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Physical Education

(For 2016–2017 academic year)

Colgate University’s recognition of the importance of personal health and well-being as it relates to the liberal arts education is fostered through the Physical Education requirement. The Department of Physical Education offers a variety of programs and courses that directly reflect Colgate’s commitment to every student’s physical, social, mental and environmental well-being.

The Department of Physical Education takes a holistic approach to curriculum development through collaboration with offices and departments across campus. The requirement can be met through a variety of programs and courses that include varsity and club level athletics, dance, outdoor education, volunteerism and five-week courses in health, fitness, positive sexuality, stress management, and many more.

The goal of this requirement is to encourage students to establish life-long healthy habits, expand student perspectives on personal and community well-being, and to better inform Colgate students of the departments and resources available to them on campus.

Physical Education Requirement  

Students must complete two physical education units. Students are highly encouraged to complete the requirement by the end of their sophomore year. Participating in approved extracurricular activities may earn up to one unit per activity. Varsity athletes may complete the two unit requirement by earning one unit for every full-year of team participation. Further regulations and specifications regarding the physical education requirements are cited on Colgate’s physical education website. 

Transfer Students   

First-year and sophomore transfer students must complete two units. Junior transfer students must complete one unit. 

Physical Education Courses/Activities   

Following is a list of activities available to students. Staff availability and season determine when these activities are offered. 

Course Offerings

000  PHED Passport
Students wishing to experience a variety of physical education courses and wellness events may register for the PHED passport program. Students are provided with a course schedule outlining all passport-approved events for the semester. Students have the ability to attend various physical education and wellness programs based on their personal interests. Students are required to maintain their passport record and turn it in by the end date for the semester to the chair of the physical education department.

001  Aerobics
Aerobics classes consist of various types of aerobics, depending on instructor expertise. Options include cardio-kick, hip-hop, and Zumba aerobics, “boot camp,” and/or body toning workouts. The objective is to increase cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and muscular endurance through aerobic exercise.

003  Running for Beginners
Students will learn how to progressively improve their running through appropriate and safe training. Students will learn the benefits of running to the health and wellness, appropriate apparel/equipment, principles of training, injury prevention, road racing rules/etiquette, and proper nutrition and hydration.

006  American Red Cross Certification Course: Lifeguarding Today
This course includes training in CPR for the Professional Rescuer and Community First Aid and Safety as well as lifeguarding skills. Upon successful completion of the course, the student receives three-year certification in lifeguarding and first aid, as well as one-year certification in CPR for the Professional Rescuer. Fee for book and certification card. (Full semester course.) 

012  Jazz Dance
Students will learn and practice basic jazz dance technique and vocabulary while developing rhythmic awareness, core strength, flexibility, coordination, and body alignment in a fun, energetic environment. Students will learn exercises and perform jazz movement sequences as well as longer dance combinations involving precise footwork, body isolations, turns, and leaps.

017  Weight Training
Learn how to safely and effectively weight train. This course includes a brief lecture on the exercise science of weight training followed by a physical training session where students practice proper weight training mechanics and program design principles.

019  Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
This course is a ten-week workshop on mindfulness and mindfulness-based stress reduction. Students learn how to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, and how to live more fully and intentionally.

020  Peer Health Educator Course
This is an interactive course that prepares students to become Peer Health Educators (PHE). As a PHE, students teach other students about health behaviors in a variety of ways including facilitating interactive presentations, discussions, panels, workshops, and health awareness events on campus. Students learn how to plan preventative health programs and learn about a variety of health topics. These topics may include common cold/flu/sinus infection, stress management, sexual health, injury prevention, mental health, and others. Students who successfully complete the course have priority for involvement with the Peer Health Education group and the Shaw Wellness Institute.

025  Relaxation and Wellness
This course examines issues concerning holistic health and stress management. The goal is wellness and optimal well-being, rather than the absence of illness. Students learn and practice exercises to help them meet the academic, social, emotional, and physiological challenges of student life in a calm and confident manner.

026  Self-Defense Fundamentals
A comprehensive five-week course using proven principles and techniques for protection. The course uses theory and application to build confidence and awareness during physical encounters or attacks.

027A  Scuba Fundamentals
Students learn how to scuba dive and become pool-certified upon completion of the two-part course. There is a fee for this course.

