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RECREATION, PARKS, AND TOURISM ADMINISTRATION

College of Health and Human Services

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Bachelor of Science in Recreation Administration provides students with the skills to manage people, programs, and events in a variety of recreational settings that include city parks and recreation programs, state and national parklands, hotels, playgrounds, forests, beaches, health clubs, tourism destinations, and non-profit community centers. Students will also gain an understanding of professional advocacy, ethics, and current evaluation procedures applicable in a variety of employment settings.

RPTA students and graduates will find a wide range of internship and job opportunities with public and private agencies in the Greater Sacramento Region, the State of California, and throughout the United States.  

Concentrations

  • BS: Recreation and Park Management/ Recreation Therapy

Special Features and Fast Facts

  • The Sacramento area provides a wide variety of resources to supplement the formal classroom education of students enrolled in the concentrations offered by the Department.
  • Sacramento County, the City of Sacramento, and a variety of smaller cities and special districts have numerous park and recreation programs, and facilities.
  • The State Capitol offers opportunities to observe state government in operation and numerous state and federal agencies have central or regional offices within the urban area.
  • Faculty and students work closely with a variety of natural resource agencies that include: California State Parks, the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service.
  • California has more National Parks than any other state in the country.
  • Currently in California, there are more city park and recreation, and State Park positions available than qualified graduates.
  • Both clinical and community based therapeutic recreation programs provide services to a variety of special populations.
  • Certified Recreation Therapy Specialists are in high demand and often negotiate extremely high salaries.
  • Leisure businesses of all types abound in the immediate area and in the Sierra Nevada and California Coastal regions within a 90 mile radius of the campus.
  • California is one of the world's most-visited tourism destinations.
  • The RPTA program at Sacramento State is the oldest NRPA accredited program in Recreation Administration in California.
  • Students completing necessary coursework in the Therapy and Recreation and Park Management Concentrations are eligible for both state and national certification.

UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

Requirements - Bachelor of Science Degree

Units required for Recreation and Park Management Concentration: 62-67
Units required for Recreation Therapy Concentration: 68-73
Minimum total units for the BS: 120

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation Administration: Recreation and Park Management/Recreation Therapy will not be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement. Students who change major may be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement.

Grade of "C-" or better required in all upper division courses applied to the major. No more than 6 units of RPTA 198 and RPTA 199 in combination may be used to meet major requirements. No more than 3 units of RPTA 198 may be used to meet major requirements.

Note: RPTA 100 and RPTA 122 may not be used to meet requirements.

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

A. Required Lower Division Courses (10 units)

(1)

RPTA 1

Orientation to Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration

(3)

RPTA 30

Recreation, Parks and Tourism in Contemporary Society

(3)

RPTA 32

Leadership and Group Development

(3)

RPTA 42

Recreational Use of Natural Resources

B. Required Upper Division Courses (15 units)

(1)

RPTA 101

Senior Seminar (RPTA 1 or instructor permission)

(3)

RPTA 105

Management in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism (RPTA 30 or instructor permission)

(3)

RPTA 106

Introduction to Inclusive Recreation and Recreation Therapy

(2)

RPTA 109

Computer Applications in Recreation, Parks and Tourism

(3)

RPTA 110

Research and Evaluation in Recreation, Parks and Tourism (RPTA 1 and RPTA 30)

(3)

RPTA 136

Program and Event Planning in Recreation, Parks and Tourism (RPTA 32)

C. Concentration Requirement

Select one of the following two concentrations: Recreation Therapy or Recreation and Park Management
This option allows students flexibility in the selection of courses in the areas of:

