Community Recreation Advising Guide

The community recreation support area examines recreation and leisure in community settings by exploring how recreation helps create and sustain community in a variety of settings connected to the community leisure service delivery system. Some examples of this delivery system include municipal (city) parks and recreation agencies, non-profit agencies such as the YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs, Military Welfare and Recreation, and campus recreation services to name a few.

Suggested support area courses are composed of broad topical areas such as management/administration and professional development, and community and multicultural topics.

Choose the courses that best support your educational and career goals. Discuss those goals with your advisor so that you can ensure that your support area courses best suit your needs. Be sure to check the prerequisites for these classes.

Support Area Policies

Keep in mind the following program policies when planning your support area:

  • The support area is 25 upper division (300 level or above). Some lower division courses may be applied, but check with your advisor first. Courses may be selected from one or more departments.
  • Your advisor must approve your support area in writing. He/she must sign your support area approval form before you can register for courses. Any changes in your support area must also be cleared with your advisor in writing. Courses that have not been pre-approved will not be accepted.
  • For transfer students and students entering Recreation Management and Leadership from another major, some courses you have taken previously may be approved for your support area. Check with your advisor.
  • An approved minor or second major may substitute for the support area requirement. It is planned and evaluated through the department from which you wish to obtain a minor or second major. For example, students in the therapeutic recreation concentration are increasingly using psychology as a minor.
  • GUR courses may not be used to satisfy support area requirements.
  • Support area courses must be graded (A-F).
  • "D" and "F" grades are unacceptable.
  • Your advisor must approve Independent study credits used in your support area. For independent study courses, provide a brief written proposal describing what you want to do and why you want to do it.

Suggested Support Area Courses

American Cultural Studies

AMST 202 - The American Indian Experience (3)

The social and cultural evolution of the first peoples of the Americas. Focus on such aspects as education, self-determination, health issues and urbanization as they impact native indigenous populations. Also listed as FAIR 263b on an S/U grading basis.

AMST 203 – The Hispano/a-American Experience (3)

The development of the Hispano/a-American community, with emphasis on its history, its social and political institutions, and the effects of education, continuing immigration and economic stratification. Also offered as FAIR 218.

AMST 204 – The African-American Experience (3)

An overview of African-American history from an interdisciplinary perspective. Emphasis is on the struggle for social and political equality in a developing capitalist economy. The contemporary social, economic and political life of African Americans also will be examined.

AMST 205 – The Asian-American Experience (3)

The history of Asians in the United States, the development of communities and the effects of the encounter between Asian cultures and the developing American cultural context.

AMST 206 – The Jewish-American Experience (3)

An overview of the Jewish experience in America, past and present Jewish American marginalization, encounters with anti-Semitism and impact on the national scene. Study of Jewish Americans as a secular community, a community of faith, and an American minority ethnic group.

AMST 242 – The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Experience (3)

The development of the lesbian, gay, bisexual transgendered community in the United States, with emphasis on identity formation, historical and sociological influences and the effects of encounters between gay cultures and the larger cultural context. Also offered as FAIR 219.

AMST 301 – Comparative Cultural Studies (3)

The interaction of immigrant and indigenous cultures with the developing American cultural patterns. Emphasis upon models and concepts of interaction, especially related to African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos.

AMST 314 - Contemporary Latino/a Issues (4)

The course will familiarize students with theoretical approaches, empirical research, and policy issues relating to the social and historical conditions of Latino/as. By examining the conditions of adaptation, and particularly the implications of exclusion or inclusion, the course critically assesses the close ties that Latino/as have with the multiple dimensions of immigration and borders of many kinds.

AMST 315 - Contemporary American Indian Issues (4)

A historical and cultural overview of issues in Indian/White relations. Emphasis on issues of sovereignty, land claims, water rights, treaty rights, education, women, economic development, religious freedom, and cultural appropriation. Also offered as FAIR 399b.

AMST 316 - Contemporary African American Issues (4)

This course is an interdisciplinary examination of contemporary African American issues from the 1970s to the present. The focus will be on the various social, political, and economic issues that affect the African American community including education, economic development, affirmative action, reparations, interracial relations, criminal justice, racial discrimination, and political empowerment among others.