027B  Scuba Lifetime Certification
Students who complete training requirements and a successful open water dive receive a lifetime international scuba certification card. There is a fee for this course. Prerequisite: PHED 027A.

028  Self-Defense Seminar Series
A full-semester seminar series for two units. Sessions feature instruction on various self-defense topics provided by highly trained Colgate personnel and visiting lecturers. The series is designed to build confidence during daily activities as well as during physical encounters or attacks. Situation awareness and avoidance are stressed. Communication skills, including dialogue and verbalization, are part of each participatory session.

030  Spinning
Spinning is an intense indoor cycling workout. It simulates outdoor road biking by combining a 110-pound stationary bike, motivation, and good music. The participant builds strength and endurance while increasing metabolism.

032  Swimming
This course teaches basic swimming skills and more advanced techniques when warranted to promote safety and enjoyment while using swimming for recreation or fitness 

033  Tai Chi
This ancient Chinese form of martial art, exercise, and self-cultivation is characterized by slow, balanced, and flowing movement. It promotes relaxation, concentration, improved posture, and overall improvement in the function of mind and body.

036  Trap Shooting
This course covers trap-shooting technique and emphasizes the importance of firearm safety. Fee for supplies. No prior experience required.

039  Yoga
This course teaches recognition and management of the symptoms of stress through yoga. The tools of yoga — posture, breathing techniques, meditation, visualization, and progressive relaxation — are covered.

040  Holistic Health
Colgate students lead complex lives in complicated times. This course explores multiple facets of health that may help you to juggle books, people, and activities artfully. Topics include conventional and alternative views of physical, mental, social, and philosophical issues pertaining to stress reduction and performance enhancement, with some fun along the way.

041  The Body Project Course
The Body Project is a 5-week body acceptance class aimed at creating a forum for students to learn about and discuss body image concerns at both individual and societal levels. The course will include exercises and discussion on topics including the internalization of the western thin-ideal, media and social influences on body judgment, and individual body dissatisfaction/acceptance.

042  Yes Means Yes Course
A five-week positive sexuality seminar that is part of a campus-wide movement to improve students’ relationship skills and behaviors. The course works on helping students decide what they would like from their relationships in a collaborative seminar format, rather than focusing only on what they should avoid. YMY caters to students with a range of gender- and sexual- identities and preferences and guarantees its participants a safe and encouraging space to explore what sex and sexuality means to them.

043  Healthy Nutrition
Students learn the everyday nutritional tools to help them perform better and also discover the myths behind the nutrition craze sweeping the country today.

Outdoor Education

The mission of Colgate’s Outdoor Education program is to provide learning and teaching opportunities through diverse outdoor and experiential opportunities. Programs allow students to develop leadership skills, strong interpersonal connections, an adventurous spirit, and a sense of place within Colgate, Central, and Upstate New York. Intrinsic to this, programs support the mission of Colgate University and the department of Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics through a commitment to health and wellness, personal growth, social responsibility, active citizenship, and lifelong learning.

Listed below are some of the courses offered during the fall and spring semesters. Staff availability and season determine when each course is offered. Variable fees are charged for courses in order to cover costs. Registration for courses takes place in person and online during the first or second week of each semester.

Outdoor Education Course Offerings 

050  Backpack Overnight
Experience an overnight adventure at one of the state forests in central or upstate New York while learning the backcountry basics of minimal impact travel and camping, cooking, and navigation. This course offers a great opportunity to discover firsthand the flora and fauna of the Chenango Valley while gaining new skills.

051  Backcountry Cooking
Ever wonder why everything tastes better in the outdoors? Join us for a dinnertime outing and a longer day trip at the Yurt, and learn how to please your belly with artfully crafted food in the wilderness.

052  Backcountry Basics
Learn the essentials of traveling safely in the backcountry in good style. This course focuses on navigation with a topographic map and compass, backcountry cooking, essential knots and other backcountry basics that help students go on their own backpacking trips safely and confidently. No experience needed.

053  Winter Peak Hike
This course takes students to a local peak. Students drive there, hike it, and return to campus on the same day after a marvelous day on the mountain. Depending on the conditions students might be hiking in just boots, snowshoeing, or using crampons on icy sections or maybe all three.