  • Community Recreation Management (CRM). These courses focus on skills needed for working with public recreation and park agencies at the city, county, regional, and state levels (e.g., city or county Department of Parks and Recreation), special districts (e.g., East Bay Regional Park District) and/or non-profit agencies (e.g., after-school programs, programs for seniors, summer camps, etc.). Students who take courses in CRM are being trained for positions that involve planning, implementing, managing, and evaluating comprehensive recreation programs in public and nonprofit settings.
  • Park and Recreation Resource Management (PRRM). These courses focus on skills needed for working with agencies that provide opportunities for outdoor recreation (e.g., the Forest Service), agencies that manage natural resources (e.g., the National Park Service), and agencies that plan for and manage outdoor recreation experiences and resources (e.g., the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Planning Division). Students who take courses in PRRM are being trained for positions as park rangers and managers, interpreters of natural and cultural history, managers of visitors to parks, and outdoor recreation planners.
  • Commercial Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality Management (CRTHM). These courses focus on the basics of entrepreneurial businesses, and the skills needed for working with for-profit, commercial recreation agencies (e.g., resorts, hotels, cruise lines, event planners, travel agencies). Students who take courses in CRTHM are being trained for positions in enterprises which offer leisure services and/or products for a profit. Examples include clubs and spas, resorts, ski areas, theme parks, and the hospitality industry.

Recreation and Park Management Concentration (37-42 units)

(3)

RPTA 160

Legal and Budget Topics in Recreation, Parks and Tourism

(3)

RPTA 166

Administration in Recreation, Parks and Tourism (RPTA 105)

(3)

RPTA 183

Marketing Recreation Services (RPTA 30 or instructor permission)

(10-15) Select one of the following:

RPTA 195B*

Partial Internship: Recreation and Park Management (RPTA 1, RPTA 30, RPTA 32, RPTA 42, RPTA 101, RPTA 105, RPTA 106, RPTA 109, RPTA 110, RPTA 136 and approval of academic advisor and internship coordinator) AND

RPTA 195C*

Partial Internship: Recreation and Park Management (RPTA 1, RPTA 30, RPTA 32, RPTA 42, RPTA 101, RPTA 105, RPTA 106, RPTA 109, RPTA 110, RPTA 136 and approval of academic advisor and internship coordinator) OR

RPTA 195E*

Internship: Recreation and Park Management (RPTA 1, RPTA 30, RPTA 32, RPTA 42, RPTA 101, RPTA 105, RPTA 106, RPTA 109, RPTA 110, RPTA 136 and approval of academic advisor and internship coordinator)

(18)

Any upper division RPTA courses approved by major advisor from one of the three areas: commercial recreation, tourism, and hospitality management, community recreation management, and recreation resource management.


Recreation Therapy Concentration (43-48 units)

This concentration focuses on recreation services for individuals who are ill, disabled, elderly, or incarcerated. It can be applied in clinical, transitional, and community based settings. Emphasis is on therapeutic recreation as it applies to children and adults who are physically, mentally, socially, and/or emotionally challenged.

Required Recreation Therapy Courses (25-30)

(3)

RPTA 115

Recreation Therapy Assessment and Documentation (RPTA 106; RPTA 106 may be taken concurrently)

(3)

RPTA 116

Recreation Therapy Principles and Practices and the Recreation Therapy Process (RPTA 106; RPTA 106 may be taken concurrently)

(3)

RPTA 117

Recreation Therapy and Contemporary Aspects of Disability (RPTA 106; RPTA 106 may be taken concurrently)

(3)

RPTA 118

Recreation Therapy Facilitation Techniques (RPTA 106; RPTA 106 may be taken concurrently)

(3)

RPTA 119

Recreation Therapy Management and Advancement of the Profession (RPTA 106 and RPTA 116)

(10-15)

RPTA 195D*

Recreation Therapy Internship (RPTA 106, RPTA 115, RPTA 116, RPTA 117, RPTA 118, RPTA 119; completion of required administrative paper work in the semester prior to internship, approval of major advisor)

Non-RPTA Electives (18 units)

Elective units selected in consultation with a major advisor, including at least 3 units each in A) Abnormal Psychology, Life span Human Development, and Human Anatomy/Human Physiology; B) 9 units of Human Service Classes, as defined by NCTRC. Advisor approval required to assure compliance with certification requirements.

* Prerequisites: 600 hours of approved field experience.

Note: Grade of "C-" or better required in all upper division courses applied to the major. No more than 6 units of RPTA 198 and RPTA 199 in combination may be used to meet major requirements. No more than 3 units of RPTA 198 may be used to meet major requirements.

Note: RPTA 100 and RPTA 122 may not be used to meet requirements.

