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Recreation Leadership

Helping individuals, families and organizations make the most of time away from work

What if you could improve the world through recreation? That's at the heart of our recreation leadership major — developing programs, organizing events, and helping others use recreational and leisure activities for therapy, exercise, or entertainment. Our innovative curriculum provides a competitive edge in the job market.

We have relevant, quality educational and experiential learning opportunities, from our massive Spartapalooza campus event to wheelchair rugby, to prepare you for a successful career in the industry. Within this major, you can choose either a Recreation Management emphasis or a Recreational Therapy emphasis.

York College students have the opportunity to focus on two different areas: therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy, and recreation management/community recreation. Download a transcript of this video.
Amy Davies ‘13 used her experiences at York College, including an internship with Best Buddies, to propel her to a Program Supervisor position with Best Buddies in Baltimore, Md., her "dream job." Download a transcript of this video.

Your future in Recreation Leadership

A career in the recreation industry involves designing and leading group activities for organizations or venues such as parks, camps, veterans’ groups, correctional facilities, youth organizations, senior centers and many more. Our graduates work for Adams/Hanover Counseling Service, City of Harrisburg, Eastern York Area Recreation Commission, Lutheran Social Services, PA Bureau of Rec & Conservation, Walt Disney World and the York County Department of Parks & Recreation. Possible careers:
  • Plan and implement activities for people of various ages and abilities.
  • Work with youth and adult recreational sports; manage facilities
  • Plan and implement special events for commercial and non-profit agencies.
  • Support our Service men and women by providing recreational opportunities for them and their families through Morale Wellfare and Recreation.
  • Improve the quality of life for individuals with a variety of permanent and temporary physical, developmental and behavioral disabilities.

Degree emphasis and Certifications

  • Emphasis: Recreation Therapy or Recreation Management

    The Recreation and Leisure Administration program requires you to choose an emphasis of study during your academic career. Choose which track you want to focus on:

    With a Recreation Management Emphasis, I could work in: 

    • Community recreation centers
    • YMCAs, YWCAs & JCCs
    • Parks & Recreation departments
    • Youth-focused agencies
    • Non-profit organizations
    • Special event agencies
    • Youth & adult recreational sport programs
    • Military recreation
    • Community senior centers
    • Resorts & golf courses
    students experience wheelchair rugby with the Global Abilities Foundation

    With a Recreational Therapy Emphasis, I could work in: 

    • Home health care programs
    • Substance abuse centers
    • Day programs for people with disabilities
    • Nursing homes & assisted living
    • Mental health programs for children, teens and adults
    • Correctional facilities
    • Rehabilitation centers
    • Children’s homes
    • Specialty camps
    • Special Olympics

    Right: Recreation and Leisure Administration students experience wheelchair rugby with the Global Abilities Foundation. 

  • Recreation and Leisure Administration certifications

    Recreation majors are encouraged to take advantage of two available certifications after degree completion:

    Certified Park and Recreation Professional Certification

    The Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification is available to all students who graduate from the Recreation and Leisure Administration major. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, the CPRP certification is one of the most sought-after certifications in the park and recreation profession.

    According to Recreation Management magazine’s 2008 Salary Survey of more than 2000 individuals in the field, of those people who plan to seek new certifications, the most (40%) think they should become CPRPs.

    Achieving your CPRP certification will provide you with:

    • recognition for your accomplishments
    • greater career opportunities with higher income possibilities
    • proof of your ability to meet or exceed national standards
    • a new level of commitment to the parks and recreation field

    Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Certification

    Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) certification is available to Recreation and Leisure Administration majors who choose the Therapeutic Emphasis and complete PSY230, NUR201, BIO112 or BIO220, and a 560 hour DFE. According to the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC), the field of therapeutic recreation has also shown tremendous growth and development over the past two decades. Today, the United States Department of Labor projects that there are more than 27,000 recreational therapists in the United States. More than 12,000 of these professionals are professionally certified as CTRSs by NCTRC.

    The CTRS certification is the:

    • Most professional advanced credential for the field of therapeutic recreation
    • The industry standard that exemplifies each professional's dedication to quality standards and excellence in practice

Program Requirements

Required Courses and Degree Requirements for Graduation
catalog icon

2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Related Programs

The Recreation and Leisure Administration program at York College of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT).

2019-2020 7.0 Series Final Report

2020 NCTRC Professional Certification Exam Report

Important Information Regarding Degree Mills

Please watch this important video regarding degree and accreditation mills. 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. 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.

Contact Us
Applied Behavioral Sciences Department
Laura Steck Ph.D., Chair
Applied Behavioral Sciences Department
Appell Life Sciences, 135
Phone: 717.815.6585

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