Academics

Recreation, Park, & Tourism Administration: A Signature Academic Program

Program Details

The Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (RPTA) curriculum is designed to prepare students for the many phases of the profession. We emphasize innovative instructional techniques and learning experiences through application of knowledge and skills in career-related settings. Noted authorities are invited to campus regularly for lectures and special programs, and students travel to various recreation, park and tourism agencies for observations and direct experiences.

Because the RPTA program is a nationally recognized and highly respected program, it has been named a Signature Academic Program, and is one of only 12 programs on campus to achieve this recognition.

Special Opportunities in Recreation, Park, & Tourism Administration

RPTA majors who qualify may apply for membership in Rho Phi Lambda, an honorary fraternity for outstanding majors in recreation, park and tourism programs. The department also offers students the opportunity to become involved in a variety of organizations such as the RPTA Student Recreation Society (SRS), the department professional organization; H.E.L.P. (Horn Environmental Learning Project), an organization dedicated to maintaining Horn Field Campus while learning about resource management; Student Therapeutic Recreation Society (STRS), an organization for students with an interest in working with special populations; Student Commercial Recreation and Tourism Society (SCRTS), an organization for students to network with faculty and alumni in the commercial area of recreation and tourism; and the Student Outdoor Recreation Society (SORS), a club that enjoys hiking, kayaking, rock climbing and other adventure activities.

Department Minors

  • Event Planning and Management
  • Fisheries
  • Horticulture
  • Nonprofit Administration
  • Outdoor Leadership:
  • Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration
  • Therapeutic Recreation

Additional Resources

Horn Field Campus tour

Recent graduates are employed by a variety of organizations such as state and national parks and outdoor camps and recreation centers.

Possible Careers in Recreation, Park & Tourism Administration

Recent graduates are employed in management, planning, and program leadership and development by a variety of organizations including resorts, park districts, state and national parks, hospitals, community-based therapeutic agencies, YMCAs, camps and outdoor recreation centers, tourism agencies, wilderness camping programs, university student unions, and civic and senior citizen centers.

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science in recreation, park and tourism administration are immediately eligible to sit for the examination to become a Certified Park and Recreation Professional and thereby acquire this valuable credential for professional advancement. Successful completion of prescribed courses in therapeutic recreation results in eligibility to sit for the examination to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.

Professional careers in recreation and leisure services offer challenging, meaningful and highly rewarding opportunities. Whether your interests are in working with children, teens, adults or seniors; with outdoor adventure, cultural arts, sports or events; or in hospital/clinical settings, theme parks, tourism or the military, recreation and leisure services offer job opportunities for you.

Recreation, Park & Tourism Administration (RPTA) Courses

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

110 Concepts of Leisure. (3) (General Education/ Human Well-Being) Explores the place of leisure in society. Examines what people do for recreation and leisure in a changing culture. Assists students from all majors to develop a personal leisure life-style that promotes wellness.

111 Introduction to Leisure Services. (3) Examines the purpose and function of leisure services delivered by governmental, non-profit, and private agencies. For major and minor, course is prerequisite to all upper division courses.

112 Recreation for Life. (2) (General Education/ Human Well-Being) Examines the contribution of organized recreation to the development and maintenance of individual well-being. This class will assist students’ personal exploration of how recreation can enhance body, mind, and spirit. Classroom concepts will be practiced during laboratory hours.

199 Fieldwork in Leisure Services. (1, repeatable to 2) A minimum of 50 clock hours work experience per credit hour in an approved recreation, park, and/ or tourism agency or a non-profit agency for Nonprofit Administration minors. Prerequisite: prior consent of departmental advisor. Graded S/U only.

202 (Cross-listed with AGE/ANTH/SOC 202) (Formerly RPTA 200) Introduction to Gerontology. (3) An introduction to Gerontology, including a comprehensive and critical review of demographic, physiological, activity, and psychosocial dimensions of aging-related issues and processes. Not open to students with credit in AGE/ANTH/SOC 202.

