Spanish

The study of Spanish includes instruction in language, literature, linguistics, and culture. Students of Spanish acquire the skills required to not only speak the language, but also to learn about and appreciate Hispanic societies, cultures, and artistic expressions. The guiding principle of the curriculum is that one of the best ways to understand a culture is directly through its language.  

Western’s Modern and Classical Languages Department trains in two areas: language structure and literary analysis. Language structure is taught both holistically and analytically — with multimedia technology, study abroad, language skills courses, and linguistics courses. Literary analysis is an essential component to the curriculum, and the department provides instruction in history and culture, as well as literary theory. 

The Spanish program at Western places a strong emphasis on building a solid grammar and vocabulary base, with an equal emphasis on cultural awareness through culture, film, literature, and linguistics courses.  

The Spanish major also offers a Spanish — Elementary degree. This is a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree with a teacher certification and endorsement in elementary education, which must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in elementary education. See the  Elementary Education  for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

The Modern and Classical Language Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

 

“What I love the most about my program is learning about language development and working with a range of students who I learn something new from with every experience.”

-Cecilia Guzman, 2015 Outstanding Graduate, Elementary Education. Major: Spanish-Elementary, BAE; minor: Bilingual Education

 

 

 

Beyond the Classroom

Students are encouraged to get involved with extracurricular activities pertaining to their major and interests. Spanish studies at Western offers many ways for students to be involved. Sigma Delta Pi, The National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, encourages interest in Hispanic cultural contributions, and fostering friendly relations between Spanish-speaking and English-speaking nations. Western’s local chapter, Omega Xi, offers opportunities for leadership and service.

For students interested in teaching or enhancing their Spanish-speaking skills, the WELP (Western Language Employee Program) program gives students first-hand experience teaching Spanish to speakers of other languages. The experience serves as a valuable tool in building cultural awareness. Other local volunteer opportunities for tutoring, teaching, or assisting with Spanish are available through the Spanish Program Volunteer Opportunities

Many of our students participate in the Cultural Ambassadors Program in Spain: North American Language and Cultural Assistants in Spain. Through this program, students who have graduated can spend nine months in Spain as teaching assistants in schools.

Students are also welcome to the weekly Spanish Table for Spanish conversation with peers, professors, and pizza. 

 

“Studying abroad made learning the language and the material real. After speaking with people in situations where Spanish was the only shared language, I retained the language and vocabulary I heard and utilized in a lasting way.” 

-Nick Shriner

 

Careers and Graduate Studies

Students in the Spanish program graduate with career and continued education plans from locally (Bellingham) to all over the world (Spain).

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Interpreter 
  • Foreign Correspondent 
  • Foreign Service Officer 
  • FBI Agent 
  • Educator 
  • Foreign Diplomat 
  • Travel Writer 
  • Communication Consultant

Department of Modern and Classical Languages

Spanish with a Teaching Endorsement

The study of Spanish includes instruction in language, literature, linguistics, and culture. Students of Spanish acquire the skills required to not only speak the language, but also to learn about and appreciate Hispanic societies, cultures, and artistic expressions. The guiding principle of the curriculum is that one of the best ways to understand a culture is directly through its language.  

Western’s Modern and Classical Languages Department trains in two areas: language structure and literary analysis. Language structure is taught both holistically and analytically. Holistic language learning is facilitated by modern methods and multimedia technology, as well as study abroad opportunities. Analytical instruction of language is taught through a full range of language skills courses, as well as a significant number of linguistics courses. Literary analysis is an essential component to the curriculum, and the department provides instruction in history and culture, as well as literary theory. 

The Spanish program at Western places a strong emphasis on building a solid grammar and vocabulary base, with an equal emphasis on cultural awareness through culture, film, literature, and linguistics courses. 

The Bachelor of Arts in Spanish leads to a BA degree without teacher certification. In order to receive a recommendation for state of Washington certification, students must complete the teacher certification program. Please see the Department of Secondary Education for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

The Modern and Classical Language Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Beyond the Classroom

Students are encouraged to get involved with extracurricular activities pertaining to their major and interests. Spanish studies at Western offers many ways for students to be involved. Sigma Delta Pi, The National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, encourages interest in Hispanic cultural contributions, and fostering friendly relations between Spanish-speaking and English-speaking nations. Western’s local chapter, Omega Xi, offers opportunities for leadership and service.

