Students in this emphasis area receive the preparation needed to effectively administer city and county recreation and park programs, youth programs and services. The curriculum emphasizes financing, managing, and marketing public agencies and their services. Skills in problem solving, conflict management, and working with underserved populations are also emphasized. In addition to required courses, students specializing in this area normally elect RPTS 603, “Acquiring and Allocating Park and Recreation Resources.”
Emphasis in Natural Resource Management and Policy Analysis
Natural resource managers must meet demands for recreational uses while integrating recreation and other amenity considerations into the conservation of natural resources. This curriculum prepares students to work in state or national resource-based recreation agencies or in organizations developing and administering natural resource policy. In addition to required courses, students in this specialty may also elect RPTS 609, “Social, Economic, and Cultural Issues in Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resources,” RPTS 666, “Tourism and the Natural Environment,” or RENR 662, “Environmental Law and Policy.”
Emphasis in Tourism Resource Development
This specialty prepares students to work in management, policy, and marketing positions in the tourism industry or in state and local government agencies involved with tourism promotion. In addition to required courses, tourism students may elect to take RPTS 616, “Tourism Economics,” RPTS 626, “Social Impacts of Tourism,” or RPTS 646, “Heritage Tourism.”
Emphasis in Youth Development
Students in this program area take courses in RPTS and from across the university emphasizing principles of youth development, means for developing and managing youth programs, and methods for evaluating the effectiveness of youth programs. An on-going learning group within the department serves to explore various topics, work on funded research, and develop thesis and dissertation projects. Further, students in this emphasis area will be exposed to interdisciplinary research and education opportunities through Texas A&M’s Children, Youth and Family Research Initiative. Students graduating from the RPTS program in this emphasis area will be prepared to work in areas of youth policy, management, or program evaluation or pursue a career in higher education. Course selection will depend on students’ specific interests.