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Undergraduate Education

The Center for Leadership in Athletics resides in the UW’s College of Education.  In addition to our graduate program in athletic leadership (>IAL >home), we teach various courses at the undergraduate level intended to give UW students a deeper look into the intersection of athletics and education.  Current course offerings include:

EDUC 221 - Education & the Play Field

Examining the pipeline from early childhood to college, the course introduces and explores themes related to physical development and lifelong health implications for today’s youth, sport as a vehicle for individual and community development, access to sports and recreation activities in the community, equity and inclusion within a positive sports environment, and the role of sports in social justice and cultural change in the local, national, and global arenas. As such, this course introduces the historical and foundational context for these themes and explores them within a current event and/or emerging issue.

Students writing in class


EDUC 231 - Developing Youth through Sport & Physical Activity

This introductory course explores the influence of sport and physical activity to positively impact the lives of young people. The class will introduce students to the concept of ‘Sports-Based Youth Development’ and how educators and leaders can proactively utilize athletics and activities to effectively build social-emotional and bio-physical skills in participants. The course will introduce students to foundational positive youth development frameworks and provide opportunities for students to better understand how these frameworks play out in a sport context. Focusing on individual identity development, students will develop strategies for creating positive youth development in both individual, group, and team environments.


Dr. Sara Lopez helping students in class


EDUC 451 - The Role of Sport in Social Justice & Change

This course aims to examine diversity themes (race, class, gender, sexuality and physical ability) together with historical sport events through a social justice framework. In this course we define social justice as “promoting a just society by challenging injustice and valuing diversity”.  As a foundation, we examine the role and influence of sport in our society, with a focus on the United States setting. We think critically about influences of power, institutions, and systems in addition to who are the drivers of social justice and change in and through sport.

Each of these courses count as electives towards the College of Education’s ECO major.  

In addition to course offerings, the Center occasionally hosts undergraduate students to conduct research or engage in fieldwork and independent study.  If you are an undergraduate student interested in exploring this opportunity, please contact Hannah Olson.


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University of Washington, Center for Leadership in Athletics  |  Gilman Building: 4725 30th Avenue NE  |  Seattle, WA, 98105

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