Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
Name: Recreation and Leisure Studies
OUAC Code: BW
Degree: Bachelor of Recreation & Leisure Studies
Program: 4-Year BRLS (Honours)
Program Coordinator: Michael Fawkes 
Entrance Requirements: Required 4U Subject: English (ENG4U).
Expected Cut-off: Mid 70s
Faculty: Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (FAHS)
Department: Recreation & Leisure Studies (RECL)
Level: Undergraduate studies
In the Community Recreation concentration we build Community Leaders! We prepare students with the knowledge, competencies, and philosophical grounding that they will need to take on a leadership role in the community sector. Throughout our program we also emphasize a community development approach, which means that our focus is on how to use recreation to build and develop the whole community or address broader community issues, rather than viewing recreation as solely a business or service. We build community leaders through our classrooms as well as field experiences that put students into contact with community organizations, issues, and practitioners – an approach that helps students make the link between their classroom learning and the community setting.
A Bachelor of Recreation & Leisure Studies degree with a concentration in Community Recreation opens the door to a wide variety of job possibilities! Here is just a sample of what our recent graduates (last four years) are doing:
A number of our graduates have also continued into Master’s level studies, at Brock University and elsewhere.
Do you have questions?
Check out our Frequently Asked Questions  page
In the Community Recreation concentration we build Community Leaders! We prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and philosophical grounding that they will need to take on a leadership role in the community sector. Throughout our program we also emphasize a community development approach, which means that our focus is on how to use recreation to build and develop the whole community or address broader community issues, rather than viewing recreation as solely a business or service. We build community leaders through our classrooms as well as field experiences that put students into contact with community organizations, issues, and practitioners – an approach that helps students make the link between their classroom learning and the community setting.
Students who are in the Community Recreation program take the CORE COURSES in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies with the students in other concentration areas. These include our introductory Year 1 course (RECL 1F91) as well as Year 2 courses in programming (RECL 2P00), leadership (RECL 2P21), social psychology (RECL 2P11), and research methods (RECL 2P07). Students also take CORE courses in Year 3 and Year 4, including a course in sociology of leisure (RECL 3P11), a 100-hour field placement course (RECL 4F15), and/or an independent or group thesis (RECL 4F07 or 4F27).
Students in the Community Recreation Program also are required to take the following courses:
RECL 2P15: Introduction to Communities and Community Organizations. In this course, students learn about how communities ‘work.’ We spend half of the term learning about organizations, with a focus on non-profit and voluntary organizations. The other half of the term is focused on learning about the public sector and how it works at the community level.
RECL 2P25: Child and Youth Work in Community Recreation. Because so much of community recreation involves children and youth, this course is a must for all students in the Community Recreation program. In this course, students learn about child and youth work in a recreation setting including history and philosophy of youth services in a community, as well as the current state of knowledge on different aspects of working with diverse youth, including mentoring, programming, leading, as well as issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality as they relate to youth.
RECL 3P25: Community Development: Philosophy and Practice. In this class, students learn how to foster citizen participation and work with a community in an inclusive and empowering way. After an introduction to the key concepts, students begin to learn the skills and techniques that they will use in the field when liaising with the public to learn and share information, foster involvement, and make decisions.
RECL 3P70: Financing Community Recreation Organizations. This course covers key financial concepts and strategies that are used by community recreation organizations. In this course students learn how to manage financial resources and develop skills in costing, pricing, assessing value, and program and capital budgeting. In addition, students learn about ways to generate revenue, including grantseeking, fundraising and sponsorship.
RECL 3Q07: Quantitative methods. High-quality information is essential to building high-quality community services and programs. In this class, students learn the techniques to collect and analyze data through surveys, questionnaires, and other number-based evaluations.
RECL 3Q17: Qualitative Inquiry. High-quality information is essential to building high-quality community services and programs. In this class, students learn and practice the techniques to collect and analyze data using interviews, focus groups, and other word-based approaches.
RECL 4P05: Community Recreation Planning: This course provides students with an understanding of the planning process in community recreation organizations. The course teaches students skills in both master planning (more common in municipalities) and strategic planning (more common in recreation organizations).
RECL 4P35: Current Issues in Community Recreation. In this course, students take a case-study approach to examine recreation issues in the community. Students begin the process by meeting with practitioners at a community recreation agency to identify current issues. Students further explore the issue by examining it through different philosophical frameworks and gathering background information. Students then teach one another about the issue, and share what they have learned with their community agency.
Students in the Community Recreation program also take other courses offered by the Department as electives. For example, many students in the Community Recreation concentration take courses in risk management, facilities, leisure and health, leisure education, and gender and family, to name a few.
We strongly encourage students in the Community Recreation program to complete a Minor in another program at Brock. Many students have completed a Minor in a field that relates to their particular interest within Community Recreation, including business, public administration, sociology, child and youth work, and geography. Students are also welcome to complete the required courses in the Outdoor Recreation and Therapeutic Recreation programs in the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department (please check with Mike Fawkes, our Undergraduate Program Coordinator if you are interested in this option). Students are not able to complete a Minor in another Department within Applied Health Sciences, as these Departments do not offer Minors.