For students interested in teaching or enhancing their Spanish-speaking skills, the WELP (Western Language Employee Program) program gives students first-hand experience teaching Spanish to speakers of other languages. The experience serves as a valuable tool in building cultural awareness. Other local volunteer opportunities for tutoring, teaching, or assisting with Spanish are available through the Spanish Program Volunteer Opportunities

Many of our students participate in the Cultural Ambassadors Program in Spain: North American Language and Cultural Assistants in Spain. Through this program, students who have graduated can spend nine months in Spain as teaching assistants in schools.

Students are also welcome to the weekly Spanish Table for Spanish conversation with peers, professors, and pizza. 

 

Careers and Graduate Studies

Students in the Spanish program graduate with career and continued education plans from locally (Bellingham) to all over the world (Spain).

Employment of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Teacher
  • Spanish Teacher
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Paraeducator
  • English Teaching Assistant
  • Admissions Counselor 

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Interpreter
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • FBI Agent
  • Educator
  • Foreign Diplomat
  • Travel Writer
  • Communication Consultant

Department of Modern and Classical Languages

Sociology—Elementary

Sociologists examine subjects encompassing a vast array of human behavior: crime and punishment, the formation and dissolution of families, bureaucracy in organizations, conflicts between classes, and global inequalities. Sociology focuses on the way individuals’ lives are embedded within multiple social contexts that facilitate and constrain the range of possible actions. These contexts include generation, occupation, gender, religion, sexual orientation, family, health, nation, race, and ethnicity among many others. Students study and examine these phenomena with a variety of scientific tools, including collecting and analyzing statistical data and conducting surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews.

As a Sociology major at Western, students learn how humans behave and interact in groups — whether small groups like families or large groups like religious organizations, and how one’s position in the larger society shapes life chances and experiences. Sociology students develop an aptitude for critical thinking, improve their writing ability, and gain competence with statistical computing that will enhance their future career options. The department is dedicated to providing quality instruction in several specialized areas of study in Sociology. The four major specializations in our department include Family and the Life Course, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Population Studies, and Social Organization/ Social Inequality. 

The Sociology — Elementary Education major satisfies the academic major requirement for teacher certification with an endorsement in elementary education and must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in Elementary Education provided by Woodring College of Education.

The Sociology Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

“I am interested in public policy and making things better at a zoomed out broader level. Sociologists just like to do that!” 

–Batu Dashnyam, Student

 

“I love how much Sociology is in everyday life — every aspect of how society is constructed and how people interact is part of sociology, and I love learning how and why people act the way they do.”

–Jasmine Strode-Elfant, Student

 

Beyond the Classroom

Sociology students have the opportunity to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs, gain applied skills through service learning internships, and coauthor research papers with our faculty. 

The sociology department actively encourages students to pursue learning opportunities abroad, particularly through faculty-led programs. The department believes a global perspective is critical to understanding core sociological concepts, but to also better understand their own culture. Faculty-led study abroad programming often counts for upper-level major requirements, and travel courses may serve as a student’s capstone project on programs led by Sociology faculty — to places like Kenya, China, and India.   

Sociology students are also encouraged to pursue internships placements for credit towards the major. Data show that sociology students who take part in internships have enriched learning experiences and find it much easier to find employment later.

Sociology students have completed internships with:

  • Allied Arts
  • Bellingham Planning Commission
  • Bellingham Police Department
  • Bellingham School District
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Brigid Collins
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Division of Children and Family Services
  • Law Offices in Bellingham
  • Northwest Youth Services
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Whatcom County Drug Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Corrections
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Probation
  • Whatcom County Public Defender's Office
  • Whatcom County Sheriff
  • Whatcom Crisis Services Sexual Assault Program
  • Women Care Shelter

 

Dr. Jay Teachman
Professor

Awarded the  2015 Paul J. Olscamp award for Outstanding Scholarship

Professor Teachman follows two interrelated lines of inquiry:  changes in family demographics and the consequences of military service for young veterans.  His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and he routinely coauthors his research with our majors.  

