A Brief History of Recreation and Park Administration Program
The Recreation program was established at Arkansas Tech University in 1965 as part of the Department of
Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER). The first Bachelor of Science degrees
in Recreation were conferred in 1966.
The Recreation Program was moved out of the HPER Department in 1968 and designated
as the Department of Recreation and Park Administration.
The Recreation and Park Administration Program was first accredited by the Council on Accreditation National Recreation and Park
Association (NRPA) and American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation in
1997. The program was reaccredited in 2002 and 2007.
The Recreation and Park Administration Program offers five areas of emphasis for students: Natural Resource, Recreation Administration,
Interpretive Naturalist, Therapeutic Recreation, and Turf Management.
- The Natural Resource emphasis prepares students to manage large resource areas and visitor facilities.
Planning and management aspect of land and water resources are a major point, with
private and public recreation and park systems as targeted employment areas.
- The Recreation Administration emphasis prepares students to work in community and agency settings and commercial
recreation businesses. Programming and people management are the major focal points
in this area.
- The Interpretation emphasis prepares students for a career with various interpretive and outdoor education
programs in private, state, and federal agencies.
- The Therapeutic Recreation emphasis prepares students for a career as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists
(CTRS) working with special populations in clinical and community recreation environments.
- The Turf Management emphasis prepares students for a career in management of public and private golf
courses, stadiums and sports fields. Students will learn basic techniques used in
turf management as well as machinery involved and planning of landscape areas and