The vision for the future of the Recreation Management program is to be recognized as a training ground for leaders in the professions of recreation management, tourism, and outdoor leadership who will serve the Southern Appalachian region, the state, and the world. Since 2004, the program's enrollment has seen a steady increase, with students specializing in the areas of commercial recreation and tourism management, recreation and park management, and outdoor experiential education.
The mission of the Recreation Management program is to prepare students to manage natural and cultural recreation resources in order to enhance the leisure experience. Through coursework and service learning activities, students gain understanding of the history, philosophies and theories of recreation and leisure. They develop knowledge and skills necessary to plan, promote, administer and evaluate recreation programs, facilities and services in a variety of settings. Students have the opportunity to develop specialized knowledge in the area of Commercial Recreation and Tourism Management, Recreation and Park Management or Outdoor Experiential Education.
The program has a faculty of nine full-time and five part-time professors with backgrounds and experience in the entire spectrum of recreation. A combination of classroom and hands-on experience with one-on-one advising is emphasized The Recreation Management Program at Appalachian State University is fortunate to be located in the mountainous northwest corner of North Carolina. The region includes Mount Mitchell (the highest peak east of the Rockies), the Blue Ridge Parkway, the New River (part of the Wild & Scenic Rivers System and an American Heritage River), Grandfather Mountain, several NC state parks, four ski resorts, the Pisgah National Forest, and numerous recreation oriented resorts and private developments.
Appalachian State University is located in the Town of Boone, providing a scenic, small town backdrop for the campus of approximately 17,000 students. Year round recreation opportunities include climbing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, white water boating, fishing, and camping.
The Recreation Management program at Appalachian State University has been continuously accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT) since 2001. COAPRT recognizes academic programs in colleges and universities that prepare new professionals to enter the parks, recreation, tourism and related professions. COAPRT Accreditation is a status granted to an academic program that meets or exceeds stated criteria of educational quality. In the United States, accreditation of professional preparation curricula is conferred by non-governmental bodies, which are often closely associated with professional associations in the field. COAPRT accredits baccalaureate degree programs in this profession. COAPRT is accredited by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).