The delivery of recreation programs: Students gain entry level management skills through service learning

Jo An M Zimmermann, Jessica Dupree, Jan S Hodges


Service learning is a well-established pedagogy within higher education. Specifically, service learning allows students to engage in 'real world' activitites to practice skills and reflect upon their own competence. To enhance the effectiveness of service learning, instructors need to consider a multitude of learning influences. This study adhered to the tenants of the Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986; Schunk, 2004) to engage students in service learning activities related to entry level administrative competencies. Data analysis included a content analysis of reflection papers to determine how many times competencies expected of entry level recreation professionals were mentioned. Students percieved the acquisition of competencies consistent with entry level competencies identified within the recreation industry. Results contribute to the development of effective assignments to facilitate the acquisition of desired professional competencies.


Pre-service competencies; recreation management; recreation planning; program planning; service learning; recreation education

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ISSN 1527-9316