Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration
Interim Chairperson: Daniel G. Yoder
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Michael L. McGowan
Office: Currens Hall 400
Telephone: (309) 298-1967 Fax: (309) 298-2967
Location of Program Offering: Macomb, Quad Cities
- K. Dale Adkins, Re.D., Indiana University
- Michael L. McGowan, Re.D., Indiana University
- Donald J. McLean, Ph.D., University of Waterloo
- Katharine A. Pawelko, Ph.D., University of Maryland
- Daniel G. Yoder, Ph.D., University of Illinois
- Dean A. Zoerink, Ph.D., C.T.R.S., University of Minnesota
- Minsun Doh, Ph.D., Texas A&M University
- John Hemingway, Ph.D., University of Iowa
- Paul A. Schlag, Ph.D., University of Georgia
- Robert Porter, Ph.D., University of Georgia
Associate Graduate Faculty
- Michael Lukkarinen, Ph.D., University of Illinois
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, 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 RPTA department, WIU Horn Field Campus, and Campus Recreation work cooperatively to provide students with hands-on educational opportunities through a variety of recreational activities for the campus community.
The program will: a) expand the student's concepts of the role and significance that leisure plays in promoting the quality of life for all Americans; b) help each student develop an understanding and appreciation of the purpose and function of 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.
The RPTA Integrated Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Program allows exceptional RPTA undergraduate students from Western Illinois University to take up to nine hours of 400-G level classes that apply to the requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration and the Master of Science Degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration. This program will allow outstanding undergraduates to earn both degrees in five years.
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 20 students receive graduate assistantships during the academic year.
Go to wiu.edu/graduate_studies/integrated_programs/ for details and program offerings.
To complete application, the following is required by the department:
- Current résumé;
- Responses to five questions in essay form (supplied by department);
- Three letters of reference;
- 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.
The program requires a minimum of 34 semester hours including a minimum six semester hour culmination option.
I. Core Courses (or their equivalent competency): 16 s.h.
RPTA 511 Measurement and Statistical Analysis (3)
RPTA 515 Philosophy of Leisure (3)
RPTA 522 Seminar in Administration of Leisure Services (3)
RPTA 526 Fiscal Management in Leisure Services (3)
RPTA 599 Research Methods in Leisure Services (3)
RPTA 600 Seminar in Leisure Services (1–3)
II. Directed Electives: 12 s.h.
III. Select one of the following exit options: 18 s.h.
RPTA 601 Thesis (6)
B. Graduate Research Project
RPTA 602 Graduate Research Project (6)
RPTA 603 Professional Internship (6)
TOTAL PROGRAM: 34 s.h.
Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (RPTA)
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. Prerequisite: RPTA 322 or permission of the instructor.
424G Fund Raising and Volunteerism in Leisure Services. (3) A study of the principles and practices associated with fund raising and utilization of volunteers in public as well as private nonprofit leisure service organizations. Prerequisite: RPTA 322 or permission of instructor.
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 permission 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. Laboratory charge and field trip required. Prerequisite: 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 and laboratory charge. 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. Laboratory charge and field trip required. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
450G Traveling Workshop. (1–3, repeatable to 6) 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. Laboratory charge and field trip required. 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. Prerequisites: RPTA 251 and 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 trip required. Prerequisites: RPTA 251 and 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. Prerequisite: 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: Permission of the instructor.
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.
481G Management of Outdoor Recreation Resources. (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: Upper division or graduate status or permission of the instructor.
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 charge. 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 charge for field trips and materials. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
485G (cross-listed with ZOOL 485G) 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. Prerequisites: 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 the instructor.
487G 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.Laboratory charge and field trip required. Prerequisite: Upper division status or 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 the department chairperson required.
500 (cross-listed with MST 500) Introduction to Museums: Purpose, Function, and History. (3) This course will provide students with an overview of the purpose, function, and history of museums and their role in society. Students will be introduced to all of the disciplines within the museum and will discuss recent issues in the field.
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.
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)
602 Graduate Research Project. (6) Draws upon and demonstrates skills and knowledge acquired in previous graduate level classes. Involves planning, execution, and reporting of findings of an applied research project. The student’s graduate committee will approve, overse and evaluate the applied research project. Prerequisite: Graduate committee approval.
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.