Principles of the Profession
The profession of campus recreational sports was founded on principles that remain at its core today: professional development of practitioners, nurturing of student learning and development, and dedication to promoting lifelong learning and healthy lifestyles for students and other members of the university community. Successful prospective professionals demonstrate a commitment to and understanding of these core principles.
Dedication to Professional Development
Professional development is a core component of the field of campus recreational sports. Although the skills and competencies for program delivery bear many similarities to its sister field of parks and recreation, the fact that campus recreational sports practitioners are located in higher education institutions means that growth and development lie at the heart of their mission. This is true for practitioners and for those they serve. This mission is exemplified by the involvement of most professionals in professional organizations and the number of learning opportunities offered by these organizations. It is evident in any meeting of professionals across the country as they engage in learning and sharing through networking with each other. Anyone who wishes to be successful in the field must therefore be willing to share and borrow information, because doing so forms a key foundation of the field of campus recreational sports.
Commitment to Student Learning and Development
Another key aspect of campus recreational sports administration is a dedication to preparing students for their future, whether it lies within the field of campus recreational sports or elsewhere. Students who are involved in campus recreational sports programs grow and develop as a result of their involvement. In addition, campus recreational sports administrators work with students in delivering programs and services in order to prepare students for future success as professionals in the field. Encouraging, teaching, and providing intentional learning experiences for students encompasses every aspect of the responsibilities of a campus recreational sports professional. This historic effort to use recreation programs, facilities, and services to provide learning opportunities has been exemplified recently as practitioners have engaged in increased efforts to develop measurable learning outcomes for students who are staff members or participants in campus recreational sports organizations.
Promotion of Lifelong Learning and Healthy Lifestyles
The founders of NIRSA in the 1950s believed in helping students gain sports skills for lifelong fun and fitness. This original premise has been expanded within the more comprehensive campus recreational sports programs of today to include more offerings, such as programs specifically designed to promote health and wellness, and services and facilities that provide the opportunity to pursue growth and development in many areas. Campus recreational sports professionals also maximize these opportunities by collaborating with other departments on campus.