Institution Submitting Proposal: UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY
College: Science and Health
Department or Area in Which Program
Will Be Located: Exercise Science and Outdoor Recreation
Program Title: BA/BS Integrated Studies with an emphasis in
Recommended Classification of Instructional
Programs (CIP) Code: 30.9999
Proposed Beginning Date: Fall, 2011
Matthew S. Holland, University President
Utah Valley University
Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs
Section I: The Action
The Department of Integrated Studies, in cooperation with the Department of Exercise Science and
Outdoor Recreation, at Utah Valley University proposes a BA/BS in Integrated Studies emphasis name
change from “Physical Education”” to “Exercise Science” effective Fall, 2011.
Section II: Need
The proposed name change is made in order to more accurately reflect the emphasis as a whole. The
change from "Physical Education" to "Exercise Science" is necessary due to the diversity of students who
now enroll in this program. The department has become grounded in the science of human movement—in
both the exercise science and teacher education realms. Exercise Science is the science of human
movement and focuses on how the body functions and moves. It is also the application of scientific and
evidence-based principles in the analysis, preservation, and enhancement of human movement in all
settings and populations.
The current focus of the department is moving beyond that of a traditional physical education program. The
students in the department are benefiting from a rigorous educational process that incorporates exercise
physiology, pedagogy, biomechanics, sport psychology, and rehabilitation sciences. Exercise Science
faculty are committed to a science-based program. The students within the department have already
benefited from the focus on the science of human movement with more laboratory learning, practical
experience and engagement within the major. This commitment builds on the historical foundations of
physical education and offers the students and general public a more clear and positive perception of the
department and its graduates. For example, at a recent graduate school fair there was an incident in which
a student was told by a professional school representative that letters of recommendation from a Physical
Education department were not acceptable; however, letters from an Exercise Science department were
welcomed. Thus, the proposed degree name change will offer students and faculty additional benefits of
improved perception without changing the daily workings within the department itself. The department
name change from “Physical Education and Recreation Management” to “Exercise Science and Outdoor
Recreation” was approved by the Board of Regents on May 29, 2009.
In addition to more accurately portraying the course of study for the students, there are still some granting
agencies (e.g., National Science Foundation) that will not accept grant applications from a Physical
Education department. The proposed name change should offer a more accurate description of the work
being done in the department and open up new opportunities for scholarly work. It is also anticipated that
this name change will offer our pre-professional students (e.g., physical therapy, physician's assistant,
occupational therapy, medical school) additional opportunities and should attract students that have
traditionally enrolled in other majors.
The inclusion of “Outdoor” in the “Recreation” portion of the department name more accurately depicts the
specialization of the program within the broad field of recreation. The name change also reflects the focus
of the degree-granting recreation programs in the department (e.g., Emphasis in Outdoor Recreation
Management). This name change will aid students in understanding the unique nature of the Outdoor
Section III: Institutional Impact
This change will allow the emphasis name to better reflect the academic goals of the department and will
provide new opportunities for students at UVU. The name change reflects a level of academic maturity
consistent with the mission of Utah Valley University and will enhance understanding of human movement
and physical education as a science-based course of study.
The name change will bring further credibility to the department, college, university, and field of study.
There will be no change in existing organizational and administrative structures within the department. No
additional physical facilities or equipment will be required in the near future. Similar degree name changes
in other universities have resulted in increased enrollments in all related disciplines (i.e., Physical Education
Teacher Education, Exercise Science and Outdoor Recreation). Increased enrollments and visibility of a
department within a university have a positive impact on the institution as a whole. It is anticipated that
student enrollment will increase as students learn more about the department and departmental offerings.
Section IV: Finances
With this name change, there will be minimal financial impact on the department, college, and university. In
the long term, however, there is a chance for additional revenue as a result of increased enrollment.