Recreation: Outdoor Recreation

Outdoor Recreation is a fast-growing and popular field in the U.S. and around the world. For more than a century, the number of people who participate in outdoor recreation and who seek an outdoor experience has steadily increased, as has the number of agencies (private, public, governmental, and nonprofit) offering outdoor recreation programs. This trend is projected to continue in the future. The field of outdoor recreation has developed over this period of time, providing outdoor recreational professionals a body of knowledge, leadership, proper planning, certifications, and respect for the environment through a display of outdoor ethics.

The Outdoor Recreation degree program is designed to provide you with a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences. You will also develop a foundation of camp, outdoor education, and outdoor recreation leadership skills and knowledge required to be an effective and competent outdoor leader and outdoor educator. Once you complete this program, you will be prepared for transfer to an outdoor-related baccalaureate degree program, and to work effectively and safely in the field.

Field Experience

Field experience is an exciting and important component of the outdoor recreation program. Beginning with your first year, you will be participating in a team challenge course, and will be encouraged to take several outdoor activity skill classes. As you progress through the program, additional leadership, programming, and outdoor field experiences will be a vital aspect of your study. You also will be given opportunities to plan and lead outdoor experiences for agencies in your community.

Careers on Career Coach

While the curriculum of this program is designed primarily for transfer to a bachelor’s degree program, it provides skills directly applicable to entry-level positions in the outdoor recreation field.

Explore more careers related to all of the Recreation programs.

Select a career below to connect to Career Coach and find information about that career including median salary and job postings.

Explore more career options: A.S.

Program Chair

faculty-patmercer

Patrick Mercer

Associate Professor, Recreation Leadership/Outdoor Recreation

When I was completing my undergraduate degrees in Recreation, Outdoor Management, and Leisure Commercial Management at Lock Haven University, I stumbled across a sign while rock climbing during spring break at Seneca Rocks in WV. It read, “Here ends the Realm of the Hiker...” As an Outdoor Educator and Associate Professor, I heed the message from this sign as I help people overcome their own challenges to experience something greater or more intense in the field of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

Read more

 

Transfer Options

Outdoor recreation leaders who have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree are more likely to be offered higher-level management positions. Possible transfer options in outdoor-related bachelor degree programs are offered by:

  • SUNY College at Cortland
  • Green Mountain College
  • Ithaca College
  • Lock Haven University
  • Penn State University

 

Degree Requirements

A.S.
Minimum Credits for Graduation: 62 credits

Fall Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15

ENGL100, Academic Writing I, 3 cr.
A minimum grade of C is required in ENGL 100. A student exempted from ENGL 100 must substitute a 3-credit Liberal Arts Elective. The course should be selected in consultation with the student's advisor.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
PSYC103, Introduction to Psychology, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR110, Introduction to Recreation, 3 cr.
RECR 110 is only offered in the Fall semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Select a minimum of 1 credit from the courses listed below:
CAPS 100, 105, 111, 113, 141, or 152 recommended.
CAPS@
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 1 credit from the courses listed below:
CAPS 121, 123, 131, 133, or 141 recommended.
CAPS@
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 1 credit from the courses listed below:
Outdoor Activity Electives: FITN 109, FITN 110, FITN 119, FITN 120, FITN 166, FITN 221, FITN/RECR 160, FITN/RECR 161, FITN/RECR 162, FITN/RECR 163 or FITN/RECR 164.
FITN109, Skiing and Snowboarding, 1 cr.
FITN110, Canoeing, 1 cr.
FITN119, Fly Fishing, 1 cr.
FITN120, Archery I, 1 cr.
FITN160, Backpacking, 1 cr.
FITN161, Mountain Biking, 1 cr.
FITN162, Sailing, 1 cr.
FITN163, Teambuilding and Group Initiative Activities, 1 cr.
FITN164, Snowshoeing, 1 cr.
FITN166, Cross Country Skiing, 1 cr.
FITN221, Snow Sports Instructor's Course, 1 cr.
RECR160, Backpacking, 1 cr.
RECR161, Mountain Biking, 1 cr.
RECR162, Sailing, 1 cr.
RECR163, Teambuilding and Group Initiative Activities, 1 cr.
RECR164, Snowshoeing, 1 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
MATH109, Statistical Literacy, 3 cr.
MATH110, Topics in Mathematics, 3 cr.
MATH120, College Algebra, 4 cr.
MATH122, Technical Mathematics, 3 cr.
MATH138, Precalculus Mathematics, 4 cr.
MATH200, Statistics, 3 cr.
MATH201, Calculus I, 4 cr.
MATH202, Calculus II, 4 cr.
MATH203, Calculus III, 4 cr.
MATH206, Differential Equations, 4 cr.
MATH216, Discrete Mathematics, 4 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives

