The story of our department begins with Dr. Bill Napier starting the Physical Education major in the 1950s with the first two graduates earning their BS degree in 1957 in the "Health, Physical Education, and Recreation" department. The club was named "HEPEREC". The Health Science major began in the late 1970s. Gymnastics, basketball, and sports acrobatics were the first teams for La Sierra University. As many changes were made, the department finalized it's name to "Health and Exercise Science" (HES) in 2005.
As of 2014, HES offers a B.S. in Exercise Science, B.S. in Health Science, Minor in Health Science. Also, HES provides the intramurals program, a fitness center, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a community gymnastics and summer swim program.
The Health and Exercise Science Department empowers students to understand the science of health and wellness, experience its benefits, and serve the university and community. We seek to accomplish this within the context of Seventh-day Adventist values by emphasizing excellence in our academic programs in health and exercise science, as well as recreational programs and sport.
The Health and Exercise Science Department envisions La Sierra University students, faculty, and staff as a community of active, healthy, fit, knowledgeable, and enlightened individuals pursuing a higher quality of life for themselves. Its graduates will be life-long learners who serve as change agents for those they encounter by modeling and promoting the profound benefits of experiencing a healthy lifestyle within a diverse society.
Objectives and goals:
- Promote the philosophy of life that emphasizes the health of the whole person in healthy communities.
- Offer undergraduate degrees that prepare students for careers as physical educators, health educators, coaches, and managers of health facilities. These programs also prepare students for further study in graduate and professional schools.
- Provide instruction and guidance in a variety of physical, recreational and intramural activities.