Friday, March 14, 2014

Healthy lifestyles start with proper leisure and recreational programs

If you have a passion for helping others and a flair for organizing activities, there is a career fit for you. Working in the recreation and leisure services requires professionals to have knowledge of recreational programming methods, health and wellness tactics, and community development. You can learn more about this profession while obtaining a recreation management degree in a community college.

The School of Community and Health Studies at Centennial College offers the two-year Recreation and Leisure Services (1202) program to students who wish to pursue a career in community-building and healthcare areas. It is filled with classroom lecture put into practice involving child and youth development, group dynamics, therapeutic recreation, healthy lifestyle management, and community planning. Classes are filled with interactive discussions, role-playing, and relevant assignments that reflect a real professional’s day of work.

Furthermore, students gain on-the-job training with three field placements. Students are equipped with the knowledge from classes and prepared to work through field placement seminars. A faculty advisorregularly visits the students to monitor their progress, while a field supervisor oversees the operations at the site at work. Students gain a very hands-on experience working with real clients and facing workplace issues, where they are challenged to make recommendations and find solutions for problems.

Career outlook for graduates in the program look good, as the population grow older and need more assistance in their day-to-day lives. Additionally, parents of young children understand the importance of proper programming in daycare settings, so graduates also cater to the kids programming at learning centres. Let’s take a look at what the students can expect at the workplace upon graduation:

  • Students may work in various healthcare settings such as in hospitals, long-term care centres, retirement homes, childcare centres, youth-focused not-for-profit organizations, rehabilitation centres, and recreational community centres.
  • Job titles that graduates can pursue include Leisure Specialty Instructor, Community Recreation Programmer, Camp Counsellor, Lifestyle/Recreation Co-ordinator, and Recreation Facilitator.
  • Job responsibilities include the planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs that will benefit the well-being of clients and promote a positive lifestyle.
  • Graduates have been hired at the following organizations: Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, Leisureworld, Variety Village, and Bridgepoint Health.
  • Good starting pay, depending on work settings, with some graduates earning a $15 hourly rate.
  • Career development opportunities are available, with promotions on the same type of jobs at different levels or moving into managerial positions.

Centennial's Recreation and Leisure Services program is an ideal environment for nurturing a student's communication, problem-solving, and analytical skills required in the workplace. Its recreation management courses are filled with theoretical learning in conjunction with practical training, which ensures that students can connect their schooling with workplace responsibilities. Graduates have successfully transitioned to healthcare and community development settings, where they can put their knowledge and skills to good use.

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