AMST 413 - Bridging Barriers with Migrant Youth

Course explores the barriers migrant students face in graduating from high school and going on to higher education. Course combines theoretical study with a service learning experience focused on supporting migrant youth to overcome the educational challenges they face. Repeatable up to a maximum of 8 credits, including original course. Also offered as EDUC 413.


ANTH 351 – Family and Kinship Organization (5)

Cross-cultural study of family types and the definition of social roles through kinship organization.

ANTH 352 - Cross-cultural Study of Aging (4)

Explores aging and being old in a variety of cultures as well as our own in the context of an unprecedented worldwide population explosion of older people, examining longevity and the demography of aging, conceptualizations of the life course and late life, family and community roles of older people, gender differences and similarities of aging, status relations between and among people of different ages, health and health care.

ANTH 353 – Sex and Gender in Culture

Cross-cultural study of gender stereotypes, gender and language, gender and work roles, gender and religion.

ANTH 481 – Childhood and Culture (4)

The process of socialization or enculturation viewed from a cross-cultural perspective.

ANTH 484 – Intercultural Education (4)

Comparative and anthropological study of educational issues. Examines learning in other cultures, home-school linkages, minority student achievement and multi-cultural curricula.


ART 380 – Art Education and the Child (3)

Not for Art majors. Strategies and techniques in production of art and critical inquiry by elementary school children.

ART 381 – Theories and Teaching Strategies in Art Education (4)

The study and application of art education theory in the elementary and secondary schools. Emphasis will be placed on curricular development in art criticism, aesthetics, art history and studio production.

ART 382 - Professional Practices in Art Education (3)

Introduction to professional practices in the field of art education.

ART 383 – Public Genre Art Education (4)

Opportunity to engage the community with art projects that foster diversity and public collaboration in conjunction with the study of the sociopolitical understanding of the site, population and audience.

Communication Studies

COMM 220 - Communication Theory (4)

Exploration of the dynamics of human interaction in small group settings. Group tasks include the development of problem-solving skills, utilizing topics of current interest.

COMM 224 – Small Group Processes (4)

Exploration of the dynamics of human interaction in small group settings. Group tasks include the development of problem-solving skills, utilizing topics of current interest.

COMM 225 - Communication, Diversity and Controversy (4)

This course is designed to foster the skills necessary for civil engagement and effective dialogue on controversial issues. Students will learn to appreciate, integrate, and effectively challenge diverse perspectives on a number of traditionally-divisive topics.

COMM 244 - Advocacy Through Media (4)

Introduction to nonprofit information campaigns, social issues marketing and other forms of advocacy through contemporary mass media. Students will learn basic theory and then engage in applied exercises as well as service learning assignments.

COMM 318 – Professional Communication (5)

This course integrates business writing, public speaking, collaborative problem solving, and diversity training in a professional development context. Includes theory application and skill development. Students will be working in collaboration with organizations on or off campus.

COMM 322 -Civil Discourse as Learning Interaction (4)

This course explores the nature of public civil discourse and provides instruction and practice in writing and speaking across differences for a range of public audiences in an effort to enhance the collective good. By focusing on the theory and practice of civil discourse as a means for accomplishing effective dialogue, students will develop concepts, attitudes, and skills – both oral and written - needed to be engaged learners and citizens in the campus community and beyond. Course requires participation in Western's Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA), which includes students, faculty, and staff who are

COMM 325 – Introduction to Intercultural Communication (5)

Introduction to intercultural communication. Principles, concepts and various topics in this rapidly growing, important field. Covers the needed skills in communicating effectively with people of diverse cultural backgrounds.

COMM 327 – Interpersonal Communication (5)

Focuses on theory and practice in work, family, and social settings. Emphasizes observation, analysis, and skills training in relationship development. Topics include language use, listening, nonverbal behavior and conflict management.

COMM 331 – Advanced Public Speaking (3)

Theory and practice in the art of public discourse.

Communication Science and Disorders

CSD 354 – Speech and Language Development in Children (3)

Typical speech and language acquisition; its impact on the developing child; origins and growth of symbolic processes, developmental norms; factors influencing learning of language and speech.

Early Childhood Education

ECE 430 - Creativity & Play in ECE (4)

Developing the skills and techniques for working with children in the arts. Includes visual art, music, drama, and dance/movement. Emphasis on cognitive and literacy development in the context of play.

