Skip to Content Find it Fast

This browser does not support Cascading Style Sheets.

Undergraduate Course Catalog 2008-2009

College of Health and Human Services


Recreation Management and Policy (RMP)


» Click to view course offerings

Chairperson: Janet R. Sable
Professor: Lou G. Powell, Janet R. Sable
Associate Professor: Robert J. Barcelona, Ann L. Morgan
Assistant Professor: Heather E. Bowen, Joshua Carroll
Affiliate Assistant Professor: James Hilton
Clinical Assistant Professor: Patricia J. Craig, Jill Gravink
Clinical Instructor: Tom Carr, David Lee

As the fabric of life in contemporary society grows in complexity, people are increasingly turning to leisure and recreation services to find meaning, renewal, and enrichment. Recreation services can improve the public health, develop a sense of community, and enhance the quality of life of all citizens. Recreation professionals work in diverse settings including human services, health care, natural recreation resource areas such as parks, and commercial recreation businesses. Graduates are employed by community recreation agencies, resorts, conference centers, youth services agencies, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and long-term care facilities. Population and economic projections suggest that recreation service industries will continue to expand and thereby continue to provide numerous professional career opportunities. The Department of Recreation Management and Policy is nationally accredited by the National Recreation and Parks Association/American Association of Leisure and Recreation. The department’s curriculum supports a broad-based liberal education and an opportunity to acquire specialized professional knowledge and skills.

Curriculum Structure
Students entering the major may choose either: 1) program administration, which includes the professional core and required courses related to program administration, or 2) a specialized option in therapeutic recreation, which includes the professional core and required courses in therapeutic recreation.

International Study in Recreation and Leisure
A semester abroad sponsored by the American Universities International Program is available to students pursuing a degree in recreation management and policy. Programs in Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or Belize provide discipline-related exchange opportunities. Approval by the curriculum director is required approximately one year before departure. Eleven transfer credits can be granted. Other destinations can be negotiated through the Center for International Education on campus.

Core Courses
All majors must complete a core curriculum of eight courses: RMP 490, Recreation and Leisure in Society; RMP 501, Recreation Services for Individuals with Disabilities; RMP 557, Recreation Services Program Design and Planning; RMP 563, Recreation Management and Policy Practicum; RMP 654, Professional Development and Ethics; RMP 663, Management and Policy in Leisure Services; RMP 664 (A or B), Professional Internship; RMP 724, Grantsmanship, Evaluation, and Research; and RMP 772, Law and Public Policy in Leisure Services.

A supervised internship (RMP 664) is required of all majors. The internship is designed to create a bridge between theory and practical application. Students working with their advisers and the internship coordinator select an appropriate setting based on their professional and career interests. They must complete a minimum of 560 hours of supervised field study within fourteen weeks. Specific requirements are identified in the Internship Manual available from the Department of Recreation Management and Policy.

Program Administration Option
This option prepares students for managerial positions in commercial, pubic and nonprofit organizations that provide recreation and leisure services. Curriculum design emphasizes the effective and efficient planning, delivery, and evaluation of leisure-based programs, services, and enterprises. Applied experience is a component of most courses in addition to a required practicum and the 14–16 week full-time internship under professional supervision. Depending upon the RMP electives and the career support emphasis or minor chosen, students may expect to find employment in a broad range of settings. Recent graduates have found employment in the areas of conference and event planning, municipal park and recreation services, recreational sports, commercial/entrepreneurial recreation businesses, youth serving agencies, resorts, and natural resource management positions in state and federal agencies.

In addition to the required core courses, students who pursue the program administration option must complete the following departmental requirements: RMP 558, Program Supervision and Leadership; RMP 665, Applied Marketing and Communication in Recreation Services; RMP 770, Management and Design of Recreation and Park Facilities; two RMP course electives; CS 401, Computer Applications, or an approved equivalent; HHS 540 or other descriptive statistics; PSYC 401, Introduction to Psychology; FS 525, Human Development; or SW 550. Program administration students must complete a minor or emphasis area of 18–20 credits to support their specific career goals.

Therapeutic Recreation Option
Therapeutic recreation utilizes recreation to help people with disabilities or illnesses to develop and use their leisure in ways that enhance health, independence, and well-being. Therapeutic recreation recognizes the importance of quality of life and uses activities to remediate or rehabilitate functional abilities. Therapeutic recreation services are provided in a variety of settings including: hospitals, long-term care facilities, residential treatment facilities, schools, home health care, community recreation, correctional facilities, rehabilitation centers, camp and outdoor education centers, and adult day programs. Observation and applied experience is a component of several courses. Students complete a 14- to 16-week full-time clinical internship under the supervision of a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). Students must purchase personal liability insurance for coverage for the clinical components of the curriculum. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that therapeutic recreation is one of the fourteen fastest growing occupations in the country. The occupational outlook statistics reflect a “39 percent increase in demand for recreational therapists with strong clinical backgrounds” for the beginning of the twenty-first century. Upon successful completion of this option, students are prepared to meet sitting requirements for the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification Examination.

In addition to the required core courses, students who choose this option must complete the following departmental requirements: RMP 502, Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation; RMP 503, Therapeutic Recreation Rehabilitation Principles and Interventions; RMP 504, Therapeutic Recreation Mental Health Principles and Interventions; RMP 603, Assessment and Treatment Planning in Therapeutic Recreation; RMP 602, Clinical Treatment Lab I; RMP 604, Therapeutic Communication and Facilitation Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation; RMP 605, Clinical Treatment Lab II; CS 401, Computer Applications or approved equivalent; HHS 540, Statistics, or equivalent; PSYC 401, Introduction to Psychology; PSYC 561, Abnormal Behavior; FS 525, Human Development; ZOOL 507-508, Human Anatomy and Physiology; KIN 652, Clinical Kinesiology, and KIN 653A, Musculoskeletal Assessment.

Criteria for Admission and Retention
Internal transfer students interested in applying to the major must meet with an RMP faculty member prior to receiving an application for admission to the major. Transfer applications are accepted throughout the year, however priority is given to applications received by October 15th for Spring and March 15th for Fall. Applications can be obtained from the Department of Recreation Management and Policy. Students within the major are required to maintain a minimum 2.50 semester grade-point average every semester to retain good academic standing within the major. In addition, student majors must obtain a grade of C (2.00) or better in RMP courses and a grade of C- (1.67) or better in all other courses specifically required by the department.

Child Life Minor
This interdisciplinary minor is offered to a limited number of students by the therapeutic recreation option in the Department of Recreation Management and Policy and the Department of Family Studies. Upon completion of course requirements, students will be able to sit for the Child Life Specialist exam. All students complete three core courses: RMP 502, FS 525 and FS 623. Therapeutic Recreation students will select two courses from the following: FS 635, FS 641, FS 709, FS 734, and FS 772. Students will complete an Internship which will entail a minimum of 480 hours of experience and be supervised by a certified Child Life Specialist. Therapeutic recreation majors will be assigned a minor adviser from family studies.


» Click to view course offerings

^ back to top