054  Peak Hike
Head out of town and hike a peak. Students drive to the peak, hike the peak, and return to campus in the same day after a marvelous day on the mountain (rain or shine).

055  Overnight Peak Hike
This course covers the basics of navigation and trip planning. For the outing, students drive to the High Peaks on Friday afternoon, camp at the Adirondack lodge, spend Saturday hiking one of the High Peaks, and return Saturday night.

056  The Outdoor Balance Class
Try a trio of new activites while improving your balance. This course includes two afternoons of yoga and slack lining. Relax while learning the basics of yoga or test your balance while learning to walk across a taut length of webbing. For the Saturday outing, students get off campus to stand up paddleboard and stop during the day to practice yoga and slack lining.

057  Canoe Camping
Come and participate in the oldest method of water travel. This fun introduction to canoeing includes an evening class to prepare for the outing and an overnight canoe pack trip. Students learn basic strokes and camp craft in a beautiful local environment. No previous experience needed.

058  Fly Fishing
Yes, there are fish in Payne Creek! Learn the basics of fly fishing—casting, knots, river ecology, angler ethics, and more. Students explore local stocked streams and think like a fish while putting catch-and-release practices into play. No experience needed. Requires a New York State fishing license ($30).

059  Bike-Packing Overnight
Looking for a quick overnight getaway? Do you enjoy biking and camping? This is the class for you! Class covers the basics of biking and overnight trip planning. For the outing, the class is driven to a local section of the historic CNY canal paths on Saturday, where students depart on their bikes. Students learn about local natural and cultural history while biking to the campsite. A van supports the group, so students don’t even have to carry their overnight gear! After a night of camping, and a few more miles on the bike, the class returns to campus Sunday afternoon.

060  Day Hike
This course is designed for those with a sense of wonder and a desire to learn more about the local area. Several day hikes, each to a different area in the local environs, allow students to develop a sense of place and an appreciation for local history, geology, flora, and fauna. The essentials of preparing for trail travel are covered.

061  Geo-Caching
Use technology to go on an adventure! Geo-caching is a new sport developed by GPS users to show each other interesting and hard to find places around the world. Besides learning the ins and outs of geo-caching, students also learn how to navigate with a GPS and a compass. What is found in the cache? Treasure! However, the point of geo-caching is not the cache, but the journey. This journey takes students to some of the lesser known areas in and around Hamilton.

062  Survival
What would you do if you had to survive a cold Hamilton night without the comforts of four walls and a bed? Learn the basics of survival including the how-to’s of fire, shelter, edible plants, and water and then put your new skills to practice during an overnight trip sleeping in your own hand-made shelter. No experience necessary.

063  Wilderness First-Response
This course is recommended for all outdoor professional and enthusiasts who spend time in remote areas. This 7-day course is considered the industry standard First Aid course for working in the Outdoor Education Field for programs such as NOLS and Outward Bound. The curriculum exceeds the basics of First Aid and emphasizes the skills needed to perform back country wilderness rescues that may involve extended care. Wilderness Medical Associates professionals will be teaching this course.

064  Wilderness Adventure
Each summer, roughly 150 first-year students participate in Wilderness Adventure to make friends, learn about Colgate, and have an absolute blast! Living and traveling with a small group of new students and two or three highly trained leaders, students hike, paddle, climb, cave, or bike through stunning New York wilderness. No previous technical or wilderness experience is needed for any of our trips.

065  Hike and Paddle
Can’t decide which course to take? This course combines two favorites — hiking and paddling. As winter is departing, students spend time hiking locally among the fading snow and buds of spring. Once the lake and rivers thaw, students spend a Saturday exploring some local calm waterways (in canoe and/or kayak) and enjoy the penetrating warmth of the sun. There is no better way to kick-start spring!

066  Mountain Biking
Looking to burn off a little steam? Grab a bike and ride dirt roads and local double- and single-track trails. Explore the woods in low or high gear while cranking up hills, cruising down hills, and pausing at scenic overlooks. Through the course students learn essential skills such as riding techniques, bike maintenance, leave no trace practices, map reading, and dressing for the outdoors. Note: Participants must provide their own mountain bike (inquire about rentals) and helmet. No experience necessary.

