Department of Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management Programs

Go behind the scenes of the recreation, sport, and tourism industries and prepare for an exciting career in event management, sport management, youth development, leisure activities, and more. Students gain classroom instruction from experienced faculty from each of these industries, and they also develop practical experience in their fields of study as part of the curriculum.

Children today confront a wide variety of stressful and potentially traumatic events that may overwhelm their natural ability to cope and heal. Child Life Specialists are trained professionals with expertise in helping children and their families overcome life's most challenging moments. Armed with a strong background in child development and family systems, Child Life Specialists promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self- expression activities. They provide emotional support for families, and encourage optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenging experiences, particularly those related to healthcare and hospitalization. The Child Life Specialist concentration introduces the history, philosophy, theories, and concepts relating to child life services. The role of child life specialist as a member of the healthcare team is examined.

In the Recreation & Youth Development program, students acquire leadership, programming, and management skills for careers in community and youth- based recreation service agencies and facilities that are focused on enhancing the livability of communities, improving the quality of life for all people, and promoting
positive youth development.

The concentration in Recreation Management will prepare students for careers in parks, recreation, non-profit agencies, and commercial recreation businesses.  Leadership, programming, and managing leisure experiences for participants of all abilities is a major emphasis in this area. Students graduating with a concentration in Recreation Management might find careers in such settings as: municipal park and recreation departments, state and federal parks, community centers, non-profit youth-serving agencies, campus/university recreation, and military settings.

In the Recreation Therapy concentration, students acquire the skills necessary to help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by using recreation services and leisure experiences. Upon completion of this program, students are prepared to take the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) exam to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). For more information regarding certification requirements, see the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification. In addition students can take courses that meet the State of Connecticut Public Health Code to be a Therapeutic Recreation Director.

When you choose to focus your Recreation & Leisure Studies degree in Tourism, Hospitality, & Event Management (THEM), you are preparing yourself to work in one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world. These industries operate worldwide in exciting work environments and provide unique employment opportunities in Connecticut and across the globe. The travel and tourism industry employs over 64,000 people in the state of Connecticut. In the program, students acquire the event planning, leadership, promotion and management skills necessary for an exciting career in the tourism, hospitality and event management industries.

The Master of Science degree program in Recreation & Leisure studies, with a specialization in Recreation Administration, is designed to prepare students for supervision, administration, and management of recreation organizations, programs and facilities.

The Master of Science degree program in recreation and leisure studies is designed to prepare students for supervision, administration, and management of recreation programs and facilities. Areas of specialization are: Recreation Therapy or Recreation Administration.

The specialization program in recreation therapy can be designed to meet certification requirements of the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). The specialization in Recreation Administration prepares students for advanced careers in the field of parks, recreation, and tourism.

The Sport & Entertainment Management Program at Southern prepares graduate students for a variety of leadership positions in the sport, athletics and entertainment industries. This fully online program is targeted towards individuals with bachelor's degrees who are seeking to enhance their knowledge and skills in the areas of sport management, entertainment management or athletics administration.

The major in Sport management prepares students for positions within all sectors of the sport industry, including professional sport organizations, intercollegiate athletics departments, interscholastic sports, sport facility management, and more.  Coursework includes instruction in sport sales and maketing, facility and event management, sport governance and administration, sport ethics, sport finance, and sport law.  Students gain sport industry experience through internships with professional sport teams, college athletic departments, public and private sport facilities, sport marketing firms, as well as municipal, national, and non-profit sport organizations.

In the Event Management minor, students learn the management skills necessary for the planning, organization, direction, and assessment of special events. Included are festivals, sports, tourism, fundraising, meetings, conferences, cultural programming, destination and venue management, and related experiences. Theoretical information is supplemented by event-based service learning projects and practicum experience.

The Leadership Development minor consists of 18 credits and is designed to provide students with foundational and contextual leadership principles and practice that expand their ability to exercise leadership in their private, professional, and civic lives.

This minor is designed to prepare students for professional opportunities in the field of outdoor recreation including areas such as park management, outdoor programming, and nature-based recreation and education.  Through the use of classroom and experiential settings, students will develop leadership, programming, and teaching skills needed for the field and their professional careers.