Sport and Recreation Professions

Major in Recreation and Leisure Studies

Within the framework of the liberal arts, the mission of the Sport and Recreation Professions Department is to educate students as informed consumers, skilled professionals, and advocates of sport, recreation and leisure services throughout their personal and professional lives. By providing two Majors, the course offerings in Sport and Recreation Professions allow students to investigate the larger discipline and focus upon one of two Majors: Sport and Recreation Management, and Recreational Therapy.

The Department has been nationally accredited since 1984 by the National Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions. All students completing either major are eligible to take the national examination to be recognized as a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP). Students completing the Recreational Therapy Major and designated coursework are also eligible to take the national examination to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).

About The Program

council on accreditationThe primary purpose of the program is to provide both classroom and practical learning experiences in the study of sport, recreation, and leisure. Nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Park, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions, the department supports students studying one of two majors: Sport and Recreation Management and Recreational Therapy. The curriculum infuses practical learning opportunities with outside agencies—classroom work is reinforced through real-world experiences that allow students to hone their career preferences. The program is nationally recognized for its assessment, work with alumni and professionals, and for ensuring that all graduates are eligible to sit for the examination to become either a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist or a Certified Park and Recreation Professional.

Major: Sport and Recreation Management & Recreational Therapy (BA)
CTRS Certification Examination

Chair: Jill R. Sturts, PhD
School: D. Henry Watts School of Professional Studies

The Department of Sport and Recreation Professions requires a five-course “core” which provides the foundation for each student to pursue a major in Sport and Recreation Management or Recreational Therapy. The majors require eight additional specialization courses. All students are required to complete a final semester capstone internship. This semester- long internship allows the student to earn “real- world” experience and apply their coursework with an agency locally, nationally, or worldwide.

All students complete a final-semester internship with an agency of their choice, working with a faculty advisor to select an internship that mirrors their interests. This experience gives the student a competitive edge as they transition from college to the workplace or graduate studies. Students also have an opportunity to complete a Junior Internship—another practical experience to enhance their skills and resume.

Graduates secure employment in traditional recreation agencies such as the YMCA, state park and recreation departments, and campus recreation administration. They have also been employed in administration, teaching, sales, health care, consulting, law enforcement and more. Some students enter graduate school to study fields as diverse as education, sport management, theology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology.

VWU students share the aloha spirit with the Kipahulu Ohana, Maui, Hawaii, January 2019.

SRM 348: Maui Sea to Sky: Adventure Travel's Impact on Culture and The Environment

Description: This course examines the impact that adventure travel has on culture and the environment. To study the impact, students travel to Maui. These trips help students to understand how tourist activities affect culture, the economy, and preservation of the environment.
Destination: Maui, Hawaii
Course Dates: January Term 2020 (January 6-25, 2020)
Tentative Travel Dates: January 9-15, 2020
Estimated Course Travel Fee: $2,200

For more information, please contact Prof. Doug Kennedy (