230 Leadership in Leisure Services. (3) A study of the theory, principles, and processes of leadership in delivery of leisure services. Laboratory involved.

235 Programming Principles & Applications in Leisure Services. (3) Explores the purpose and functions of programs, planning principles, objectives, organizational behavior, and evaluation. Translation of a program plan into practical situations. Prerequisites: RPTA 111. Field observations required. A one-time charge for online instruction materials applies to this course.

240 Introduction to Camp Leadership. (3) Explores the aims and objectives of organized camping, developing and organizing the camp program. Laboratory included. Laboratory charge for course.

249 Principles of Outdoor Adventure Recreation. (3) Investigates the components of an outdoor adventure experience including environmental behavior, personal growth, technical abilities, and safety. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Laboratory charge for course.

251 Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation. (3) Introduction to the field of Therapeutic Recreation, theories and models, orientation to terminology, characteristics, and dynamics of people with disabilities. Field experience required.

270 Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations. (3) The course will introduce the history, mission, programs, and staffing of nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and focus on the role they have in meeting the needs of youth and adults, including those of underrepresented groups, in society.

322 Administration of Leisure Services I. (3) Provides basis for understanding administrative processes related to delivery of leisure services. Explores administration/management theory, communication, marketing, and public relations. Writing Instruction in the Discipline WID course. Prerequisites: RPTA 230 and 235; junior status or consent of instructor.

323 Administration of Leisure Services II. (3) Provides a basis for understanding administrative processes related to the delivery of leisure services. Explores fiscal management, human resources management, and legal issues related to leisure services. Prerequisites: RPTA 322 and junior status, or consent of instructor.

330 Program Planning for People with Physical Disabilities: Community and Educational Services. (3) Acquaint students with the classifications, development, and the social psychological aspects unique to persons who have physical disabilities and other health impairments in order to plan community and education services. Prerequisite: RPTA 251 or SPED 210 or equivalent; or consent of instructor.

349 Expedition Planning. (3) Provides students the opportunity to examine the components of an outdoor expedition. An expedition is then planned. Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

351 Therapeutic Recreation Assessment and Evaluation. (3) Examines assessment instruments, techniques, and testing protocols used in the practice of Therapeutic Recreation. Field experience required. Prerequisite: RPTA 251 and junior status, or consent of instructor. Laboratory charge for course and field trip required.

362 Tourism. (3) Examines the principles, practices, and philosophy of the travel industry. No course prerequisite for nonmajors. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

366 Commercial Recreation. (3) Examines the diversity of commercial recreation enterprises; also general trends and personal attributes associated with a career in commercial recreation. No course prerequisite for nonmajors. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

367 Introduction to Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events. (3) Examines the principles, practices, and philosophy of the meeting, incentives, conferences, and events industries including formats, legal considerations, professional associations, and industry standards. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

376 Perspectives in Outdoor Recreation. (3) Examines outdoor recreation movement in America and its impact on natural resources; reviews relationships between changing public demand and the many agencies involved in supplying outdoor recreation. Includes technical writing instruction. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

397 Research and Evaluation in Leisure Services. (3) Introduces basic concepts and procedures for design and implementation of evaluative research in practical settings. Prerequisites: RPTA 111 and junior status.

398 Internship Seminar. (1) Assists students to determine personal goals and objectives, conduct survey and apply to various agencies before making final selection for location of internship. Prerequisites: RPTA majors of junior status; RPTA minors by petition.

399 Issues in Leisure Services. (1) Explores the roles and responsibilities attributable to the developing professional, with a focus on service and environmental stewardship. Prerequisites: RPTA 111.

422 Advanced Administration of Leisure Services. (3) Investigates advanced concepts and processes related to the administration of leisure services, including marketing applications and the management of human and fiscal resources. Prerequisites: RPTA 322 and junior status, or consent of instructor.

424 Fund Raising and Volunteerism in Leisure Services. (3) A study of the principles and practices associated with fundraising and utilization of volunteers in public as well as private nonprofit leisure service organizations. Prerequisite: RPTA 322.