067  Break Trip
Throughout the school year outdoor education offers several trips during school breaks. Students going on these trips receive one PE credit. Trips range from rock climbing in the west, skiing in the northeast, and kayaking and backpacking in different parts of the country. Trips change and are added every year.

068  Fall Sampler
Split your time between land and water! Explore some of the most interesting spots in the Chenango Valley regardless of whether they’re wet or dry. Students learn more about their home here and leave feeling well acquainted with local hiking and canoeing options.

069  Winter Sampler
Can’t decide? Sign up for the sampler! Who knows what the spring weather will bring? Students are prepared to hike, snow shoe, climb at the wall, canoe, or whatever else Mother Nature throws at us.

070  Flat Water Canoeing
Students master the art of canoe travel on local waterways of the Chenango Valley, including use of the infamous “J” stroke. These skills are put to use during a weekend canoe/camping trip in the Adirondacks. Instruction begins with the basics of how to pack, paddle, and carry the canoe, then moves on to more advanced skills such as canoe rescues and portaging.

071  White Water Canoeing
Come feel the magic of the cross-bow draw! Learn the nuances of tandem open canoeing with Outdoor Education. Class one teaches students basic strokes and maneuvers on Lake Moraine, and the second introduces students to paddling in current. Finally, a Saturday outing allows students to test skills on a local waterway.

073  Tree Climbing
Students learn how to use a ten-foot tall sling shot to rig trees, use ascenders to get into the canopy, and other techniques to move within the tree. Students learn safe techniques to set and ascend ropes, rappel, and climb from tree to tree without touching the ground! All climbing takes place in the Hamilton area. Accommodations are provided in the Colgate Yurt at the Beattie Reserve (staying in your personal dorm/house is not an option). All equipment is provided. 

074  White Water Kayaking
Get your feet wet and enjoy the thrill of whitewater kayaking — the hottest sport around! Students progress from flat water to moving water to white water and learn the basic strokes, river reading and safety, eddy turns, peel outs, ferries, and can try their hand at the Eskimo roll. Guaranteed fun!

075  Kayak Play Boating
Have you ever watched freestyle kayakers surfing waves and holes and wished you could do the same moves? In this course students learn to roll, squirt, bow stall, and maybe even throw ends all while enjoying the warmth and comfort of the pool. These skills help students make even the most docile class II river a veritable playground of fun. Participants must be able to swim and should feel comfortable holding their breath underwater.

076  Sea Kayaking
Students learn the basics of sea kayaking in the pool, on Lake Moraine, and on Cazenovia Lake. The course covers rolling, paddling strokes, rescue techniques, and navigation. More advanced courses include weekend trips to Lake George or Cranberry Lake.

077  Stand-Up Paddle Board
Students learn how to stand-up paddle board and experience one of the newest and hottest paddle sports. The course includes two classes on Lake Moraine and one class exploring the Central New York or Adirondack waterways. No experience is necessary.

078  Fall Break Sea Kayaking
Enjoy fall break and fall foliage on Canada’s Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Thousand Islands offer many granite cliffs, abundant wildlife, great folklore, and various nooks and crannies to explore. Skills covered include: kayak safety equipment, night and day navigation, strokes, camping, rescues, travel skills, and relaxation. Participants must have passports or enhanced driver’s license to cross the border into Canada.

079  Fall Break Rock Climbing
Can you keep a secret? New York’s Adirondack Park is a hidden gem for rock climbers. Students spend fall break relaxing, camping, and climbing in the ‘dacks’ without the crowds. Students learn bouldering, top-roping, and new climbing styles (e.g., crack technique for which the ‘dacks’ is well known). By the end of the trip students acquire new skills and have a new appreciation for a unique place. Current belay certification at the Angert Family Climbing Wall is required.

080  Cross-Country Classical Skiing
Students progress from the flats to the steeps, beginning with the foundation of kick and glide and moving on to instruction in how to pole, turn, herringbone, snowplow, and much more. During several excursions on the golf course, ski hill, and local state forests there are opportunities to practice these skills while experiencing the beauty of winter.

081  Cross-Country Ski Touring
Interested in learning the basics of cross-country skiing while camping in a local winter wonderland? This course covers the secrets of a good glide, winter navigation, and how to stay warm in a sleeping bag on a starry winter’s eve.

