Illinois State University
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Kinesiology & Recreation - Applied Community & Economic Development

The applied community and economic development (ACED) sequence is an interdisciplinary program that enables those who are passionate about social change through service to take their careers to the next level. The sequence is designed for returned Peace Corps Volunteers and students with other development experiences (e.g., AmeriCorps, nonprofit work). The Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development coordinates these programs for Fellows, who spend an intense year on campus followed by 11-month paid professional practice. ACED sequence students have a graduate assistantship in the fall and spring semesters on campus prior to field work. Students pursuing this sequence receive a solid and relevant educational opportunity to pursue careers in community and economic development in the United States and around the world.


Kinesiology & Recreation - Applied Community & Economic Development Faculty and Research Interests

Brent Beggs, Ph.D., Indiana University
Recreational sports, field experiences, and leisure behavior

Dan Elkins, Ph.D., Indiana University
Social psychological aspects of leisure behavior, factors contributing to non-participation in leisure activities

Amy Hurd, Ph.D., Indiana University
Management and competencies in professional development in leisure service agencies

Tracy Mainieri, Ph.D., Clemson University
Exploring summer camp as an avenue to youth civic development

Michael Mulvaney, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Human resource management functions in park and recreation agencies, public park and recreation management trends and issues, strategic planning, bridge employment in recreation.

Barbara Schlatter, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Recreation program and event planning

Admission to the Applied Community & Economic Development Sequence

University Requirements

A student applying to a master's program must:

  • have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year
  • present official transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. Transcripts can be emailed from the university to Admissions@IllinoisState.eduor mailed in a sealed envelope to: Office of Admissions, 201 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 2200, Normal, IL 61790-2200

International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.

Additional Program Requirements

A student applying to this program must:

  • have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for either the last 60 hours of  undergraduate coursework or 9+ hours of coursework in a master's program
  • have successfully completed an undergraduate economics class. Students who do not meet this requirement may still be admitted into the program, but they will be expected to take this course prior to beginning graduate study.
  • submit a current resume
  • submit a two-page statement of purpose describing why they would like to be in the kinesiology and recreation - applied community & economic development graduate sequence at Illinois State University
  • submit a sample of their academic writing
  • submit names and e-mail addresses of three references for letters of recommendation within the online application
  • submit one of the following:
    • Letter of Service submitted to Stevenson Center (Applied Community & Economic Development Fellows Program)
    • Official Description of Service submitted to Stevenson Center (Peace Corps Fellows Program)

Applicants who submit all materials according to the posted instructions and by the posted deadlines, and whose materials indicate potential for success in their chosen program, will complete a required interview (by phone or in person).

Interested individuals may apply to only one of the applied community and economic development programs at a time.

Dates and Deadlines



Fall (August)

February 1


Graduate Assistantship Information

The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.


To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,

  • be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
  • be in good-standing
  • be qualified to teach in the School of KNR Active For Life program
  • be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).


Graduate assistants receive

  • monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
  • a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
  • a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment


Applied Community & Economic Development Curriculum

Research Core - 6 hours

  • KNR 497, Introduction to Research Methods
  • KNR 445, Statistics in Applied Science and Technology

Recreation Administration - 6 hours

  • KNR 474, Concepts and Theories of Leisure and Recreation (Odd, fall)
  • KNR 473, Trends in Issues in Leisure and Recreation (Even, fall)
  • KNR 475, Management of Sport and Recreation (Even, spring)
  • KNR 466, Marketing of Sport and Recreation

ACED Sequence – 10 hours

  • POL/SOA 470, Seminar in Community Development                         
  • POL/SOA 477, Community Project Design and Management       
  • ECO 490.04, Seminar in Local Economic Development
  • ECO/POL/SOA 478, Topics in Administration and Planning          

Culminating Experience

KNR 498, Professional Practice, 5 hours

Pattern of Coursework

Fall Spring Summer Fall/Spring/Summer
497, 3 hrs 445, 3 hrs ECO/POL/SOA 478, 2 hrs 498.30 Professional Practice, 5 hrs
473 or 474, 3 hrs ECO 490.04, 2 hrs KNR 400, 3 hrs  
POL/SOC 470, 3 hrs 466 or 475, 3 hrs  
POL/SOC 477, 3 hrs 381, 3 hrs  

Questions about Applied Community & Economic Development? Contact Beverly A. Beyer, Associate Director, Stevenson Center, (309) 438-7090.

Recreation Administration Graduate Students

Career Opportunities

Mid to upper-level administration positions in:

  • Park districts and recreation and park departments
  • County, state, and national parks
  • Tourism and/or convention & visitors bureaus
  • Commercial and resort businesses

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Kinesiology and Recreation
Campus Box 5120
250 McCormick Hall
Normal, Il 61790-5120
Phone: (309) 438-8661
Fax: (309) 438-5559

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