D. Additional Graduation Requirement

Majors are required to compile and consistently maintain an assessment portfolio. The portfolio is a cumulative collection of individual assignments designed to demonstrate competency in specific areas such as written communication, oral communication, group interaction, research and analysis, and computer literacy. Each competency may be assessed at more than one level (e.g., beginning, advanced) and adequate opportunities for completion of all required demonstrations of competency are available within the required major coursework (as listed in requirements A, B, and C above). Additionally, opportunities for specific competency level demonstrations may be made available in elective coursework within the major (e.g., RPTA 153, RPTA 182). In individual course-based assignments, learning outcomes, and competencies are assessed based upon specified criteria. Continuing instructor feedback and self-assessment exercises are intended to create a process that improves learning outcomes, as well as facilitates the student's ability to demonstrate those outcomes and competencies both before and after graduation.

It is the responsibility of the student, in consultation with their portfolio advisor, to maintain the portfolio and to insure that all requirements have been successfully completed prior to graduation. The completed portfolio is presented in RPTA 101.

Requirements - Minor

Units required for the Minor: 21, all of which must be taken in Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration. At least 12 units must be upper division, with at least 9 upper division units taken in residence. A grade of "C-" or better is required in all upper division courses applied to the minor.

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

A. Required Courses (12 units)

(3) Select 3 units from the following:

 

RPTA 30

Recreation, Parks and Tourism in Contemporary Society

 

RPTA 100

Recreation and Leisure Lifestyle Development

 

RPTA 122

Perspectives on Leisure (GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70/71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X)

(9) Select 9 units from the following:

 

RPTA 32

Leadership and Group Development

 

RPTA 42

Recreational Use of Natural Resources

 

RPTA 105

Management in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism (RPTA 30 or instructor permission)

 

RPTA 106

Introduction to Inclusive Recreation and Recreation Therapy

 

RPTA 136

Program and Event Planning in Recreation, Parks and Tourism (RPTA 32)

 

RPTA 166

Administration in Recreation, Parks and Tourism (RPTA 105)

B. Electives (9 Units)

(9)

Minor electives in Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration chosen in conjunction with a minor advisor. Minor electives may include additional coursework from required courses listed in A above, but only one of RPTA 100 and RPTA 122 (not both) may be counted toward the minor. Minor electives may not include RPTA 1, RPTA 101, RPTA 109, RPTA 110, RPTA 195 series course (B, C, D, or E), RPTA 198. With minor advisor approval, up to 3 units of RPTA 199 may be applied to the minor.

GRADUATE PROGRAM

The graduate program leading to the Master of Science degree in Recreation Administration offers diversified opportunities for study. Through individual counseling, graduate students are able to develop a course of study for advanced work in areas which complement previous experience and training. There is sufficient flexibility in the program to allow students to pursue their individual areas of interest.

Core program objectives are designed to encourage a climate of inquiry and research. Specifically, all students should gain the ability to:

  • critically analyze and identify problems;
  • develop and utilize appropriate research or inquiry methods of problem solving;
  • report clearly and succinctly the results of problem-focused research or inquiry;
  • understand the philosophical, historical, and scientific foundations and developments in leisure service systems; and
  • identify and demonstrate the values of leisure and recreation to the individual, the community, and society at large.

Career competencies are dependent upon the professional goal of each student. Hence, these vary. After career objectives have been clarified, individual students usually will be educated to:

  • develop valid and reliable measures of program evaluation based on theoretical constructs and practical field requirements;
  • develop efficient, effective, and meaningful procedures for assessing recreation needs and for allocating resources;
  • identify and demonstrate effective decision making processes in leisure service systems; and
  • demonstrate an effective interpretation of leisure and recreation data, findings, and procedures, and communicate these in personal and professional environments.

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student in Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration requires:

  • a baccalaureate degree in Recreation Administration;
  • a minimum 2.75 GPA overall and a minimum 3.0 GPA in the major;
  • a detailed resume;
  • three letters of recommendation; and
  • a writing sample/personal statement.

