13 MSIs that Keep Camping Fun for Labor Day

by Louis Bolling
Today is Labor Day, which marks one of the most popular camping weekends of the year! In celebration, this week’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up features a list of 13 Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) with parks-and-recreation degree programs. These MSIs educate the knowledgeable individuals who manage and maintain our nation’s parks as well as other popular travel destinations.

1) Benedict College (HBCU)


Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Leisure Services Program: The mission of the Recreation and Leisure Services (RSL) degree program is to enable students to be a power for good in society through the provision of leisure services in their community. The program provides students with the knowledge, skills, understandings, and values required to assess, develop, and implement innovative solutions to societal problems in the form of recreation and leisure program services. Graduates can enhance opportunities for stakeholders to improve their quality of life by using leisure to attain optimal health and well-being. Efforts are directed at preparing all students to fully participate in a global society.

2) California State University Dominguez Hills (AANAPISI/HSI)

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Sports, Entertainment, and Hospitality: CSU-Dominguez Hills’ sports, entertainment, and hospitality management degree is perfect for students who want to approach the industry from a business perspective. In addition to the core business courses, students will take classes in sports and entertainment marketing, principles of travel and tourism, hotel and resort management, trade show and event marketing, sports psychology, and managing sports facilities.

3) California State University East Bay (AANAPISI)

Bachelor of Science in Recreation: The recreation degree at CSU-East Bay offers minors in recreation, hospitality, and recreation therapy. Students can also major in hospitality and tourism and select any of those minors. This bachelor’s degree in recreation can lead to a wide variety of positions, including after-school director, event manager, sports coordinator, aquatics manager, senior center manager, resort manager, camp director, or country club manager. Some of the unique classes available to students are social justice in hospitality, principles of meetings, conventions, and special events, facilities management and administration in leisure, and wellness through leisure.

4) California State University Fresno (AANAPISI/HSI)

Bachelor of Science in Recreation Administration: CSU-Fresno’s COAPRT-accredited recreation degree offers concentrations in therapeutic recreation, adventure recreation & tourism, commercial recreation & event planning, community recreation & youth services, and sports & entertainment facility management. Graduates have taken jobs working in military recreation, resort/hotel management, school recreation, city parks and recreation, and more. Some of the interesting classes offered by the program are lifelong learning in the natural environment, challenge course facilitation, serving at-risk youth, special event planning, and sports and entertainment facility booking, promotion, and box office operations.

5) California State University Long Beach (AANAPISI/HSI)


Bachelor of Arts in Recreation: The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies (RLS) is one of 12 discreet departments in the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) at California State University Long Beach, which is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Established in 1965, the department has been in existence for 48 years serving undergraduate and graduate populations. The Department has been accredited through the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT) for over 30 years. RLS offers two programs of study: a Bachelor’s of Arts in Recreation with concentrations in Community Recreation, Parks and OutdoorRecreation Resource Management, Campus Recreation and Student Services, or Tourism Management; and, a Bachelor’s of Arts inRecreation with an option in Recreation Therapy.

6) California State University Northridge (AANAPISI/HSI)

Bachelor of Science in Tourism, Hospitality, and Recreation: CSU Northridge’s COAPRT-accredited recreation degree offers concentrations in hospitality and tourism or recreation management. Regardless of which track student choose, they have access to unique and interesting classes, which include recreation and the natural environment, backpacking, rock climbing and mountaineering, winter mountaineering, survival, caving, sailing, and waterskiing/wakeboarding. Graduates from the program have become recreation center directors, outdoor education specialists, camp directors, park rangers, and campus recreational sport directors.

7) California State University Sacramento (AANAPISI)

Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Park Management: The Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration is part of the College of Health and Human Services. The program has two undergraduate concentrations, Recreation and Park Management and Recreation Therapy. Students in Recreation and Park Management focus on commercial, community, and outdoor areas, although all students (including RT) take a common core. Students in the commercial recreation program have found internships at Walt Disney World, Hyatt Regency Hotels, Club Med, Disneyland, Marriott Hotels, and Raley Field. Students from the resource management concentrations tend to intern with organizations like the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation.

8) Chicago State University (PBI)

Bachelor of Science in Recreation: The Recreation Program at Chicago State University serves an urban community traditionally underrepresented in parks, recreation, and leisure higher education and the recreation and leisure profession. The Recreation Program provides quality undergraduate education and partners with a wide variety of recreation and leisure providers within the Chicago Metropolitan Area to enhance student education and provide the leisure profession with sensitive, knowledgeable, and diverse professionals in a variety of recreation and leisure areas.

9) Fort Lewis College (NASNTI)

Bachelor of Business Administration in Tourism and Hospitality Management: The tourism and hospitality management degree at Fort Lewis College is an accredited business administration program. Available classes in this program include management and organizational behavior, operations management, and business of gaming. Students can minor in adventure education, which includes classes like adventure education leadership, adventure processing and facilitation, philosophy and theory of adventure education, and wilderness expedition.

10) Grambling State University (HBCU)


Bachelor of Science in Leisure Studies: 
The Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT) accredited recreation degree at Grambling offers concentrations in general recreation and therapeutic recreation. Students in the therapeutic recreation concentration will take classes like disabling conditions in therapeutic recreation, legal liability in recreation and sport, and human growth/development. Students concentrating in general recreation have more flexibility and can take classes in program planning, urban recreation, craft design, management of leisure services, and inclusive and special recreation. The current Leisure Studies Program (LSP) was the first accredited program located at an HBCU.

11) San Diego State University (HSI)


Bachelor of Science in Recreation Management: 
SDSU offers recreation administration students concentrations in outdoor resource management, recreation systems management, and sustainable tourism management. Outdoor resource management students will find jobs as education specialists, outdoor program leaders, and wildlife rangers. Recreation systems management opens doors in non-profit agencies, management positions in state and national parks, and event planner positions with municipal agencies and parks. Sustainable tourism management students often find career opportunities in state tourism commissions, planning green meetings and events, and creating sustainable solutions for tours, accommodation, transportation, and attractions.

12) San Jose State University (AANAPISI)

Bachelor of Science in Recreation: SJSU students earning their COAPRT-accredited degree in recreation can choose between recreation management and recreational therapy for their concentrations. The Department of Health Science and Recreation is one of 11 discreet departments and 3 programs in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA) at San Jose State University. The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies has been in operation since 1945, is the oldest recreation department in the State of California, and the second oldest program in the country (preceded only by the University of Minnesota). The first graduating class was in 1947. The academic discipline of recreation has been accredited since 1987. The department offers one undergraduate major: B.S. in Recreation with three pathways to graduation; BS in Recreation; BS in Recreation: Concentration in Recreation Management; BS in Recreation: Concentration in Recreation Therapy.

13) Winston-Salem State University (HBCU)

Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation Program: The Therapeutic Recreation Program is specifically designed for students who wish to enter the profession of therapeutic recreation which is sometimes also known as recreational therapy and/or to prepare for graduate study in related allied health and human service fields.
Some information was obtained from College Values Online’s 30 Best Value Bachelor’s Degrees in Parks, Recreation, and Leisure (by College Values Online Staff, Published January 2016).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s