advocate for physical education and school health education programs. Graduates of the Accelerated Pathway Program have the opportunity to apply for their Connecticut initial educator certificate for preK-12 physical education and a cross-endorsement in preK-12 health education, and work full-time in preK-12 public or private school settings as health and physical education teachers. 


The Accelerated Program allows students to teach Health and Physical Education in preK-12 public and private school settings. It provides opportunities to learn and apply skills within areas such as physical education, health education, physical activity, athletic coaching, athletic directing, and/or outdoor recreation. The program provides opportunities to work collaboratively with faculty within their areas of expertise and other future professionals through volunteer/service and professional development experiences.


Program Features

  • Complete Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in only five years
  • The only Accelerated Pathway Program in Physical Education and School Health Education in Connecticut
  • Program explores the latest physical education and health education policies, practices, curriculum development, selection and design of assessment strategies, skills-based teaching strategies, program planning and evaluation
  • Learn how to effectively teach children and adolescents in grades preK through 12 how to live healthy, active lifestyles
  • Meets the requirements to apply for a Connecticut teacher certification in physical education
  • Meets the requirements for a cross-endorsement in health education
  • Addresses workforce demands, given the new 1.0 credit Connecticut state high school graduation requirements in health education
  • Courses offered as on-ground, on-line and hybrid delivery
  • Learn from knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated faculty who are actively engaged in the fields of health, physical education, recreation and dance at the state, national and international levels
  • Engage in a variety of observation, assisting and teaching experiences in schools with preK-12 students
  • Learn from certified and trained health and physical education professionals currently teaching in preK-12 public and private schools
  • Engage in off-campus professional development opportunities at local, state and national workshops, webinars, and conventions
  • Engage in professional service opportunities within local, state and national professional organizations
  • Curriculum aligns with the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) National Standards for Initial Physical Education Teacher Education and the national  Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) 2019 Health Education Teacher Preparation Standards
  • Undergraduate 120 overall credits, Graduate 30 overall credits


Program Requirements

Visit the undergraduate catalog for program requirements and further information.


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Contact Information

Sarah Benes, PhD
Assistant Professor / Coordinator of School Health Education
(203) 392-6091
Pelz 02A

Dr. Catherine P. Abel-Berei
Coordinator, BS in Physical Education (preK-12 teacher certification)
(203) 392 – 6085