The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Health and Human Performance program recently rolled out three new minors that can be paired with majors across the university to increase the marketability of graduates. Beginning this fall, students can enroll in a health promotion, coaching or sports management minor.
According to Dr. Scott Ringgenberg, associate professor of health and human performance, the minors were developed with feedback from students outside of the Health and Human Performance program, and there are a number of ways skills gained from the minors can be used outside of the traditional education setting.
“The health promotion minor was developed for the non-HHP major who wants to expand their abilities to develop wellness programs, training programs or a career in personal training,” explained Ringgenberg. “An example is if a person is working for a corporation, and the corporation wants to reduce missed work due to illness. Because of this health promotion minor, the employee could develop programs to help people develop better eating habits, relaxation techniques or start an exercise program to develop their overall health.”
The coaching minor, Ringgenberg said, will address the growing shortage of coaches. A coaching minor on a resume will benefit anyone – teacher or non-teacher – who wants to coach at any level.
“There are a lot of people who want to coach, either at the youth or high school level, but have not had training or courses on how to become a coach,” said Ringgenberg. “They might have been athletes themselves and want to go back and coach. If the student is an education major and wants to teach in a K-12 school, having the coaching minor makes them a stronger candidate because most schools are short on coaches who have a teaching license. For non-teaching majors, most schools or states require a person who wants to coach to take a coaching certification class. These students can fulfill that requirement, plus learn more about training the athletes, develop psychology skills and positive coaching skills to help athletes improve.”
According to Ringgenberg, the sports management minor was developed because of the increased need for athletic directors in the K-12 school system, as well as for professionals in the sports business industry, where the marketing of sports has grown. This minor relies on a collaboration with the School of Business, refining students’ skills in marketing, advertising and more.
“With this minor, we can use the School of Business’s expertise in the marketing and advertising profession,” said Ringgenberg. “A sports management minor can choose the administrative or marketing focus in the minor. The School of Business has internship possibilities along with the HHP department, so students can gain field experience in the sports management profession.”
Jacob Horan, a senior from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, was able to take advantage of this field experience. Horan was set to graduate with his degree in physical education last fall, when the rollout of the new minors was announced. Having always wanted a career in sports, in some way, he decided to stay enrolled at UW-Platteville an extra year to complete the minor in sports management. He was able to intern with the Waterloo Bucks baseball team in Waterloo, Iowa, last summer.
“My intent has always been to be involved in sports, no matter what I end up doing in my career,” said Horan, who has worked with the UW-Platteville men’s basketball team in some capacity – including as head manager – nearly his entire time at UW-Platteville. “I might pursue a career in sports instead of teaching, or I might do both at the same time. Having both options is just going to make me more versatile and give me more opportunities.”
For more information about the Health and Human Performance programs or to enroll in a minor, visit www.uwplatt.edu/department/health-human-performance or contact 608-342-1573.