Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies

Course Descriptions

Course Fees

A course fee is assessed in Emergency Response (REC 216), Emergency Medical Response with Focus on Wilderness Application (REC 218), Adventure Based Counseling (REC 367), Assessment and Documentation in Therapeutic Recreation (REC 382), Professional Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation Practice (REC 494), and selected RHF courses.

REC 110 Foundations of Recreation and Leisure Studies
This course addresses the concepts of leisure, play, and recreation, emphasizing the role that leisure should play in modern society. Lectures and discussions on societal attitudes toward work and leisure stress the need to keep these activities in proper perspective. Students will concentrate on psychological aspects of optimal experience and quality of life. Community leisure services will be addressed. Assignments will encourage students to explore leisure lifestyle attitudes. Cr 3. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

REC 121 Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation Services
An overview of therapeutic recreation, including historical and philosophical foundations, service models, professional functions, and service settings. The psychology of disability will be included as well as an introduction to disabling conditions. Prerequisite: therapeutic recreation major or instructor permission. Cr 3. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

REC 216 Emergency Response
This course will cover topics prescribed by the American Red Cross in their emergency response course, including respiratory and cardiac emergencies, wounds, poisoning, sudden illness, burns, and other topics. Successful completion of course requirements will lead to Emergency Response certification, including adult, child, and infant CPR, from the American Red Cross. Equivalent to CON 216 and SPM 216. Cr 3. Offered Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

REC 218 Emergency Medical Response with Focus on Wilderness Application
This course prepares students to stabilize and care for victims of medical emergencies in remote and wilderness area settings when advanced medical professionals are not readily available. The course is a requirement for students enrolled in the nature tourism minor. Students who successfully complete the course will qualify for certification by the American Red Cross in Wilderness Emergency Response and CPR for the Professional Rescuer. Cr 3.  Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

REC 219 Lifetime Physical Fitness and Wellness
The primary emphasis of this course is to teach students how to take control of their personal health and lifestyle habits. Major areas will include nutrition/weight management, fitness training techniques, flexibility, coronary risk factor management, muscular strength/endurance, stress management, and other wellness-related topics. Class content will include readings, discussions, self-assessment activities, and development of personalized nutrition and physical activity plans. Equivalent to CON 219 and SPM 219. Cr 3. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

REC 223 Nature-based Tourism
This course covers the basics of nature tourism, a broad category that covers ecotourism, adventure tourism, and a variety of activities and programs involving the outdoors. An emphasis is placed on Maine and northern New England nature tourism. REC 223 is a required course for the nature tourism minor offered jointly between the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies and the Department of Environmental Science. Cr 3.  Offered Fall semester only.

REC 224 Inclusive and Special Recreation
This course will explore how to include persons with disabilities into non-treatment focused recreation programs and services. Disability awareness and history plus physical and program access will be explored with a focus on requirements specified by federal ADA legislation. Recreation and sport organizations for persons with disabilities as well as assistive devices that enable access will also be examined. Prerequisite: REC 110 or instructor permission. Cr 3.  Offered Fall semester only.

REC 226 Lifetime Leisure Activities
Through participation in a variety of recreational pursuits, students will explore the rules, techniques, strategies, and adaptations for successful participation by those individuals with disabilities. Youth sport development, leadership techniques for teaching physical recreation activities, and basic motor learning concepts will also be addressed. Cr 3.  Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

REC 229 Adapted Aquatics Laboratory
This course introduces students to the therapeutic medium of water as it is used to promote the physical, psychological, and social well-being for persons with disabilities. The lab will require students to participate in a community-based adapted aquatics program under the supervision of a therapeutic recreation, adapted aquatics specialist. Students will be given a general introduction to the disabilities presented by program participants and will be required to learn and apply adapted aquatics assessments, skills, and program management knowledge. Each student will negotiate, with the instructor, the aquatics program that will be attended. The lab will require approximately two hours on site per week. Prerequisites: Instructor permission, plus passage of basic swimming skills and lifting tests. Cr 1.  Offered variable semesters.

