Department Overview


The SF State Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT).  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.

The RPT undergraduate program was first accredited in 1990 and has been continuously accredited since then.  Most recently the program was reaccredited by COAPRT on October 31, 2012.  Since this accreditation the department is required to adhere to revised COARPT standards. Under the new COAPRT accreditation requirements, standard 2.05.05 requires reporting of aggregated results of learning outcome assessments.  Results from the most recent academic year (AY 2012-2013) are posted below. In AY 2014-15 the department plans to conduct pre-post tests of achievement of student learning outcomes for core classes. 

Evidence of Program Quality and Student Achievement

The following section presents evidence of the quality of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism undergraduate program and indicators of student achievement of program learning outcomes.

  1. Annual RPT Assessment Report.  Each year the department produces a report which evaluates our curriculum, program and field experience.  This report contains measurable student learning outcomes; places in the curriculum where each outcome is addressed; how academic year outcomes were/will be assessed; assessment procedures; what students do well and where improvements are needed; and use of findings for program improvement.  You can access below the latest assessment results.
  2. Results of Professional Competencies Evaluation.  As part of our annual senior intern exit survey we ask students if they gained knowledge in the professional competency areas identified in the COAPRT section 7.0 Standards for Accreditation.  The results of this evaluation are found in the Assessment Report.

Important Information Regarding Degree Mills 

Please watch this important video (http://youtube/a1voHNMQDrk) 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 (


Department Vision Statement

Cultivating society’s quality of life through recreation, parks, and tourism.

Department Mission Statement

To empower recreation, parks, and tourism learning communities through innovative and transformative education, scholarship, and service.

Department Goals Statement

  • Preparing and educating students in pre-professional programs for entry in the field of recreation, park and leisure services through a planned and systematic undergraduate major curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree.
  • Expanding the body of knowledge in recreation, park and leisure services.
  • Serving the profession by assisting professional recreation, park resources and leisure service professionals and university members to enhance the quality of individual, family and community life.
  • Providing a broad base of theoretical and practical knowledge and skills pertaining to the recreation, park resources and leisure service field.
  • Providing General Education program skills, resources, knowledge, attitudes and strategies necessary for the integration of healthy leisure into people's lifestyles.
  • Assisting students in acquiring the skills needed to assess and meet their own leisure needs;
  • Providing opportunities for practicing professionals to upgrade competencies and retool;
  • Facilitating, through technical assistance, efforts to develop and sustain leisure service and recreation, parks and tourism systems.

Department History and Background

The Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, while relatively small in relation to many other autonomous units within the University, has a comparatively long history, providing formal professional-level training to meet the personnel demand needs of the recreation, parks and tourism professions in metropolitan Bay Area since 1935. In addition to its undergraduate mission, the Department also trains and prepares post-baccalaureate personnel, primarily administrators, supervisors, event planners and various specialists, to meet demands for advanced skill-level professionals through the Master of Science curriculum in Recreation.

Curriculum Bases

The intellectual bases of the program's curriculum are the study of: 1) leisure as a human, cultural and societal phenomena; 2) the essence of recreation as a human experience; 3) the relationship of the environment to that experience; and 4) modalities of guidance of that human experience. The discipline and profession draws from a wide variety of academic areas and professional practices interfaced with its own unique body of knowledge. Academic areas such as psychology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, history, political science, natural science, geography, the humanities, and the arts each contribute in unique ways to the study of leisure and the delivery of recreation services. Knowledge and skills from professional and applied professional fields such as health, medicine, law, counseling, education, physical education, marketing, personnel management, public administration, and business administration are incorporated into the science and art of guiding the leisure activity. Research and evaluation techniques parallel those in the social and behavioral sciences, the natural sciences, the humanities, business, and education, depending on the nature of the setting and the problematic area in question.

Finally, the curriculum draws upon the discipline's own body of unique knowledge and methodologies, especially in the areas of leisure service activity skills (arts and crafts, outdoor adventure recreation pursuits, conference and special event planning, and community service), activity leadership, programming, and program and resource planning and evaluation as applied to all populations.

The major thrusts of the curriculum are to: 1) prepare professional workers in recreation, parks, and tourism to direct, develop, or coordinate public, voluntary and private enterprise programs and resources in a variety of community and special settings; 2) prepare them to meet the needs of unique or special participant populations; 3) prepare students for positions with supervisory and administrative responsibility, as needed, in the design, planning, management and evaluation of leisure services and environmental resources. The curriculum also seeks to engender in the pre-professional student a capability for guiding others in the disposition of uncommitted time and resources in leisure settings, and in the general student, a better understanding of the leisure phenomenon and the importance of well-directed leisure pursuits.


The Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism completes an annual Assessment Report on the achievement of our program’s Student Learning Outcomes. The assessment report contains descriptions of our measurable student learning outcomes; place in curriculum where each outcome is addressed; assessment procedures, methods and strategies; a summary of findings; and use of findings for program improvement. The most recent assessment report can be found at:  (  The department uses the results of these assessments to revise and constantly improve our program.



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