ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development (SCRD) offers two degrees that are accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT). The Parks and Recreation Management program at ASU was first accredited in 1994, while the Concentration in Therapeutic Recreation was conferred by COAPRT in 1994. The Recreation Therapy major is seeking its first COAPRT accreditation in 2021.
COAPRT, established in 1974, 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 organization is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as an accrediting body that meets specific procedural and organizational criteria necessary for effectively conducting the accrediting process. The process of accreditation is rigorous and lengthy and it aims to assess quality and assure improvement of the educational content offered.
A further benefit to the accredited program is broader recognition in the academic community and the professional field. Employers can be assured that graduates of accredited programs are fully qualified for entry-level positions. Students from accredited programs are eligible to sit for the Certified Park & Recreation Professional (CPRP) examination, a recognized credential in the field, prior to graduation, while those from non-accredited programs must be fully employed in the field for a minimum of two years before becoming eligible.
Assessment of Learning Outcomes
The following data demonstrate how ASU’s programs meet 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 PRM 120-Leisure and Society. At least 80% of students must receive at least 75% on the relevant exams for the outcome to be successfully met.
- Result: During the 2018-2019 academic year, 78% of the students scored 75% or better on the relevant exams.
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 develop activities that meet participant needs, plan and develop recreation programs for a specific group and setting and evaluate the impact of participation on the group.
- Method of Assessment: Assignments in PRM 203-Programming Planning. At least 80% of students must receive at least 75% on the relevant assignments for the outcome to be successfully met.
- Result: During the 2018-2019 academic year, 88% of the students scored 75% or better on these written and applied assignments.
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: Students in PRM 401 Management of Parks and Recreation Services will be required to develop a final management manual that assesses their understanding of basic management concepts in recreation. Seventy-five percent of the students will receive a grade of at least 75% on their management manual.
- Result: During the 2018-2019 academic year, 91% of the students scored 75% or better on their management manual.
The following data demonstrate how ASU’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 graduating from the RT program will demonstrate evidence-based service/treatment techniques and their theoretical backgrounds.
- Method of Assessment: Students in PRM 364 Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation will write a recreation therapy resource guide thereby demonstrating an ability to evaluate evidence. At least 80% of the Therapeutic Recreation students will achieve a score of 75% or better on their resource guide.
- Result: During the 2018-2019 academic year, 85% of the RT students scored 75% or better on this assignment.
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: Students in PRM 400 Intervention in Recreation Therapy will develop an evidenced-based protocol for a client. 80% of students will achieve a 75% or better on the overall assignment, thereby demonstrating an ability to evaluate evidence as evaluated by the course instructor.
- Result: During the 2018-2019 academic year, 8 of 8 students scored 75% or better on this assignment 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: Students in PRM 406 Program Design and Administration in Recreation Therapy will complete a comprehensive written program plan. 80% of students will achieve a 75% or better on the overall assignment, and an 80% or better on the quality of writing, as evaluated by the course instructor
- Result: During the 2018-2019 academic year, 6 of 6 students scored 75% or better on the assignment for an outcome success rate of 100%.
CHEA requires accredited institutions to inform the public about “degree and accreditation mills.” Cautions concerning these are summarized at http://chea.org. 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.
Our undergraduate nonprofit leadership and management degree is accredited by the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC) Established in 1991, the NACC is dedicated to the promotion and networking of centers that provide research and education in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Learn more at the NACC. To learn more about the accreditation process, click here.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. The Higher Learning Commission is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This federally-recognized body provides assurance to students, parents and all stakeholders that ASU meets clear quality standards for educational and financial performance, http://www.ncahlc.org/.