A student with a baccalaureate degree from another discipline may be admitted to conditionally classified standing and complete certain designated courses in Recreation Parks & Tourism Administration, totaling 15 additional units (as determined by a faculty advisor), in order to acquire the academic background necessary to qualify for classified standing. A student from another discipline who wishes to qualify for state and/or national registration as a therapeutic recreation specialist may need to take additional coursework.

Admission Procedures

Applications are accepted as long as room for new students exists and the Office of Graduate Studies is still accepting applications. Prospective students should be aware that there is no spring admission. All prospective graduate students, including Sacramento State graduates, must file the following with the Office of Graduate Studies, River Front Center 206, (916) 278-6470, www.csus.edu/gradstudies/:

  • an online application for admission; and
  • one set of official transcripts from each college and/or university attended, other than Sacramento State.

For more admissions information and application deadlines please visit http://www.csus.edu/gradstudies/.

At the same time each applicant must send to the Graduate Coordinator in Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration:

  • a detailed resume, including education and employment histories;
  • unofficial transcripts of all previous academic work; and
  • 3 recent letters of reference that address academic ability and professionalism.

Approximately six weeks after receipt of all items listed above, a decision regarding admission will be mailed to the applicant.

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy, indicating a proposed program of graduate study. This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least 12 units in the graduate program with a minimum 3.0 GPA;
  • obtained advisor's preliminary approval of thesis or project proposal (thesis and project students only); and
  • taken the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or taken a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver.

Advancement to Candidacy forms are available in the Office of Graduate Studies. The student fills out the form after planning a degree program in consultation with a Recreation Parks & Tourism Administration advisor. The completed form is then returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Requirements - Master of Science - Recreation Administration

Units required for the MS: 30

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

A. Required Courses (12 units)

(3)

RPTA 200

Foundation of Leisure Concepts and Application

(3)

RPTA 202

Policies, Issues and Problems in Recreation, Parks and Tourism

(3)

RPTA 203

Advanced Administration in Recreation, Parks and Tourism

(3)

RPTA 204

Advanced Research Methods in Recreation, Parks and Tourism (RPTA 200, RPTA 202, and graduate advisor approval)

B. Electives (15 units)

Elective coursework is selected with the prior consent of the student's academic advisor to satisfy the following:

  • No more than 6 units of any combination of RPTA 295 and RPTA 299 may be counted towards the degree.
  • No more than 6 units of coursework may be taken outside of RPTA (students who have not previously completed an undergraduate major in Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration must have the prior consent of the Graduate Coordinator before taking coursework outside RPTA).
  • At least 6 units of elective coursework must be at the 200 level (for a total of at least 18 units of 200 level coursework in the degree program).
C. Culminating Requirement (3 units)

(3)

RPTA 500A

Culminating Experience: Thesis (Advanced to candidacy and permission of graduate coordinator) OR

(3)

RPTA 500B

Culminating Experience: Project (Advanced to candidacy and permission of graduate coordinator) OR

(3)

RPTA 500C

Culminating Experience: Comprehensive Examination (Advanced to candidacy and permission of graduate coordinator)

Career Possibilities

Recreation Therapist · Recreation Administrator · Event Planner · Conference Center Manager · Campus Recreation Facilities Manager · Recreation Program Planner · Intramural Sports Coordinator · Environmental Interpreter · Hotel Manager · Park Manager · Park Ranger · Outdoor Recreation Specialist · Camp Supervisor · Recreation Resources Manager · Community Center Director · ADA/Inclusion Consultant · Employee Recreation Manager · Fitness Club Manager · Vacation Resort Manager · Ski Resort Manager · Water Park Manager · Amusement Park Manager · Entertainment Facility Manager · Leisure Products · Resort Sales Representative · Recreation Specialist · Recreation Supervisor · Leisure Educator

Faculty

Beth Erickson, Steven Gray, Lisa Jorgensen, B. Dana Kivel, Katherine Pinch, David Rolloff, Greg Shaw, Tony Sheppard

Contact Information

Greg Shaw, Department Chair
Geraldine Nicholson, Administrative Support Coordinator
Solano Hall 4000
(916) 278-6752; FAX (916) 278-3866
www.csus.edu/hhs/RPTA



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