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Experiential Learning

Experience the Difference, Make a Difference

In the professional world, Department of Recreation Administration graduates can expect to get out and do all sorts of interesting things. From hosting the annual Homecoming Race to volunteering for the Special Olympics and beyond, rec admin students at Eastern Illinois University are afforded many opportunities to get outside the classroom, interact with the community, and live the department's motto: "Experience the Difference. Make a Difference.".

The Recreation Administration department offers many opportunities for the recreation major to learn through hands-on experience and critical analysis. Targeted experiences are provided to guide the student in developing skills, knowledge and competencies required for entry-level recreation professionals. Through this experiential approach to learning, students gain insight into current issues and practices in the field. These activities include: Special Olympics, adventure recreation, university special events, and community outreach.

Chelsey Byers

Chelsey Byers

Recreation Admin graduate Chelsey Byers never thought she would end up working with the elderly populations, but an eye-opening experience changed her path. Read more...

 

Individualized Career Design

The Recreation Administration department at Eastern Illinois University specializes in individualized career design. Students in the major will gain the knowledge of a recreation generalist that is then tailored to the student’s individual career interests and aspirations. This individualized career design is accomplished largely through the selection of course electives, related workshop and conference attendance, and through fieldwork and internship placement that caters to the students unique interests within the broad field of recreation administration and leisure service provision. With a core understanding of the recreation and leisure service provision industry, along with a course of study and professional development that is tailored to the student’s interests, our students enjoy rewarding careers that begin with a student centered approach.

Internship Opportunities

Allison Salo, a recent graduate of EIU's recreation administration program, discusses the virtues of her degree path as well as her valuable experiences as an intern at the Mattoon Area Family YMCA.


Faculty/Student Mentorship

From the first moment students enter the Department of Recreation Administration to their time as a professional in the field, faculty members are dedicated to providing the resources and assistance to help students succeed. Through these faculty-mentored experiences, students are equipped with the latest concepts, theory, and practices from the recreation profession; a better understanding of the technological tools to increase efficiency and effectiveness; and an ability to think critically in an ever-changing society. A few of the specific examples of the Department’s impactful faculty-mentored experiences include:

  • Student research and creative activity. Faculty work with students in the investigation of various contemporary research and creative activity experiences. Many of these experiences culminate in students presenting their projects to invited professionals, at research fairs, professional conferences, and other professional venues.
  • Faculty advisors. Unlike many undergraduate programs, faculty within the department serve as the academic advisors for every student. This mentorship allows faculty to get to know students both inside and outside the classroom
  • Faculty-facilitated student-professional networking opportunities. Activities such as the Annual Student Symposium, Research Fair, Professional Conference Socials, and Student-Professional Roundtable events allow students to meet with professionals in the field. Oftentimes, these connections lead to future internship and/or employment opportunities for students.
  • Fostering a sense of “community.” Simply put, the Department of Recreation Administration faculty cares about its students. Faculty members recognize student success goes beyond student performance in the classroom. Also important to faculty members is the students’ personal development. Faculty members regularly attend the Student Association of Recreation’s (i.e., “Rec Club”) social events (bowling, progressive dinners, trips, etc.) to get to know students “outside the classroom.” These experiences help establish a strong sense of “community” among the students, faculty, and staff.