Students have tremendous opportunities to go above and beyond the classroom by taking part in research, community service, conferences and study abroad experiences.
Active engagement in research
Students are required to write a research proposal as part of their capstone experience.
Additionally, students are encouraged to seek out research opportunities with graduate
students and faculty. These experiences are crucial for successfully navigating
the graduate school application process and contribute to a well-rounded professional
Community service involvement
Since students must complete 20 hours of community service while in the program,
the SEP Club has taken a prominent role in organizing at least two community service
events per month, open to both club and non-club members. These events not
only provide students with opportunities to accumulate community service hours
to meet their graduation requirement, but more importantly, they help students
to establish and build connections with the Morgantown community. Some of the community
service events that students have participated in the past included cooking dinner
at the West Virginia Grief Center, volunteering at the Animal Friends Thrift Shoppe, assisting
with Decker’s Creek Adopt a Highway, and helping out at the Ronald McDonald house
in Morgantown. Additionally, two benchmark classes are designated as Service-Learning
courses; SEP 210 and 312. These unique course offerings are designed to provide
students the opportunity to utilize their academic background, prior course-work,
and individual skills in a way that allows them to experience community need and
make a real difference.
Professional and student conferences
Conferences are ideal opportunities for students to network with other undergraduate
and graduate students and faculty members from a variety of universities. Attending
conferences demonstrates genuine interest in graduate school which could potentially
distinguish a student from similarly qualified candidates. Some students have presented
their capstone research projects at conferences. Recently, students have attended
the annual conference of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. Students
have also attended regional conferences at Temple University, Miami University,
Michigan State, Bowling Green University, Ball State University, Miami University (Ohio) and University of Kentucky.
Most years the SEP program hosts a faculty-led study abroad trip to add a sport-related
cross-cultural component to students’ studies. Recent faculty-led study abroad
trips include destinations such as: Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, South Africa, and Swaziland. In addition to unique study abroad experiences, the sport and exercise psychology program has a unique international partnership with Halmstad University, in Halmstad, Sweden. The SEP program runs a spring-break study abroad trip ever other year, where WVU students have the opportunity for cross-cultural experiences in and out of the classroom at Halmstad University and around Sweden. Additionally, every fall the majors-only section of SEP 272 interacts with peers at Halmstad University via online educational platforms and assignments.