Recreation and Leisure Services (RALS)
Available as a two-year program
- Program Code
Two-year Ontario College Diploma
- Start Date
Find your career
This program prepares graduates for leadership positions in sports and recreation programs. Train to:
- Design recreational initiatives for community recreation centres, fitness clubs, seniors’ facilities, college and university athletic departments, community associations such as the YMCA, service clubs, corporate fitness programs, tourist resorts and cruise ships
- Manage indoor and outdoor recreation, sports and fitness facilities
- Start your own business
Get an edge with professional certification:
- Graduate with industry-recognized High 5 certification in leadership and coaching required to work with day camps and children’s programs
100% of 2013 Loyalist grads were employed within six months of graduation (KPI Survey 2013, Forum Research Inc. for MTCU).
Our grads get great jobs
- Youth Programmer, YMCA Northumberland
- Assistant Trainer, Belleville Bulls
- Community Development Coordinator, Batawa Development Corporation
- Activity Director, The Carrington Retirement Residence
- Programmer, Body Boomers Fitness Club
Is it for you?
Do you enjoy being active? Is your enthusiasm contagious? This is a great program for people who:
- Are outgoing and like working with the public
- Have energy to burn
- Possess keen observational skills
- Are good motivators
This hands-on program produces energetic leaders with the skills and knowledge to help people of all ages combine fun and physical activity in their daily lives:
- Apply your skills in Loyalist’s well-equipped consultation room and newly renovated on-campus fitness centre
- Get practical instruction in current industry trends and customer service
- Prepare for self-employment through marketing strategies, entrepreneurship, research and proposal writing
- Hear from industry professional guest speakers in recreation and outdoor education
- During an independent research project in the final semester, design an original program that you can showcase to potential employers; many past projects have been implemented by community agencies
Learning at Loyalist goes beyond the classroom:
- Gain 320 hours of on-the-job experience in two field placements
- Past placements include municipal health and wellness centres across the country, recreational centres at military bases, YMCAs, community centres, resorts, outdoor education centres, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, and with international programs working with children from all over the world
- Many students graduate into a job
Expand your opportunities with fitness training:
- A common first year curriculum allows a seamless transition into Fitness and Health Promotion
- The unique focus on exercise sciences provides a strong foundation in anatomy, physiology, nutrition and injury management
- Graduates have the opportunity to complete a dual diploma in just one additional year
Outstanding faculty make the difference
- Learn with experienced and dedicated faculty who are committed to student success
- The program coordinator has extensive experience working overseas in international children’s programming, connecting students with international placements and jobs
- First Year - Semester One
- COMM1048 College Writing Skills
- This course focuses on writing and research skills required for successful completion of college-level studies. The course will promote development and improvement of research and writing skills that can be applied to students’ chosen programs of study.
- MGMT1004 Foundations of Sport and Recreation
- Students review the history of sport, recreation, and leisure time activities in Canada. Students progress towards a group presentation of an overview of the development of national bodies, professional governing societies and regulatory agencies of sport, and recreation and fitness.
- ANAT1000 Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Students utilize terminology of anatomical classification and organization of the body to describe the role of various organ symptoms to support homeostasis. Emphasis will be given to the musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary and neuroendocrine systems to prepare students for Introduction to Kinesiology.
- PSYC1013 Lifespan Development
- The principles and determinants of development are discussed. Topics include the application of developmental theories related to physical, psychological, social, cognitive, moral and spiritual changes throughout the lifespan.
- FITN1002 Personal Health and Wellness
- Students utilize both theoretical and practical components to engage in individual and group physical activities in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. Emphasis is placed on personal development through all aspects of the wellness continuum. Students are introduced to counselling skills and will develop a personal lifestyle enhancement plan.
- GNED1018 Community & Civic Life
- This course is designed to introduce students to the grass-roots components of a community and to civic life. The components include aspects of citizenship and participation, volunteerism and the fabric of both political and cultural organizations at all levels of the municipal, provincial and federal systems.
- First Year - Semester Two
- PROF1003 Career Development
- This course introduces students to the philosophy, aims and objectives of the field placement components of the Recreation & Leisure Services and Fitness & Health Promotion Programs. This course exposes students to a variety of different agencies, facilities, programs and career possibilities. Students are directed through the development of effective portfolio, cover letter and résumé writing.
- MGMT2001 Group Dynamics
- Students will relate theories of group development, conflict resolution, leadership styles, and communication to working in group situations. This course utilizes a group-based work project that incorporates recreational programming skills and provides a group experience case study. This practical application allows the student to reflect on and analyze their own participation in the group experience and their own personal application of group dynamic concepts and skills.
- PSYC1012 Human Relations and Customer Service
- Students utilize personality inventories, journaling, role playing and assignments to develop an awareness of self and others with respect to socio-psychological and emotional parameters across the lifespan. This information combined with interpersonal skills, stress reduction, conflict resolution and basic problem solving will be applied to the delivery of quality customer service.
- KINE1000 Introduction to Kinesiology
- This course studies the body’s response and adaptations to the challenge of exercise to homeostasis. Students relate bioenergetics and energy metabolism to different modes, types and intensities of activity. The response of various organ systems to both acute and chronic bouts of activity on will be discussed as well as considerations for different environments and special populations. Students are introduced to effective and efficacious methods to begin an exercise program as well as how to train the body’s systems for various types and intensities of activity.
- MGMT1001 Introduction to Program Design
- Students develop basic skills in all aspects of recreational program planning. This course will provide the foundation for a program planning model that is utilized throughout the program and the industry. Students develop a program plan that incorporates a needs assessment, program administration, marketing, budgeting, risk management and program evaluation.