082  Beginning Telemark Skiing
This course expands the realm of downhill skiing by freeing the heel in the telemark turn. Students master this centuries-old European style which is gaining popularity in this country. After learning the principles of the free-heel turn, students have individual instruction and practice time to develop skills and form.

083  Skate Skiing
A new style with a definite workout and zoom factor has emerged from that popular winter sport that has drawn thousands to the frozen white countryside, cross-country skiing — you know, the one you always perceived as a quiet, mellow, contemplative activity. Skating on skis on snow might become your new favorite winter activity. The final make-up class is held only in case one of the other classes needs to be canceled due to snow or weather conditions.

084  Snowshoeing
Students learn why snowshoeing is the most efficient mode of non-motorized deep-snow travel. This course is a good way to turn a Hamilton winter into a positive experience through snowshoe excursions into the surrounding woods. The basics of winter travel and comfort are also covered.

085  Intermediate Telemark Skiing
You’ve got the basic telemark turn — now it’s time to learn the finer aspects of free heeling. Try your feet at jump turns, parallel turns, and the bumps at Labrador and Snow Ridge Mountains. Prerequisite: ability to link telemark turns. 

086  Winter Camping
This course is a great low commitment introduction to winter camping. Learn the basics of snowshoeing, camping in the winter, and staying warm. These basic skills are put into practice during an overnight trip to Stoney Pond or Brookfield State Forests. A whole new way to experience winter is guaranteed. No experience necessary.

088  Outdoor Bouldering
Simplicity is the theme — shoes, chalk and pad are all that are needed to climb some really sick lines. Bouldering being a social outing, students learn to coach, spot, and protect climbing mates. No matter what students’ climbing ability, there are boulders to send, boulders to challenge, and boulders for next time. No experience necessary.

089  Indoor Bouldering
When it’s too cold to climb outside, it’s time to get better at climbing inside. This course focuses on technique and strength training to make students better climbers. Students are surprised to find what a training plan can do to improve climbing skills regardless of the current level.

090  Introduction to Rock Climbing
This course provides an introduction to the top rope system and plenty of opportunities to try it out. After learning and practicing the skills needed to boulder, belay, and top-rope climb safely, students are exposed to the basics of movement on rock. Emphasis is placed on the development of good climbing habits founded upon an attitude of safety and awareness.

091  Women Who Rock
The rock doesn’t care about gender, yet it is no secret that rock climbing has always been a male-dominated sport. Sister, the times are changing and this is your chance to solve problems, take risks, and rely on yourself. Students use balance, flexibility, and strength to learn the fundamentals of climbing smart. Women only.

092  Outdoor Rock Climbing
This course is an introduction to rock climbing. Students develop a skill set of knots, rope handling, and movement on vertical terrain. Students learn the basics of safe climbing and hone techniques while finessing up the wall. The first two classes take place at the climbing wall. The course also includes an outing to Little Falls, New York.

093  Ice Climbing
Clad in crampons, plastic boots, ice tools, and helmets, students learn how to move vertically on frozen water. The course teaches basic rope work and tool craft at the climbing wall before heading outdoors for a weekend of climbing, either locally or in the Adirondacks. 

095  Caving
Students journey down under to experience the innards of the earth. Before doing so, they learn the essentials of caving safety, minimal impact practices, and group travel and communication. Students have an opportunity to discover firsthand the geology and climate of caves in central New York.

096  Intermediate Vertical Caving
Visit Gage Cavern that starts with a 50’ rope-assisted vertical lower! Learn more about cave navigation, rope systems, cave safety and explore even deeper into the underground world! Prerequisite: Basic Caving course with Outdoor Education (OE) or comparable experience approved by the OE Director.

098  High Ropes Challenge Course Training
Do you like adventure, heights, and pushing out of your comfort zone? This course allows students to experience the Beattie Reserve high ropes course and prepares students for future employment with the OE team building program. The course provides students with a functional knowledge of belayed challenge course activities including belaying, managing groups on high rope elements, and risk management. This course is a prerequisite (but not a guarantee) for OE employment. The course is also open to students not interested in employment with OE.

099  Staff Training
Staff training is a seven-month experiential course that focuses on leadership, risk management, environmental education, group dynamics, and technical skills. Students who complete this course may be hired by outdoor education to lead physical education courses and other programs. Students apply through outdoor education. Open to first-year students and sophomores only.