RCPT 210: Introduction to Recreation, Parks and Tourism

Radford University


Instructor:       Mark Wagstaff                                                Office:             Waldron 139  

Email:              mwagstaff@radford.edu                                Phone:             831-7724        

Office Hours:  Daily 10:00 -- Noon and by appointment

Class e-mail:    ru-rcpt210-01-spring@radford.edu                                                     


Welcome to the 2010 Spring  Semester at Radford University.  It is great to have you here.  I look forward to a successful semester!


1.     Course Content

There are two basic areas covered in this course.  First, the historical, psychological, social, and philosophical basis for the modern recreation, parks, and tourism industry will be examined.  It is important as a new professional, that you understand the profession - where we have been, how we started, and where we are going.  It is also important that you understand why and how we evolved into our current status.  The second focus will be on your development as a professional.  This will help you be successful in the rest of the curriculum, your internship, and professional roles.  Warning to non-majors: This class is designed as a professional development course for recreation, parks, and tourism majors.  It requires 25 hours of service-learning outside of the regular class and study time plus additional professional activities.  Non-majors should drop this class immediately.


2.            Goals of the Course

NRPA Accreditation Standards addressed in this course:

1.  Develop an understanding of the conceptual foundations of play, recreation, and leisure. (8.01)

2.  Understand the significance of play, recreation, and leisure in contemporary society. (8.02)

3.  Understand the history and development of the leisure profession. (8.06:01)

4.  Understand the evolution of current leisure service, professional organizations. (8.06:02)

5.  Understand the roles, interrelationships, and use of diverse delivery systems addressing recreation, parks and leisure. (8.09)

6.  Understand the economic impact of community leisure services. (8.12.02)


Additional outcomes addressed in this course:

  1. Communicate in a professional manner with professionals in the field.
  2. Develop a professional resume.
  3. Develop professional writing skills.
  4. Identify the roles and responsibilities of recreation, parks, and tourism professionals within diverse delivery systems.
  5. Describe potential career areas within the field.
  6. Gain “hands on” experience with a leisure service provider.
  7. Understand and begin your own professional development.
  8. Identify and appreciate professional organizations in areas of career interest.


3.      Assignments


1.      Field Experience Project (two page minimum) - You are responsible for selecting and gaining approval of a site that will give you 25 hours of experience.  This project will help you get “hands on” experience as well as begin professional development.  It may also help with identifying roles and responsibilities of professionals and understanding career areas.  You must submit a field experience contract prior to beginning the experience.  This contract must be given to me by (week four) February 9th during class.  We will talk about your experience regularly in class.  At the end of the experience, you will write a two page (minimum) APA formatted report describing your experience. You will also be evaluated by your supervisor using the Performance Evaluation Form that is due with the report. The report is due on or before (week 13) April 20th.  To assist you with finding a suitable agency please refer to the agency list for ideas. Five points will be deducted from the field experience assignment grade for every hour short of the 25 minimum. This project addresses goals 5, 7, 9, 11 and 14.


2.       Resume – You will complete a functional resume that you will be able to use immediately. Due (week 12) April 6th.  This project addresses goals 8 and 9.


3.      Career Profile – Submit an APA formatted paper describing the career path of your choice.  Your research should include: academic preparation, job search sources, professional development needed, job experience, certifications, expected salary range, work schedule, responsibilities, organizational structure, etc.  This paper will be based on an interview with a professional in the field and through research you conduct.  This project addresses goals 5, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 13. Follow this link for grading rubric.  Due (week 9) March 23rd.



4.       Tests - There will be 3 tests covering the text and manuals and one comprehensive final.  Each test is worth 5% of the final grade.  Tests will address goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. TBA


5.      Homework Assignments – Homework assignments will be given throughout the semester. Assignment grades will be averaged to calculate a score worth 10% of your final grade. Late homework assignments will not be accepted. Example assignments from Kraus text:

    1. Read chapter 1 – Choose the social factor you feel most affects our profession and discuss (Goal 2)
    2. Read chapter 2 – Define leisure, recreation and play (Goal 1)
    3. Read chapter 3 & 4 – Identify two events in history that affects your leisure – prepare for Leisure Jeopardy Game (Goal 3)
    4. Read chapter 5 – What motivates humans to participate in leisure (Goal 1)
    5. Read chapter 6 – Discuss personal views of diversity in the workplace from an ethical perspective (Goal 2)
    6. Read chapters 8 – 11 Complete delivery system grid with examples (Goal 5)
    7. Read chapter 12 – Identify professional organizations applicable to personal interests and goals (Goal 4)
    8. Read chapter 13 – Discuss a future trend that will affect your career.(Goals 2 and 5)
    9. Chapter 7 – Prepare questions for speaker to address economic impact southwest Virginia (Goal 6)


4.      Grading Procedure

1.    Service-learning Project                30%

2.    Career Development Paper           20%

3.    Resume                                         20 %

4.    Tests                                              20 %

5.    Homework Assignments               10 %

            Total                                                    100%


For your information: you must have a 2.00 GPA to stay off probation.  In addition, you need a 2.1 GPA and 2.5 in the major to enroll in RCPT 413 (Professional Issues) and to do your internship.  The department has made no exceptions to this ruling.


5.      Course Policies


1.      Attendance - You will earn 5 points to be added to your final grade if your attendance does not fall below 3 missed classes. Missed classes include sick days, personal business and other academic obligations.  It is your responsibility to make up any missed work or class notes. The instructor will accommodate students with the flu.

2.      Honor Code - “By accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to understand, support, and abide by the University Honor Code without compromise or exception.  This class will be conducted in strict observance of the Honor Code.”

3.      Late Assignments – Assignments are to be submitted during the class period of the scheduled due date. Assignments not turned in during the designated class period will be considered late. I will accept late work but 10 points will be subtracted for each day the work is late. This includes printer and computer problems as this reflects last minute preparation. If work is not turned in by the class period due and turned in on that day, it will be counted as one day late.  This does not include weekly homework assignments.

4.      Homework Credit – Homework assignments are designed to prepare you for class and provides incentive to utilize your textbook. Therefore, all homework is due at the beginning of the class period. Any homework that is not turned in at this time will not receive credit. 


6.      Textbook and Other Resources


The following are your resources for the class:

·         Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism.  (2009-10). Student manual.  Radford, VA:  Radford University. (May download from RCPT website)

·         Not applicable for Spring 2010: McLean, D.D., Hurd, A.R., & Rogers, N.B. (2008). Kraus’ Recreation and Leisure: In Modern Society 8th ed. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishing.  (Available at the RU Bookstore)

·         Alternative Text Spring 2010 – Human Kinetics. (2006). Introduction to Recreation and Leisure. ISBN: 10: 0-7360-5781-1

·         The RCPT website:  http://www.radford.edu/~recparks

·         American Psychological Association.  (2001).  Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (5th ed.).  Washington, DC: Author. (Highly recommend that you purchase a copy)

·         Additional APA Resources:

McConnell Library Website:


The OWL at Purdue Website:


APA Website:




Class Materials:

1.       First Exercise – General APA Information

2.      Second APA Homework Assignment – Reference List

3.      Third APA Homework – Citations

4.      Definitions PowerPoint

5.      Motivations of Leisure PowerPoint

6.      Resume PowerPoint

7.      Career Areas Exercise

8.      Final Homework Assignment – Ch 18