Shepherd University Reaches Milestone
The Recreation Program Bachelor of Science Degree at Shepherd University has reached a national milestone. On October 13, 2014 the Recreation and Sport Studies Department achieved national accreditation through the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT http://www.nrpa.org/coaprt/). COAPRT is the academic accreditation body within the National Recreation and Parks Association. COAPRT evaluates college and university programs in regards to how they meet and/or exceed stated criteria of educational quality. These criteria are within the areas of faculty, mission, vision, strategic plan, curriculum, assessment plan, program outcomes, institution organization, institution treatment of the program, student involvement, and instructional resources.
Achieving national accreditation provides the students not only with a degree from an accredited program but also the opportunity to sit for the Certified Parks and Recreation Professional exam immediately upon graduation giving them a “leg up” on the ever growing competitive job market. Achieving accreditation provides the hiring agency the confidence that their new employee has received the highest quality of education and has been taught all the essential core material for a recreation professional. Currently, the Recreation Program at Shepherd University is the only accredited recreation program in the state of West Virginia. Striving to lead the way!
Recreation and Leisure Studies Program Mission
The Recreation Baccalaureate Degree in the HPERS department at Shepherd University focuses on the management of Recreation and Leisure Services. The curriculum consists of core courses that prepare students for a variety of careers in the recreation/sport field. Within this program are seven (6) specializations: Sport and Event Management; Public Recreation and Park Administration; Sport Marketing; Therapeutic Recreation; Sport Communications; and Athletic Coaching and Officiating. Accreditation is sought for the professional program only.
Recreation and Leisure Studies Program Learning Outcomes
- Students shall demonstrate entry-level knowledge of the histories, philosophies, and various professions associated with Recreation and Leisure. (Related to COAPRT Standard 7.01).
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of current issues and trends in the Recreation and Leisure Services discipline (7.01).
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of inclusion and diversity in the recreation, leisure, and sport industry (7.02).
- Students will possess the ability to design, plan, implement, and evaluate a variety of programs and activities in fields of recreation, sport, outdoor recreation and/or therapeutic Recreation (7.02).
- Seniors will demonstrate an understanding of programmatic and facility management/administration in recreation, leisure, and sport (7.03)
- Students will effectively identify and demonstrate leadership qualities needed in the Recreation and Leisure Studies work place (7.03).
- Graduates will successfully complete an intensive internship receiving favorable feedback in the areas of professionalism, programming, and management (7.04).
Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT)
“COAPRT recognizes academic programs in colleges and universities that prepare new professionals to enter the parks, recreation tourism and related professions. COAPRT Accreditation is a status granted to an academic program that meets or exceeds stated criteria of educational quality. In the United States, accreditation of professional preparation curricula is conferred by non-governmental bodies, which are often closely assocatied with professional associations in the field. COAPRT accredits baccalaureate degree programs in this profession“. (Retrieved from COAPRT)
Important Information Regarding Degree Mills
Please watch this important video (http://youtu.be/a1voHNMQDrk) regarding degree and accreditation mills. According to CHEA, “Degree mills and accreditation mills mislead and harm. In the United States, degrees and certificates from mills may not be acknowledged by other institutions when students seek to transfer or go to graduate school. Employers may not acknowledge degrees and certificates from degree mills when providing tuition assistance for continuing education. “Accreditation” from an accreditation mill can mislead students and the public about the quality of an institution. In the presence of degree mills and accreditation mills, students may spend a good deal of money and receive neither an education nor a useable credential.” Read more on CHEA’s website (http://www.chea.org/degreemills/). COAPRT is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Association