ECE 431 - Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education (4)

Introduction to the field of early childhood education. Includes historical perspectives, philosophical bases, major theories, professional ethics, developmentally appropriate practices, curricular approaches, types of early childhood settings, role of the teacher and educational issues.

ECE 435 – Child Abuse and Neglect (4)

Examines multiple issues related to the identification and reporting of young children where abuse and neglect are suspected. Study of child maltreatment, family dynamics and preventive strategies for child, family and community. Examination of ecological perspective and a risk/resilience framework.


ENG 302 – Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing (5)

Introduction to major contemporary strategies and conventions used in written and oral communication for multiple audiences in professional settings. Covers a variety of written forms used in the preparation and design of technical and business documents, critical analyses of these forms and practices, and the ethical and social implications of a technical writer's choices.

Environmental Studies

ENVS 443 – The Urban Environment (4)

Comparative patterns and processes of urban-economic change in the industrial and non-industrial world. Emphasis on urban environmental development issues and conflicts.


Fair 387k – Grant Writing Workshop (4)

Focuses on the basics of grant writing, including seeking funding sources, reading and interpreting funding guidelines, developing and refining proposals, and tricks of the trade. Development of, either individually or as a group, two small grant proposals.

Human Services

HSP 301 - Human Services Professionals and Personal Systems (4)

Explores personal systems in relation to other systems with an emphasis on motives, values, personal communication, and self-determination.

HSP 302 - Introduction to Human Services (3)

A conceptual foundation of human services, with an emphasis on history, current theoretical models, and ethical considerations for professionals.

HSP 303 - Human Services Professionals and Interpersonal Systems (4)

Investigates interpersonal systems in relation to other systems, with an emphasis on communication models and professional strategies.

HSP 305 - Human Services Professionals and Small Group Systems (4)

A study of small groups in relation to other systems, with emphasis on theories of group dynamics, process, facilitation, and leadership.

HSP 315 - Human Development and Human Services (4)

An interdisciplinary examination of human development across the lifespan, with an emphasis on issues that are relevant to providing effective human services delivery. Topics examine theories related to physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development, normative and non-normative developmental processes, and the relationship between public policy, human services, and human development.

HSP 331 - Children, Families, and Communities (4)

Explores theories, research, and practices of child and family-centered development with an emphasis on child and family-centered support practices, home-school-community collaborations, interprofessional practices, and integrated services.

HSP 402 - Human Services Professionals Organizational Systems (4)

An examination of human service organizations in relation to other systems, with an emphasis on organizational theory, influencing systems and outcomes, and the role of human services professionals in organizations.

HSP 404 - Human Services Professionals and Community Systems (4)

Study of community systems in relation to human services systems. Emphasis on analyzing theories of community change and examining the roles of human services professionals in communities.

HSP 455 – Diversity and Social Justice Dynamics (4)

Examination of the current complexity and historical context of diversity in relationship to human service systems. Topics include responses to institutional oppression and privilege as manifested in societal systems.


MGMT 271 – Law and the Business Environment (4)

Historical development of legal institutions, the judicial process, and impact of the law upon individual and business decision making.

MGMT 311 – Introduction to Management and Organizational Behavior (4)

Introduction to organization theory, behavior and interpersonal communication; concepts of power, authority and influence; the role of philosophy and values in organizations.

MGMT 313 – Teamwork Basics (4)

An introduction to teamwork concepts and skills. Covers structural and process attributes of teams with the objective of enhancing team leader or member effectiveness.

MGMT 319 - Business Communications (4)

Business writing principles applied to various types of communications and reports. Cases used; work must be submitted in acceptable business format.

Management Information Systems

MIS 220 – Introduction to Business Computer Systems (2)

Introduction to use of commercial software packages for business applications, including spreadsheet analysis, word processing, data management, and communications. S/U grading.


MKTG 380 – Principles of Marketing (4)

Identification and analysis of relevant opportunities and constraints in consumer and industrial target markets. Management of the marketing mix including product planning, distribution institutions and activities, promotion and pricing.

Physical Education

Activity Courses (100-level):

Many activity courses may be helpful for your own skill development, however, only one class may be counted toward your support area.

