Recreation, Therapeutic Recreation and Tourism Major

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Recreation and leisure is one of the most exciting and diverse human service professions. The field provides opportunities to work with all types of people in a variety of settings, to strengthen communities and improve quality of life through leisure. Students are required to choose one of three concentrations.

  • Students studying recreation management will prepare for employment in a variety of settings including municipal parks and recreation, non-profit recreation services, and commercial recreation.
  • Students studying therapeutic recreation will prepare for employment in community agencies and clinical settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, transitional or residential centers, treatment centers, physical medicine and rehabilitation and psychiatric institutions.
  • Students pursuing the tourism management concentration will prepare for professional positions in resorts, attractions, destination marketing organizations, and wedding and event planning.

All of the concentrations provide students with academic and experiential opportunities that foster an enriching undergraduate experience and launch an exciting career.

Admission to the Program

Any undergraduate student can declare this major.

Program Requirements

Students in the Recreation and Leisure Studies major pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete its requirements.

A grade of "C" or better is required for all REL courses in the major. Transfer courses graded below a "C" will not satisfy major requirements.

All students are required to have a valid CPR/First Aid certificate and are required to complete the New York State Child Abuse Reporter Training in order to graduate from the program.

Students are required to complete the following:

General Education Requirements (41 credits)

Major Departmental Requirements (38 credits)

  • REL 302 Foundations of Recreation and Leisure*
  • REL 306 Issues of Diversity and Disability in Recreation*
  • REL 307 Practicum
  • REL 308 Recreation Programming
  • REL 309 Recreation Leadership and Group Dynamics
  • REL 312 Administration of Recreation and Leisure Studies
  • REL 402 Current Trends and Issues in Recreation*
  • REL 403 Internship
  • REL 410 Research and Evaluation in Recreation and Leisure Studies
  • REL 414 Planning, Design, and Operations of Recreation Facilities
  • PRO 401 Professional Preparation

*denotes courses that meet both major and general education requirements

Concentrations (15 credits)

Students pursue a concentration in either:

Recreation Management Concentration (15 credits)

The recreation management concentration prepares students for professional positions in public/municipal recreation, nonprofit sectors, and corporate and commercial recreation settings. Students pursuing this concentration must complete 15 credits from the following course list:

  • REL 313 Economic and Community Development in Recreation
  • REL 411 The Recreation Legal Environment
  • REL 416 Nonprofit Management of Leisure Organizations

Tourism Management Concentration (15 credits)

The tourism management concentration prepares students for opportunities throughout the tourism industry, including resort recreation, tours and attractions, special events (e.g. wedding planning, community festivals, and corporate events), and destination marketing. Students pursuing this concentration must complete the following five courses:

  • REL 314 Tourism Principles
  • REL 395 Sustainability in Recreation
  • REL 430 Special Event Planning
  • REL 415 Entrepreneurship and Financial Management in Tourism
  • REL 440 Tourism Sales and Marketing

Therapeutic Recreation Concentration

The therapeutic recreation concentration prepares students for positions as therapeutic recreation specialists in clinical and community settings. Students pursuing this concentration must complete the following five courses:

  • REL 305 Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation
  • REL 320 Leisure Education in Therapeutic Recreation
  • REL 407 Methods of Therapeutic Recreation
  • REL 408 Facilitation Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation
  • REL 412 Issues and Trends in Therapeutic Recreation

Students selecting therapeutic recreation as their concentration must be aware that Certification is administered through The National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). The program is constructed so that students are eligible to sit for the professional certification examination at the time of their graduation. Because NCTRC controls the criteria for eligibility, this college and Department cannot be held responsible for changes made by NCTRC during your matriculation and after your graduation.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to be eligible for certification, NCTRC requires that therapeutic recreation students take the following electives: BIO 221 (4 cr.) or BIO 321 (4 cr.) and BIO 322 (4 cr.), PSH 334 (3 cr.) and PRO 204 (3 cr.). This leaves only six credits of the required 18 credits to be chosen as free electives. Therapeutic recreation students are required to take REL 305 as a prerequisite for any other REL course work in therapeutic recreation.

Students enrolled in the therapeutic recreation concentration may wish to seek NCTRC certification after graduation. These students are advised to take the following courses in addition to requirements needed for the degree.

  • PSH 334 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSH 110 Principles of Psychology is a prerequisite for PSH 334
  • BIO 221 Survey of Anatomy and Physiology or BIO 321 & BIO 322 Anatomy and Physiology I & II
  • PRO 204 Developmental Assessment Through the Lifespan

Electives (26 credits)

Total (120 credits)

Additional Degree Requirements

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Students graduating from the program shall demonstrate the following entry-level knowledge: a) the nature and scope of the relevant park, recreation, tourism or related professions and their associated industries; b) techniques and processes used by professionals and workers in these industries; and c) the foundation of the profession in history, science and philosophy. (COAPRT 7.01)
  2. Students graduating from the program shall be able to demonstrate the ability to design, implement, and evaluate services that facilitate targeted human experiences and that embrace personal and cultural dimensions of diversity. (COAPRT 7.02)
  3. Students graduating from the program shall be able to demonstrate entry-level knowledge about operations and strategic management/administration in parks, recreation, tourism and/or related professions. (COAPRT 7.03)
  4. Students graduating from the program shall demonstrate, through a comprehensive internship of not less than 400 clock hours and no fewer than 10 weeks, the potential to succeed as professionals at supervisory or higher levels in park, recreation, tourism, or related organizations. (COAPRT 7.04)

Council on Accreditation. Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (2019). Learning Outcomes, Standards and Assessments.