The goal of the Department of Recreation and Parks Management
is to prepare liberally educated individuals whose philosophical
and practical approaches to the provision of recreation services
and facilities are based on the latest methods and techniques. Students
learn to be inquisitive and receptive to varying points of view,
proficient in a broad spectrum of software and skilled in multiple
modalities of communication and interpersonal relations. Graduates
will have the ability to motivate and to help others enrich their
lives through the constructive use of leisure.
Students develop appropriate professional capabilities and attitudes required
for work in a variety of settings. They learn to advise customers and to
organize, plan, budget, and manage both leisure services and recreation
and park resources. The use of technology to enhance the provision of leisure
services has become a distinguishing characteristic of graduates.
The department offers the bachelors and masters degrees, and minors in
Recreation Administration and Tourism. Preparation is provided within the
major for four distinct degree options. Within these options, students
may further focus their training into special areas. For example, students
within the Option in Community/Commercial Recreation and Tourism may specialize
in public, volunteer, private, commercial, entrepreneurial, resort management,
military, and employee services recreation. Those with an Option in Parks
and Natural Resources Management select environmental education and interpretation,
recreation and natural resource management, park operations, and planning
and design as areas of concentration. The Option in Resort and Lodging
Management focuses on communication skills, market analysis, human resource
management, lodging operations, and food and beverage management. The Option
in Therapeutic Recreation stresses clinical and community-based recreation
for persons with physical, emotional, and developmental disabilities.
General preparation and core courses cover the following areas: principles,
philosophies, values, and foundations of recreation; career opportunities
and requirements; leadership and supervision; organization and management;
human behavior, recreation for special populations, recreation resources,
motivation and promotion; business and finance; applied research; and the
environment. In addition, specialized courses and practical experience
in each option prepare those majoring in the program to compete and perform
successfully in areas of special interest. The department manages three
different computer labs to ensure that students have access to a wide range
of technological tools.
Fieldwork is offered in various recreation and resource settings, and students
serve full-time internships with public recreation agencies, private or
commercial recreation businesses, hotels and resorts, therapeutic programs,
or parks and natural resource-related agencies.
The Department of Recreation and Parks Management has one of the largest
and most respected programs of its kind in the nation. The program is accredited
by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) and has four distinct
options for students. A diverse and dedicated faculty strive to ensure
the best professional education for program majors, minors, and graduate
students. Interested students are encouraged to work with faculty on a
wide variety of projects.
Recreation is the second-largest industry in the United States. While no
university degree automatically ensures employment, Chico graduates who
have tailored their programs and work experience to market opportunities
have done very well in securing relevant career positions. It is the departments
goal to develop and maintain close ties to the profession to help our students
be leading candidates for jobs upon graduation.