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  • Adapted Physical Education minor

     Welcome.  You made an excellent choice to inquire about Adapted Physical Education (APE) at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  We encourage you to explore our website to learn about our APE teacher preparation program.  The APE program is housed within the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, in the College of Science and Health.  Our nationally and internationally known APE program deals with all aspects of physical education and physical activity for individuals with a wide array of disabilities.  We hope you become part of this exciting, growing, and rewarding teaching profession.

    Organizationally, the APE program is comprised of four interrelated program areas with each contributing to the academic mission of the university and community-based objectives.  The four programs are the undergraduate APE Teaching Minor, Masters Emphasis in APEGraduate Certification in APE Teaching, and the Center on Disability Health and Adapted Physical Activity Programs.

    If you would like more information about any of our programs, please  contact us .

    Dr. Garth Tymeson

    131 Mitchell Hall


    Admission Requirements

    1. Minimum GPA = 2.75/4.0 scale
    2. Minimum BC grade in ESS 231, Introduction to Adapted Physical Education (or equivalent)
    3. Admission to Physical Education Teacher Education (or in process)

    Admission Packet

    Students must complete and submit the following:

    1. Application form
    2. Recommendation form

    Admission Process

    Undergraduate students who are accepted into the Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) program are encouraged to apply to the Adapted Physical Education Teaching minor.  There are three application deadlines each academic year.  Admission applications are due approximately October 31st  for Spring entry/acceptance and approximately March 30th and July 15th for Fall entry/acceptance.

    All applications are reviewed and verified for accuracy by the undergraduate Adapted Physical Education Coordinator within one week after the application deadline.  Students will then be notified of application status no more than 10 days after the application deadline.

    Students may apply to the minor and be provisionally accepted while concurrently enrolled in ESS 231 Introduction to Adapted Physical Education or during the semester in which they apply to the Physical Education Teacher Education Program.  In this case, formal admission to the APE program will be contingent only upon satisfactory completion in ESS 231 (BC or better) and admission to the Physical Education Teacher Education Program.

    Admittance to the APE Teaching minor is competitive.  Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program.  Approximately 12 students per semester are admitted to the minor.  Preference will be given to students who:

    • Submit all application materials by the deadline,
    • Meet all admission requirements,
    • Are already admitted to the PETE program,
    • Can fully and sequentially complete the minor in the semester prior to student teaching, and
    • Have demonstrated an interest through volunteer or other experiences with persons with disabilities.

    The undergraduate APE Coordinator retains the right to deny admission to any applicant.  Reasons for denied admission will be provided in writing to the applicant.

    Application materials may be picked up at the Adapted Physical Education office (114 Wittich Hall) or the Department of Exercise & Sport Science (137 Mitchell Hall).  Application forms may also be accessed via the following links:

    Adapted Physical Education Minor - Application Form
    General Directions:

    1. Download.

    2. Thoroughly complete application (type or write legibly).

    3. Submit application to the Adapted Physical Education office at 114 Wittich Hall by the deadline.

    Adapted Physical Education Minor - Recommendation Form
    General Directions: 

    1. Download.

    2. Complete top section of recommendation form.

    3. Present form to person capable of judging your teaching ability.  Request that they return the form to the Adapted Physical Education office.

    Application Deadlines  

    Summer Deadline - July 18th, 2008
    Fall 2008 entrance - March 26th, 2008
    Spring 2009 entrance - October 29, 2008

    Application Tips

    • Type or write legibly, and check your application for completeness.

    • Choose a person to recommend you that you have worked closely with and that knows your teaching ability.

    • Give the person who is completing the recommendation form enough time so that all application materials are in the Adapted Physical Education office by the deadline.

