You need only look as far as the professional success of Bethel’s health and physical education alumni to understand the strength of the program. Our graduates have excelled in a number of different ways – as coaches, teachers, athletic trainers and sports managers. Bethel’s program is so highly regarded that many school districts specifically contact Bethel for names of potential job candidates.
A wide range of career opportunities exists for graduates in health and physical education. Graduates who pursue teaching certification are prepared to teach health and physical education at the elementary, middle and secondary levels. Bethel College enjoys a strong reputation for teacher preparation and boasts an excellent placement record. Many of our graduates pursue career opportunities in coaching and are certified by the American Sport Education Program (ASEP).
Graduates who pursue sport management find employment opportunities with professional and semi-professional sports organizations, park districts, youth groups, recreational centers, the YMCA, fitness centers and wellness clubs. Since the sport industry is so large and diverse, a wide range of career opportunities exist in a wide range of organizational settings. Some examples of career opportunities for some of the management function areas in the sports industry include:
- management: sport video; sports web page/internet site; food and beverage; tickets; accounting; corporate or group sales; events; events promotion; facilities; group sales; tournament operation
- director: athletic; finance; special events; corporate sales; marketing; sports information
- media relations
- events coordinator
- customer relations
- guest services
- tournament planner
- travel/tour guide
- special events coordinator
There is a diversity of career options in the exercise physiology field. The HPE degree is well-suited to careers in corporate fitness, agency fitness (YMCA, YWCA, etc.), health clubs, fitness facility management, personal training and coaching in strength and conditioning.
Another career option is to attend graduate school. Many of our graduates have received assistantships from major universities around the region and country.
If you choose to major in health and physical education, career options include, but are not limited to:
- physical education
- sport management
- the recreation/leisure industry
- adapted physical education
- health education
- exercise science
- strength and conditioning
- wellness and fitness instruction
Where are they now?
The physical education department is very proud of the high rate of employment for our graduates in their first years out of college. Professionals in the area are very positive about the preparation our students receive and are eager to hire them when they graduate.
Here are a few of our recent graduates and their places of employment.
- Jessica Muckenthaler ’12
Jessica is currently employed as an elementary physical education teacher for the Central Burden USD 462 school district. She also serves as the high school assistant volleyball coach and a middle school assistant basketball coach for the girls’ team.
- Megan Fowler ’11
Megan was a double major in athletic training and health/PE. After graduation, Megan headed back to her hometown of La Junta, Colorado where she now works at La Junta High School and Otero Junior College as the athletic trainer. "I am the first athletic trainer at both locations," said Megan. "So it has been a challenging, yet rewarding, experience and has forced me to be very creative with the very minimal resources I have available."
- Tony Hoops ’05
After graduating from Bethel, Tony worked at Herington High School as the high school physical education/health teacher and was the head boys basketball coach and head golf coach. He then returned to the Newton area and taught at Valley Center Middle School for one year as the PE/health teacher. From there, he took a job at Halstead High School/Middle School where he currently serves as the PE/Health teacher, Middle School athletic director, and head boys basketball coach.
- Aaron Stucky ’01
Since graduating from Bethel, Aaron has been a full time substitute teacher for Moundridge USD 423, a para-professional for Sedgwick USD 439, and, for the last 6 six years, he has been a full-time teacher at Sedgwick teaching elementary PE and HS health. Although Aaron has coached various teams, he has spent the last two year as the head girls basketball coach at Sedgwick High School. He has also been the JV boys track coach at Sedgwick for the last six years.
- Jason Gallagher ’01
Jason Gallagher came to Bethel College knowing he wanted to play football, throw discus for the track team and enjoy the personal attention he’d receive at a small college. But like so many incoming freshmen, he didn’t know what he wanted to study.
He credits the mentoring he received in the Health and Physical Education and Teacher Education departments to help him realize his calling as a teacher and coach. “I couldn’t have made it without Diane Flickner encouraging me to become a teacher,” Jason says. “At first I didn’t want to become a teacher, but she was able to see my potential and natural teaching skills.”
After receiving his teaching certificate in 2003, Jason accepted a P.E. teacher position in Pratt (Kan.), where kindergarten through fifth-grade students receive 20 minutes of P.E. daily. He currently teaches at Southwest Elementary School in Pratt, as well as serves as head coach for the freshman football team at Pratt High School.
One of the most rewarding experiences of his job – in addition to “trying to remember the names of 500 students” – is the mentoring he is able to pay forward while serving as a cooperating teacher for student-teachers.