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Setting High Standards for Our Recreation Management Program and Students

Posted by HAHP on July 28, 2020 in News

To ensure our Recreation Management program is the best it can be, we are seeking accreditation from the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT).

What is Accreditation and Why is it Important?

When a program is ‘accredited’ this means it has met external standards for the quality of the program. This includes everything from assignments to instructors and the resources available to support students’ academic success. These standards are set by professionals in the field.

When a program is accredited it has been rigorously reviewed by external experts. As a result, students can be confident they are receiving a quality education designed to prepare new professionals for work in the recreation sector.

What is the Status of Dalhousie’s Recreation Management Program?

We completed a comprehensive ‘self-study’ report (December, 2020), held a virtual site visit with an accreditation team (February, 2021), and have submitted documentation for final Council approval in fall, 2021. This means, currently, we are ‘pending’ accreditation.

What are the Standards for Learning Set by COAPRT?

COAPRT has set 4 overall standards for knowledge and skills related to the recreation profession by graduation.

  • 7.01 standards are related to ensuring students have knowledge about: the recreation sector, techniques used by professionals, and the foundation of the profession.
    In 2019, 85% of students achieved B- or above in six different courses where these standards were addressed.
  • The 7.02 standard is related to ensuring students can design, implement and evaluate services that embrace personal and cultural dimensions of diversity.
    In 2019, 92% of students achieved B- or above in six different courses where this standard was addressed.
  • The 7.03 standard is related to ensuring the students have knowledge about operations and strategic management/administration in the recreation profession.
    In 2019, 87% of students achieved B- or above in four different courses where this standard was addressed.
  • The final 7.04 standard is related to completing an intensive internship where students can demonstrate their potential to succeed as professionals at supervisory or higher levels.
    In 2019 100% of the students achieving B- or better on all aspects of their final internship (which represents a culmination of knowledge and skills!).

Are there Risks Associated with Accreditation?

Note: Although we are in Canada, COAPRT is based in the United States and wants students and others to know the following important information:

Please watch this important video regarding degree and accreditation mills. According to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation [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’s Next?

We hope to hear if the Recreation Management program is accredited in the fall, 2021. We’ll post another announcement! Moving forward, there are a number of activities we will complete annually to ensure a high quality program, including: consulting with our Program Advisory Committee, conducting an alumni survey, and reviewing courses and students’ success in them. Then each summer, we will continue to post updated COAPRT-related news and annual student achievement data here.