Physical education swim requirement removed and new health options added

The 2026 class will return to the pre-COVID graduation requirement of three PE or wellness credits.

Lauren Azlyn | | 55 minutes ago

11-4-21-Alumni Oliver de Jonghae

After temporarily suspending the 50-yard swim test requirement for previous classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university has eliminated the 50-yard swim test for all students starting in 2026 classes. Recreation Joanne Brislin. Beginning with the 2026 class, students will again be required to earn three of his PE credits in order to graduate, but Brislin says new wellness services will be offered that can be used to meet this requirement. .

According to Dartmouth College’s PE program, due to COVID-19, the college has waived all PE requirements for classes of 2023 and reduced the number of required PE credits to one for classes of 2024 and one for classes of 2025. Reduced to two cases. website.

“Fortunately, we are currently doing our best, so if you are graduating after the spring of 2025, [so] The requirement is a typical three credits,” said Brislin. “We’re back to normal. We’re back to what was always expected pre-COVID.”

According to Brislin, the swim test was abolished after multiple faculty board votes and a final vote by all faculty members at the university.

Patrick Dorf, a professor of biology and chairman of the school board at the time the proposal was made, to ensure that the Dartmouth students (all men at the time) were ready for military service. explained that swim tests were administered more than a century ago.The requirement disproportionately affected students of color.

“We did not test swimming ability during or after Dartmouth, nor did we promote water safety for our students,” Dolph wrote in an emailed statement. A small number of students with limited skills had to start swimming in order to pass the swim test.These were overwhelmingly students of color, which essentially meant that these individuals graduated from school. Requirement added.”

Tor Wager, professor of neuroscience and current COI chairman, explained that the abolition of the swim test is consistent with the university’s mission to give students freedom of choice. He added that it was not meant to downplay the importance of being able to do it, but rather to give students more autonomy to meet their physical education and wellness requirements.

Another change implemented this year is the opportunity to earn PE credits through wellness courses. According to Brislin, this expands the list of existing ways to meet PE credit, which currently includes college sports, club sports and dance groups, in addition to various fitness classes and outdoor programs.

Caitlin Barthhelmes, director of the Student Wellness Center, says the PE diploma will eventually become a “wellness education diploma.”

“There’s this realization that there’s a transition phase in both calling it as wellness education credit and building infrastructure and expanding its offering,” she said. I’m here.”

This transition enabled students to meet these graduation requirements “through a series of courses, mini-courses, workshops, and single-session classes offered by units across the campus, including the Student Wellness Centre.” Barthelmes added that the physical education department is working with student wellness centers on these changes.

These additional wellness offerings will also change how students earn credits for graduation requirements, Barthemes said. Some classes award him 1 credit for each course, while some new wellness options award partial credit, accumulating 12 wellness activities to give him 1 credit. Examples of these activities include yoga classes, mindfulness classes, and wellness check-ins.

Student Health Center sampler Barthhelmes says on its website that it allows students to “choose their own adventure” and combine their experiences to earn credits. Another advantage, Barthhelmes says, is that students can experiment with new wellness techniques.

“This gives students the freedom to think about what works and what doesn’t, and find ways to do it better,” says Barthhelmes.

Barthhelmes said the “ultimate plan” is to set up a committee that can consider proposals from additional departments outside the SWC and offer unique courses or workshops that can fill wellness education credits. added.

Dartmouth Triathlon Team Member Molly Fried ’25 says she appreciates these expanded options, especially Mindfulness Services.

“I think mindfulness is a really important way to engage people in the idea that they can be proactive about better health through mental health,” Freed said. I’ve found a lot of mental health relief through athletics and club sports as a way to go, but I also fully understand that it’s not for everyone, so these other options are also very highly valued. I appreciate it.”

Barthhelmes and Wager say the expanded options for earning wellness credits reflect changes that have been made over the years to expand the definition of wellness on campus beyond athletics. I pointed out that it reflects

“For several years, we have been listening to what students want. [the] Graduation requirements that reflect the reality of the fact that there are many ways to support well-being and, of course, physical health is important, but there are other aspects as well. It was important.”

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