Our immediate goal is to secure an articulation agreement with the City of Chicago Colleges (CCC). Specifically, we are working with Harold Washington College staff to secure an agreement for students in the Youth Work Program to matriculate to CSU Recreation program. Furthermore, we are currently engaged with the CCC Athletic Department Director to create an avenue for all Recreation majors specializing in Sports Studies the opportunity to complete their internships within 1 of the 10 CCC Athletic departments. Lastly, our on-going goal is the continual renewal of existing articulation agreements with other local community colleges.
Our next goal materialized upon extensive conversation with our Recreation Advisory Board. As a result, great enthusiasm has been expressed for the addition of a Graduate Program. We feel this will provide a great opportunity to boost enrollment. It is our desire that this post B.S. program will strengthen our program and will provide additional exposure of our program to supervisors and directors in various recreation professions.
The Chicago Park District (CPD) announced in 2013 that park employees seeking positions must possess a college degree. As a result Recreation Faculty has partnered with the CPD Workforce Development Division. Recreation Faculty now regularly present at CPD Professional Development Seminars and works with their Human Resources Department to determine how to proceed with internships for their full-time employees.
Reasons for not returning have included the following over the past five years:
- Students have taken new jobs which do not allow time for courses.
- Several students have experienced financial difficulties including problems with financial aid and ability to secure student loans. Specifically, not wanting to take out student loans.
- Students have switched to BOG or ICP to finish earlier.
- Students have had problems in core courses causing their GPA to drop, necessitating them transferring to BOG or ICP.
- Students had to withdraw from CSU to address family problems.
- Students work schedule has changed.
- Students don’t have support systems such as Child Care.
- Student Athletes have transferred out of program to pursue faster track to graduation due to scholarship ending.
|General Recreation|| 28|| 32|| 24|| 24|| 19|
|Sport Studies|| 9|| 8|| 9|| 9|| 5|
| 5|| 8|| 11|| 11|| 14|
|Recreation Management|| 2|| 2|| 3|| 6|| 6|
| Total|| 44|| 50|| 47|| 50|| 44|
With an average of 47 majors as indicated above over the previous 5 years, our goal is to increase enrollment numbers by 10% or the addition of 3-5 students annually.
Our retention efforts revolve around a few regular and consistent practices. First, we maintain a list of all current majors, past majors, recently inactive majors, graduates etc. We use this list to contact our majors about important dates and to forward them information about possible conferences, scholarships, internships, etc. We also use the list to maintain contact with past students to see why they had to leave the program and if the situation has been resolved to allow them to return.
Prior to the advising season an email is sent to let them know that it is time for advising. In addition, we use the list to keep in touch with our graduates. Objective: informed students will be more likely to stay involved. Result: difficult to evaluate though students are quick to update their email with me so they do not miss any information.
Second, we maintain prescription forms for each student to keep them up to date on what classes remain to take. These lists are updated each semester with the grades from the previous semester and given to the students. This allows them to have a simple form identifying what is completed and what remains. Objective: each student knows exactly what is expected and does not have any surprises. Result: difficult to judge but they have shown appreciation and often email me asking for a copy when they misplace theirs.
Third, Faculty have done a great job instilling a sense of professionalism within our majors. Objective: involved students will develop and continue their passion for the field. Result: we have seen several students find internships and jobs through contacts they make and have become more involved in the field to the point of holding state wide positions.
To graduate students we use the items discussed above regarding information, course prescriptions, and professional opportunities/exposure. Our graduation and retention efforts work in tandem to ensure the success of our students. Prior to graduation, the internship coordinator will work with the student during the internship to evaluate and discuss their skills and abilities. Dr. Shingles meets with each graduate to do an exit interview. We then add the student to our list of graduates and Advisory Board (where applicable) and keep in touch to discover where they wind up and how they are doing.
All faculty work to ensure that students are active members in the department student professional development club (PERC) so they are exposed to organizational membership while on campus. Faculty assist students in pursuing internal and external financial resources to aid in supplementing their tuition. Internal sources include the following awards: Honor, Merit, Loti Patirina, Alice Smith. External sources include professional associations affiliated with Parks and Recreation Professional Associations.