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Recreation and Leisure Studies Major Guide for 2009-2010

What is Recreation and Leisure Studies

The program in Recreation and Leisure Studies (RLS) at the University of Tennessee prepares students for management and leadership positions in public and private recreation and leisure related agencies and venues. Leisure services management includes, but is not limited to, public and commercial entities, event management, and, resorts, as well as therapeutic recreation settings. The RLS curriculum is one of only two programs in the state of Tennessee that is accredited in general recreation by the National Recreation and Park Association’s Council on Accreditation. Students who choose the concentration in commercial recreation/administration gain knowledge, develop a high degree of professional commitment, and gain practical experience to provide leadership in the changing environment of managing complex leisure systems. A business minor is built into the degree requirements.

A concentration in therapeutic recreation prepares students for employment in management and leadership positions with agencies that deliver health care services and communities that offer therapeutic recreation services. Students will become proficient in using recreation experiences to treat patients with illnesses, disabilities, or social problems, and help them achieve an independent and satisfying lifestyle.

Career Opportunities in Recreation and Leisure Studies

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the leisure services industry will be one of the fastest growing and most stable industries in the near future. Graduates with a concentration in recreation administration will find employment opportunities in a variety of settings such, convention and visitors bureaus, resorts, theme parks, corporate sector, federal, state and local recreation and park agencies, voluntary and religious organizations. Those in therapeutic recreation must fulfill the eligibility requirements for certification by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification which qualifies them to secure employment in physical rehabilitation units, children’s hospitals, public and private schools, nursing homes, independent living centers, psychiatric institutions, drug and alcohol treatment centers, group homes, and community parks and recreation departments.

Salary Trends in Recreation and Leisure Studies

Salaries in the leisure services industry vary greatly depending upon the specific area of the industry as well as the geographic location in which one chooses to work. Other factors which may influence earnings are level of education, experience and the specific occupation in the area. Those employed in leadership and supervisory positions average $32,000-$56,000 per year. Those employed in upper-level management positions in public recreation, youth-serving agencies, and the corporate sector, can easily earn six figure incomes. Recreational therapists’ salaries range from $30,000 (entry-level positions) to $65,000 (administrators).

High School Preparation

The best high school preparation involves gaining as much voluntary experience as possible in one’s chosen area of interest in the broad leisure services industry. Students may choose to volunteer at hospitals, nursing homes, work for public parks and recreation departments or YMCAs, YWCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc.  Students should also take the appropriate and necessary courses for admission to the University of Tennessee.  The Recreation Administration concentration includes a minor in Business Administration; it is important to take a variety of college preparatory mathematics courses to develop the mathematical skills necessary to be successful in this major.

How to Major in Recreation and Leisure Studies

Students must meet all university, college and department requirements and must contact the College of Education, Health & Human Sciences Office of Student Services (865-974-8194) to declare a major in RLS. Students must hold a 2.5 GPA in order to declare a major in RLS.

Requirements for Recreation and Leisure Studies

  • A minimum 2.5 GPA is required for college affiliation and progression to and retention in the major.
  • Each student must complete a professional internship (those with TR concentrations must complete an internship with a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).

Recreation Administration students are highly encouraged to take the national certification examination the final semester of their senior year and become recognized as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP). This credential, offered by the National Recreation and Park Association, greatly increases the marketability of the student.

Therapeutic Recreation students are highly encouraged to take the national certification examination the final semester of their senior year and become recognized as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).  This credential, offered by National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, greatly increases the marketability of the student.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

Students in the recreation and leisure studies program are offered many opportunities for experience in the field.  All students must complete two practica, RLS 290 and 390, which are supervised practica in approved agencies offering field placements in recreation administration and therapeutic recreation settings. Each hour of credit requires 50 clock hours of work. Students must then complete a professional internship during their senior year. They will experience full-time practice for 12–15 weeks in an approved recreation/leisure setting that emphasizes supervisory and administrative procedures.

Those with a TR concentration must complete an internship with a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). The internship is designed to meet the students’ needs and interests, develop professional competencies, apply concepts and theories, and provide a means of evaluation in terms of professional preparation, goals and aspirations.

