Key reasons why students select our program
- Learning - Cultivate new skills and content knowledge necessary to become upper-level managers in the parks and recreation industry.
- Mentorship - The program includes distinguished faculty members, including four seasoned, upper-level practitioners in the field.
- High Quality and Affordability - GetEducated.com rated FSU’s 30-credit hour program as a “Best Buy” for program quality and affordability.
- Accessibility - Delivered online to fit the busy lifestyles of working professionals. Two six-week intensive courses are offered online every semester so students can complete the program in 2 years.
- Networking - Designed in a cohort model, where students progress through courses with a consistent group of classmates.
Admission every fall semester. Deadline to apply is June 1.
Final thesis projects can be used to help your community!
Read how Shawnte B. used her thesis project to bring aid to Ellicott City Maryland after the July 30, 2016 flood:
Shawnte B. graduated from the program in 2014 and currently works for the Howard County Recreation and Parks Department in Maryland as the Volunteer & Special Projects Manager.
On July 30, 2016, a storm dropped six inches of rain in two hours on Ellicott City, resulting in a flash flood. The flood caused historic damage to many homes, businesses and roads leaving many left with nothing. A state of emergency was declared as the National Guard were called to aid in the city’s recovery.
Shawnte played a crucial part in organizing an emergency volunteer group to aid in helping the community during this devastating time. In a way, she was preparing for this moment since 2014 without knowing it. In 2014, Shawnte was in her final semester at Frostburg State University writing her thesis project titled, “Emergency Volunteer Corps for Howard County Recreation and Parks.” Through her project, she researched many emergency programs and immersed herself in disaster relief articles, learning as much as she could about emergency situations before developing her project.
In July of 2015, Shawnte earned her position as the Volunteer and Special Projects Manager and began to implement her Emergency Volunteer Corps program. Essentially, the Recreation and Parks Department would become a Volunteer Center during an emergency. A Volunteer Center is a place where community members, who wish to help in a disaster situation, can come and be instructed, organized and sent out into the community.
Shawnte began to train staff from the Recreation and Parks Department on how to open a volunteer center, how to train volunteers and how to handle emergency situations. Just two months before the Ellicott City flood another storm was predicted. The staff practiced a flood scenario and opened a ‘mock’ volunteer center. They also created emergency “Go kits” in preparation. The storm blew past with no effect, leaving the department with the kits ready to go.
On July 30, 2016, Ellicott City was hit with a massive flood that was not predicted. Shawnte had been preparing for this moment for two years and stepped up to the plate. Her staff have been trained and the kits were ready to go. They opened their Emergency Volunteer Center at a local Walmart and begin operations providing a place for people who want to help and receive direction. Research shows that in a disaster situation the volunteers will come. Without proper training and organization, they can become more of problem than help. With the help of Shawnte’s plan and staff, the Emergency Volunteer Center was a great success and a key component in aiding relief for Ellicott City. Shawnte was nominated for the Howard County Recreation and Parks Department employee of the year for her dedicated work with disaster relief.
Student Reflections on the FSU's Master's Program:
"It has already opened my eyes to the big picture of the different organizations that I have worked under and allowed me to be a stronger employee at my position now."
- Kevin L.
"I selected this program because it allowed me to pursue the next step in a career path which I am passionate about without the constraints of location."
- Josh B.