Accreditation and Professional Certification Information


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You will be proud to say you graduated from a nationally  accredited program.

The Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration is a nationally accredited program in Recreation Administration that prepares students to work professionally in several areas of the recreation an leisure industry spectrum.

Important to students, parents, faculty and university administration, this page contains information related to our accreditation standards, the dangers of degree mills, certifications for Recreation Therapy and Recreation and Park Management, and elements of the department's strategic plan.

Department Mission

The mission of the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration is to enrich the lives of students through teaching, scholarship, research, and creative activity, and to make a positive contribution to the various communities of which we are a part.

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.

What is COAPRT Accreditation?

An important acronym for universities with accredited programs in Recreation Administration is COAPRT. RPTA is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT).  The Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT) accredits baccalaureate programs in parks, recreation, tourism, sport management, event management, therapeutic recreation, and leisure studies offered at regionally accredited institutions within the United States and its territories, and at nationally accredited institutions in Canada, and Mexico.

You can learn more about COAPRT Accreditation for universities and colleges on the website for the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

RPTA's Accredited Programs and Program Quality Information

The department's Bachelor of Science in Recreation Administration has been accredited since 1978, making it the oldest accredited program of Recreation Administration in the state of California. This accreditation covers the core curriculum for both the Recreation and Park Management Concentration and the Recreation Therapy Concentration. In spring 2014 the department chose to be reviewed for separate accreditations for each concentration. Please visit the links below for more information and data on the department's learning outcomes, assessments and other related information. (The information given below is consistent with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requirements.)

RPTA 2014 Self-Study Documents and Assessments:

The university's Office of Institutional Research (OIR) keeps annual statistics related to graduation rates, faculty workloads, student body diversity, student GPAs, courseloads, retention rates, FTE, faculty/student ratios, etc. Please review the department Fact Book for this information.

What are CTRS and CPRP?

Two other acronyms that students in recreation will hear often are "CTRS" and "CPRP." To practice as a Recreation Therapist, a graduate must be certified. A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) is a professional with a degree in Recreation Administration (Recreation Therapy Concentration), that has passed a national or state certification examination. Our department's degree concentration in Recreation Therapy contains all of the required coursework to qualify a student to sit for both national and/or state certification. The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) oversees the guidelines for Recreation Therapy certification.

A Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) is a recreation or park professional that has passed a national certification in recreation management. While not required for employment, the CPRP is becoming more popular with administrators in park and recreation settings. Our program contains the required coursework to prepare a student to sit for the CPRP examination. To learn more about CPRP, please visit the National Recreation and Parks Association's website on CPRP Certification.

Be proud of your certifications! Both CTRS and CPRP are professional titles and once certified, you may include the letters after your name. (Example: Jane Smith, CTRS or Jose Hernandez, CPRP)

If you have any questions about the department's accreditation, please contact Dr. Greg Shaw (