The Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions (COAPRT).
As accrediting body, COAPRT is accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).COAPRT standard 2.05.05 requires programs to report aggregated data and additional evidence reflecting program academic quality and student achievement. Results for the most recent academic year (AY 2020-20121) follow:
- Outcome 1 from Standard 7.01: Obtain a richer understanding of procedures and techniques commonly utilized for the assessment of leisure needs.
- Outcome 1 Assessment Method: As a culmination of students’ efforts in conducting a needs assessment on a local recreation and leisure organization, students produce a comprehensive facility plan. The following project requires that students gather data from multiple sources and research the type of facility that characterizes their partner organization. With the data garnered, students interpret the results, create a set of recommendations for their partner organization, and create a comprehensive facility plan report. The comprehensive facility plan report serves as one indicator of students’ comprehension of the stated learning outcome.
- Outcome 1 Result: In 2020, 89% of students scored a 73% or higher on the assignment. The overall mean grade earned by students for the assignment was an 84.1%.
- Outcome 2 from Standard 7.02: Understand inclusive practices as they apply to the design and operation of recreation programs, services and facilities.
- Outcome 2 Assessment Method: Students must develop and submit a program plan that reflects an original inclusive recreation program that is at least two hours in length. Evaluation of the program plan occurs through a designated rubric that draws from specific required assignment components.
- Outcome 2 Result: In 2020, 90% of the students scored at or above 73% on the assignment. The overall mean grade for the assignment was an 81%.
- Outcome 3 from Standard 7.03: Identify a variety of resources involved in managing recreation facilities that can assist a facility in becoming more financially and environmentally sustainable.
- Outcome 3 Assessment Method: To meet the following learning outcome, students carry out a basic energy audit that evaluates energy consumption. Reviews of this type have become an important evaluative tool for recreational organizations that are looking to reduce their energy consumption and achieve a certain level of cost savings. Students' efforts involve obtaining building demographic information, collecting energy usage data for a two-week period, calculating utility costs for current light sources and energy-efficient alternatives, and a payback period for proposed changes.
- Outcome 3 Result: In 2020, 75% of students scored at or above 73% on the assignment. The overall mean grade for the assignment was an 84%.
CHEA requires accredited institutions to inform the public about "degree and accreditation mills." Cautions concerning these are summarized in a video that can be viewed on the CHEA website.
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 or program. 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.