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Athletics and Physical Education Department Goals and Objectives

Athletics and Physical Education is a non-major department. Our program includes an array of elective physical education, sport-activity, and fitness-based courses offered for academic credit, intramural sports, lifetime fitness activities, and intercollegiate athletics. Physical education classes comprise the curricular/academic credit component of the department offerings.

The department's approach to teaching physical education is student centered and participation based. It seeks to address students' needs for a healthy body and lifestyle. Our courses vary according to experience and skill level. They also include individual and team lifetime sports and fitness endeavors geared toward developing both the skills and knowledge to build a healthy, physically active lifestyle. The main components of these activity-based courses are technique, strategy, fitness/health, and exercise science principles. In addition to addressing students' curricular and physical-education needs, the Department provides opportunities for all students to participate in the lifetime fitness, intramural sports, and intercollegiate sport programs mentioned above.

Our efforts in all of these areas are guided by our commitment to concepts of gender equity and diversity and to promoting an environment that is free of harassment or intimidation. Our faculty role-models and mentors. As a result, they recognize their responsibility in supporting and promoting the principles of fair play and sportsmanship. Our primary emphasis in on the experience of the student-athlete. The athletic experience itself is intended to foster the learning and growing process that strengthens skills in leadership, communication, teamwork, discipline, and confidence. We strive to ensure that the athletic experience continues to play an integral role in the graduate's future. The department encourages a healthy lifestyle through education on such topics as life fitness, drug and alcohol misuse, and mental health. A complete statement of the Department's philosophy can be found at

Since we do not offer a major, all of our offerings contribute to the College's general-education goals. In addition, all the department offerings are designed to facilitate communication, problem solving, and collaboration, which are all vital components of successful leadership.

Further, in accordance with Goal #3 of Vassar’s Mission Statement, our curricular and non-curricular offerings provide extensive opportunities for students to develop their skills through athletics, as well as to benefit from contact with the surrounding community through varsity team community-service endeavors.  In addition, student-athletes' work and interaction with coaches, trainers, and athletic administrators provides ongoing engagement with faculty who know them well.Our department offers neither a major nor correlate. Students may take up to four (two units of) activity-based courses for credit toward their degree. In addition to those who take classes, students who participate in the other department offerings noted above benefit from our goal of teaching them to create and live a healthy lifestyle and to develop confidence and leadership and collaboration skills.