RCPT 413 Syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Mark Wagstaff
Office: 139 Waldron Hall
Phone: 831-7724
Email: mwagstaff@radford.edu
Office Hours: 10-12 daily

Classroom: Waldron 227

Class Time:  9:00 - 9:50 A.M.

Days:  M, W, F

Focuses on various professional concerns relative to recreation delivery. Emphasis given to internship/employment preparation, concept of a profession and professional organization, ethical principles and professionalism, and trends and issues in recreation, parks and tourism. 3 credits.  Prerequisites: Must have completed 86 semester hours, have a minimum 2.1 cumulative G.P.A. and a minimum 2.5 major G.P.A.

This course is divided into two specific units.  The initial unit considers the preparation and selection of the internship (RCPT 470) which has direct carry-over to employment.  Major topics considered in this unit include developing goals for the internship, resume and cover letter, and interviewing skills.  In addition, the student will develop a portfolio appropriate for an interview, understand internship procedures, and investigate and select an internship site.  The second unit focuses on the concept and criteria of a profession as related to recreation, park resources and leisure services as well as examining the various recreation professional issues.  Associated with this unit is consideration of ethical principles as applied to professional practice, attitudes and behaviors in the delivery of recreation in various settings.



At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to:


  1. Articulate a sound professional philosophy to establish a professional identity (1.2.2)
  2. Identify current professional trends and services within the leisure service industry (1.4.1)
  3. Differentiate between professionalism and non-professionalism (1.4.2)
  4. Identify ethical issues related to recreation, parks, and tourism (2.5.1)
  5. Explain a professional code of ethics (2.5.2)
  6. Prepare a cover letter, goals, resume and portfolio appropriate for internship and employment opportunities
  7. Develop interviewing skills relative to an internship
  8. Demonstrate an effective competency in written communications by researching and reporting on a current RCPT issue


2011-12. Recreation, Parks and Tourism Student Manual (available online)

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association Sixth Edition (recommended)


  1. Read, understand, and obtain an 80% score on a quiz over internship policies, procedures, and requirements stipulated in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Student Handbook http://recparks.asp.radford.edu/RCPT%20student%20manual%202010-2011  Ten percent (10%) will be deducted from your final score for each time you have to re-take the quiz.

  2. Develop acceptable goals, cover letter, and resume. (Satisfies objectives 6 & 3)

  3. Create a portfolio that demonstrates your professional skills and experience which includes a professional philosophy statement. (Satisfies objectives 2 & 3)

  4. Select, contact, and interview with at least one appropriate approved internship site. Write a summary for each interview conducted. (Satisfies objective 7)

  5. Confirm your internship by the deadline.  Failure to do so will require that you petition and meet with the Department Chair to proceed.  Additional consequences may include a one letter grade penalty and/or delay of your internship.

  6. Develop a report and present a professional issue related to recreation, parks, and tourism.  (Satisfies objectives 2 & 8) 

  7. Indentify a code(s) of professional ethics related to your concentration and explain the purpose of professional ethics. (Satisfies objectives 4 & 5)

  8. Take a comprehensive final examination.

  9. Attend class and have meaningful participation.


Student Manual Quiz

20 points

Goals and letterhead

10 points

Cover letter

20 points


30 points


40 points

Interview summaries & 100 hours 30 points (15 each)


100 points


40 points

Professional ethics  10 points

Final examination

50 points


350 points

A = 90% or above, B = 80-89%, C = 70-79%, D = 60-69%, F = Below 60%

Inadequate and/or unprofessional conduct in any aspect of this class is grounds for a failing grade even though the related weight for that portion of the class would not warrant a failing grade.  This class is considered to be the final step prior to working in a professional environment; therefore, nothing less than professional conduct and a professional product will be allowed or tolerated.  You will be given a grade after the assignment is due; however, you will have to repeat the activity until you attain a satisfactory performance.  For instance, you could get a "D" for your grade on the activity, but still have to meet the course standards for an acceptable product.  You will be representing yourself, the Department, and the University.  The standards for your performance will be no different than those applied to faculty and practitioners in the profession.


Missed Classes: Students seeking bonus points for attendance must miss no more than 3 classes.  There is no penalty for missed classes.  Students are urged to plan personal schedules accordingly to take advantage of this opportunity. There will be no excused absences. No exceptions!

Work Days: Throughout the course of the semester, we have scheduled informal classes for most Fridays (see syllabus).  These unstructured classes are designed to offer individual assistance.

