The Parks & Recreation faculty value field experience and believe that students should be engaged in summer work opportunities while pursuing their degree. In fact, most faculty members agree that students should start acquiring summer experience at least by their sophomore year. While students are required to participate in service opportunities throughout their coursework, students must also participate in other field experiences. Students may gain summer field experience on a non-credit basis during their freshman and/or sophomore summer(s) in the form of a summer job with a park or recreation agency. As students develop their knowledge base and enhance their skill sets, they will be required to participate in two academic credit-based field experiences. These two academic components for all parks and recreation programs are the practicum and internship experience.
The practicum experience is a 3 credit-hour course that ideally is taken in the summer months of either the sophomore or junior year. The practicum consists of approximately 120 contact hours in the field of park and resource management. The practicum site must be approved by supervising faculty and can be performed on a paid or volunteer basis. The practicum student is responsible for communicating with his/her practicum faculty supervisor during the practicum experience. Students registering for a practicum experience will receive a complete book of instructions with required forms and assignments. The cost of the practicum experience is based on that particular year’s costs per credit hour (3 total) established by the university.
The internship experience is designed as a more intensive and in-depth experience for the student. The internship is a 12 credit-hour course and consists of 480 contact hours in the fields of park and resource management, resort recreation management/tourism, and therapeutic recreation. Typically, students graduating in the spring of a given year would take the internship the summer following their last semester of coursework. For students graduating in December of a given year, the students may elect to take their internship during the summer prior to their last semester of coursework. Internship sites must be approved by the supervising faculty member and can be performed on a paid or volunteer basis. The internship student is responsible for communicating with his/her internship faculty supervisor during the internship experience. Students registering for an internship experience will receive a complete book of instructions with required forms and assignments. The cost of the internship experience is based on that particular year’s costs per credit hour (12 total) established by the university.
Several options are available for field experience. While students may participate in volunteer positions to meet the requirements, the majority of students elect to participate in paid experience opportunities.
Internships are a vital component of each Parks & Rec. program. They provide an opportunity to practice the skills and competencies acquired in the major courses. Internships are valuable experiences and can often lead to employment opportunities.
Please click on the program title to see where our students complete their internships.
Park and Resource Management
Recreation Resort Management/Tourism
Graduate Programs in PRM and EE