The mission of the Department of Recreation and Tourism Management is to facilitate students’ achievement of their educational and career goals through a learning-centered academic program, which develops intellectual capacity and practical skills and is committed to excellence, experiential learning and the development of innovative professionals capable of adapting dynamic environments, using the Greater Los Angeles area as a laboratory.
We provide a challenging, student-centered education to prepare professionals with a commitment to enhancing the quality of human life through hospitality, tourism and recreation. We value each student as a unique individual and work in partnership with the community to match students’ strengths and interests in field placements where classroom theory comes to life.
Recreation and Tourism Management faculty are available each semester for academic advisement prior to registration. Students are able to meet with their faculty member of choice during regular faculty office hours or by appointment. The undergraduate and graduate advisors are Mechelle Best, José Gonzalez, Joong-won Lee, Nathan Martin, Erika Sung, Veda Ward, Al Wright and Jimmy Xie. Additional advising resources for students are available at the department’s Canvas site (RTM Advisement). Students should contact the department office for access information.
Upon completion of the academic advisement session, the registration hold is lifted and the student may then participate in the registration process as scheduled by the University.
Recreation and Tourism Management graduates have many career paths to pursue within the recreation, human services, tourism and hospitality industries. Included in this vast array of career opportunities are positions as travel coordinators, hotel and hospitality managers, tourism destination specialists, convention coordinators, event planners and coordinators, health club and spa managers, tour guides and interpreters, and recreational sport and entertainment facility managers, and entrepreneurs.
Graduates also choose paths in the outdoors, municipal recreation and nonprofit sectors of the profession. These careers include positions as recreation center directors, recreation coordinators, outdoor education specialists, camp directors, nature interpreters, park rangers, aquatic specialists, campus recreational sport directors, play center facilitators/directors, and employee recreation services and sport directors.
Finally, graduates find fulfilling careers in professional settings, such as military recreation, correctional recreation, campus student unions, religious youth recreation, fund development, community youth recreation and sport agencies.
The Department of Recreation and Tourism Management is accredited through the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT) and the Association for Experiential Education (AEE).
Clubs and Societies
The Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation Management Association (THRMA) is a student club created by and run by students in the department. Special opportunities for leadership and professional development are created by student involvement.
Professional and Scholarly Organizations
Students are encouraged to explore membership organizations in and related to the fields of tourism, hospitality and recreation, most of which offer student membership. Engaging with professional organizations can help students to build networks necessary for future employment and further educational and professional development opportunities. Several of these organizations may also offer industry specific/skill enhancement opportunities, conferences and/or scholarships for students.
Department faculty members are actively engaged with various professional organizations, including:
- Association for Experiential Education
- California Parks and Recreation Society
- California Travel Association
- International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education
- Meeting Professionals International
- National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association
- National Recreation and Park Association
- Sport and Recreation Law Association
The department offers five scholarships annually:
- Anderson Award
- Dr. Byrne C. Fernelius Scholarship
- Foley Award
- Lola Sadlo Scholarship for Creative Endeavor
- Morash Award
Department of Recreation and Tourism Management
Chair: Mechelle Best
Redwood Hall (RE) 262