Degree of Fitness Controls Your Degree

by NYC Firm Schools on December 3, 2009

Physical fitness and health in our students is serious business in NYC Schools. There are sports programs designed for every ability and specialty Chefs brought in to create real healthy meals that students will not only eat, but want to replicate at home. Fitness programs are often linked to academic success and many studies are focusing on exactly that link. The future of health and academic is being testing right now, however, at a Pennsylvania college with a controversial program.

Most college students expect to receive their diplomas on the basis of grades, but at a Pennsylvania school, physical fitness matters too.
Students at Lincoln University with a body mass index of 30 or above, reflective of obesity, must take a fitness course that meets three hours per week. Those who are assigned to the class but do not complete it cannot graduate

The idea that students are being forced to participate in a physical fitness class and that their diploma is essential held hostage to their weight is appalling to some. The CNN article included some personal interviews with students and faculty at the college.

But James DeBoy, chairman of the school’s Department of Health and Physical Education, says the requirement is just like courses to help students’ communications or math proficiency. The faculty also has a priority to be honest with students, he said.
“We, as educators, must tell students when we believe, in our heart of hearts, when certain factors, certain behaviors, attitudes, whatever, are going to hinder that student from achieving and maximizing their life goals,” he said.

“Obesity is going to rob you of your quality and quantity of life,” DeBoy said. “We believe that this is unconscionable.”
The fitness course, called “Fitness for Life,” consists of activities including water aerobics, Tai Bo and aerobic dance, he said.

The program is under fire from many different agencies, although surprisingly, many of the students at the school are supporting it. Fitness is a part of health and education and lifelong success, but controversy will follow any school body that personally determine who must fall into what fitness category.

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