CMU announces Michigan's first Recreation and Event Management major

New major addresses the demands of the recreation and event industry
Tim Otteman RPLSA class
Central Michigan University has announced Michigan’s first major in Recreation and Event Management. The new major, to be housed in the College of Education and Human Services and the recreation, parks and leisure services administration department, addresses an industry need for recreation professionals with event management skills by getting students trained to plan national and international conferences and events.
 
“People have always expected recreation professionals to be able to work at recreational venues, but those professionals also are responsible for planning events at those venues,” said Tim Otteman, assistant professor of recreation. “People are starting to realize recreation professionals need an event planning skill set. With this new major, the credentials will fit the reality of the industry.”
 
The major follows recommendations from the recreation department’s practitioner-based advisory boards, nationwide internship supervisors and data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, which indicate recreation and event jobs are expected to increase 44 percent by 2020.
 
“The benefit of the new major is threefold,” Otteman said. “It responds to the needs of the profession by providing a credential created specifically for our industry, providing an academic foundation best suited for current and future jobs in the field, and it puts CMU at the forefront of the preparation of recreation and event students not only in the state of Michigan, but nationwide.”
 
“We are excited to launch this new degree,” said Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, dean of the College of Education and Human Services. “The faculty thoughtfully examined career trends and listened to community and student needs to craft a meaningful degree option for our undergraduates."”
 
The new major will replace two majors in the recreation department — Commercial Recreation and Facility Management and Community Leisure Services Administration.
 
“Today’s academic programs need to be keenly aware of, and responsive to, changing professional competencies,” says Bob Frost, chairman of the recreation department. “The worlds of municipal and commercial recreation are dramatically different than they were 10 years ago. This newly reshaped major reflects the knowledge and skills needed now and in the future.”
 
Students who complete the major at CMU will be prepared for work at recreational venues and agencies, but also events such as festivals, tradeshows and expositions. CMU currently hosts approximately 250 commercial and community recreation majors. The REM major will go into effect for the 2013-2014 academic year.

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