Date of Conferral
Innovative physical training practices and concepts such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi, cardio kickboxing, cardio spinning, and step aerobics have emerged to provide college students with alternative fitness exercises. However, due to unavailable research, community college administrative and curriculum leaders may perceive nontraditional physical activity courses as unrelated to the values of physical education. The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the perceptions of chairpersons/deans and faculty in physical education regarding nontraditional physical activity courses as compared to sport-related courses offered in community college physical education programs. Educational change theories of beliefs, values, and decision-making structures provided the conceptual framework for this study. Research questions focused on participants' perceptions toward health benefits, values, and contributions to students' learning experience of nontraditional physical activity courses. An 18-item survey was distributed via e-mail to 209 chairpersons/deans and 263 full-time faculty in community college physical education programs in the western region of the United States. An independent samples t test analysis revealed participants' perceptions differed regarding cardio kickboxing, cardio spinning, and step aerobics courses providing similar health benefits as compared to sport-related courses. Participants' perceptions also differed concerning yoga courses contributing to students' learning experience. Chi-square analysis showed participants' perceptions toward yoga, Pilates, cardio spinning, and step aerobics were dependent on their campus position in physical education. The findings in this study illustrate a positive social change community colleges can offer by teaching lifetime fitness activities that contribute to an active lifestyle and sustained wellness.