George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies Courses (PRLS)


Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources

210 Leisure in Society (3:3:0). Open to nonmajors. Traces the development of current concepts of leisure and their implications and consequences. Influence of philosophy, religion, science, economics, and sociopolitical order on discretionary time and its uses.

300 People with Nature (3:3:0). Perceptions of and attitudes toward nature. Extensive reading and discussion of nature writers' works, including works of Thoreau, Olsen, Seaton, and others.

310 Program Design and Marketing in Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources (3:3:0). Fundamental principles and techniques of the planning process for health, fitness, and recreation services programs. Specifying an area of need: goals, objectives, and a mission statement; generating solutions; and selecting a program design. Strategic marketing planning as a mechanism for identifying strengths and building programmatic strategies for the future.

315 Therapeutic Recreation for Selected Populations (3:3:0). Explores the role of leisure in human development with specific focus on the leisure needs, leisure demand, and leisure services for the aged and people with physical challenges. Basic concepts associated with leisure, aging, physical challenge, targeting leisure services, research, and public policy presented.

316 Outdoor Recreation and Education (3:3:0). Promotion of health and fitness via noncompetitive and informal outdoor recreation activities. Safety and comfort in outdoor pursuits. Sustainable use, conservation, and stewardship of outdoor recreation resources.

317 Social Psychology of Play and Recreation (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PRLS 210 or permission of instructor. Explores theories of play and recreation behavior with emphasis on learning, effectance, and arousal theories. Empirical research evidence of antecedents to and consequences of play and recreation involvements, motivation for and satisfaction from play and recreation activity.

402 Human Behavior in Natural Environments (3:3:0). Prerequisites: PRLS 210 or permission of instructor and 60 hours. Application of social and behavioral theories to management of recreation users of land and water resources. Deterioration and pollution of land and water, noise, crowding, and conflicts among users are examined. Strategies for mitigation of deleterious impacts and depreciative behaviors, as well as attitudes toward resource conservation, preservation, and use are discussed.

405 Planning, Design, and Maintenance of Leisure Facilities (4:3:2). Prerequisites: PRLS 310 or permission of instructor and 60 hours. Quantity, location, and design standards for facilities. Safety, functionality, durability, and maintenance demand criteria in planning and design. Programmatic and operational objectives to be met, including user comfort and convenience, crowd management, and traffic flow. Space relationships. Includes field study of local facilities.

410 Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources Organizations (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours. Operation and management of health, fitness, and recreation services organizations. Management and leadership theories and techniques. Problem solving and decision making. Design or organizational structures. Service quality assessment. Communications, organizational marketing and, evaluation research. Budgeting and finance.

415 Leisure, Wellness, and Special Populations (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours. Introduction to therapeutic recreation for HFRR students and interested students from other disciplines. Nature and perceptions of disabilities and their consequences. Differentness and the problems of stigma, stereotype, and labeling. Principles of normalization, integration, and mainstreaming.

450 Research Methods (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours. Development of empirical research designs for both practical and theoretical problems in health, fitness, and recreation resources management. Literature review of hypothesized relationships and formulation of research proposals.

460 Sport and Recreation Law (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours. Emphasis on safety, liability, risk, and insurance. Legal jurisdictions, apparatus, and decision making. Current issues for administrators of park, recreation, fitness, and school facilities and programs.

490 Internship (12:0:0). Paid or voluntary work experience in a park and recreation agency. Minimum period of 10 to 12 weeks of full-time employment. Application of course work, theories, and research to work settings. Work sites are chosen by students after approval of faculty supervisors. Includes meetings and assignments prior to as well as during the internship. Graded Pass/Fail.

499 Independent Study (1-3:0:0). Individual study of topic area in leisure research, theory, or practice under the direction of faculty.

501 Introduction to Natural Resources Law (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PRLS 460 or graduate status or permission of instructor. Through case studies of recent court decisions, examines selected contemporary issues involving conflicting use and preservation demands on our nation's limited natural resource base, particularly those involving public lands, open space, and recreation resources.

526 Environmental Education and Resource Interpretation (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PRLS 402 or permission of instructor and 60 hours. Concepts and techniques for communication and dissemination of information pertaining to preservation and conservation, use of recreation resources. Design and implementation of programs to enhance understanding and appreciation of cultural, historical, and natural resources.


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