    1. What is the Adapted Physical Education (APE) teaching minor?
    • One of the most popular, meaningful, and career-determining teaching minors completed by physical education teacher candidates.
    • Courses and hands-on clinical experiences to prepare physical education teachers to plan, implement, and evaluate instruction for students with disabilities in adapted physical education.
    • Coursework and hands-on clinical experiences to prepare physical education teacher candidates for inclusive classrooms in regular instructional environments.
    • An exciting, rewarding, and fun experience at UW-L where you meet many new friends, professors, and important school-based professional contacts for future teaching jobs.
    • A highly regarded teacher preparation program leading to the additional Wisconsin Adapted Physical Education teaching license (refer to question #3 below).
    1. Why should I consider completing the APE teaching minor?
    • To acquire enhanced teaching knowledge and practical skills necessary for contemporary educational practices.
    • To further develop your teaching and advocacy skills to meet the needs of ALL students in your future physical education classes and co-curricular programs. 
    • Successful completion of the APE teaching minor leads to attainment of the important Wisconsin 860 add-on teaching license in adapted physical education. See page 172 at the following link to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction ( ).
    • Over 60-70% of the physical education jobs advertised in Wisconsin include a qualification statement that either requires or prefers the APE add-on teaching license. See link for Wisconsin ( ); See link for Minnesota ( )
    • To provide quality instruction for all students regardless of ability in commonly used inclusive practices.
    • School districts need and desire physical education teachers with adapted physical education background and state licensure. UW-L is notified frequently about these jobs.
    1. What is the Wisconsin 860 APE add-on teaching license?
    • An additional teaching license that signifies "highly qualified" teacher status for competency in adapted physical education for special education students in PK-12 schools.
    • Wisconsin is one of 14 states with a separate add-on teaching license in adapted physical education.  School districts seek teachers with multiple licenses for qualified and flexible staffing.
    • Minnesota PE teachers can also pursue an APE add-on license.  The WI APE add-on meets most of the MN requirements. We regularly have UW-L graduates hired in MN as APE teachers.
    • The Wisconsin 860 APE add-on teaching license is highly regarded throughout the country by other state education agencies and school districts.
    1. How do I apply to the APE teaching minor?
    • Go to the following adapted physical education teaching minor program link to review the brief application process.
    • Complete and submit your application and reference letter for one of the many annual due dates.
    • Visit Dr. Manny Felix (115 Wittich Hall) or Dr. Garth Tymeson (131 Mitchell Hall) for a personal explanation of the program, application process, or other questions about the APE minor.
    1. Do I need experience teaching persons with disabilities to apply to the APE Teaching Minor?
    • No prior experience teaching or working with persons with disabilities is necessary for admission. 
    • The minor provides future teachers with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to teach persons with disabilities using a variety of physical education methods and interventions.
    • The minor provides a variety of sport, aquatics, physical fitness, motor development, and other physical activities to prepare future teachers for general and adapted physical education.
    • Hands-on experiences take place on campus, at areas schools, and in facilities such as YMCAs, Boys' and Girls' Clubs, and other community sites.
    • The APE teaching minor relies on hands-on experiences in order to help teacher candidates obtain confidence and mastery of teaching skills.
    • Numerous UW-L programs such as the Physical Activity Mentoring Program for Persons with Disabilities are available to gain practical experiences
    1. When do I apply to the APE Teaching Minor?
    • Full acceptance to the APE teaching minor is contingent upon acceptance to the Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) program.
    • Students can apply during or immediately after completion of ESS 231 (Introduction to Adapted Physical Education).  Students can also apply later, but early entrance is recommended.
    • At the same time or after applying for admission to the Physical Education Teacher Education Program (PETE). This is usually in the sophomore or junior year.
    • PETE teaching candidates are highly encouraged to apply to the APE teaching minor early in their program of study to ensure timely completion.
    1. What are the ages and disabilities of students that an APE teacher works with?
    • An exciting aspect of teaching APE is your work with students ranging from preschool to young adults (ages 3-21). State and federal education laws require this age range for services.
    • Persons with APE teaching assignments may work with students who have all types and severities of disabilities, including physical, cognitive, behavioral, and sensory.
    • APE teaching minor courses and clinical experiences prepare you to teach ALL students to benefit from and enjoy physical activity.
    1. How long will it take to complete the APE Teaching Minor?
    • The minor is composed of 24 semester credit hours, including student teaching.
    • With timely admission to the APE teaching minor and consistent enrollment in required courses, students can complete the minor in about one and a half years (including student teaching) while completing other PETE courses.
    • Some students will purposely spread out the APE minor course work over 2 years, including a summer.
    • Students are required to enroll in a minimum one summer course while completing the APE minor. Two to three APE courses are generally offered each summer.
    1. Will I student teach in adapted physical education as part of the APE teaching minor?
