More Than 100 Million Jobs Worldwide in Diverse Industries

$4.5 Trillion
Health and Wellness
$2.9 Trillion
Travel and Tourism
$2 Trillion
Parks and Recreation

Our interdisciplinary department merges both Recreation, Parks & Tourism (RPT) and Holistic Health (HH) Studies to provide an array of benefits for students and faculty at all levels. Our diverse range of connections encourage new innovative approaches for students to explore vibrant career paths in the $4.5 trillion health and wellness$2.9 trillion travel and tourism, and approximately $2 trillion parks and recreation industries. 

  • Parks and outdoor recreation (national parks, hiking, camping)
  • Complementary medicine (traditional healing arts, botanicals)
  • Workplace and community wellness (campus, city and corporate recreation)
  • Adventure, special event, wellness, eco and leisure tourism
  • Mind-body healing (meditation, biofeedback, stress management)

Mission, Vision, Purpose and History


To advance the fields of recreation, parks, tourism and holistic health through transformative education, scholarship and service for the next generation of leaders.


A world where wellness and leisure permeates all facets of life.


Create experiences and lifestyles that heal, engage and educate. 

Department History and Background

The Recreation, Parks & Tourism (RPT) Department in SF State’s College of Health & Social Sciences, in existence since 1946, has established a reputation for excellence. From distinguished faculty with extensive experience in teaching, research, and service, to a dynamic curriculum based on comprehensive feedback from students, alumni, current trends, and an advisory board of RPT professionals, students acquire the knowledge and skills to: 

Engineer Experiences that Engage, Empower and Educate.


Recreation, Parks & Tourism (RPT) Accreditation

The Recreation, Parks & Tourism (RPT) undergraduate program was first accredited in 1990 and has been continuously accredited since then.  Most recently the program was re-accredited by Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COARPT) in 2023.  The department is required to adhere to a revised set of COARPT standards.  Under the current COAPRT accreditation requirements, standard 2.05.05 requires reporting of aggregated results of learning outcome assessments.  Results for the most recent academic year are posted below.

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.

Council on Accreditation of Recreation, Parks, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT)

Annual Assessment Data for 7.0 Accreditation Standards

Two direct measures (pretest/posttest, and signature assignment) are used to assess students’ knowledge of accreditation standards 7.01 through 7.04 and associated student learning outcomes. See each standard below for details related to content, Student Learning Outcomes (SLO), and assessments.

Direct Measure #1 – a pretest/posttest consists of 8-12 questions (T/F, Multiple Choice, Matching, Open-ended) based on the standard’s SLOs, which are often the exact SLO wording. For example:

  • SLO: Students will be able to compare and contrast the concepts of play, leisure, and recreation.
  • Assessment question: Compare and contrast the concepts of play, leisure, and recreation.  

The pretest is administered to the entire class (range = 33-52 students) during the first two weeks of class and the posttest is given during the last two weeks of class. The average score (Mean) across all students is recorded for each academic year. Evidence of student learning was defined as a posttest average/mean score that is significantly higher than the pretest average/mean score.  

Direct Measure #2 – a signature assignment is used to evaluate student learning in courses associated with the following standards

  • Standard 7.01 – Philosophy Paper (RPT 200)
  • Standard 7.02 – Program Plan (RPT 400)
  • Standard 7.03 – Budget Analysis (RPT 500)
  • Standard 7.04 – Internship Project (RPT 690)

The signature assignment is required of all students (#) and is assessed using a 0 to 100-point grading rubric (see associated class syllabus for rubric). The average score (Ave %) across all students is recorded each academic year. Evidence of student learning was defined as an average score of 83/100 (83%) with a range between 70 to 100.


COAPRT 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.

RPT 200 – Foundations of Recreation, Parks & Tourism

Student Learning Outcomes

Concepts & Philosophy 

  1. Compare and contrast concepts of play, leisure, and recreation. 
  2. Explain how parks and tourism are integral to the leisure experience. 
  3. Identify philosophical perspectives of leisure and explain their implications to the RPT profession. 


  1. Identify and explain how significant events (in and outside western civilization) shaped RPT. 
  2. Identify and explain how significant individuals (including women and people of color) shaped RPT. 