REC 231 Arts and Crafts Programming and Leadership
Students will learn about the therapeutic benefits of art and craft activities and how to plan, adapt, organize, and lead crafts programs and activities. The course will require students to participate in a variety of craft activities such as leatherwork, weaving, quilting, sand painting, and other appropriate projects. Prerequisite: instructor permission. Cr 3.  Offered Spring semester only.

REC 233 Outdoor Recreation
This course focuses on safe, sustainable, nature-based recreation with an emphasis on "leave no trace" principles. The role of park systems and wilderness environments relative to recreation in modern society will be examined. A variety of outdoor recreation activities will be introduced. Several class trips will be required; thus students must be prepared to pay charges (a total of no more than $20) for access to outdoor activity environments and equipment. Cr 3.  Offered Fall semester only.

REC 241 Recreation Leadership
This course will provide students with the basic knowledge and methods necessary for effective leadership in recreation settings. Students will be required to participate in projects, presentations, and discussions that are aimed at helping them to develop and analyze leadership skills in a variety of recreation program areas such as special events, expressive arts, passive recreation, outdoor recreation, and sports. Cr 3. Offered Fall semester only.

REC 285 Perspectives on Animal-Assisted Therapy
This course explores the role of pets and other animals in contemporary society with a special emphasis on understanding the role animals may play in the treatment and rehabilitation of persons with a variety of physical and psychological disabilities. Lectures, discussions, guest speakers, and a variety of audiovisual materials will be utilized to meet course objectives. Cr 3.

REC 311 Psychosocial Interventions for Older Adults
This course will explore the normal aging process in addition to a variety of chronic conditions experienced by older adults. The focus of the course will be on non-pharmacological intervention strategies for older adults residing in community and clinical agencies. Intervention examples include stress management, animal-assisted therapy, storytelling, autobiographical writing, bibliotherapy, adventure-based activities, air mat therapy, and "simple pleasures" activities. Other topics of study will include attitudes, stereotypes, and social issues that affect older adults today. Off-campus service learning experiences will be expected along with in-class discussions. Cr 3. Offered Spring semester only.

REC 314 Wellness Education and Counseling
This course is designed to facilitate an understanding of how to plan, implement, and evaluate wellness education programs. Teaching and learning styles will be addressed. Counseling skills will be practiced. Teaching techniques and tips will be highlighted. The course follows a learning-by-doing and reflection-in-action approach to education. Students will participate in experiential group and individual processes and be expected to apply personal insight when working with others. Cr 3.

REC 332 Methods in Therapeutic Recreation Program Design
Using a systems approach to therapeutic recreation program development, students will learn how to develop group oriented treatment and educational programs. Leisure assessment, documentation, and individualized treatment plan development will be introduced. Students will be required to meet together outside of class to work on group program development projects.Prerequisites: REC 121, REC 225, majors only. Cr 3.  Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

REC 353 Implications of Disabling Conditions for Therapeutic Recreation
This course provides an overview of physical and developmental disabilities with emphasis on etiology, clinical descriptors, rehabilitation, and educational concerns. Examination of the impact of disability on leisure and therapeutic recreation programming will be addressed, as will barriers that affect communication and interactions between persons with and without disabilities. Cr 3. Offered Fall semester only.

REC 367 Adventure Based Counseling
The course focuses on how to facilitate and then process outdoor/adventure/recreation activities as a means to improve self-concepts, develop group cohesion and uncover feelings, among others. Course objectives will be met through experiential as well as theoretical methods, thus allowing the student to acquire the skills necessary to lead groups through similar activities. Class format will be lectures, discussions, group activities, and presentations by class members. The course will address how to plan, implement, lead, debrief, and evaluate adventure experiences. Cr 3.  Offered Spring semester only.

