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Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (2002-2003)

Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements

Department Chairperson: B. Nick DiGrino
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Dean A. Zoerink
Department Office: Currens Hall 400
Department Telephone: 309/298-1967 Fax: 309/298-2967
WWW Address:
Location of Program Offering: Macomb only

Graduate Faculty

  • Professors
    • Dennis R. Crowe, Ph.D., University of Florida
    • B. Nick DiGrino, Ph.D., Texas A&M University
    • Anita Magafas, Ph.D., C.T.R.S., University of Iowa
    • Michael L. McGowan, Re.D., Indiana University
    • Dean A. Zoerink, Ph.D., C.T.R.S., University of Minnesota
  • Associate Professors
    • K. Dale Adkins, Re.D., Indiana University
    • Andrew Holdnak, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
    • Katharine A. Pawelko, Ph.D., University of Maryland
    • Daniel G. Yoder, Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • Assistant Professor
    • Donald J. McLean, Ph.D., University of Waterloo

Associate Graduate Faculty

  • Assistant Professor
    • Hyung-Yon Cho, M.S., Western Illinois University

Program Description

The Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration offers a program in graduate study leading to the Master of Science degree. Advanced course work is available in recreation administration and programming, park planning and management, outdoor/adventure recreation, therapeutic recreation, college leisure services programming, tourism, resort recreation, and youth services programming.

The Master of Science program with a major in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration prepares persons to assume major responsibilities for delivery of leisure services. An individualized curriculum approach is utilized to help each student develop problem-solving and integrative thinking skills through core competencies deemed necessary for all graduates and career competencies relating to individual goals.

The program will: a) enlarge the student's concepts of the role and significance that leisure plays in promoting the quality of life for all Americans; b) help each each student develop an understanding and appreciation of the purpose and function to research as it relates to the planning, programming, and administration of leisure services; c) encourage each student to develop higher level academic and practical skills to be able to plan, program, and manage leisure services more efficiently and effectively; and d) assist students in their quest to become more proficient and effective professionals in their career interests.

Students who qualify may be assigned to staff positions with local agencies as departmental graduate assistants. Present assignments facilitate interests in student services, outdoor recreation and education, recreation administration and programming, therapeutic recreation, tourism, and research. Approximately twenty-five students receive graduate assistantships during the academic year.

Admission Requirements

To complete application, the following is required by the department:

  1. Current résumé;
  2. Responses to four questions in essay form (supplied by department);
  3. Three letters of reference;
  4. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for regular admission to the graduate program in recreation, park, and tourism administration; however, those students entering under probationary status are encouraged to take the General Test of the GRE and have their scores on file before enrollment.

Degree Requirements

The program requires a minimum of 34 semester hours including a minimum six semester hour culmination option.

  • Core Courses (or their equivalent competency): 16 s.h.
    • RPTA 511 Measurement and Statistical Analysis: 3 s.h.
    • RPTA 515 Philosophy of Leisure: 3 s.h.
    • RPTA 522 Seminar in Administration of Leisure Services: 3 s.h.
    • RPTA 526 Fiscal Management in Leisure Services: 3 s.h.
    • RPTA 599 Research Methods in Leisure Services: 3 s.h.
    • RPTA 600 Seminar in Leisure Services: 1-3 s.h.
  • Thesis Option
    • Core Courses: 16 s.h.
    • RPTA 601 Thesis: 6 s.h.
    • Directed Electives: 12 s.h.
      TOTAL PROGRAM: 34 s.h.
  • Internship Option
    • Core Courses: 16 s.h.
    • RPTA 603 Professional Internship: 6 s.h.
    • Directed Electives: 12 s.h.
      TOTAL PROGRAM: 34 s.h.

Course Descriptions

422G 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 resources. Prerequisites: RPTA 322, permission of the instructor.

424G Fund Raising in Leisure Services. (2) A study of the principles and practices associated with fund raising in public as well as private nonprofit leisure service organizations. Prerequisites: RPTA 322 or consent of instructor.

425G Utilization of Volunteers in Leisure Services. (2) A study of the primary factors in the effective use of volunteers in leisure service agencies. Field project. Prerequisite: RPTA 322, graduate standing.

428G 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. Field Project. Prerequisites: RPTA 230 and RPTA 332 or consent of the instructor.

446G 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. Lab cost. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

448G Interpretation of Cultural and Environmental Resources. (3) Develops a basic understanding for interpretation of natural, environmental and cultural resources. Includes philosophy and techniques. Field trip. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

449G Management of Outdoor Adventure Recreation. (3) Management of outdoor adventure recreation in both intensity and wilderness/dispersed recreation environments is examined. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

450G Traveling Workshop. (1–3) Opportunity for students to observe the operations of a variety of leisure service agencies and to discuss on location the trends, problems, and techniques in leisure service delivery. Lab cost. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

451G Principles of Therapeutic Recreation. (3) Principles of program planning for people with disabilities in clinical, residential, and community-based settings. Prerequisite: RPTA 251, permission of the instructor.

