Today in NC State History: State sacks ‘sink-or-swim’ attitude

February 11, 2015
By Chris Saunders

historyIconSwim tests and the mandatory requirement to pass them in order to graduate at a university have become part of fashionable college lore around the country.

But they really did exist, even here at NC State.

That is until this day in 1983, when a new set of physical education requirements was introduced, eliminating the survival swim test and its alternate cousin, the beginning swim course, as a requirement to graduate. Students did, however, still have to take the test once they completed the mandatory physical education course hours required for their particular major.

University administrators stopped treading water and moved ahead on other academic issues, too, in the department. One new requirement allowed for pass-fail marks to be granted instead of grades in physical education courses taken to fulfill the four-hour general education requirement for graduation.

Students taking the course could decide at the beginning of the semester to adopt the new requirement or to still be graded on the scale using A’s and B’s.

“I’m glad it’s not just a pass-fail credit,” said Physical Education Department Head Richard Lauffer to the Technician. “It’s good for students who want the challenge of trying to get an A or B still can, and those unsure of themselves can take it without messing up their grade point average.”

Other requirements introduced included an option for those suffering from a medical condition to take an alternate physical education course. Transfer students, in addition to entering freshman, also had to meet the new requirements, according to the Technician.


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