Experiential learning is woven throughout the curriculum and based on year of study. In year 2, the curriculum’s focus is on exposure to community and community-based issues and dimensions. This is primarily accomplished through time out in the community (i.e. observations, volunteering, interviewing and/or experiences). In Child and Youth Work in Community Recreation, students conduct weekly observations in a youth-services setting and apply what they are seeing to the themes of the course. In Communities and Community Organizations, students conduct a site visit and interview at a non-profit agency, and then volunteer at that agency in return.
In Year 3, the curriculum’s focus is on providing students with the opportunity to engage more intensively with community groups by working on projects in “partnership” with a community agency. This year represents the first time students are really getting ‘out in the community’ on their own. In Community Development in Recreation: Philosophy and Practice, propose and implement a community-based project in partnership with a development-oriented community agency. In previous years, projects have included developing new curricula for after-school youth programs, running fundraising events, developing marketing and sponsorship materials, and conducting research in the community. In Financing Community Recreation Organizations, students prepare a grant application in partnership with a local community-based organization.
In Year 4, the intent of the curriculum is to allow students to have more autonomy with their learning. This year is also best conceptualized as “students bringing the community into the classroom through different learning strategies (i.e., case study method; master planning steps) prior to bringing it back to the community group. In Planning in Community Recreation Organizations, student work through a planning exercise with a particular community organization. In past years, students have participated in such planning-related activities as hosting public information sessions, conducting community needs assessments, presenting research findings to city council, and updating municipal recreation master plans. In Current Issues in Community Recreation, students develop and problem-solve a case study on a current recreation issue which involves the student networking in the field, interviewing a professional, and bringing a ‘real life’ problem back into the class (and later the community group).
Additionally, in Year 4, experiential learning continues with students completing an undergraduate thesis and/or Professional Practice and Program Evaluation, a course that includes a 100-hour placement and program evaluation at a local recreation organization. In this course, students learn the ins and outs of the community recreation sector through working under the supervision of a full-time staff member. All students complete a project as well as a program evaluation for the community agency.
A capstone experiential learning opportunity is the Internship in Community Recreation – a full-time, one-credit, 12-week placement in a community recreation agency. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and be completed with an agency in the Niagara Region as well as elsewhere. For more information on internships, go to the Experiential Learning page.
Q: What kinds of students are in community recreation?
Community recreation students come from all walks of life! We are proud of our community recreation student body and their diverse interests. Students arrive at Brock with a range of community recreation experience – some have been engaged in community recreation for much of their lives through volunteer, personal and paid experiences, while others have little experience in community recreation. There is no need to worry if you have enough experience or not – everyone fits right in! Regardless of background, all of our students are passionate about learning, are willing to step outside their comfort zones and meet challenges head-on, love working with others, and care about improving the quality of lives for community members, through recreation.
Q: Can I transfer from another college or university?
Of course – we love to have transfer students join us! We have articulation agreements with a number of colleges. However, it is important to understand the implications of transferring into the Community Recreation concentration and how it may impact your timeline for graduation (i.e., it may take a little longer than you think!). Please consult with Mike Fawkes , our Undergraduate Program Coordinator for specific details.
Q: Who are the faculty?
Students in the Community Recreation concentration will take courses with a variety of faculty members in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, including three faculty members who are directly aligned with Community Recreation.
Q: Are there opportunities to get employment as a community recreation student at Brock?
Yes, there are! Recreational Services is Brock’s main provider of recreation to students. It runs leagues, events, and workshops for a wide range of recreational activities. Students who work at Recreation Services gain experience in organizing and administering recreation programs to a student body of over 14 000. Youth University  is an on-campus office which offers employment opportunities for students interested in working with youth and recreation.
The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies faculty also coordinate visits from many employers in the recreation field and post job announcements on the Community Recreation board the Recreation Hallway. There are plenty of opportunities for work!
Q: Is there the opportunity to get involved in research?
Yes! Each of the Community Recreation faculty is actively engaged in various research projects. They often hire research assistants or look for volunteers to help out with projects. If you are an Honours student, you will do a group or individual research project related to your area of interest.
Q: Can I get a Masters or PhD degree in Community Recreation at Brock?
Yes! You can get a Master of Arts in Applied Health Sciences – Leisure Studies (with a focus in Community Recreation) by working with one of the Community Recreation faculty as your supervisor. Similarly, we also offer a PhD in Applied Health Sciences – Social and Cultural Health Studies in which you can study community recreation. Please visit Faculty of Applied Health Sciences - Future Graduate Students  or the Faculty of Graduate Studies  for more information on how to apply. We highly recommend contacting faculty members directly before applying to discuss the options available to you for graduate studies. Graduate students are often assigned as a teaching assistant to one of our community recreation courses as part of their funding package.
Q: What other professional development opportunities are available?
There are many conferences, training seminars, and other prospects for professional development available on campus and nearby in Ontario and the United States. Faculty often coordinate student attendance at conferences including Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO). We also help students to present workshops, write articles for newsletters, journals, and websites and become active in local groups.
Program Plan: To see the courses required for degree completion and read the full course descriptions - Check the online Undergraduate Course Calendar  or contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator .