Illinois State University
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Recreation and Park Administration

Welcome to the Recreation and Park Administration program! Recreation is critical for healthy and stable communities.  Our faculty is committed to preparing students to deliver quality leisure and recreation experiences to citizens of all ages and skill levels in diverse community settings! 


The mission of the Recreation and Park Administration program is to promote the healthy use of leisure through exemplary teaching, focused research, and professional service.


Our students will graduate with a solid knowledge base, professionalism, and practical experience making them competitive, sought after employees in the field of leisure services.


  • Empowering self-confidence and cultivate critical thinking through assignments that require students to use critical thinking skills and implement the concepts learned in classes and from their experiences.
  • Providing a solid foundation in leisure theory and philosophy.
  • Assisting students in developing research and evaluation skills so they understand the significance of evidenced-based decision making.
  • Fostering in students the ability to program experiences for diverse populations, including socio- cultural factors and people with disabilities.
  • Providing opportunities for students to acquire practical experience through volunteerism, practicums, internships, and service learning.
  • Teaching students to develop a “big picture” approach to the profession by understanding trends and issues in the field through opportunities such as conference attendance, the RPA Symposium, and Parks and Recreation Society (PARS).
  • Remaining current and actively participate in local, state, national, and international professional organizations in order to continue to gain knowledge through professional development activities which will ultimately drive cutting edge curriculum.

RPA Strategic Plan 2014-2019 Read the plan here.

Students may choose from two sequences within the Recreation and Park Administration major:

To apply for acceptance into Recreation and Park Administration, visit the Apply to my Program link through Apply to My Program.

Nationally Accredited Since 1985

Council on Accreditation COAPRT

The Recreation and Park Administration undergraduate professional core and the Therapeutic Recreation sequence have been accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions for over 30 years. The Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions (COAPRT) accredits programs in parks, recreation, tourism, sport management, event management, therapeutic recreation, and leisure studies offered at regionally accredited institutions within the United States and its territories, and at nationally accredited institutions in Canada, and Mexico.

COAPRT standard 2.05.05 requires reporting of aggregated results of learning outcomes assessment. Results for the most recent academic year follow:

  • 99% of graduating seniors met or exceeded agency expectations during their culminating internships.
  • 98% of junior level students were able to successfully complete a program blueprint from start to finish demonstrating the ability to design recreation experiences.
  • 99% of students completing their senior internships demonstrated the ability to apply professional entry level concepts, principles, and management procedures in the field of parks, recreation, tourism, and related fields
  • Over the last three years, 88% of alumni who have taken the CPRP exam have passed which is 2% higher than the national average of other accredited programs.
  • Over the last three years, 89.4% of alumni who have taken the NCTRC exam have passed which is 5.4% higher than the national pass rate.
  • Additional evidence reflecting academic quality, student achievement, and 7.0 series aggregate data is available in the Recreation and Park Administration Assessment Report

Important information regarding degree mills:

Please watch this important video ( regarding degree and accreditation mills. According to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (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 when providing tuition assistance for continuing education. "Accreditation from an accreditation mill can mislead students and the public about the quality of an institution. 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."

Read more on CHEA's website (

Illinois State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Academic Advisement

Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation

Ms. Mindy Kinney
McCormick 250
(309) 438-5782

Ms. Daphyne Walker
McCormick 250
(309) 438-5782

ISU RPA in the News

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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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