Guest post by Dr. Timothy Sawicki, Associate Professor, School of Education
The online Physical Education program at Canisius College celebrates its 10th Anniversary this Fall. The program was the first fully online program at Canisius College and was founded by Dr. Timothy Sawicki in the Fall of 2006. The program has graduated over 500 graduate students from 26 different states and 8 countries. Professor Sawicki drafted the program concept in 2000. The first online course was created in response to many of the physical education graduate students coaching and teaching all day and not being able to come to classes from 7-10pm at the KAC. The course was delivered via a stand-alone Web site (no LMS system) and with help of Estelle Seiner (former Faculty Technology Services Director). The course had over 40 masters students enrolled. During the next few years, the college discussed further online education opportunities and a graduate program in physical education was developed with the help of former associate AAVP, Dr. Jerry Neuner, and (at the time) Dean Peg McCarthy in 2003. By the Fall of 2006, two courses taught by Dr. Greg Reeds and Dr. Timothy Sawicki had been presented to the school administration, edited and placed on Blackboard (the first learning management system) for offering. Soon, 25 physical education graduate courses were offered online. The program enrollment climbed to 73 students in 2007, 106 students in 2008, 128 in 2009 and over 150 graduate students in 2010. The program had a peak enrollment of 168 students and generated over 1,000 credit hours per semester in 2011. The program has a LinkedIn page (Canisius College Online Physical Education) which began in 2013 and has over 60 program alumni sharing work related messages. Canisius College administrators, faculty and students who were all involved in the program, all share in the 10th Anniversary celebration of the online Physical Education graduate program.