REC 382 Assessment and Documentation in Therapeutic Recreation
This course examines therapeutic recreation services in a variety of settings. Emphasis will be on assessment and documentation within healthcare settings. Students will learn assessment, individual treatment planning, intervention strategies, and the development of treatment protocols. Students will be required to work in groups and participate in class leadership. A 24-hour practicum experience in a therapeutic recreation program is required. Prerequisites: Recreation and Leisure Studies major or Recreation Leadership minor, REC 332, HRD/SBS 200. Cr. 3. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

REC 383 Facilitation Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation
Exploration of the processes and techniques used in Therapeutic Recreation practice. A focus on evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence will facilitate the learning of various recreation and leisure activities, modalities, and interventions. Therapeutic Recreation processes, approaches, leadership roles and tasks, communication skills, and therapeutic relationships will be addressed. A 24-hour clinical practicum is required. Prerequisite: REC 332. Cr 3. Offered Spring semester only.

REC 386 Recreation Facility Design and Maintenance
This course presents a comprehensive introduction to the field of design management and maintenance for future recreation and leisue service professionals. It offers a detailed look at the foundations of the profession, including defining characteristics of recreation facility management and descriptions of the duties of a recreation facility manager and areas within the facilities. The course also covers common indoor and outdoor elements of facilities, including sites, spaces, lighting, surfaces, utilities, landscaping, walkways, and parking areas. Cr 3. Offered Spring semester only.

REC 390 Topics in Recreation and Leisure Studies
This course includes topic areas in recreation and leisure studies not already covered by regular course offerings . May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Cr 3. Offered variable semesters.

REC 398 Independent Study
This course is open only to students majoring or minoring within the program who have identified a topic, relevant to their course of study, that they want to study in depth and for which there is no existing appropriate course. Students must obtain a faculty supervisor and negotiate a written independent study contract with this person. Independent study forms can be obtained from the program. Cr 1-3.  Offered variable semesters.

REC 494 Professional Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation Practice
This course will prepare students for an extended internship experience. Students will complete all of the tasks necessary to secure an internship placement. Serious study and discussion of topics such as professional conduct, ethics, safety, and risk management will be required. This course must be taken immediately prior to Internship. Prerequisites: REC core courses and instructor's permission. Cr 3. Offered Spring semester only.

REC 495 Internship
Students are required to work a minimum of 560 hours in an agency that provides therapeutic recreation services. During this period the students will apply the knowledge, methods, and leadership techniques that they have learned in academic courses. Students will be directly supervised by qualified agency personnel and indirectly supervised by faculty. This course is usually taken the senior year. Prerequisites: REC 494 and instructor's permission. Health insurance is required of students enrolled in this course. Cr 12. 
Offered Fall semester for Therapeutic Recreation students. 
Offered Summer semester for Community Recreation students only.

REC 497/498 Management and Professional Development in Therapeutic Recreation
An overview of management roles in therapeutic recreation settings with major focus on comprehensive program development, supervision of professional and volunteer personnel, policy and strategy development, and quality assurance. Each student is required to develop a comprehensive program and policy manual. Students will apply the information learned during internships to course assignments and discussions. Prerequisite: REC 495. Cr 3. 
REC 497 Community Recreation students who have accomplished their internship in summer will be allowed to take management course in Fall semester only. 
REC 498 Therapeutic Recreation students who have accomplished their internship in fall will be allowed to take management course in Spring semester only.  

RHF 106 Ballroom Dance
This class is designed to teach the basic steps in many popular ballroom dances. Students will begin with slow, smooth dances and progress into Rhythm dances. In addition to dance steps, students will cover a variety of dance related topics, including dance floor etiquette, lead and follow technique, and exercises designed to help students dance in a partnership. Because skill or fitness development are objectives in all RHF courses, students must attend and participate in class activities to pass the course. The program reserves the right to request written medical clearance for participation in courses that require high intensity exercise. Cr 1.5. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

RHF 109 Beginning Weight Training
The course is a study of the basic principles of weight training and the physiological responses and adaptations to weight training exercises. Specifically, the subject matter will focus on the safe and proper execution of different weight training exercises. In addition, students will study basic aspects of weight training programs, i.e., sets, repetitions, intensity, frequency, duration, progression, specificity, and overload. This course will assist students in developing awareness and appreciation of the role of exercise for a healthy lifestyle and injury prevention. Because skill or fitness development are objectives in all RHF courses, students must attend and participate in class activities to pass the course. The program reserves the right to request written medical clearance for participation in courses that require high intensity exercise. Cr 1.5. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