428 Youth and Leisure Services. (3) A study of the theories, principles, and practices related to youth and leisure including social trends and issues, youth development, youth services agencies, program planning and evaluation, behavior management, leadership, and public relations. Prerequisites: RPTA 111, 230, and 235.

430 Principles of Recreational Sports. (3) The role of sport as a developmental tool by organizations such as local government, youth, and family nonprofit organizations, universities, corporations, military bases, and specialized amateur athletic organizations. Emphasis is placed on various instructional and competitive program delivery mo

      dels. Prerequisites: RTPA 111, 230, and 235.

444 Outdoor Education. (3) Organization of outdoor education activities emphasizing elementary school classroom participation. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Laboratory charge for course and field trip required.

446 Wilderness Leadership. (3) Prepares students to become qualified wilderness trip leaders. Expedition behavior, emergency procedures, and wilderness leadership responsibilities will be examined during a five-week expedition. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Laboratory charge for course and field trip required.

448 Interpretation of Cultural and Environmental Resources. (3) Develops basic understanding of interpretation of natural, environmental, and cultural resources. Includes philosophy and techniques. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Laboratory charge for course and field trip required.

449 Management of Outdoor Adventure Recreation. (3) Management of outdoor adventure recreation in both intensity and wilderness/dispersed recreation environments is examined. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Laboratory charge for course and field trip required.

450 Travel Workshop. (1–3, repeatable to 6) Opportunity for students to observe the operations of a variety of leisure service agencies and to discuss onlocation the trends, problems, and techniques in leisure service delivery. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Laboratory charge for course and field trip required.

451 Principles of Therapeutic Recreation. (3) Examines Therapeutic Recreation process and modalities in clinical, residential, and community-based settings. Field experience required. Prerequisites: RPTA 251 and junior status, or consent of instructor.

452 Leisure Services for Older Adults. (3) Examines theories and concepts related to leisure and aging; includes field experiences with older adults. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

453 Clinical Therapeutic Recreation Processes. (3) Examines interventions, modalities, and relevant terminology used in therapeutic recreation treatment for persons with disabilities in clinical, residential, and community-based settings. Field trip required. Prerequisites: RPTA 251 and junior status, or consent of instructor.

454 Management of Therapeutic Recreation. (3) Understanding and professional practice of Therapeutic Recreation services in health and human-service settings with focus on quality management, finance and reimbursement, budgeting, clinical supervision, risk management, professional ethics, issues, and certification. Field trip required. Prerequisites: RPTA 251, 351, and 451; junior status, or consent of instructor.

455 (Cross-listed with HM 455) Casino Operations. (3) Description of basic casino operations and principles of casino marketing, mathematics of casino games, and utility analysis of gaming motivation and gaming addictions. Exploration of career opportunities in the gaming industry. Historical background and impact of gaming on hospitality industry. Not open to students with credit in HM 455. Prerequisites: HM 150; HM 353 or RPTA 322 or RPTA 323.

460 Sustainable Tourism Development. (3) Provides essentials for successful development of a local tourism economy including organizing, planning, developing, and operation. Prerequisites: junior status or permission of instructor.

461 Conference and Convention Planning and Management. (3) Prepares students for positions as planners and managers of conferences and conventions at resorts, hotels, cruise ships, camps, universities, or other private or municipal convention centers. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

462 International Tourism. (3) (Global Issues) Analysis of contemporary leisure travel behavior emphasizing world tourism markets, products, attractions, sales, and industry trends. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

463 Administration of Fitness Programs. (3) Prepares people to be owners, administrators, or program managers of health and fitness facilities by introducing business practices and program requirements special to the administration of health and fitness facilities or clubs. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

465 Tourism Destination Promotion. (3) A comprehensive study of the functions of community tourism promotion. Examines management strategies and methods to fund and operate a promotional agency and fulfill responsibilities to community, local service providers, and potential visitors. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

466 Resort Management. (3) Principles and practices to plan, develop, manage, and operate resort properties with emphasis on leisure-based facilities and services. Prerequisites: RPTA 362 and junior status, or consent of instructor.

