Fitness Sports Majors Grow at TAMIU
Recent statistics at Texas A&M International University indicate
a considerable increase in the number of students majoring in fitness
and sports with 137 students currently enrolled in both undergraduate
and post baccalaureate fitness and sports courses.
TAMIU launched the fitness and sports initiative in 1994 in hopes of
generating local and international interest in what then seemed an atypical
major for students. Coach Rafael Romo, fitness and sports instructor,
recalled only having an average attendance of six students per course
back in 1999 when he first began teaching at TAMIU.
"It's amazing how the program has grown since then. Now, all of
our courses have an average of 45 to 50 students," Coach Romo pointed
The interest generated amongst students exists because students want
to be involved in coaching and teaching physical education and enjoy going
to class, according to Romo. He mentioned the program is one of the best
in the surrounding areas and in the state.
"Laredo has not had a fitness and sports program like TAMIU's.
We have one of the top percentages of people passing the TexES/ExCET exam
and I think that has made people in Laredo actually want to come to school
here," Romo indicated.
What makes the University's fitness and sports program different is
the involvement students receive from an actual job setting. Romo said
students become involved by scouting and officiating at different sports
at local schools.
Majors in fitness and sports take general courses during their first
two years. At the same time, they explore their career choices so they
can choose their field of interest within the major. Students interested
in teacher certification take 126 hours of courses and have opportunities
to work with children in supervised field settings.
Romo said TAMIU's Bachelor of Science Fitness and Sports degree is a
well-established, highly respected degree, and can lead to a variety of
careers. The degree prepares graduates for many teaching or leisure-related
occupations. And because people may change careers many times in today's
world, the wide range of subjects students study at TAMIU means they will
be able to adapt to any new opportunity that comes their way.
For example, fitness and sports majors may expect a career as a physical
education teacher, aerobic dance instructor, athletic trainer, fitness
director (of a health spa or hospital recreation center), athletic administrator,
recreation therapist (in a hospital or rehabilitation center), and wellness
director. With additional study, one may undertake exercise science research
or become a physical therapist.
As the obesity rate increases so does Romo's concern for a healthy lifestyle.
He emphasized the importance of practicing what is preached and how physical
educators should actually look like physical educators for the sake of
"We are becoming so television oriented and computerized that we
rarely get out there and exercise. It is a proven fact that students perform
better academically if they have some sort of physical activity on a daily
basis because it gets rid of the stress, in exchange making the body feel
better," Romo explained.
Romo stressed to the importance of keeping the community fit, as it
will teach people an active lifestyle and in turn lead them to become
productive citizens. He said that helps fitness and sports majors as instructors
to enjoy their job and teaching.
Romo said the combined effort of Mr. Todd Farmer, instructor of education,
Dr. Sukho Lee, assistant professor of fitness and sports, and administrators
Dr. Humberto González, dean of the college of education, Dr. Juan
Lira, regents professor and chair of the department of curriculum and
instruction, and Dr. Ramón Alaniz, associate dean of the college
of education, has guaranteed the program's accomplishment.
"Our goals have made us what we are in the physical education program.
Our goals are structured together to where everything we teach leads towards
the perfect P.E. teacher," Romo declared.
For more information on the fitness and sports program, please contact
Romo at 326.2695, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org,
or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 334A.
Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests
and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information
Services at email@example.com