The Department of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Studies (HPELS) is an active participant in the educational mission of the University of South Alabama. The Department faculty is comprised of professionals from a variety of academic fields who have great interest in student achievement and scientific advancement.

The mission of the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Studies is to help students acquire the knowledge and skills that are necessary for success in their professions. This is accomplished by collecting, interpreting, and disseminating information representing the philosophical and empirical bases of the various fields in HPELS. The Department also strives to help students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills which enable them to be effective practitioners who interpret and apply current research.


The Department of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Studies has been an integral part of the College of Education at the University of South Alabama for more than thirty years. The Department has offered state approved teacher education programs in Health and Physical Education, non-teaching programs in Health and Physical Education, and a major program in Leisure Studies since its inception. The Leisure Studies major has an academic concentration in Therapeutic Recreation. The Department has also offered a University-wide physical activity program since the University was founded in 1964. The Department has maintained a large student population of 150-300 majors for nearly 20 years. Several health, fitness, and leisure studies related courses are popular with non-majors from most of the Colleges in the University. The Department has maintained 12-15 full-time faculty and three staff members for the majority of its existence. The Department is housed in the Physical Education Building, which also serves the College of Continuing Education and two other departments, Athletics and Campus Recreation. Various other University needs are satisfied in the building which include a sports medicine program and other University activities.


The faculty of the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Studies is committed to scholarly productivity. The faculty has been actively involved with publications in regional and national refereed journals, presentations to professional organizations, and participation in workshops and conferences. The faculty has also been active in some of the most respected professional organizations in our field which include the American College of Sports Medicine, National Athletic Training Association, National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, Atlantic Marketing Association, National Strength and Conditioning Association, North American Society for Sports Management, and the American School Health Association. Several members of the department have published chapters, written grants, and served as reviewers of national journals.


The Department of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Studies has assisted the University of South Alabama in achieving accreditation from the Alabama State Department of Education, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

  John E. Kovaleski, Ph.D., ATC
Professor and HPELS Department Chair

University of South Alabama
- Mobile Alabama 36688-0002 / 1 (251) 380-2738

Date last changed: March 7, 2013 11:25 AM