Spring Term 1

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 16

ENGL101, Academic Writing II, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
FITN102, Swimming II, 1 cr.
A student who can demonstrate the swimming proficiency required for FITN 216 - Lifeguard Training, or who can provide documentation of a valid/current lifeguarding certification from a national agency may substitute an Outdoor Activity Elective. A waiver request form must be submitted and approved.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
FITN216, Lifeguard Training, 2 cr.
A student who can provide documentation of a valid/current lifeguarding certification from a national agency may substitute 2 credits of Outdoor Activity Electives. A waiver request form must be submitted and approved.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR120, Leadership in Recreation, 3 cr.
RECR 120 is only offered in the Spring semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
SOCI101, Introduction to Sociology, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
ART101, History and Appreciation of Art I, 3 cr.
ART102, History and Appreciation of Art II, 3 cr.
ART109, Graphic Design, 3 cr.
ART110, Design I, 3 cr.
ART111, Photography I, 3 cr.
ART112, Photography II, 3 cr.
ART114, Design II, 3 cr.
ART115, Painting I, 3 cr.
ART120, Drawing I, 3 cr.
ART122, Drawing II, 3 cr.
ART130, Ceramics, 3 cr.
ART180, Typography, 3 cr.
ART200, Illustration, 3 cr.
ART270, Computer Graphics I, 3 cr.
ART271, Computer Graphics II, 3 cr.
ASTR101, Introductory Astronomy, 3 cr.
BIOL100, Human Biology, 3 cr.
BIOL101, Principles of Biology I, 3 cr.
BIOL102, Principles of Biology II, 3 cr.
BIOL104, General Biology I, 4 cr.
BIOL105, General Biology II, 4 cr.
BIOL112, Essentials of Medical Microbiology, 3 cr.
BIOL114, Essentials of Nutrition, 3 cr.
BIOL115, Field Natural History, 3 cr.
BIOL116, Tropical Field Natural History, 4 cr.
BIOL119, Botany, 3 cr.
BIOL131, Principles of Human Anatomy and Physiology I, 4 cr.
BIOL132, Principles of Human Anatomy and Physiology II, 4 cr.
BIOL201, Human Anatomy and Physiology I, 4 cr.
BIOL202, Human Anatomy and Physiology II, 4 cr.
BIOL211, Ecology, 4 cr.
BIOL216, General Microbiology, 4 cr.
CHEM101, Principles of Chemistry I, 4 cr.
CHEM102, Principles of Chemistry II, 4 cr.
CHEM107, General Chemistry I, 4 cr.
CHEM108, General Chemistry II, 4 cr.
CHEM205, Organic Chemistry I, 4 cr.
CHEM206, Organic Chemistry II, 4 cr.
ENGL105, Beginning Acting, 3 cr.
ENGL200, Screenwriting, 3 cr.
ENGL212, Fiction Writing, 3 cr.
ENGL255, Writing the Dramatic Television Series, 3 cr.
ENGL256, Playwriting, 3 cr.
ENGL258, Creative Nonfiction Writing, 3 cr.
ENGL262, Poetry Writing, 3 cr.
ENVS101, Introduction to Environmental Science, 3 cr.
ENVS102, Technology and the Environment, 3 cr.
ENVS116, Soil Science, 3 cr.
ENVS141, Agroecology, 3 cr.
ENVS202, Integrated Pest Management, 3 cr.
GEOL101, Introductory Geology, 3 cr.
MUSI101, Music Appreciation, 3 cr.
RECR215, Recreation and the Expressive Arts, 3 cr.
SOCE258, Creative Nonfiction Writing, 3 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives
Select a minimum of 1 credit from the courses listed below:
CAPS 121, 123, 131, 133, or 141; or HLTH 126; or an Outdoor Activity Elective recommended.
@
Use Schedule Search for electives

Fall Term 2

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 15

RECR150, Play Across Cultures, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR210, Diversity and Inclusion in Recreation, 3 cr.
RECR 210 is only offered in the Fall semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR274, Outdoor Recreation Pursuits, 3 cr.
RECR 274 is only offered in the Fall semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 3
ENGL102, Approaches to Literature Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
ENVS105, Environmental Ethics Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Select a minimum of 3 credits from the courses listed below:
ARAB101, Arabic I, 3 cr.
ARAB102, Arabic II, 3 cr.
CHIN101, Mandarin Chinese I, 3 cr.
CHIN102, Mandarin Chinese II, 3 cr.
FREN101, French I, 3 cr.
FREN102, French II, 3 cr.
FREN201, Intermediate French I, 3 cr.
FREN202, Intermediate French II, 3 cr.
GERM101, Beginning German I, 3 cr.
GERM102, Beginning German II, 3 cr.
ITAL101, Italian I, 3 cr.
ITAL102, Italian II, 3 cr.
RUSN101, Russian I, 3 cr.
RUSN102, Russian II, 3 cr.
SPAN101, Beginning Spanish I, 4 cr.
SPAN102, Beginning Spanish II, 3 cr.
SPAN201, Intermediate Spanish I, 3 cr.
SPAN202, Intermediate Spanish II, 3 cr.
Use Schedule Search for electives

Spring Term 2

Minimum Total Semester Credits: 16

BIOL115, Field Natural History, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
ENGL201, Fundamentals of Speech, 3 cr. Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR220, Programming in Recreation and Leisure, 3 cr.
RECR 220 is only offered in the Spring semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
RECR260, Camp Counseling and Outdoor Education, 3 cr.
RECR 260 is only offered in the Spring semester.
Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi 
Choose one from the courses listed below:
Minimum credits required: 1
RECR276, Outdoor Recreation Field Adventure Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
RECR284, Outdoor Recreation Proficiency Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
RECR285, Recreation Field Work Schedule: Sp, Su, Fa, Wi
Use Schedule Search for electives


SUNY General Education & Tompkins Cortland Liberal Arts courses

Note: The @ symbol represents any course number or discipline. For example, BIOL @ means any course with a Biology course prefix. An @ alone means one course in any course discipline with any course number.