New professional certifications in health, physical education available

Oswego State now offers an adjustable format for a professional certification for graduate students teaching kindergarten through grade 12 health education and physical education.

Several students currently take the necessary classes for the certification, according to Sandra Bargainnier, the department chair of health promotion and wellness in Oswego State’s School of Education.

“The format of course offerings will provide flexibility to current teachers out in the field,” Bargainnier said. “Many teachers in health and physical education also coach after school, thus a flexible format is helpful.”

Bargainnier said she started at Oswego State in the fall of 2013 as the chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Wellness in the School of Education, and was the program director of health and physical education teacher training at both Syracuse University and Penn State University. She said she was well versed in those areas of certification.

“SUNY Oswego Department of Curriculum and Instruction [C&I] in the School of Education has offered Professional Certification in all subject areas for currently certified teachers with the exception of Health Education and Physical Education,” Bargainnier said. “The only piece that was missing was the 12 credits of related content in health or physical education.”

Bargainnier said the classes for the certification are offered not only on the Oswego State campus and in Syracuse, but they are also online.

“Since we now have an online, 15-credit graduate certificate in Health and Wellness, I put it all together that we could collaborate with C&I to make Professional Certification available to current teachers in these disciplines as well,” Bargainnier said.

According to an Oswego State press release, the new specialist track for teachers pursuing an Oswego State master’s of science in curriculum and instruction recently earned SUNY and State Education Department approvals.

In order to receive the certification, the teacher must have a New York State initial certification in either health education or physical education, Bargainnier said.

All of the content needed for the new professional teacher certification track was already in Oswego State’s catalog, said Marcia Burrell, the chair of curriculum and instruction, in an Oswego State press release.

“Why not use that content and build that for people who are coaches and those with other after-school commitments?” Burrell said. “[The online courses] provide them with the flexibility to keep their certification within their master’s degree program.”

Gustavo Tejeda, a wellness management major, said he is interested in the certifications.

“[This program] brings more opportunities when it comes to that kind of job,” Tejeda said.