The Adapted Physical Activity (APA) Minor is about empowering people with disabilities through physical activity, sport, fitness, swimming and general movement. It focuses not only on children in schools, but the wide range of places and ages that people with disabilities might need adaptations or accommodations such as pools, fields, courts, classrooms, and fitness centers.

Adapted Physical Activity Minor Advising Sheet

Child in wheelchair receiving purple basketball from an adult.

Adult standing with child. Adult is holding a rainbow colored basketball.

Child running drills with a green basketball. Adult watching in the background.


Why Minor in Adapted Physical Activity for Individuals with Disabilities?

  • This minor will improve your knowledge, experience, and confidence on of how to adapt physical activities, exercises, games, sports, aquatics and wellness activities for individuals with disabilities. You will learn firsthand how to instruct children and young adults to safely, independently, and successfully participate in inclusive physical activities, physical education, recreation, or competitive sports.
  • All student who complete the minor will have:
    • A certificate of completion
    • Transcript recognition
    • 200 hours of adapted physical activity experience
    • A Special Olympics Coaching certification
    • Experience adapting physical activity for individuals with physical disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities (including Down syndrome), and visual impairments.
  • All Health and Physical Education Teacher Certification majors who successfully complete the minor will have met the sitting requirements for the National Certified Adapted Physical Educator (CAPE) Exam, provided here at WCU.
  • All majors are welcome! You do not need to be an Adapted Physical Activity minor, nor have Formal Admission to Teacher Education in order to volunteer for the programs. You only need to complete the required paperwork for each specific experiential learning experience.
  • The minor is labor intensive, but the group of APA minors is likened to a team or mini-family!
  • Come join this amazing crew and experience life altering impacts.

Adapted Physical Activity Minor Curriculum and Requirements

  • The curriculum for the APA minor stresses learning in context. It mixes theoretical knowledge with hands-on application. APA minors will work one-on-one as a instructor/performance coach to a student in a physical activity setting, lead small group lessons in adapted sport, physical activity and fitness, and will coach Special Olympians.
  • In addition, you will have opportunities to participate in wheelchair sports such as Wheelchair Rugby, blind sports such as Goalball, Beep Baseball, Blind Tennis and Blind Soccer. You will get to coach a Special Olympics sport and most importantly teach children and young adults the joy of physical activity participation through the various community programs that this minor has to offer.
  • The minor is 18 credits for non-Health and Physical Education (HPE) Majors and 9 additional credits for HPE majors.
  • Please visit the Undergraduate Catalog for a listing and description of all required classes.
  • All students must be cleared prior to working with school-age children and prior to enrolling in specific courses. For more information, please visit the College of Education.

Adapted Physical Education Graduate Certificate Program

The Graduate Certificate in Adapted Physical Education (18 credits) is designed to meet the Adapted Physical Education National Standards (APENS) for competency in teaching Adapted Physical Education in the public schools. Within the state of Pennsylvania, a person holding a valid and active Pennsylvania teaching certificate in the area of Health and Physical Education (K-12) is qualified to teach all health and physical education courses, including Adapted Physical Education. This graduate certificate will not qualify you to be a certified Health & Physical Education teacher, nor is it a masters program. In addition, districts may have their own addition requirements to be a highly qualified Adapted Physical Educator. Also, if you are outside of the state of Pennsylvania there may be additional requirements as well.

The graduate certificate in Adapted Physical Education enables students to pursue and attain a certificate without necessarily pursuing a graduate degree. This certificate complements a teaching certificate by providing additional knowledge regarding the instruction and inclusion of students with disabilities within health and physical education programs. The intent of this certificate is to better prepare teachers to enhance their overall knowledge of students with disabilities in general and/or adapted physical education or physical activity settings. The graduate certificate can also support practitioners within the following related fields such as exercise science, fitness/personal training, special education, physical therapy, and occupational therapy to gain continuing education credits and knowledge.

Six, 3 credit courses make up the program as listed below:

  • KIN 579 Inclusive Practices in Physical Education
  • KIN 582 Assessment & Development of Individualized Programs
  • KIN 583 Medical & Pathological Issues
  • KIN 584 Disability Sport & Adapted Aquatics
  • KIN 586 Professional Issues in Adapted Physical Education
  • KIN 587 Physical Activity for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

The coursework is based on the 12 Adapted Physical Education National Standards for Competency in Teaching Adapted Physical Education (to learn more access and the application of these standards to practice in the field of health/physical education and areas of adapted sport, aquatics, and fitness. The coursework prepares students with the minimum background, skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to sit for the APENS national exam.

The certificate program is 100% online instruction and will consist of formation of online presentations, webinars, web-based lectures, collaborative and curricular integration activities, and alternative activities designed to enhance professional development in the field of adapted physical education/activity.

Graduate Certificate in Adapted Physical Education Advising Sheet

For more information, please contact MaryEllen Stephens.


Sign Me Up

If interested in Adapted Physical Activity Minor (congratulations!),

  1. Contact Dr. Foster
  2. Complete and submit the Add a Minor form available from the Registrar
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