College President Timothy Stokes is hoping the school’s fitness program can grow. He has talked to several Physical Education (P.E.) instructors, about his aspirations for revamping fitness at SPSCC.
SPSCC P.E. Instructor Kellie Hibberd said Stokes was college president at Tacoma Community College (TCC) before coming to SPSCC. Fitness classes were a requirement to earn an Associate’s degree at TCC and the school had it’s own fitness center open to all students, faculty and staff.
This school is one of the few community colleges in the state that does not require fitness classes to graduate, said Hibberd. She said other community colleges including Centralia and Tacoma typically require students to have 3 credits of P.E. classes to earn an Associate’s degree.
Allen Johnson, dean of natural and applied sciences, coordinates the college’s P.E. curriculum and has been approached by Stokes with fitness plans. Johnson said Stokes has said he would like to potentially
bring fitness requirements to SPSCC and have a recreational fitness center here in the future.
Johnson became the new overseer of the P.E. program in summer 2013, and agrees with many of Stokes views for emphasizing physical fitness and wellbeing.
Kellie Braseth, SPSCC dean of college relations, said Stokes has not made any official plans to make fitness a requirement at this school. However she did know that Stokes wants to build up the school’s fitness program and has started doing so by getting more P.E. classes back for registration.
More P.E. courses will be offered coming winter quarter 2013. When the school budget was cut in 2011, the school went from offering 30 hours worth of classes down to 8 hours.
Hibberd, said she is excited for mat pilates, kickboxing, volleyball, and self-defense classes to return this winter quarter. She remembered P.E. classes being full and students on the waitlists. Hibberd said with so few classes offered now, it may take a while for their popularity to build back up.
Building 31 offers gym time, a weight room, and a cardio room. These are free for any SPSCC enrolled student to use during school hours, she said. Hibberd said not very many students have even been in the school’s gymnasium.
P.E. classes are a great way to get in your fitness because you’re held accountable, said Hibberd. Most classes are only 50 minutes each, a couple days per week, and are much cheaper than joining a health club, she said.
David Ross, another SPSCC P.E. instructor, said his students have often commented having a fitness class at school is a great break from sitting in desks all day. He said P.E. classes can help wake students up and relieve the stress many college students obtain.
Hibberd said she would love to offer the same classes that are popular at gyms through our school’s own programs: spinning classes, body pump, zumba, and group personal training.