Careers and Graduate Studies

Many Sociology graduates enter professions such as law, education, social services, and criminal justice work.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Bellingham School District
  • Five Acre School

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as: 

  • University of Hawaii at Hilo: Education
  • Western Washington University: Rehabilitation Counseling

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sociology/Social Studies

Sociologists examine subjects encompassing a vast array of human behavior: crime and punishment, the formation and dissolution of families, bureaucracy in organizations, conflicts between classes, and global inequalities. Sociology focuses on the way individuals’ lives are embedded within multiple social contexts that facilitate and constrain the range of possible actions. These contexts include generation, occupation, gender, religion, sexual orientation, family, health, nation, race, and ethnicity among many others. Students study and examine these phenomena with a variety of scientific tools, including collecting and analyzing statistical data and conducting surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews.

As a Sociology major at Western, students learn how humans behave and interact in groups — whether small groups like families or large groups like religious organizations, and how one’s position in the larger society shapes life chances and experiences. Sociology students develop an aptitude for critical thinking, improve their writing ability, and gain competence with statistical computing that will enhance their future career options. The department is dedicated to providing quality instruction in several specialized areas of study in Sociology. The four major specializations in our department include Family and the Life Course, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Population Studies, and Social Organization/Social Inequality.

Completion of the BA Sociology/Social Studies major leads to an endorsement in social studies. To receive a recommendation for state of Washington certification for secondary education, students must complete the “teacher certification” program. See Secondary Education for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

The Sociology Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

 “I am interested in public policy and making things better at a zoomed out broader level. Sociologists just like to do that!”  

-Batu Dashnyam, Student

 

Beyond the Classroom

Sociology students have the opportunity to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs, gain applied skills through service learning internships, and coauthor research papers with our faculty. 

The sociology department actively encourages students to pursue learning opportunities abroad, particularly through faculty-led programs. The department believes a global perspective is critical to understanding core sociological concepts, but to also better understand their own culture. Faculty-led study abroad programming often counts for upper-level major requirements, and travel courses may serve as a student’s capstone project on programs led by Sociology faculty — to places like Kenya, China, and India.   

Sociology students are also encouraged to pursue internships placements for credit towards the major. Data show that sociology students who take part in internships have enriched learning experiences and find it much easier to find employment later.

Sociology students have completed internships with:

  • Allied Arts
  • Bellingham Planning Commission
  • Bellingham Police Department
  • Bellingham School District
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Brigid Collins
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Division of Children and Family Services
  • Law Offices in Bellingham
  • Northwest Youth Services
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Whatcom County Drug Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Corrections
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Probation
  • Whatcom County Public Defender's Office
  • Whatcom County Sheriff
  • Whatcom Crisis Services Sexual Assault Program
  • Women Care Shelter

 

Dr. Glenn Tsunokai
Professor

Awarded the  inaugural  Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

Professor Tsunokai was recognized for the 50 students he has mentored through Senior Thesis projects, several of whom have published research articles with Professor Tsunokai.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Many Sociology graduates enter professions such as law, education, social services and criminal justice work while others pursue graduate training in Sociology.  

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Bellingham School District
  • College Forward
  • MSR Communications
  • Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe
  • SDL, Inc.
  • SeaMar Visions Youth Treatment Center
  • State of Washington Juvenile Rehabilitation Center

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as: 

  • Pennsylvania State University: Sociology (PhD)
  • University of Hawaii: Education (MA)
  • University of Nevada-Reno: Criminal Justice (MA)
  • Western Washington University: Rehabilitation Counseling (MA)

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Teacher: Secondary Education

Sociology

Sociologists examine subjects encompassing a vast array of human behavior: crime and punishment, the formation and dissolution of families, bureaucracy in organizations, conflicts between classes, and global inequalities. Sociology focuses on the way individuals’ lives are embedded within multiple social contexts that facilitate and constrain the range of possible actions. These contexts include generation, occupation, gender, religion, sexual orientation, family, health, nation, race, and ethnicity among many others. Students study and examine these phenomena with a variety of scientific tools, including collecting and analyzing statistical data and conducting surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews.

