About ESU Department of HPER

Drs. Worrell Mehrhof and Brewer

Drs. Mehrhof, Worrell, and Brewer enjoy everything HPER has to offer

Emporia State Teachers College is one of the top four Schools of Education in the United States. The HPER Department is a part of the Teachers College and prides itself in maintaining quality undergraduate and graduate programs that are offered both on campus and online.

A Look Back

Prior to 1960, separate programs of physical education were conducted for men and women.  During the 1960-61 academic year, the two programs were merged and a division was created under one administrative head.  However, two separate department heads still existed. 

In 1967, a re-organization took place where a system of coordinators served under the supervision of a chair of the division.  The coordinators supervised men’s physical education, women’s physical education and athletics.  Another structure for organization was instituted in 1973 to reflect a division oriented around combined programs instead of a division organized around men’s and women’s departments.

In 1990, a change in the organizational structure took place in which two separate divisions, the Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics were formed.  The Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation was headed by a Division Chair.  The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics was headed by the Athletic Director.

This organization structure has remained, but in 1999, the Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation was renamed the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. 

A Look Forward

In the coming years, the Department of HPER will, in many ways, seem quite different than it is today.  Over the next few years, the teaching methods and technologies will evolve and improve.  The location and structure of the “classroom” will continue to change.  What will not change is the Department’s commitment to developing quality professionals in HPER and providing the highest quality educational experience for all students. 

What will differentiate the Department of HPER from all other state, regional and national departments of HPER in the future is the attention and concern it pays to the futures of its students, the direct and positive contribution it makes to the ESU community, Emporia community, state, regional and national community of HPER professionals and the extent to which it provides leadership for the HPER profession. 

The Department of HPER is the leader and advocate for health and wellness at Emporia State University.  The Department assumes this leadership role through the passionate pursuit of academic excellence, professional leadership, programmatic accountability and collaborative service. 

A Plan for the Future

To maintain and improve the Department of HPER’s position as a nationally recognized HPER Department, the Department will need to focus its efforts and resources on attracting and retaining highly qualified students, faculty and staff and providing them with the resources and experiences to succeed. 

In order to do be successful, recognized challenges need to addressed and potential opportunities need to be actualized.  The challenges and opportunities include:


  • Balancing enrollment growth and academic quality.
  • Recruiting and retaining high quality students, faculty and staff.
  • Providing state of the art facilities to support cutting edge programs and curriculum.
  • Providing students with extended educational experiences.


OpportunitiesHPER students in computer lab

  • A dedicated, committed and collaborative faculty and staff
  • The establishment agreements with various corporate entities (Trikke, Sportime, Geofitness, Detroit Diesel, Camp Alexander)
  • A recognized HPER re-education center in the state of Kansas
  • The establishment of collaborative practicum and teaching sites
  • A strong, active and involved alumni.



The Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) at Emporia State University will strive to be a nationally prominent department known for academic excellence, professional leadership, and public service. 


Mission of the Department of HPER

The mission of the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) at Emporia State University is to prepare quality professionals in the areas of athletic training, health, physical education, recreation and coaching, facilitate practical and action-based research and scholarly inquiry, and provide cutting-edge and collaborative services in athletic training, health, physical education, recreation and coaching. We embrace and promote lifelong opportunities for discovery, learning, and participation that contribute to healthy lifestyles.

We succeed in fulfilling our mission to the degree that all of our practices are informed by the core values of Excellence, Leadership, Accountability, and Service.

Core Values

Excellence (In excellence we value challenge, creative thinking, problem solving, extended experiences, freedom of thought and expression)  

HPER Goal One
Support a learning environment through continued use of best practices in instruction, pedagogical innovation, curriculum development and advising. 

HPER Goal Two:
Enhance an academic climate through the recruitment and retention of a highly qualified faculty and students for all undergraduate and graduate programs in the Department of HPER.

HPER Goal Three:
Support the learning environment through the improvement of existing fiscal, human and physical resources within the Department of HPER. 

Leadership (In leadership, we value integrity, teamwork, social justice, tolerance and respect)

HPER Goal Four:
Stimulate a learning environment through the encouragement of faculty, staff and student participation in professional development activities and the development of leadership opportunities.

Accountability (In accountability we value responsibility, positive stewardship of fiscal, environmental and human resources)  

HPER Goal Five:
Stimulate personalized educational experiences through the cultivation of a culture of assessment for all programs within the Department of HPER

Service (In service we value personalized learning experiences, service learning, collaboration, and professional development)  

HPER Goal Six:
Encourage social and academic engagement by increasing the collaboration in the areas of teaching, service and scholarly activity among the members of the Department of HPER, as well as with public school personnel, other university faculty members and community based professionals; particularly with individuals from diverse cultural and social backgrounds.