    • Yes, an exciting culminating experience is the mentoring you will receive during student teaching by a state licensed APE professional.
    • This APE student teaching does NOT add time to your student teaching and is completed at the same time as regular student teaching (for your 530 general physical education teaching license).
    • Approximate 25-30% of your student teaching, depending on the placement, will be in adapted physical education settings with mentoring from an APE professional.
    1. Will the APE Teaching Minor make me more marketable in the profession?
    1. What types of teaching situations or jobs do persons attain with the APE minor?
    • A wide variety of jobs are possible in schools based on student enrollment, number of schools in the district, size of the special education program, staffing needs, and other factors.
    • Many districts employ professionals who teach APE full-time (100% of their job).
    • Full-time APE teachers will work with children and assist general physical education teachers as consultants for students with disabilities who may be included in regular classes.
    • Full-time employment will often include part-time teaching responsibilities in APE (could be percentages ranging from 20-75% depending on school building or district needs).
    • Percentages of APE teaching load will vary from district to district based on student populations, needs in the district, numbers and qualifications of teachers, and other factors.
    1. Will the APE minor and WI 860 APE add-on teaching license from UW-L transfer to other states?
    • Yes, we regularly have students accept APE teaching jobs in MN and other states (Utah, Illinois, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, North Carolina, Florida, Alaska, etc.).
    • Some states may require additional courses to meet unique state requirements, but we have found this to be rare (or 1-2 courses at the most).
    1. Can I attain the WI 860 APE add-on teaching license after I complete my undergraduate degree with general physical education license (530?)?
    • Yes, a student who already has a bachelor's degree and physical education teaching license (530) may earn the WI 860 APE add-on teaching license in either one of two graduate options at UW-L.
    • A teacher with a 530 general PE license may earn the WI 860 license through the summer-only graduate APE certification program.
    • A teacher with a 530 general PE license may also earn the WI 860 license through the full- or part-time master's degree program in Physical Education Teaching.
    1. Are there graduate school opportunities in adapted physical education at the master's and doctoral degrees levels?
    • Yes, many students pursue graduate level work in APE after graduation from UW-La Crosse.
    • UW-L serves as a feeder school to many federally funded graduate programs in APE throughout the country (these programs have scholarships and financial assistance for qualified students).
    • Past UW-L students have pursued master's level work at:  SUNY Brockport, University of Virginia, Oregon State University, University of Utah, etc.
    • Our graduates have pursued doctoral level study at:  The Ohio State University, Texas Woman's University, Oregon State University, University of Alabama, Arizona State University, etc.
    • UW-L faculty personally and professionally know directors of these programs and can facilitate important connections and admissions process conversations for qualified UW-L graduates.
    1. What is the UW-L APE Undergraduate Fellowship Program? Is financial assistance available?
    • The APE Fellowship is a select group of undergraduate APE students who receive a financial stipend of approximately $4,000 per year.
    • APE Fellowship students gain advanced knowledge and skills through a combination of public school practicum experiences and professional development activities.
    • Interested students apply for the APE Fellowship.  Approximately 10 APE Fellowship students are chosen every year.
    • The APE Fellowship is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services.
    • The federal grant supporting fellowships is the only one in the country supporting APE teachers at the undergraduate level.  UW-L was awarded this grant because of its high quality program.
    1. What makes the UWL APE program unique?
    • We are part of Center of Excellence designated for the Department of Exercise and Sport Science by the University of Wisconsin System.
    • Wisconsin only 1 of 14 states that possesses a separate teaching license in APE.
    • UW-L has three doctoral level faculty members contributing to this comprehensive APE teacher preparation program.
    • APE teacher preparation is closely affiliated with the Center on Disability Health and Adapted Physical Activity. The Center provides numerous opportunities for professional development, community service, research, and networking connections for future endeavors.
    • Excellent state, national, and international reputations for APE teacher preparation.
    • Comprehensive program based on theory and best practices, and accompanied by numerous supervised service-learning experiences in the real-world.
    • Relationships with numerous disability related organizations and community agencies that provide future teacher candidates with relevant professional experiences.
    • Network of experienced APE teachers and special education related service professionals that work with our students (i.e., physical and occupational therapists).
    • Supported by interdisciplinary faculty and staff from the Departments of Exercise and Sport Science, Special Education, Therapeutic Recreation, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, and other disability related programs.
    1. Are there other types of non-teaching jobs for APE teaching minors?
    • Students completing the APE teaching minor find employment in positions besides school districts.
    • Sport organizations such as the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association ( ), Lakeshore Foundation ( ), and many others hire APE graduates.
    • Inclusion Specialists at YMCAs, community centers, and Parks/Recreation agencies.
    • U.S. Paralympics ( ).
    • Adaptive Adventure Programs ( ).
    • Residential, summer, and other types of camps and treatment facilities.