As a Sociology major at Western, students learn how humans behave and interact in groups — whether small groups like families or large groups like religious organizations, and how one’s position in the larger society shapes life chances and experiences. 

Sociology students develop an aptitude for critical thinking, improve their writing ability, and gain competence with statistical computing that will enhance their future career options.  

The department is dedicated to providing quality instruction in several specialized areas of study in Sociology. The four major specializations in our department include Family and the Life Course, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Population Studies, and Social Organization/ Social Inequality.

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Sociology are required to complete a math-intensive course of study. They develop an aptitude for critical thinking and improve their writing abilities. Students will obtain substantial experience with statistical computing, including programming and data analysis.

The Sociology Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

 

Jay Teachman
Professor

Awarded the 2015 Paul J. Olscamp award for Outstanding Scholarship.

Jay Teachman has been a professor in the Department of Sociology since 1998. He graduated from Western in 1974 and received his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1978. Teachman has a longstanding interest in families and how families change over time. He has published a number of articles concerning topics such as military service, divorce, remarriage, child support and cohabitation. Teachman is co-principal investigator on several grants: “Determinants and Consequences of Military Service: 1940-1988;” “Military Service and Patterns of Marriage, Cohabitation and Union Dissolution;” “Impact of Military Service on Health,” all funded by the National Science Foundation; and “Stimulating Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Research in Population and Health,” funded by the National Institute on Aging.

Beyond the Classroom

Sociology students have the opportunity to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs, gain applied skills through service learning internships, and coauthor research papers with our faculty. 

The sociology department actively encourages students to pursue learning opportunities abroad, particularly through faculty-led programs. The department believes a global perspective is critical to understanding core sociological concepts, but to also better understand their own culture. Faculty-led study abroad programming often counts for upper-level major requirements, and travel courses may serve as a student’s capstone project on programs led by Sociology faculty — to places like Kenya, China, and India.   

Sociology students are also encouraged to pursue internships placements for credit towards the major. Data shows that sociology students who take part in internships have enriched learning experiences and find it much easier to find employment later.

Sociology students have completed internships with:

  • Allied Arts
  • Bellingham Planning Commission
  • Bellingham Police Department
  • Bellingham School District
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Brigid Collins
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Division of Children and Family Services
  • Law Offices in Bellingham
  • Northwest Youth Services
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Whatcom County Drug Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Corrections
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Court
  • Whatcom County Juvenile Probation
  • Whatcom County Public Defender's Office
  • Whatcom County Sheriff
  • Whatcom Crisis Services Sexual Assault Program
  • Women Care Shelter

 

“I love how much Sociology is in everyday life — every aspect of how society is constructed and how people interact is part of sociology, and I love learning how and why people act the way they do.”  

–Jasmine Strode-Elfant, Student

“I am interested in public policy and making things better at a zoomed out broader level. Sociologists just like to do that!” 

–Batu Dashnyam, Student

 

Careers and Graduate Studies

Many Sociology graduates enter professions such as law, education, social services and criminal justice work while others pursue graduate training in Sociology.  

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Bellingham School District
  • College Forward
  • MSR Communications
  • Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe
  • SDL, Inc.
  • SeaMar Visions Youth Treatment Center
  • State of Washington Juvenile Rehabilitation Center

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as: 

  • Pennsylvania State University: Sociology (PhD)
  • University of Hawaii: Education (MA)
  • University of Nevada-Reno: Criminal Justice (MA)
  • Western Washington University: Rehabilitation Counseling (MA)

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Business Manager

  • Consumer Researcher

  • Human Resources Manager

  • Advertising Manager

  • Data Analyst

  • Research Analyst

  • Demographic Analyst

 

Recreation

The purpose of recreation and leisure is to contribute to the health and well-being of individuals and to enhance the quality of community life. The Recreation major is multidisciplinary, requiring understanding of the social, behavioral, physical, and environmental sciences as they pertain to helping people grow and develop in their leisure while conserving our vital natural resources. Knowledge of the arts and humanities is just as important, because leisure is one of the most fertile opportunities for self-expression and the development of community.

