Sports and Lifestyle Studies
Major code: BS5512
The Sport and Lifestyle Studies program is a liberal arts degree which focuses on preparing students for entry level positions in sports and recreation. The interdisciplinary approach provides a foundation in understanding sport, recreation and health/wellness along with developing basic skills in leadership and management. Through the choice of a required minor or certificate program, students can tailor the degree towards their personal interests, as well as their projected community needs, thus enhancing their potential to meet job market demands.
Opportunities Upon Graduation
Graduates of the Sport and Lifestyle Studies program will be prepared for entry-level positions in a variety of sport and activity settings including coaching, youth sports leagues, senior centers, nursing homes, community recreation centers, commercial recreation settings, and government parks and recreation departments. Recreation-related jobs are expected to increase by nearly 14% or “about as fast as average” through 2022. Additional certifications will enhance the B.S. in Sport & Lifestyle Studies graduate’s employment potential.
What can you do with a degree in sport and lifestyle studies?
The Sport and Lifestyle Studies degree prepares students for a variety of positions in the sport and recreation field. With its emphasis on leadership, critical thinking and communication, the degree is transferable to many other industries as well.
Sport and recreation workers design and lead leisure activities for groups in volunteer agencies or recreation facilities, such as parks, camps, aquatic centers, fitness centers and senior centers. They may lead activities such as arts and crafts, sports, adventure programs, music, and camping. The specific responsibilities of recreation workers vary greatly with their job title, their level of training, and the state they work in. Supervisory positions may require at least a master’s degree in parks and recreation, business administration, or public administration. The following are examples of types of sport and recreation workers.
The specific responsibilities of recreation workers vary greatly with their job title, their level of training, and the state they work in. Supervisory positions may require at least a master’s degree in parks and recreation, business administration, or public administration. The following are examples of types of recreation workers:
Camp directors typically supervise camp counselors, plan camp activities or programs, and do the administrative tasks that keep the camp running. Directors may also be involved in fund-raising, public relations, and community engagement.
Activity specialists provide instruction and coaching primarily in one activity, such as dance, swimming, or tennis. These workers may work in camps, aquatic centers, community recreation centers, or anywhere else where there is interest in a single activity.
Recreation leaders are responsible for a recreation program’s daily operation. They primarily organize and direct participants, schedule the use of facilities, set up and keep records of equipment use, and ensure that recreation facilities and equipment are used and maintained properly. They may lead classes and provide instruction in a recreational activity, such as kayaking or golf.
Recreation supervisors oversee recreation leaders. They often serve as a point of contact between the director of a park or recreation center and the recreation leaders. Some supervisors also may direct special activities or events or oversee a major activity, such as aquatics, gymnastics, or one or more performing arts.
Directors of recreation and parks develop and manage comprehensive recreation programs in parks, playgrounds, and other settings. Directors usually serve as technical advisors to state and local recreation and park commissions and may be responsible for recreation and park budgets.
Sport Coaches often begin part-time and may increase to full-time work. Coaching at the professional level will require an advance degree and internships.
Fitness Instructors lead classes or one-on-one personal training as independent contractors or may be hired full-time for a fitness center. Additional certification is typically required.
Event planners work in a variety of settings from hotels and resorts to wedding venues. Large convention centers will employ event planners to coordinate the scheduling of programs and activities.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Recreation Workers,on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/recreation-workers.htm (visited October 10, 2015).