Magazine article Parks & Recreation


Magazine article Parks & Recreation


Article excerpt

THE COUNCIL ON ACCREDITATION FOR PARKS, RECREATION, TOURISM, AND RELATED PROFESSIONS (COAPRT) held its fall meeting and hearings at the 2012 NRPA Congress in Anaheim, California. The below points summarize key items discussed during the meeting

Council members served as visitors during the past year to gain familiarity with implementation of the new standards, establish visitation procedures, and develop visitor training. Pilot programs agreed to assign a faculty member who has been trained as a visitor under the 2013 standards for service as a "shadow" visitor, thereby further adding to the pool of visitors familiar with the new standards. Council members will continue to serve as lead visitors for the 2012-2013 visits. With a substantial number of visitations scheduled for 2013-2014, the Council will conduct a comprehensive required visitor training at the 2013 Congress in Houston.

The Council has partnered with other professional organizations to develop Specialty Accreditation Committees (SAC) that will draft profession-specific learning outcome standards, which will replace the option standards. A specialization in recreation and park administration is available through our partnership with the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration. The Council has reinitiated a dialogue with the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals on a second Specialty Accreditation, and they hope to have that program available by 2014.

Development of specialty standards in Therapeutic Recreation was undertaken by a group of former National Therapeutic Recreation Society members. Their approach was to draft standards that are fully compliant with the COAPRT 7.00 series. This approach is consistent with the Council's desire to work with any related profession seeking accreditation. To be clear, the Council does not endorse the standards for any specialty; rather, its role is to accredit programs meeting all standards including the 7.00 series as addressed by the program.

Additional significant changes to the 2013 Standards, handbook, self-study review, and visitation and hearing processes also were adopted at the fall 2012 meeting.

The Council's scope, on file with Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), is as follows:

COAPRT accredits baccalaureate programs in parks, recreation, tourism, sport management, event management, therapeutic recreation, and leisure studies within the United States, its territories, Canada, and Mexico. …

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