Nationally accredited since 1986 by the Council on Parks, Recreation and Tourism, the Recreation Program offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation. The major offers concentrations in tourism, community recreation, outdoor recreation, and therapeutic recreation. The department and faculty goal is to help students become knowledgeable, competent, and virtuous professionals — the sum of which is a foundation for professional excellence.

The Recreation curriculum prepares students to design, implement, manage, lead, and evaluate recreation programs and services. The program is designed as four sequential 15-16 credit hour phases, which students move through as a cohort group. Students enter Phase 1 of the program during spring quarter, typically during their sophomore or junior year.

The Health and Human Development Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

Beyond the Classroom

Each student in the Recreation Program must complete 240 hours of leadership prior to beginning their internship in Phase III of the program.  That equates to an average of 10,000 hours of student service per year to organizations that serve individuals, families, communities, and the environment in Bellingham and throughout Washington.  In recent years, our students have served the YMCA, the Max Higbee Center, Boys and Girls Club, Arne Hannah Aquatic Center, Whatcom Humane Society, and Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center to name just a few. In addition, students complete a 400-hour, ten-week internship experience. In the department's 2014 Exit Survey, 97% of graduating students rated the Internship as “Very Important” or “Important” to their professional growth.

“I have been teaching in the Recreation Program at Western since 1980, and have witnessed some extraordinary - almost magical - moments as students discover how their beliefs and behaviors have the potential to enrich the lives of others.”

-Jill Heckathorn, Former Recreation Faculty

 

Careers and Graduate Studies

In support of healthy individuals, families, and communities, career opportunities in recreation and leisure services are numerous and diverse. Graduates of the Recreation Program are employed throughout the region, nation, and world. They work in a variety of settings, including public recreation departments, outdoor recreation programs, hospitals, and tourism agencies. Specific jobs performed by graduates include working as recreation therapists, organizing and leading outdoor adventure trips, managing youth-serving agencies, such as Boys and Girls Clubs, supervising public sports programs, coordinating community cultural arts, operating eco-tourism trips, and serving as park rangers with state and federal agencies, and managing youth-serving agencies, such as Boys and Girls Clubs. Some graduates have found their degrees useful for work in fields such as social work, the ministry, and law enforcement.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Alderwood Convalescent Center (Bellingham, WA)
  • Alpengirl Summer Adventure Camp for Girls (Bozeman, MT)
  • AmeriCorps (CO)
  • Boys and Girls Club (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Camp Wingate Kirkland (Yarmouth Port, MA)
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Chena Hot Springs Resort (Fairbanks, AK)
  • Earthcorps (Seattle)
  • Holland American Cruiseline
  • Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (Jackson, WY)
  • Lacey Parks and Recreation (Lacey)
  • Metro Parks (Tacoma)
  • Mount Baker Ski Area
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • NOLS Pacific Northwest (Conway)
  • Outward Bound (CA)
  • Skydive Snohomish (Snohomish)
  • Wild Whatcom (Bellingham)

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Recreation Therapist 
  • Outdoor Adventure Leader 
  • Youth Programs Coordinator 
  • Eco-tourism Operator 
  • Park Ranger

Department of Health and Human Development - Recreation

Psychology: Human Development—Elementary

Many of the major issues facing children and schools today — school readiness, achievement motivation, testing, classroom behavior, stereotyping, bullying, family and neighborhood stressors — are issues of human psychology. Psychology, as the scientific study of mind and behavior, will help provide answers to these problems, as well as contribute to the scientific understanding of how children best think and learn.

The program in Psychology: Human Development is designed to provide students in the Elementary Education program with an in-depth understanding of theory, research, and application in developmental psychology, and a sound background in general psychology. The program is designed to allow students flexibility in selecting psychology courses with the assistance of their advisor.

This major satisfies the academic major requirement for teacher certification with an endorsement in elementary education and must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in elementary education. See the Elementary Education section of this catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

The Psychology Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

“WWU has an incredible Psychology program that gave me the opportunity to perform research, engage in enlightening discussions with my peers and professors, and allowed me to present research findings at professional conferences.”