Political Science

PLSC 347 - Race, Politics and Public Policy (5)

The historical and political bases of contemporary racial conflict in the United States.

PLSC 353 - State and Local Politics (5)

Politics of states, urban regions and suburbs. Inter-jurisdictional conflict over growth or development. Federal relations, direct democracy and state policy making.


PSY 230 - Developmental Psychology (5)

Basic principles of development. Topics include behavior genetics, early experience, language, cognition, personality and social development. Students cannot earn credit for both PSY 230 and 372. May be substituted for PSY 372 in the teacher education program.

PSY 240 – Social Psychology (5)

Socialization (moral development, racial, ethnic and class differences), attitudes and attitude change, conformity, interpersonal attraction. Theories and methods of social psychology stressing applicability of social psychological research and knowledge to contemporary social problems.

PSY 330 – Child Development (5)

In-depth coverage of social and cognitive development in children and adolescents. Emphasis on the implications and practical applications of research findings in these areas.

PSY 331 - Adult Development and Aging (5)

Examines developmental processes that occur in later life, with a focus on theory, research and practical issues. Topics include a) theoretical and methodological issues, b) biological changes and health issues, c) changes in memory and intelligence, d) personality across adulthood and e) death and dying.

PSY 359 - Introduction to School and Community Counseling (4)

Overview of professional counseling in schools, colleges and communities. Includes counselor roles, ethics, counseling theories and techniques, training and licensing, counseling minorities, outreach, use of paraprofessionals and research.


SOC 260 – The Family in Society (5)

Introduction to the study of family as a social institution in society. Overview of social theories on the family and methodological underpinnings of the field of family study. Emphasis on the family as agent of stratification in society, changing roles of men and women in the context of the American family, contemporary issues relating to family social policy today, and the interplay between family and society across time and cultures.

SOC 321 – Demography (5)

Systematic introduction to the study of human populations. Designed for students interested in the subject regardless of their major discipline. Examines social, economic and biological factors associated with fertility, mortality and migrations.

SOC 332 – The Sociology of Human Relationships (5)

A social psychological examination of liking, loving and relating. Emphasis on dyadic relationships such as marriage, friendship and parent-child relationships. Topics include socialization into romance and love, historical linkages between industrialization and the "feminization" of love, sociological perspectives on liking and loving, and research methods used in the study of dyadic relationships.

SOC 333 – Aging and Societies (5)

Basic theories, methods and concepts in the field of social gerontology highlighting demographic trends in aging, the effects of longevity on the larger society, individual accommodations to the aging process, the social construction of old age, and social policy in relation to the stratification of the aged and an increasingly elderly population.

SOC 338 – Sociology of Sexual Behavior (5)

Human sexuality, with an emphasis on Western cultures and the United States in particular, is studied from a scientific perspective. Emphasis on both description and explanation of patterns and diversity in sexuality. While focusing on the social dimensions of sexuality, the historical, biological and psychological aspects of sexuality are integrated into a comprehensive overview.

SOC 340 – Sociology of Organizations (5)

Introduction to major theoretical perspectives and research on public and private organizations, such as corporations, schools and health-care facilities. Formal and informal structures, the relationship between organizations and their environments, leadership, decision-making and labor markets.

SOC 352 – Criminology (5)

The study of adult crime, defined as violation of legal norms. Focuses on problems of measurement and attempts to explain crime as a social phenomenon and a cultural product. Includes in-depth analysis of various forms and classes of crimes and their victims.

SOC 355 - Criminal Justice System (5)

Overview of the social organization of the criminal justice system in the United States. Examination of the organizations that create and enforce the criminal law as well as major issues currently confronting this system (plea bargaining, discrimination, limitations on due process).

SOC 368 – Gender and Education (5)

Examines the relationship between gender and education within the U.S. context and internationally. We will consider girls and boys, women and men, in various levels of schooling. The ways in which race and class interact with gender in educational attainment and achievement also will be examined.

SOC 369 - Sociology of Race and Ethnicity (5)

Provides a review of historical, theoretical and empirical work in the sociology of race and ethnicity. Emphasis on primary material in the areas of ethnic assimilation, racial attitudes, and racial and ethnic inequality in the United States.