The Adapted Physical Education minor is open to all students who are interested in physical education programming for students with mild through severe/profound disabilities from preschool through 21 years. Consistent with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Content Guidelines, this program will develop students’ proficiency in the nature of the student with a disability, including motor development, assessment, and program evaluation as well as foundations in the special education profession.

Students will develop proficiency in the modification of content, instructional strategies and learning environments in adapted physical education, including activity selection, curricular development and program implementation that promote physical activity and fitness for students with disabilities. Students will get hands-on experience working with students with disabilities while develop and modifying aquatic and lifetime sport and physical activities.

Department Mission Statement

The mission of the Exercise Science Department is to prepare, educate, and empower students in their individual journeys toward becoming critical practitioners skilled at evaluating, deconstructing, and addressing the problems and issues central to the narrower topic of sport, as well as the broader issue of physical activity across the lifespan. By blending scholarly study and professional practice, department faculty create learning opportunities and experiences that nurture students’ exploration of the physical, psychological, social-humanistic, and professional aspects of physical activity, and their associated impact on health, society, and quality of life.

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mark cole

Cole, Mark

Associate Professor of Exercise Science

[email protected]

Coles, Rick

Professor of Exercise Science, Assistant Coach of Football

[email protected]

Ron Ernst

Ernst, Ronald

Professor of Exercise Science, Head Coach of Football, Assistant Athletic Director

[email protected]

Brittany Followay

Followay, Brittany

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science

[email protected]

Woolson, Sami

Assistant Athletic Trainer


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers. Our collaboration with Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Likewise, Mentors in the Franzen Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon

Off-Campus Study

Studying off-campus, whether internationally or domestically in the United States, is an experience bound to change your view of the world. In general, full-time students in good academic standing are eligible to apply for admission to off-campus programs.

Learn more about Off-Campus Study


Twenty credits including: EXS 340, 352, 353, 426, plus choose 4 elective credits from EXS 281, 381, 432, 450, PSC 234, PSC 235, PSC 242, or PSC 313. Other credits as approved.

Career Tracks

Beyond teaching adapted physical education in schools, students of any major can use this minor after graduation to work with individuals with disabilities at any level, including Special Olympics, Paralympics, local recreational programming, and Badger State Games.

Unique Opportunities

  • Through the Departments of Educational Studies and Exercise Science, certification in physical education and health is available.
  • Exercise science students have completed adapted physical education practicums at various facilities, including the Willmore Center, Ripon Area School District and Markesan School District
  • Valuable job experience in adapted physical education is a recommended part of the K-12 physical education teacher education program as PE teachers often teach Health and APE in schools.