RHF 118 Yoga
In this course, students will explore various postures and styles of yoga, breathing techniques, and meditation. Students also will discuss ancient yogic philosophy and examine how it applies to their individual lives and yoga practice. Because skill or fitness development are objectives in all RHF courses, students must attend and participate in class activities to pass the course. The program reserves the right to request written medical clearance for participation in courses that require high intensity exercise. Cr 1.5. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

RHF 121 Self Defense
Emphasizing the importance of personal mastery and good decision making over technique, this course focuses on risk scenarios and developing strategies for those scenarios through discussion and analysis, emphasizing the importance of customizing strategies to the individual. The course examines shortcomings of traditional “techniques based” approaches and instead focuses on specific risks we face such as road rage, the role of alcohol and drugs in social settings and society, as well as simple high impact techniques easily adaptable by most students for those rare instances when they must take a physical stand. Each class incorporates a “Self Defense Current Events” review to look at real life events in Portland, Maine and around the country to serve as examples to discuss and analyze. Because skill or fitness development are objectives in all RHF courses, students must attend and participate in class activities to pass the course. The program reserves the right to request written medical clearance for participation in courses that require high intensity exercise. Cr 1.5. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

RHF 122 Aerobic Kick Boxing
Blending boxing, kicking techniques, aerobics, pilates, yoga, and a dash of middle school gym class, this course integrates these elements into a fast paced cross training program. Fundamentals are first introduced via a “techniques” format set to music.  Later in the semester, students transition to impact striking, using target pads to develop power, speed, and accuracy. The course embraces several mantras, including “know the thing, do the thing” and importance of focusing on each activity and technique to maximize the benefit of the work out. Proper warm up, stretching and cooling down techniques are also incorporated. Because skill and fitness development is an objective of the course, students must attend and participate in class activities in order to pass. The Department reserves the right to request written medical clearance for participation. Cr 1.5. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

RHF 123 Introduction to Sea Kayaking
This course is designed to provide education and skill development in sea kayaking. Because skill and fitness development is an objective of the course, students must attend and participate in class activities in order to pass. The Department reserves the right to request written medical clearance for participation. Students are required to pay vendor charges for equipment and parking. Cr 1.5. Offered Fall semester.

RHF 124 T'ai Chi Qigong
In this course, students will become acquainted with essential biomechanics, applied mental intention, and internal energy development methods required to build gong and establish foundations for Taiji forms; learn basic history of Taijiquan and about yin/yang theory; learn efficient and integrated use of body and the roles of breath, heart/mind, and intentionality on physicality and personal harmony; explore relationships among mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual experiences; explore differences among physical, mental, and mind/body learning; and learn to appreciate relationships between healing arts and martial arts aspects of Taiji. Because skill or fitness development are objectives in all RHF courses, students must attend and participate in class activities to pass the course. The program reserves the right to request written medical clearance for participation in courses that require high intensity exercise. Cr 1.5. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

RHF 126 Stability and Physio-Ball Exercise
This class will use the physio ball to design a total fitness program to build a long, lean, and agile body. Students will concentrate on strengthening and lengthening muscles of the torso. The program will include elements of core strength, balance, flexibility, endurance, and cardiovascular fitness. Because skill or fitness development are objectives in all RHF courses, students must attend and participate in class activities to pass the course. The program reserves the right to request written medical clearance for participation in courses that require high intensity exercise. Cr 1.5. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

RHF 127 Pilates
In this course, students will participate in an exercise program focused on building strength, tone, and increased flexibility. They will develop awareness of the mind-body connection and its relationship to health. Because skill or fitness development are objectives in all RHF courses, students must attend and participate in class activities to pass the course. The program reserves the right to request written medical clearance for participation in courses that require high intensity exercise. Cr 1.5. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

Nature-based Tourism at USM

Enrollment in the Nature Tourism Minor can increase your understanding and enjoyment of nature while enhancing future employment opportunities in ecotourism and adventure recreation businesses, wilderness equipment outfitters, or organizations that focus on environmental education.

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