- PGLE1002 Outdoor Recreation
- Students develop an awareness of the vast array of outdoor recreation and leisure opportunities and will experience a selection of these activities in a variety of outdoor settings. Students identify current trends and theories related to the value and benefit of outdoor recreation experiences.
- GNED General Education Elective
- General Education Courses
- Second Year - Semester Three
- WKPL2015 Field Placement 1
- This course will consist of one four-week block placement in an agency of a discipline within the recreation/leisure services field.
- HRPG2001 Human Resource Management
- This course is designed to provide students with basic theoretical and practical knowledge which will enable them to organize and administrate various leisure programs. The emphasis is on applying the theories of organization and administration within a recreation setting.
- PHSI2001 Injury Assessment & Management
- This course is designed to provide students with a basic but detailed understanding of injury assessment and management. Emphasis will be placed on the acquisition of knowledge, both the theoretical and practical required to competently assess and manage common injuries sustained while participating in recreational activities. The integrated knowledge and skills acquired from the course will be used as a basis for future, more advanced course work in the areas of lifestyle programming and adapted recreation programming.
- NUTR2001 Nutrition
- This is an advanced course in evaluating the nutritional status of a healthy individual and identifying eating practices that may or may not promote health. Students learn to relate the biochemical and physiological processes of human nutrition, utilize nutritional assessment tools and identify differences in nutrition for health and disease.
- PGLE2001 Outdoor Programming
- Students participate in individual and group physical activity which requires using College and community facilities. Emphasis will be on group leadership skills and on personal lifestyle enhancement programming. An outdoor education experience is included. Opportunities are available for various professional certifications relevant to the field at an additional cost.
- WRIT2001 Research and Proposal Writing
- This course is designed to train students to acquire new and/or enhance their existing skills which are necessary to effectively research, write and appropriately reference a clear, concise and comprehensive proposal for a new business program or special event.
- MGMT2007 Trends & Issues
- Students analyze various economic, sociological, scientific and political factors, learning to identify both current and future opportunities and challenges in the fields of recreation and sport management, and fitness and health promotion.
- GNED General Education Elective
- General Education Courses
- Second Year - Semester Four
- PHSI2002 Adapted Programming
- This course examines the limitations to physically active recreation and leisure activities posed by a variety of disabilities/medical conditions. Emphasis is placed on the design and implementation of programs which overcome limitations using the principles of normalization/most enabling, with a focus on maximum participation.
- RESE2002 Advanced Program Planning and Documentation
- Students complete a comprehensive plan for an original and innovative special event or program utilizing all relevant course work and practical placement experience.
- ENTR2002 Entrepreneurship & Marketing
- This course introduces students to the many dimensions of starting different types of businesses. Students examine present and future opportunities to start a business in the recreation/leisure services field.
- WKPL2016 Field Placement 2
- The semester four practicum will consist of one four-week block placement in an agency of a discipline within the recreation and leisure services field.
- MGMT2004 Program Management
- The course examines current theories relating to the management of human resources and sound decision making as they pertain to situations which may arise within the field of fitness and health promotion or recreation and leisure services.
- MGMT2005 Sport & Event Management
- Students apply the process of program planning to a special and/or sporting event. They create, plan, implement and evaluate programs and activities that respond to identified needs and interests, and maximize the delivery of personal, social, economic and environmental benefits.
- Graduate into the workforce
- Expand your qualifications and earn a double diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion in two more semesters of part-time study
- Earn a double diploma in another College program in as little as one year
- Specialize with a post-graduate certificate in Sports and Entertainment Sales and Marketing or Public Relations
Turn your diploma into a degree
Many universities across Canada and abroad will provide credit recognition for your diploma studies at Loyalist. The following is a list of agreements that are currently in place. There are many more options, and new agreements are added annually. Contact your university of choice to make individual arrangements.
- Athabasca University – Bachelor of Professional Arts in Human Services or Bachelor of Science in Human Science
- Brock University – Bachelor of Recreation and Leisure Studies
- Davenport University – Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management
- Seneca College – Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation
- University of Waterloo
- Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Leisure Studies
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Recreation and Leisure Studies
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Recreation and Sport Business
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Therapeutic Recreation
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Tourism and Parks Management
How much will it cost?
Approximate costs (2013-14)
- Domestic Tuition/Ancillary Fees: $3,659 (Year One)
- Consumables Fee: $65 (Year One)
- Books and Supplies: $1,450
- Additional fees may be charged for supply kits, overnight field trips and uniforms. Additional costs, such as travel and parking, may be incurred during placements. The program may provide the opportunity to receive additional external certifications at an additional cost.
Bursaries and financial assistance
Loyalist has a number of scholarships, bursaries and academic awards available to students. Our Financial Aid Office can help you explore your options, or assist you with a student loan.
Required academic preparation
- OSSD/OSSGD or equivalent with courses at the general, advanced, (C), (U) or (M) level with Grade 11 or 12 Biology, Chemistry or Kinesiology, and
- Grade 12 English (C) level or equivalent
- A formal, confidential personal health history and up-to-date immunization are required as part of the registration process
- Standard First Aid and Level “C” CPR certification (adult, child and infant)
- Criminal Record Check (Vulnerable Sector Check may also be required)
- The program includes a physical fitness component. Prospective students with special needs, limitations or health-related issues that may affect their field placement or potential employment opportunities are encouraged to discuss their career goals with the program coordinator as part of the application process
Recommended academic preparation
- Sciences and mathematics
- Applicants with a baccalaureate degree focusing on exercise sciences may be eligible for direct entry into Year Two
Prior learning assessment and recognition
Applicants with work experiences or other types of non-credentialed learning may be eligible for credits at Loyalist. Graded credits (as opposed to exemptions) are granted. Click here for more information about our assessment and credit challenge process.
Click here for information about how to apply, international student fees and more.
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