452G Leisure Services for the Elderly. (3) Examines theories and concepts related to leisure and aging; includes field experiences with the elderly. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

453G Clinical Therapeutic Recreation Processes. (3) Applies related clinical processes in therapeutic recreation service for persons with developmental, mental, emotional, social, physical, and chemical disabilities or impairments. Field project. Prerequisites: PSY 251 and RPTA 251, permission of the instructor.

454G Management of Therapeutic Recreation. (3) Management of therapeutic recreation services including organizational dynamics of healthcare institutions, finance and reimbursement, budgeting, risk management, accreditation standards, certification, professional ethics. Field trip. Prerequisites: RPTA 251, 351, and 451; permission of the instructor.

460G Community Tourism Development. (3) Provides essentials for successful development of a local tourism economy including organizing, planning, developing, and operation. Prerequisites: RPTA 362, permission of the instructor.

461G 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. Graduate students will be expected to plan and carry out a conference. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

462G International Tourism. (3) Analysis of contemporary leisure travel behavior emphasizing world tourism markets, products, attractions, sales and industry trends. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

464G Group Tour Planning and Management. (3) Examines the history, structure, and mechanics of creating and selling packaged tours and the role of the group tour designer in an expanding travel and tourism industry. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

465G Tourism Destination Promotion. (3) A comprehensive study of the funcitons 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: RPTA 362.

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

467G Special Event Planning and Management. (3) The application of methods and techniques to plan, implement and evaluate successful community special events. Content includes selection of event themes and coordination of set up, staff, finance, promotion, partnerships, operations and evaluation. Prerequisite: RPTA 332.

482G 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. Field trip. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

483G Trail and Landscape Construction. (3) Includes field layout and construction methods for outdoor recreation facilities (trails, boat ramps, campsites, etc.). Stresses site analysis, measurement, landscape suitabilities/limitations and construction requirements. Real park development projects used as labs. Lab cost for field trips and materials. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

488G Park Open Space Planning. (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: Permission of the instructor.

489G 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: Permission of the instructor.

490G 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. Prerequisite: Written description of proposal including justification, objectives, and procedures must be submitted to the department chairperson prior to enrollment; permission of department chairperson required.

511 Measurement and Statistical Analysis. (3) Statistics and experimental designs that are necessary to evaluate data collected from measurement commonly obtained in recreation and park administration.

515 Philosophy of Leisure. (3) Examination of professional ethics in leisure service delivery based upon exploration of classical and contemporary thought.

522 Seminar in Administration of Leisure Services. (3) An in-depth study of specific selected administrative problems relating to such topics as legislative and legal problems, finance, budgeting, personnel policies, land acquisition, agency relationships, etc.

526 Fiscal Management in Leisure Services. (3) This course examines the fiscal process in leisure service organizations, analyzes revenue production and expenditure alternatives, and identifies internal and external control mechanisms.

530 Program Development and Supervision. (3) A seminar in the administration and management of leisure programs in a variety of agency and organizational settings. Techniques in needs assessment, as well as development, implementation, and evaluation of leisure programs, are studied.

540 Camp Administration. (2) The administration of resident and day camps including personnel training and supervision, program development and evaluation, finance, food operation and housing, maintenance and site development in the natural environment. A two- to three-day field trip is included. Lab cost.

544 The Administration of Outdoor Education. (2) The administration of outdoor education programs. The study of local, state, and national trends in outdoor education. A 2-3 day field trip included. Lab cost.

560 College Union Administration. (3) A study of special administrative aspects specific to the development and advising of college union programs including the place of student unions in higher education.

580 Skills in Community Development. (3) This course emphasizes the practical skills required to be an effective community developer, including conflict resolution, leadership, comunication, and community capacity-building. The focus is on skill-building, as students are provided opportunities to practice new techniques. Topics will be modified as new technologies and other external factors impact the practice of community development. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

590 Research in Leisure Services. (1–3, repeatable)

599 Research Methods in Leisure Services. (3) Research methods used in scholarly studies to solve problems common to recreation and park and tourism administration.

600 Seminar in Leisure Services. (1–3, repeatable) Course content in response to needs and approved programs of graduate students. Utilization of specialists, consultants, visiting professors. Course may be repeated with permission.

601 Thesis. (6)

603 Professional Internship. (6) Direct assignment on a three-month to 12-month basis to a leisure services agency or organization under the specific direction of a qualified agency administrator and supervision of a recreation faculty member. Involvements focus on practical and uniquely necessary competencies best developed in the work setting. Prerequisite: Graduate Committee approval.

Western Illinois University.

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