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Our Recreation Professions Program Celebrates Many Achievements

The Recreation Professions Program is proud to be the only academic program in Colorado accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Recreation, Parks, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT). COAPRT recognizes academic programs in colleges and universities that prepare new professionals to enter the parks, recreation, tourism and related professions.  COAPRT Accreditation is a status granted to an academic program that meets or exceeds stated criteria of educational quality. In the United States, accreditation of professional preparation curricula is conferred by non-governmental bodies, which are often closely associated with professional associations in the field. COAPRT accredits baccalaureate degree programs in this profession. 

The Recreation Professions Program submits annual reports documenting compliance with COAPRT Standards. The most recent report submitted includes the following evidence of compliance.

Standard 7.01:  Students graduating from the program shall demonstrate the following entry-level knowledge: a) the nature and scope of the relevant park, recreation, tourism or related professions and their associated industries; b) techniques and processes used by professionals and workers in these industries; and c) the foundation of the profession in history, science and philosophy.


Description of Outcome Measure: Students in the TR concentration National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) Exam Pass Rate: The Therapeutic Recreation concentration prepares students for the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) certification, accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Upon completion of the NCTRC exam, students will gain the necessary information to be competent practitioners in Therapeutic Recreation.  Competencies include: Foundational Knowledge (background, diagnostic groupings, theories and concepts), Practice of TR (strategies and guidelines, assessments, documentation, implementation), Organization of TR (TR service design, administrative tasks), and Advancement of the Profession.

The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification First-Time Candidate School Report for the testing period of July 2015-November 2017 pass rate was 100%, as compared to a national pass rate of 87.5%. This means that 100% of the MSU Denver Therapeutic Recreation students who took the national certification exam passed the exam on their first attempt. Additionally, our students mean score on the exam was 81.5 as compared to a mean score nationally of 76.8.


Standard 7.02: Students graduating from the program shall be able to demonstrate the ability to design, implement, and evaluate services that facilitate targeted human experiences and that embrace personal and cultural dimensions of diversity.


Description of Outcome Measure: Students have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of diverse community-based projects and recreational facilities through multiple methods of assessment including, assignments, presentations, examinations, and a final Facility Master Plan project. The outcome measure is the final grade assigned in one of the major’s core courses, Design and Maintenance of Recreation and Park Resources (RECR 3840).

94.7% of the students in RECR 3840 (Design and Maintenance of Recreation and Park Resources) received a final grade of C or higher in 2018.


Standard 7.03: Students graduating from the program shall be able to demonstrate entry-level knowledge about operations and strategic management/administration in parks, recreation, tourism and/or related professions.


Description of Outcome Measure: Internship Evaluation: Graduating students demonstrate their entry-level knowledge and foundation of the industry by completing a Senior Experience requirement (Internship) in the field of recreation, parks, or therapeutic recreation.  Students will apply their learned programming and management skills through service project opportunities at the agencies for which they have their Senior Experiences.  Recreation Management and Outdoor Recreation Concentrations must complete a minimum of 12 weeks with 480 clock hours at their agency.  Therapeutic Recreation Concentrations must complete a minimum of 14 weeks with 560 clock hours at their agency.  Upon completion of their experience, students and agency supervisors must complete a Final Performance Evaluation summarizing the student’s progress, learning, and achievements.

Final internship performance evaluations reveal the average rating of overall quality for students by agency supervisors was 4.30 on a 5 point scale with 100% of students receiving a satisfactory completion in 2018.

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