Students interested in the leadership of sport and physical activity now have the option to pursue it in the recently launched Bachelor of Arts Community Studies degree with an honours / major in Sport and Physical Activity Leadership (SPAL) at Cape Breton University (CBU). The program is the only one of its kind in Canada that also has community-focused, problem-based learning at its core. The program is accepting new students for September 2016 and current CBU students may transfer into SPAL immediately.
Dr. Pat Maher, Associate Professor and Department Chair says, “We discussed these new programs with industry and they were 100% on board. Graduates will be knowledgeable in a variety of interconnected areas; they will be strong critical thinkers; and able communicators.” Maher also notes that, as part of the approval process for these new programs, experts were consulted from Newfoundland to the Yukon and many places in between. “But it’s imperative that the SPAL program continues to connect to Cape Breton Island, as we’ve done for many years through initiatives such as Youth in Motion,” he says.
This new program will prepare students for exciting careers in four key areas: sport management and administration, coaching, health and wellness, and outdoor leadership. Graduates of the program may find themselves on pathways that lead to careers as physical activity coordinators, sports media specialists, health support workers, coaches, outdoor industry professionals, and much more.
Students who take the program will become stronger, more empowered leaders across sport and physical activity fields; gain the skills needed to start a career in a growing industry; grow their networks by completing two 100 hour work placements in the community; have an option to minor in an area best suited to their future goals; and enhance their physical activity and sport knowledge in topics of interest to them.
With a reputation as being a destination of choice for outdoor adventure seekers, Cape Breton Island provides the perfect backdrop for students taking the SPAL program. The program also benefits from close ties with the CBU Athletics Program where students also learn from some of Canada’s top coaches.
“We are so excited to launch the SPAL programs to provide students with the opportunity to study sport and physical activity issues hands-on through an experiential learning approach. That, combined with taking interdisciplinary courses on community topics, working in a small group environment, promoting interaction, problem solving, and collaboration on issues that truly matter, give students a very unique learning environment in this discipline that will give them a leg up on others graduates entering the work force,” says Dr. Bettina Callary, Assistant Professor.