Tompkins Cortland Community College

Catalog 2017-18

Recreation: Recreation Leadership

(HEGIS: 5506)

A.S. Degree

Recreation and leisure is America’s number one economic activity. Leisure time experiences are big business and organized recreation offerings are growing, creating demand for capable recreation leaders to develop and coordinate an array of recreational, cultural, and athletic activities for people to enjoy and improve their quality of life.

The recreation leadership program provides a solid core of liberal arts courses complemented by more specialized courses in leadership, programming, diversity and inclusion, human relations, and recreation management. This combination of theory and applied knowledge plays a vital foundation for further study toward a bachelor’s degree. By the time you complete the recreation leadership program, you will have toured community facilities, worked at two different agencies, heard multiple guest speakers from your field, interviewed a recreation professional, participated in a team challenge course with classmates, and networked with other recreation leaders.

Program Requirements

(for those matriculating in 2017-2018)


A.S., requirements, career options

Field Experience

Field experience is an exciting component of the recreation leadership program. Volunteer work provides the opportunity to learn and apply inclusive leadership skills and knowledge in a variety of agencies in Tompkins, Cortland, and Tioga counties. Field experience opportunities, including those at the Town of Dryden Recreation Department, the Dryden After School Program, the Cortland Teen Center, local YMCA’s, Ithaca Youth Bureau, and the College's Campus Recreation Department provide hands-on experience developing skills and social networks necessary for your career in recreation.

Career Opportunities

Recreation leaders develop and manage recreational, cultural, and athletic activities in a variety of settings. These include school districts, corporations, community and municipal facilities, correctional facilities, health care organizations, and private clubs and resorts. Among the fastest growing specialties are tourism, therapeutic, and commercial recreation.

Recreation leaders who have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree are more likely to be offered higher-level management positions.

Transfer Options

The recreation leadership program provides a strong foundation for transfer as a junior to a four-year college. Graduates have transferred to:

  • SUNY College at Brockport
  • SUNY College at Cortland
  • Ithaca College
  • Lock Haven University
  • SUNY College at Plattsburgh

For specific transfer information, contact the Counseling, Career, and Transfer Services office.

Program Chair

Patrick Mercer
Associate Professor (Recreation)

Contact Admissions about this program