SUNY Cortland's Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT). In addition, the following areas are accredited:
- Leisure/Recreation Program Delivery
- Natural Resources Recreation Management
- Recreation Management
- Therapeutic Recreation
SUNY Cortland's Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies (RPLS) 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.
Accreditation is a status granted to an academic institution or program that meets established criteria for education quality. The purpose of accreditation is to assure quality and continual improvement. Accredited programs have undergone a rigorous process of self assessment and peer review and have met standards established by the profession itself as essential to educate graduates for competence in entry level positions in the field.
The RPLS program at SUNY Cortland was first accredited in 1990, and is only one of three programs in the state of New York with accreditation status. In addition, it is the only university in the state with four accredited options in addition to the generalist core.
The following data demonstrate how SUNY Cortland's program meets various learning outcomes consistent with COAPRT Standards:
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.
- Agency Visitation and Analysis: Students visit an agency, organization, business, or facility which provides recreation services; interview a professional at the organization to gather information about the site and job; and write a summary report.
- During the 2012-2013 academic year, 83 of 90 students scored 70% or better on this assignment for an outcome success rate of 92%.
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.
- Inclusion Advocate Written Assignments: Students first assess the facility and participants of a local service learning site. Second, they design and deliver programs there. Third, they evaluate their overall experience as an inclusion advocate.
- During the 2012-2013 academic year, 44 of 50 students scored 70% or better on all three Inclusion Advocate Assignments for an outcome success rate of 88%.
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.
- Strategic Plan: Students create a strategic plan by producing a mission statement and values for an organization; analyzing services offered; completing a SWOT analysis; and creating goals and objectives for present weaknesses and future threats.
- During the 2012-2013 academic year, 41 of 46 students scored 70% or better on this assignment for an outcome success rate of 89%.
Information on SUNY Cortland's Accreditation
SUNY Cortland is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Information on institution-wide assessments are available to prospective students, including graduation, retention, certification and licensing pass rates, and other outcomes as appropriate to the programs offered.
The Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT) is the only accreditation of recreation, park resources and leisure services curricula recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
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.
For more information on COAPRT accreditation, contact the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions at 800.626.NRPA (6772), COAPRT@nrpa.org, or write to:
Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions
National Recreation and Park Association
22377 Belmont Ridge Road
Ashburn, VA 20148-4501