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SPSC Diploma & Graduate Diploma in Physical Education (GDPE)

Over the decades, the SPSC department has produced numerous programs in its continuous pursuit for innovation and improvement. The SPSC Diploma and the Graduate Diploma, featured below, continues to be offered today.

“And then we took it a step further.”

gert, on the development of every new SPSC program

SPSC Diploma

The SPSC Diploma was established in 1999. Upon inception, the program was geared towards general university transfer and was nonspecific in terms of its requirements. It absorbed the Coaching Diploma (which had, until then, existed as an independent program) in 2004, as the latter’s twenty-person limit was deemed unsustainable in the face of increasing enrollment demand.

Eventually, the SPSC Diploma developed three streams: Interdisciplinary, Kinesiology, and Health and Recreation. This was to mirror the three routes offered in the BPEC program – the general completion option, the kinesiology concentration, and the health concentration. The SPSC Diploma continues to be offered today with these three graduating options.

Read here about the path taken by Lyndsay, a SPSC Diploma alumnus.

The Graduate Diploma in Physical Education (now Graduate Diploma in Physical and Health Education), interestingly, emerged from a hallway conversation between SPSC faculty members Gert van Niekerk and Chris Johnson. The two were discussing how teachers in the K – 12 school system, at the time, did not have enough background in physical education, and often did not know what to do to help their students learn physical literacy. Brian Storey, who was a new faculty member at the time, endeavoured to solve the problem: he proposed and led the development of a graduate program catered towards educating teachers already in the school system. This program, established in 2005, was the Graduate Diploma in Physical Education.

“And I said: ‘Why don’t we create a graduate program for them [teachers]?'”

brian, on the creation of the gdpe

At its core, the GDPE was a means for teachers to upgrade their knowledge in physical education so that they could teach the subject more effectively. Apart from this primary goal, the GDPE was also developed in connection to the BPEC program: in anticipation for the latter (which came two years after the GDPE), the faculty decided they would develop the GDPE program first to establish a network of teachers in the system, ensuring that BPEC’s Fieldwork had a foundation to work from.

Read more about the SPSC Diploma and the GDPE program here and here, respectively.

Graduate Diploma in PE (GDPE)