Apr 20, 2024  
2013-2014 Catalog 
2013-2014 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Recreation, BA

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Department of Physical Education, Health & Recreation, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

66 credits

Introduction/What is the Study of Recreation?

The purpose of recreation and leisure is to contribute to the health and well being of individuals and to enhance the quality of community life. As such, the study of Recreation is multidisciplinary, requiring understanding of the social, behavioral, physical, and environmental sciences as they pertain to helping people grow and develop in their leisure while conserving our vital natural resources. Knowledge of the arts and humanities is important as well, because leisure is one of the most fertile opportunities for self-expression and the development of community.

In support of healthy individuals, families, and communities, career opportunities in recreation and leisure services are numerous and diverse. The Recreation curriculum prepares students to design, implement, manage, lead, and evaluate recreation programs and services. The program is designed as four sequential 15-16 credit hour blocks of classes (phases) with students moving through the program as a cohort group. Students enter Phase 1 of the program during spring quarter, typically during their sophomore or junior year. The following schedule shows the sequential order of the four program phases:

- Fall Winter Spring Summer
Freshman - - - -
Sophomore - - I -
Junior - II III or III
Senior IV - - -

The phase system allows maximum flexibility for scheduling students’ educational experience to include workshops, field experiences, conferences and seminars both on and off campus. By making use of other departments at Western, statewide recreation resources, and recreation professionals, students are provided with exposure to a wide variety of experiential and service-learning opportunities.

Why Consider a Recreation Major? 

Recreation and leisure contribute to the health and well being of individuals and their communities. Graduates of the Recreation Program are employed throughout the region, nation and world in a variety of settings, including public recreation departments, outdoor recreation programs, hospitals, and tourism agencies. Specific jobs performed by graduates include working as recreation therapists, organizing and leading outdoor adventure trips, managing youth-serving agencies, such as Boys and Girls Clubs, supervising public sports programs, coordinating community cultural arts, operating eco-tourism trips, and serving as park rangers with state and federal agencies. Some graduates have found their degrees useful for work in fields such as social work, the ministry and law enforcement.

The Recreation Program emphasizes preparation in the broad areas of outdoor recreation, community recreation, therapeutic recreation, and tourism. Community and outdoor recreation graduates find employment in federal and state recreation and park agencies, county and community recreation departments, non-profit agencies, and commercial recreation settings. Therapeutic recreation graduates find employment in hospitals; senior centers; nursing homes; mental health agencies; community recreation departments; and federal, state, and private agencies serving persons with disabilities or other adapted recreation needs. Graduates prepared in tourism plan and lead trips worldwide or work in destination planning.

The Recreation Program is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation. Students should inquire directly to the Recreation Program office in Old Carver 6 for current information on admission procedures.


 Contact Information

Recreation Program Coordinator
Outdoor Recreation/
General Recreation
Keith Russell, Professor
Carver Gymnasium 6

Community Recreation/
Outdoor Recreation

Randall Burtz, Associate Professor
Carver Gymnasium 6

Jasmine Goodnow, Assistant Professor
Carver Gymnasium 6

Recreation Program Secretary
Katey Roemmele
Carver Gymnasium 6

Therapeutic Recreation
Charles Sylvester, Professor
Carver Gymnasium 107

Tourism/Therapeutic Recreation
Jill Heckathorn, Senior Instructor
Carver Gymnasium 6

 Sample Careers

Recreation Therapist | Outdoor Adventure Leader | Youth Programs Coordinator | Eco-tourism Operator | Park Ranger

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

First priority is given to students who have submitted applications by the first Thursday in November during fall quarter. After this date, consideration is given to applicants on a case-by-case basis. However, the program is popular and the number of majors admitted is limited, so students are encouraged to apply by the deadline. Students interested in the program should contact the Recreation Program in Old Carver 6 if they have any questions about available space and the application process. Students must have completed 45 quarter unit credits, including approved transfer credits, before starting Phase I. The deadline also applies to transfer students. Transfer students are urged to contact the Recreation Program for guidance and further information. A minor in Recreation is not offered presently.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.

Support Area

Recreation majors must develop a 25-credit support area. Support areas may range from traditional minors (e.g., sociology, environmental studies, business, and other fields) to interdisciplinary studies incorporating courses from a broader spectrum of University course offerings. The interdisciplinary support area is designed under the guidance of the student’s faculty advisor and must have the advisor’s final approval.

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