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Former PE Teacher Pursuing Ph.D. to Train the Next Generation of Teachers [Alumni Case Study]

Alumni quote, Justina Rodriguez, M.Ed. '12, Health and Physical Education

Returned to school after six years of teaching

I was very involved with sports throughout my youth and understood the value of staying active. After graduating from college, I immediately began working as a K-8 PE teacher and taught at the same school for six years. One year, I was team teaching with a colleague in the Health and Physical Education master’s program and became interested in pursing a graduate degree to advance my knowledge of best practices in sports and assessing student’s physical abilities.

Hybrid program allowed me to work full-time

Most of my courses were online with one Saturday course, so I was able to continue working full-time while in the program. I loved the flexibility because I was able to complete the degree in 1.5 years. The experience in the master’s program opened my eyes to the possibility of becoming an expert in health and physical education, so I decided to enroll in the Ph.D. program in Kinesiology. I just completed my second year and I’m looking forward to starting my dissertation research on assessment practices at the elementary level.

Teaching is my favorite part of the program

Ultimately, I want to teach physical education teachers how to be better instructors so that future generations of students will have improved physical fitness and better health outcomes. One of the most rewarding aspects of the Kinesiology doctoral program is having the opportunity to teach undergraduate students because they are our future K-12 teachers.

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