467 Event Planning and Management. (3) The application of methods and techniques to plan, implement, and evaluate successful community events. Content includes selection of event theme and coordination of set up, staff, finance, promotion, partnerships, and operations and evaluation. Prerequisite: RPTA 235.

476 Special Topics. (3, repeatable to 9 for different topics) This course explores a topic of current interest in recreation, park, and tourism administration. Prerequisites: RPTA 111 or permission of instructor.

478 (Formerly RPTA 378) Great Smoky Mountains Outdoor Recreation Consortium. (3) Involves students from several major universities in developing understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of and for agencies and resources in an on-site experience such as at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Prerequisites: junior status or consent of instructor. Trip charge for course.

481 (Formerly RPTA 377) Human Dimensions of Resource Management. (3) Considers theory and practice for human dimensions oriented use of land, water, and wildlife resources for recreation experiences. Examines social and physical carrying capacity of land and cultural treatment of ecological systems. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

482 Facility Management. (3) Explores problems, principles, and techniques of management, design, and operation of selected park and recreation facilities. Special emphasis on swimming pools, tennis, racquetball, golf, ice skating, and community center activities. Consideration given to factors affecting energy conservation and reducing operational costs. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor. Field trip charge for course.

485 (Cross-listed with ZOOL 485) Resource Management for Fly Fisheries. (3) Students will learn trout stream ecology and management, and gain fly-fishing experience. Course includes a one-week trip to a stream for students to meet with resource professionals and to practice their skills. Not open to students with credit in ZOOL 485. Prerequisite: One of the following: BOT 200 (C grade or better), MICR 200 (C grade or better), ZOOL 200 (C grade or better), RPTA 110, RPTA 111, or permission of instructor. Charge for on-site trip and equipment required.

487 Site Planning in Recreation and Parks. (3) Introduction to basic planning principles and techniques as they apply to park and recreation projects. Special consideration given to the use of GIS and GPS technology and field techniques. Emphasis on problem solving in the planning process. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

488 Open Space Management. (3) Investigates theory, principles, and methods of planning recreation land systems. Explores procedures to preserve, acquire, and develop recreation lands and green space throughout a district or urban area. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

489 Park Maintenance and Operations Management. (3) Explores procedures and problems of recreation area operation with emphasis on planning and management for maintenance efficiency. Topics include planning, scheduling, standards, cost control, vandalism, etc. Prerequisite: junior status or consent of instructor.

490 Independent Study. (1–3, repeatable to 8) Research projects or independent study not covered in other courses. Credit assigned according to the nature and scope of project. Prerequisites: junior status or consent of instructor; written description of proposal including justification, objectives, and procedures must be submitted to department chairperson prior to enrollment; permission of department chairperson required.

493 (Cross-listed with KIN 493) Sport and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities. (3) The course will provide students with information about sport and recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities across the lifespan at all levels from community programs to elite levels of competition. Not open to students with credit in KIN 493. Prerequisite: KIN 393, RPTA 251, or permission by instructor.

499 Internship in Leisure Services. (3) 12 s.h. to be taken concurrently. Laboratory field experience provides for practical application of knowledge and theory in a professional setting. Student acquires experience in all phases of leisure service delivery with highly qualified personnel in a selected agency with University faculty supervision. Cannot apply to minor except by petition. Prerequisites: junior status, all Core courses completed with an average of at least C (2.00) with no course below C- (1.67), and approval of departmental committee.

Contact Information

Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration

Dr. Daniel G. Yoder, Chair
Email: DG-Yoder@wiu.edu
Location: Currens Hall 400
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1967

Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration Website

Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration Directory

College of Education & Human Services (COEHS)

Dr. Erskine Smith, Dean
Email: ER-Smith@wiu.edu
COEHS Email: coehs@wiu.edu
Location: Horrabin Hall 117G
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1690

COEHS Website

Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration Advising

Keri Allison
Horrabin Hall 91
Phone: (309) 298-1438
Email: KL-Allison@wiu.edu

Currents Hall