Mock Interviews and Poster Sessions:  Professional dress is required when you interview and present your poster.

Inclement Weather Policy:  Class will be canceled in accord with the university policy for school closure.  Decisions about closings and delayed openings are made by 6:00 a.m. and are posted on the university website.  You may also call the University switchboard at 831-5000 for announcements.  In the event that class in canceled on an optional Friday, there will be no make up or grade penalty.  If class in canceled on Monday or Wednesday, class will be rescheduled for Friday if possible.

LATE POLICY:  Unless you have a family or health emergency, late assignments will receive an automatic 50% grade deduction. 






Aug 29 - Sept 2


Class Overview

In Class Assignment: Student Handbook Quiz (must pass with 80%graded in class).

Computer Lab - Walker 221

Developing a Professional Philosophy


Sept 5-9

Lecture: Internship Goals

Important Websites & Tour of Internship Materials

Homework: Bring 3 job announcements & 5/10 year plans

Work Day - Walker 221

Re-take quiz (10% reduction for each retake)


Sept 12-16

Lecture: Cover Letters

Handout: Common Mistakes

Assignment Due: Internship Goals

In Class Activity: Cover Letter critiques

Lecture: Tips and Reminders

Work Day - Cover Letters - Bring draft to class

Computer Lab - Walker 225 (note new lab room number)

Sept 19-23

Lecture: Kick Butt Resumes

Resume Action Words

Assignment Due: Cover Letters

In Class Activity: Resume critiques

Work Day: Goals & Cover Letters

Computer Lab - Walker 225

Sept 26-30

Lecture: Portfolios

Handout: Portfolio Materials & Portfolio Assessment

Assignment Due: Resume & References


In Class Activity: Portfolio Brainstorming

Lecture and Work Day: What Should I Be Doing? and Portfolio Development

Computer Lab - Walker 221

BONUS: Turn in portfolio today for 5 extra bonus points

Oct 3-7



Lecture: Interviewing Skills & Survey Results

Handout: Interview Survey Forms

Assignment Due: Portfolio

In Class Activity: Interviewing Games 

Assignment Due: Internship Packets Mailed

No Class:   Optional Grading Appointment: Resubmit Portfolio for points missed

Oct 10-14

In Class Activity: Mock Interviews

In Class Activity: Mock Interviews

In Class Activity: Mock Interviews

Oct 17-21

In Class Activity: Mock Interviews

In Class Activity: Mock Interviews

In Class Activity: Mock Interviews

  Semester Transition Research Professional Writing

Oct 24-28

In Class Activity: Finding a Topic

Handout: Call for Papers

Assignment Due: Interview Feedback Form & 100 Hours Field Experience Documentation

Search Strategies

RU Library - Classroom B Identifying Professional References 


Work Day: Finding References

Computer Lab - Walker 225 -- Location

Oct/Nov 31-4

 Lecture: APA Guidelines

Internship Deadline -- 4 Folder Items Due to Ms. Reid:  (1) Student Agreement, (2) Agency Contact Information, (3) Internship Verification Document (4) Internship Goals

In Class Activity: Creating an APA reference list and APA Tutorial Quiz


No Class - Work on your references and outlines due on Monday


Nov 7-11

Lecture: How to Write a Professional Paper

Handout: Abstract Grade Sheet

Assignment Due: References & Outline

Lecture: Avoiding plagiarism and other writing tips



Work Day - Submit edited papers from 9:00 to 10:00 - Dr. Wagstaff's office

Assignment Due: Draft of Abstract Reviewed by an Editor - must submit a complete paper for credit. Partial papers will not receive credit


Nov 14-18

Lecture: Poster Presentations


Handout: Poster Grading


Assignment Due: Abstract

In Class Activity: Poster Development

Work Day - Poster Development

Computer Lab - Walker 225



Nov/Dec 28-2


 Presentation in: HETH - Room 43 - all week





Resubmit abstract for 1/2 points missed: Must be submitted during class period

Dec 5-9

In Class Activity: Ethical Issues & Internship Scenarios

Handout: Conflict Resolution Self-Assessment

In Class Activity: Class Evaluations

Lecture: Professionalism in the Workplace  

Professional Ethics Assignment:  Bring assignment to class for discussion. Turn in at end of class for points.

Lecture: Job Searches and Life After the Internship


Final Exam: TBA