Recreation, Park, Tourism, and Hospitality

RPTH Professional Development

Through its accreditation with the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT), students who successfully complete the RPTA major are eligible to immediately sit for certification exams that will make them more competitive in the public and therapeutic recreation industries.

Additionally, through certifications offered as part of its courses, RPTH provides students opportunities to earn certifications needed for employment in the Hospitality, Tourism, and Event Management industries.

Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG)

Students can earn a Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) Certificate through the National Association for Interpretation through coursework embedded in RPTA 448G: Interpretation of Cultural and Environmental Resources. 

Benefits of this certification include training that builds your professional image, opportunities to network with others in the field, learning presentation skills, and becoming more competitive in the job market. 

Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP)

Students from any major can earn a certified nonprofit professional credential through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. Many of the credential's requirements are completed as part of the RPTA major or Nonprofit Administration minor housed in RPTH.

Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP)

Students graduating from RPTA’s program are eligible to sit for the National Park and Recreation Association’s Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification, the national standard for all parks and recreation professionals.

Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS)

Students graduating from WIU’s RPTA program and completing the required coursework are eligible to sit for the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) exam.

The CTRS is a certified recreational therapist who has demonstrated professional competence by acquiring a specific body of knowledge and passing the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) exam. The CTRS designation is the unifying credential for recreational therapists throughout the United States, Canada, and 15 other countries with approximately 18,000 Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (who hold active, inactive, or eligible for re-entry status) in the NCTRC registry. (

To learn more about CTRS, please watch the short videos available below.

National Council for Therapeutic Recreation 

American Therapuetic Recreation Association (ATRA) Practitioner Testimonials 

ServSafe Manager, Food Handler, and Alcohol Certifications

By completing specific coursework, students are able to sit for certification exams offered through the National Restaurant Association. Students will learn about foodborne illness, how to prevent it and how to train employees in food sanitation. Additionally, they can learn basic food safety practices for preparing and serving food as well as responsible alcohol service.