SUNY Cortland’s Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department is partnering with Herkimer County Community College to help Herkimer students earn a four-year Cortland degree.
Students who complete the associate in science degree in recreation leadership at Herkimer will now have a seamless transition into the bachelor of science in recreation program at SUNY Cortland.
The Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department already has a number of similar articulation agreements with two-year colleges in the SUNY system. Several of those programs are led by SUNY Cortland alumni. The four majors in the department — recreation, outdoor recreation, recreation management and therapeutic recreation — tend to draw transfer students and adults who have decided to continue their education later in life.
Adding an articulation agreement with Herkimer will only bolster the strength of SUNY Cortland’s own program, said department chair Sharon Todd.
“One of the things we love about our program is the different walks of life people come from,” Todd said. “We have a lot of non-traditional students and once they discover our major, they’re incredibly happy and feel at home at having found a good match for their interests and their abilities and their talents. It’s really exciting to see that happen.”
Herkimer students who transfer to SUNY Cortland will enter with junior status and can carry over a maximum of 64 credits. Those students will have the College’s general education requirements waived and will need to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5.
SUNY Cortland also offers graduate programs in recreation and recreation education. An online graduate certificate is available in therapeutic recreation. The College is one of three in the United States with national accreditation in all four of its recreation majors.
There are a variety of career paths for graduates from its Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies programs, from hospitals to national parks and everything in between. Those opportunities have helped make articulation agreements such as the recent partnership with Herkimer a popular option for students of all ages.
“We have a really high placement rate and a lot of that has to do with their last semester, which is an internship,” Todd said. “Oftentimes, if they do a great job, their internship agency decides that they don’t want to lose them and that works out pretty well.
“Therapeutic recreation is really on the rise in the job market and a majority of our majors are in that particular program.”
Recreation management, whether it’s in land management agencies like the National Park Service or local agencies, also shows promise of many future openings as a result of an uptick in retirements.
“So there is a big bubble of need and that’s been really good for our students,” Todd said.