About

Have you ever thought about making a living through which you can play to work? Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others using fun and recreation as a medium for personal growth?

ECU's BS in recreation and park management will provide you classroom, service-learning, and internship experiences where you will work with people in a wide range of settings. You'll learn how to plan and conduct programs, engage in marketing, supervise others, design recreation facilities, host special events, and engage in many other experiences putting recreation to work for others. Our field changes lives: We help make people happier, more fulfilled, and closer to friends and family. We also aim for a sustainable environment in all that we do.

The breadth of the field allows you to put your skills to work in a wide range of settings such as military recreation in the United States and abroad; tourism including cruise ships, major hotel lines, and tour companies; city parks and recreation departments running parks, sports, arts and crafts, theater, trips, and other programs; state parks; youth sports; festivals and special events; outdoor leadership; campus recreation; nonprofit agencies such as the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, and 4-H; organized camping; church recreation programs; and employee recreation services.

ECU Advantage

The recreation and park management degree at ECU is an excellent choice for those interested in being active, people-oriented, and flexible in schedule. Our program is one of only 84 parks and recreation degree programs in the United States that is nationally accredited.

The recreation and park management faculty are a student-oriented, professionally involved, and award-winning group of professionals who share a common goal to provide students with the very best educational experience possible to ready them for the workforce of tomorrow. You will find these faculty members highly committed to your success, the craft of teaching, and remaining on the cutting edge of the profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified the professions in parks, recreation, and leisure services as one of the fasted growing fields in the U.S.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Paige Viren (1408 Carol Belk Building; 252-737-2425; virenp14@ecu.edu)

The recreation and park management (RPM) program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Recreation, Parks, Tourism, and Related Professions. Students who want to declare a major in recreation and park management at the time of entrance into the degree need to have completed 30 s.h. of coursework at ECU or in transfer credits; possess a minimum overall GPA of 2.0; and have met with an adviser in the Health and Human Performance Advising Center (located in the Belk Annex). Following admission, the student is required to schedule a meeting with his or her RPM faculty advisor. Students majoring in recreation and park management must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA and a minimum cumulative 2.0 overall GPA in all core and restricted elective courses to remain in good standing. Majors must earn a minimum grade of C (2.0) in all required core RCLS prefix courses. If a course without the RCLS prefix is approved as a substitution for a required core RCLS prefix course, a minimum grade of C (2.0) must be earned. Students dropping below the required 2.0 GPA will not be allowed to enroll in any additional RCLS prefix courses until the GPA meets the 2.0 requirement. If a student receives a grade lower than a C (2.0) in a required core course, the student may re-take that course without meeting the 2.0 GPA requirements. Students graduating from the RPM program are eligible to sit for the national examination to become a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) and thereby acquire this valuable credential for professional advancement.

The minimum degree requirement is 121 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

    2. Core - 44 s.h.
    • RCLS 2000 - Foundations of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Studies
    • RCLS 2901 - Professional Seminar in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management I
    • RCLS 3003 - Recreation and Event Programming
    • RCLS 3004 - Recreation Programming Experience
    • RCLS 3131 - Recreation for Diverse Populations
    • RCLS 3901 - Professional Seminar in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management II
    • RCLS 4000 - Research Methods and Techniques
    • RCLS 4002 - Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration I
    • RCLS 4003 - Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration II
    • RCLS 4004 - Philosophical and Theoretical Issues in Leisure
    • RCLS 4080 - Recreation Facilities Management
    • RCLS 4111 - Recreation and Park Planning
    • RCLS 4901 - Recreation and Park Management Internship Pre-Placement Seminar
    • RCLS 4990 - Recreation and Park Management Internship
    3. Restricted electives - 21 s.h.

    (Choose from the following courses In consultation with the advisor.)

    • RCLS 2400 - Adventure-Based Program Leadership
    • RCLS 2600 - Outdoor Recreation Activities
    • RCLS 2601 - Leisure in Society
    • RCLS 3104 - Public and Non-Profit Recreation
    • RCLS 3120 - Commercial Recreation and Tourism
    • RCLS 3300 - Outdoor Recreation Programming
    • RCLS 3500 - Recreation Leadership and Group Process
    • RCLS 3501 - Recreation Leadership and Group Process Lab
    • RCLS 4090 - Aquatic Facilities Management
    • RCLS 4120 - Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Marketing
    • RCLS 4121 - Tourism Planning and Development
    • RCLS 4122 - Case Studies in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management
    • RCLS 4123 - Study Abroad in International Sustainability
    • RCLS 4124 - Study Abroad in Sustainable Tourism
    • RCLS 4130 - Recreational Sport Programming
    • RCLS 4170 - Youth Development Organizations and Services
    • RCLS 4800 - Great Smoky Mountains Outdoor Field Experience
    • Courses from an approved minor
    • Other courses as approved by the RPM degree director
    4. Electives to complete requirements for graduation.
      For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

      Careers With This Degree

      Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

      • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
      • Restaurants, Hotels and Hospitality
      • Recreation & Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary
      • Recreation Workers
      • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies

      Career Opportunities

      ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

      NC Tower

      This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

      • Self-employed;
      • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
      • Work outside of North Carolina.

      US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

      This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

      Degree-specific internships

      For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.

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