  1. Identify theories that support RPT as a discipline. 
  2. Justify RPT as a social and behavioral science.                      

Student knowledge was evaluated using a rubric with 5 categories for a series of assignments requiring students to travel to and research different recreation, parks & tourism sites: Photo (20%) Photo of self at each site; Site summary (20%) Organization mission, description of funding, sector; History (20%) Multiple historical facts about the site; Social Science (20%) APA formatted citation of social science research in relation to at least one aspect of the site; Philosophy (20%) Reflection on own experience and philosophy in relationship to the site and/or organization.  In Fall 2023, Students averaged 81%, 88%, 83% and 83% on the four assignments measuring this learning outcome.

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.

RPT 300 – Leadership in Recreation, Parks & Tourism 

Student Learning Outcomes


  1. Explore, assess, and reflect on one’s implicit biases
  2. Distinguish ways to adjust one’s leadership style based on different situations


  1. Identify and explain components and processes of group development and dynamics
  2. Practice the following in a group setting: assertiveness, communication, conflict resolution, cultural sensitivity, and problem-solving

Ethics, Morals, Legality

  1. Analyze and apply concepts of social justice in decision-making
  2. Define and explain negligence, tort law, and liability through the anti-racism lens                       

The rubric for evaluating the peer lesson assignment was divided into the four stages of the assignment; lesson plan (30%), lesson facilitation (30%), individual reflection (20%), and group reflection (20%).  Student evaluations in Fall 2023 were split into four categories: 100% of students' lesson plans were evaluated as Proficient or Highly Proficient; 82% of the facilitation of lesson were evaluated as Proficient or Highly Proficient; 73% of individual reflections were evaluated as Proficient or Highly Proficient; and 100% of group reflections were evaluated as Proficient or Highly Proficient.

COAPRT 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.

RPT 500 – Organization and Administration of Recreation, Parks & Tourism

Student Learning Outcomes


  1. Analyze the revenue sources of a for-profit, nonprofit, and public RPT organization.
  2. Differentiate between capital and operating budgets.
  3. Develop and revise an operating budget for an RPT organization. 

Human Capital 

  1. Evaluate the supervisory role at different levels in a RPT organization.
  2. Explain recruitment and retention practices and processes.
  3. Analyze appropriate ways of motivating and disciplining employees 

Organizational Structure

  1. Identify elements of organizational structure.
  2. Explain the importance of and differentiate between vision, mission, and values.
  3. Explain the elements of a strategic plan                 


COAPRT Standard 7.04

Students graduating from the program shall demonstrate, through a comprehensive internship of not less than 400 clock hours and no fewer than 10 weeks, the potential to succeed as professionals at supervisory or higher levels in park, recreation, tourism, or related organizations.

RPT 690 – Internship in Recreation, Parks & Tourism

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Integrate theory and practice by applying concepts, principles, and best practices to the assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation of a product, program, event, activity, and/or service.
  2. Demonstrate professionalism through intrapersonal and interpersonal communication (e.g., professional, verbal, nonverbal), critical thinking, and a positive work ethic.
  3. Explain how the organization operates and its relationship with stakeholders, constituents, and the recreation, parks, and tourism profession and industry.
  4. Plan, organize, implement, and evaluate a project approved and supervised by the organization.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency with utilizing a variety of technology and computer software programs (e.g., social media, word processing, database/spreadsheet, publishing, reservation and/or permit system).
  6. Exhibit knowledge and basic competency in marketing, budgeting, and facility operations.
  7. Identify, examine, and analyze trends and issues within the recreation, parks, and tourism profession.
  8. Reflect on the importance of an internship as a culminating experience, and the connection between quality of life and the recreation, parks, and tourism profession and industry.                  

Students and their internship supervisors complete parallel final internships evaluations.  The response options for each topic have a 5 point scale from poor (1) to outstanding (5).   The categories include intern competence in five categories; organization and industry, operations, information technology, communication, interpersonal skills, and intrapersonal skills.  During the Spring 2023 semester, 100% of students scored 80% or more on this evaluation.