-Connor Herron, Student

 

Beyond the Classroom

Students in the Psychology Department get involved with the WWU Psychology Club or the Neuroscience Research Driven Students (NeRDS) Club. Some students find internships in their field like: Ada County Juvenile Court Services — Diversion Program, Catholic Community Services — Recovery Center, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Foundation — Patient Resources, Western Washington University Associated Students — Resource and Outreach Programming at the Women’s Center. 

“Students have direct access to faculty and work collaboratively on cutting-edge psychological research that gets published in scientific outlets. By the time they graduate, psychology majors have had opportunities to present research at conferences, effect changes in their communities through service-learning courses, and expand their intellectual capacity through the provocative discussions of small seminar classes.”

-Dr. Alex Czopp, Faculty

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Counselor
  • Employment Agency Counselor
  • Training and Development Professional
  • Mental Health Coordinator
  • Human Resources Personnel
  • Social Service Administrator
  • Public Relations
  • Corrections Officer
  • Educator
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Social Service Worker
  • Psychologist

 

Physics/Mathematics—Secondary Education

Students in the Secondary Education program learn how to teach within a mathematical and science context and conduct thorough studies of mathematics and physics. Western's Physics/Mathematics Secondary Education degree program offers formal clinical preparation in education, an extended internship, and continual experiences as a student, learner, and problem solver in mathematics and physics.

Students in the program focus on expanding their personal understanding of mathematics and physics and capitalize on the opportunities available to tutor pre-college students, assist in classrooms, and obtain a position as a practicum student or novice teacher in their internship.

This major must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in Secondary Education offered through Woodring College of Education. Western’s Physics and Astronomy Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering.

 

Beyond the Classroom

Students wishing to stay involved with the Mathematics and Physics community have the opportunity to immerse themselves in extracurricular activities that often pertain to teaching as well as math and science:

  • Physics Teaching Assistants (TAs) assist professors in principally two ways: lab assistance and grading. Duties for lab TAs may include attending weekly training meetings, running lab sessions, and grading lab reports. Students are paid an hourly rate based on experience with the department. Students often find that they have a much deeper understanding of physics after being a TA. One of the favorite benefits to being a TA is having a key to the student study space, affectionately called "The Zoo."

  • Physics Department Seminars include colloquia and conferences put on by faculty and field scholars, which all students are invited to attend.  

  • Student stay involved with mathematics by working in the Math Center (staffed by undergraduate Math Fellows, it is a great place to get help with homework, meet other students, and form study groups), join the Putnam Exam group, or participate in the Math Modeling Competition or the Kryptos Cryptography Competition.

 

Careers and Graduate Studies

Students in the Physics/Mathematics Secondary Education program often go on to graduate schools or find teaching positions in middle or secondary education.

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Secondary Education Teacher

Department of Physics/Astronomy

Physical Education and Health P-12

Western’s Physical Education and Health P-12 program provides concentrated study of Physical and Health Education. Completion of requirements leads to Teacher Certification in P-12 Physical Education and Health (Health and Fitness). The program is unique, in that it consists of Physical Education pedagogy with practicum experiences at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels in diverse teaching environments which allow our students concentrated time to develop teaching strategies while working with children and adolescents in their schools.

The Physical Education and Health P-12 major leads to an endorsement in Health and Fitness and must be accompanied by the Secondary Education Professional Program offered through Western's Woodring College of Education.

Western's Health and Human Development Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Beyond the Classroom

Students in the program participate in teaching practicums but are also encouraged to join clubs or volunteer in order to make connections with other peers and professionals. 

“Western's Physical Education and Health program is intended to prepare highly qualified and determined students to become professional educators, and through my experience it has done much more – not only has it helped me build an outstanding professional background, but I have found a network of friends and mentors, have become confident in my future career choice, and have learned a tremendous amount of valuable information.”

–Nicole Akaran, Student

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • P-12 Physical Education Teacher
  • Health Education Teacher

Department of Health and Human Development - Physical Education

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