Various agencies in the Knoxville area that offer RLS students opportunities for internships include:
Boys and Girls Clubs, Knoxville Parks and Recreation, Farragut Leisure Services, Knoxville Senior Centers, Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, Peninsula Hospital, Corner Stone of Recovery

Highlights of Recreation and Leisure Studies

Students have opportunities to enhance their experience by attending various professional conferences as well as volunteering at various camps for persons with disabilities. Camp Koinonia, a key element of the RLS program at UT, is a week-long residential outdoor education program for children, ages 7–21, who have a variety of disabilities, including hearing impairment, visual impairment, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and autism. The program is organized, planned, and conducted by 150 University of Tennessee students as part of a course requirement. At camp, the children have the opportunity to participate in many different activities they might not normally have the opportunity to experience, such as horseback riding, swimming, kickball, and ropes courses.  Ropes courses are experiential adventure programs, which offer groups and individuals the opportunity to participate in a series of activities involving mental, physical, and emotional risk taking.  Other camps in which RLS students are able to participate include: Camp Koinonia II, a camp for young adults with disabilities, Camp Clubhouse for children with spina bifida, and Vision Camp for children with visual impairments.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

Recreation and Leisure is one of the world’s top industries. Everyone regardless of nationality has a need to recreate. Our program prepares students with coursework and applied experience in identifying and addressing the needs of diverse learners including English language learners. Our Recreation and Leisure Studies’ majors also have the option to complete their field placements (practicums and internships) abroad.  Students interested in study abroad can talk with their academic advisor about possibilities.

Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.

Sample Curriculum

Recreation and Leisure Administration Concentration
(Accredited in General Recreation by NRPA/AALR)

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English 101*, 102* 6
Mathematics 125* or 141* 3
Statistics 201* 3
Cultures and Civilizations Electives* 6
Arts and Humanities* 6
Recreation & Leisure Studies 201  4
Recreation & Leisure Studies 100 1
Communication Studies 210* or 240* 3
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Accounting 200 3
1 English Elective* 3
Economics 201* 4
Recreation & Leisure Studies 320 3
Business Administration 201 4
Recreation & Leisure Studies 290 2
General Elective 3
Natural Sciences Electives* 7-8
Junior Year Credit Hours
Recreation & Leisure Studies 310, 415 6
Sport Management 450, 370; Recreation & Leisure Studies 440 6
Recreation & Leisure Studies 390 2
Health 310 3
Marketing 300 3
Finance 300 3
Management 300 3
Safety 443; Forestry 321, 423; Political
Science 330, 340; Hotel and Restaurant
Administration 425
3
Senior Year Credit Hours
Social Sciences Elective* 3
Recreation & Leisure Studies 410, 430 3
Electives 9
Recreation & Leisure Studies 490 12
GRAND TOTAL 120-121

*Meets University General Education Requirement.
 1 Must be a Communicating through Writing (WC) course.

Therapeutic Recreation Concentration (Accredited in General Recreation by NRPA/AALR)

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English 101*, 102* 6
Quantitative Reasoning Electives* 6
Chemistry 100* & 110* or 120* & 130* 8
Child and Family Studies 210* 3
Recreation & Leisure Studies 201 4
Psychology 110* 3
Recreation & Leisure Studies 100 1
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Classics 273 3
Biochemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology 230 5
Communication Studies 210* or 240* 3
Health 310 3
Recreation & Leisure Studies 290 2
Recreation & Leisure Studies 320, 325 6
Philosophy 246 * 3
Cultures and Civilizations Electives* 6
TOTAL 31
Junior Year Credit Hours
Exercise Science 332 or Ecology & Evolutionary Biology 240 3-4
Psychology 330 3
1 Professional Support Course Electives 3
Arts and Humanities Electives* 6
Recreation & Leisure Studies 310, 425 6
Recreation & Leisure Studies 390 2
Sport Studies 290 3
Electives 5
2 Any 400-level course from RLS, Psychology, Health, Sociology, Special Education, or Exercise Science 3
Senior Year Credit Hours
Psychology (400 level) 3
Recreation & Leisure Studies 410, 420, 430 9
3 Recreation & Leisure Studies 490 12
Electives 5
GRAND TOTAL 122-123

* Meets General Education Requirements
1 Courses must be in addition to those specified for the major and must be elected from:
Child and Family Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Health, Safety, Recreation & Leisure Studies, Special Education, Human Services, Exercise Science, Sport Studies.
2 Must select one course from this group.
3 Must meet guidelines for national NCTRC certification.

For More Information

Larry Brown
Internship Coordinator
Recreation and Leisure Studies
lybrown@utk.edu
974-1285

 

Note

The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.