Accreditation

National Accreditation in the RPLS Department

The core curriculum of all four degrees offered by SUNY Cortland's Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT). In addition, the therapeutic recreation program is also accredited.

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. 

Assessment of Learning Outcomes

The following data demonstrate how SUNY Cortland's program meets various learning outcomes consistent with COAPRT Standards for its generalist core curriculum:

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.

  • Learning Outcome:  Students will be able to differentiate between the structure and function of agencies and businesses in the public, private nonprofit, and commercial sectors of the leisure service delivery system.
  • Method of Assessment:  Exam grades in REC 271-Foundations of Recreation. At least 80% of students must receive at least 70% on the relevant exams for the outcome to be successfully met.  
  • Result:  During the 2018-2019 academic year, 63 of 77 students scored 70% or better on the relevant exams for an outcome success rate of 82%.

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.

  • Learning Outcome:  Students will be able to analyze activities, make choices which will meet participant needs, develop capacities to assess and critique present and future programs, and plan and develop recreation programs for a specific group and setting.
  • Method of Assessment:  Assignments in REC 280-Programming in Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services: Program Visitation Reports, After-school Activity Plans, and After-school Reflection Papers. At least 70% of students must receive at least 80% on the relevant assignments for the outcome to be successfully met. 
  • Result:  During the 2018-2019 academic year, 121 of 132 students scored 80% or better on these written assignments for an outcome success rate of 92%.

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.

  • Learning Outcome:  Students will understand and demonstrate the principles and practices of safety, emergency, and risk management related to recreation, parks and leisure services.
  • Method of Assessment:  Measures in REC 370-Outdoor Education Practicum: Canoe trip grade and injury rate. 80% of students must receive at least 70% (a B-) for their canoe trip grade, plus no medical clinic or emergency room visits, for the outcome to be successfully met. 
  • Result:  During the 2018-2019 academic year, 38 of 39 students scored 70% or better on their canoe trip grade for an outcome success rate of 97%. In addition, there were 0 clinic or emergency room visits.

The following data demonstrate how SUNY Cortland's program meets various learning outcomes consistent with COAPRT Standards for its therapeutic recreation program curriculum:

Standard 7.01 - Students graduating from the program shall demonstrate entry-level knowledge of the nature and scope of the therapeutic recreation profession and its associated service delivery systems, and the foundations of the therapeutic recreation profession in history, science and philosophy.

  • Learning Outcome:  Students will demonstrate entry-level knowledge of the scope and practice of therapeutic recreation, including models of service delivery.
  • Method of Assessment:  Written assignments in REC 330-Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation: Philosophy Paper and Exam Questions. At least 80% of the students must earn 70% or better on these assignments to be counted as successfully meeting the learning outcome. 
  • Result:  During the 2018-2019 academic year, 38 of 40 students scored 70% or better on these assignments for an outcome success rate of 95%.

Standard 7.02 - Students graduating from the program shall demonstrate the ability to assess, plan, implement, document, and evaluate therapeutic recreation services that facilitate targeted outcomes, and that embrace personal and cultural dimensions of diversity.  

  • Learning Outcome:  Students will demonstrate the ability to document therapeutic recreation services according to requirements, including assessment results, individualized plans, progress notes, and discharge/transition summaries.
  • Method of Assessment:  Written assignment in REC 431-Therapeutic Recreation Process II-Planning, Implementation and Evaluation: Documentation assignments in clinical portfolio. At least 80% of the students must earn 70% or better on these assignments to be counted as successfully meeting the learning outcome.   
  • Result:  During the 2018-2019 academic year, 10 of 10 students scored 70% or better on these assignments for an outcome success rate of 100%.

Standard 7.03 - Students graduating from the program shall be able to demonstrate entry-level knowledge about management/administration of therapeutic recreation services.

  • Learning Outcome:  Students will demonstrate entry-level knowledge about management/administration in therapeutic recreation services, including regulations and standards in therapeutic recreation.
  • Method of Assessment:  Written assignment and exam questions in REC 438-Design and Administration of Therapeutic Recreation Services: Program Plan and mid-term exam. At least 80% of students will receive at least 70% on these outcome assessment tools for the outcome to be successfully met.  
  • Result:  During the 2018-2019 academic year, 47 of 49 students scored 70% or better on both assignments for an outcome success rate of 96%.

Information on SUNY Cortland's Regional 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 (360) 205-2096, accreditationcouncil.org, or write to:

Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions
1401 Marvin Road NE
STE 307, #172
Lacey, WA 98516