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 2021-2022) 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 to students’ efforts in REC 4450: Research and Evaluation, students submit a comprehensive program evaluation plan. Students partner with a local recreation agency to develop an evaluation plan for one of the programs offered by their partnering agency. Development of the evaluation plan includes collecting background information on the agency, identifying program objectives, establishing clear methods for data collection and data analysis, and designing an evaluation tool that targets programmatic outcomes. The program evaluation plan serves as one indicator of students’ comprehension of the stated learning outcome.
- Outcome 1 Result: In 2021, 81% of students scored a 73% or higher on the assignment. The overall mean grade earned by students for the assignment was a 78%.
- 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: Working in small groups or as an individual, students create a program plan for an inclusive recreation activity program/session/series highlighting the needs of a particular identity marker that has been discussed in the course (age, race, ability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.). Regardless of their selection, all activity plans must include adaptations and plans for those individuals with physical disabilities and accessibility needs.
- Outcome 2 Result: In 2021, 100% of the students scored at or above 73% on the assignment. The overall mean grade for the assignment was a 91%.
- 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 develop a comprehensive programming plan. For the following project, students create 11 weeks of programming including a week for setting up and a week for clean-up in one of three areas: 1) a summer camp 2) a regional sports facility or 3) a community recreation center. Final projects are pitched to a panel of professionals and assessed a proportion of available points in rank order.
- Outcome 3 Result: In 2021, 88% of students scored at or above 73% on the assignment. The overall mean grade for the assignment was an 87%.
Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies – COAPRT Annual Report
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.