Texas State University, Department of Health and Human Performance
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Texas State University, Department of Health and Human Performance

by Duane Knudson, Professor and Chair

Texas State University was founded in 1901 along the banks of the San Marcos River in the beautiful “hill country” of central Texas. The university has been one of the largest producers of outstanding teachers in the state including the 36th the President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson. The university has grown from a comprehensive to an emerging doctoral institution with over 34,200 students.

The Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP) is one the largest departments on campus with over 2,400 majors. HHP is a leader in preparing students for careers in adult fitness, athletic training, health and wellness promotion, physical education, recreation administration, as well as entry into graduate education in kinesiology and allied health. HHP offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four areas: Athletic Training, Exercise and Sports Science, Health and Wellness Promotion, and Recreation Administration. The undergraduate programs in Athletic Training and Recreation hold their respective national accreditations. Classes are held in the Aqua Sports Center, Jowers Center, and in a variety of outdoor or community facilities. Students Clubs include the Association of Recreation Enthusiasts, Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Club, Eta Sigma Gamma, and the Exercise and Sports Sciences Club. HHP students have received the AKA scholar award and all benefit from AKA webinars that are used in some of their classes. These resources supplement our own Brennan & Smith Lecture series that brings world-class scholars in HHP disciplines to the university twice a year.

Twenty-five tenured and tenure-track track faculty call HHP home and are nationally and internationally known for their research in athletic training, biomechanics, exercise physiology, health, physical education teacher education, and recreation administration. Several faculty have received national awards and have served as presidents of national scholarly societies. Two Clinical Assistant Professors, 10 full-time lecturers, and dozens of adjunct faculty provide expert instruction in a variety of courses. HHP adjunct faculty hold advanced training and other substantial expertise (national championships or Olympic team experience) in their area of instruction. Departmental membership in AKA assists in recruiting faculty, their development on national issues related to the field and higher education through AKA publication and the leadership workshop.

Research laboratories include the Abilities Lab, Athletic Training Education Lab, Biomechanics/Sports Medicine Lab, Human Performance Lab, Exercise Physiology Lab, and the Neuromuscular Physiology Lab.

Most HHP academic programs build in service learning and professional field experiences into the curricula. Examples of service programs that contribute to the community and research in our disciplines include athletic training camp, autism camp, Fun & Fit camp, total wellness for community and staff members, wheelchair basketball, and our Physical Fitness/Wellness (PFW) classes. The rigorous and diverse PFW program provides quality health-related instruction in activity classes for all Texas State students. Graduate assistantships are available in athletic training, health, exercise and sports science, PFW, recreation, and research.