Frostburg State University's Recreation and Parks Management program has received accreditation from the National Recreation and Parks Association/American Association for Leisure and Recreation, a distinction reached by just over a quarter of the U.S. institutions that offer undergraduate recreation curricula.
FSU received the honor at the NRPA national conference in Phoenix, Ariz., in early October. FSU's program is the only accredited four-year program in Maryland.
The accreditation applies to all of FSU's collaborative programs with The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), Garrett Community College and Allegany College of Maryland.
In addition, FSU was commended by the same organization for its collaborative program, in particular for the program with CCBC Catonsville and its effort to bring under-represented groups in to the recreation industry, according to Dr. Susan Arisman, dean of the FSU College of Education.
Started in 1977, the program currently has about 90 majors at all its sites.
The process of accreditation took more than a year and a half, including preparing a self-study for review by the NRPA, as well as a campus visit by two academics and a practitioner in the recreation industry.
"It's the process of quality assurance, and that's what we're into in this college - quality," said Dean Arisman.
Accreditation allows graduates of the FSU program to sit immediately for the Certified Park and Recreation Specialist exam, according to Dr. Robert B. Kauffman, director of the recreation program and an associate professor of Recreation and Parks. Graduates of other programs are required to complete additional coursework.
It also gives the University added visibility and credibility when defending its programs to state decision-makers, he said. Accreditation indicates that the University has put a significant amount of resources into the program and that it is "fulfilling the body of knowledge considered to be the standards for one going into the field," Kauffman said.
"Parents are becoming better consumers," said Dean Arisman. When shopping for schools, students and their parents are looking for indications that the program has quality.
For more information about FSU's Recreation program, contact Kauffman at (301) 687-4461.
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Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303