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About Our Program

The undergraduate curriculum in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration prepares students for careers in a variety of leisure services fields and for advanced study. The curriculum combines a required core with elective courses both in and outside the Department, including extensive opportunities for hands on learning, traveling seminars, and independent study. All students complete an internship supervised by the participating agency, selected to advance the student’s individual career goals, and by a department faculty member. The Department of RPTA has outstanding cooperative relationships with nearly 500 agencies in Illinois and elsewhere to support students’ internship experience. The Department’s core curriculum has been accredited by the Joint Council on Accreditation of the National Recreation and Park Association and the American Association for Leisure and Recreation since 1978.

Students may choose to pursue any of the following emphasis areas:

Outdoor Recreation & Camp Administration
Natural/Historical Interpreter, Camp Outdoor Environmental Education, Conference Center Manager, Scouting Executive, Outdoor Pursuits Manager

Leisure Services Management
Resort Recreation Director, Military Recreation Director, Park District Director, Recreation Superintendent

Leisure/ Recreation Program Delivery - Youth and Human Services
Park District Supervisor, Arts Supervisor, Athletics Supervisor, Recreation Center Director, Social Director in Resort Setting, YMCA/YWCA Supervisor or Director, Racquet and Fitness Center Director, Corporate Recreation Director, Recreation Leader.

Natural Resources Recreation Management
Park District/ Conservation District Manage or Superintendent, State or Federal Park Manager/Ranger

Therapeutic Recreation
Clinical Recreational Therapist in hospital or rehabilitation center, Director of Recreation for Special Populations-community based, Activities Director in long term care facility, Outdoor Recreation Therapist

Tourism Management
Convention Manager in hotel/resort setting, Manager of Civic Center, Country Club, Convention and Visitors Bureau Director, Local/Regional/State Tourism Manager

General
The student wanting to build on professional core preparation in a unique fashion may design his or her own set of directed and general electives. The curriculum must meet requirements for the B.S. Degree in RPTA and be approved by the department advisor or chairperson.

The Environmental, Conservation & Outdoor Education Expedition (ECOEE) is a unique semester-long field experience during which students receive intensive training in a variety of outdoor leadership skills.

Undergraduate Advisor: To talk or make an appointment with the RPTA Undergraduate Advisor, contact the RPTA office at 309/298-1967.

For details on degree requirements and course descriptions, see the RPTA information in WIU’s Undergraduate Catalog.