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July 26, 2013
By Elisa Lanter, media relations assistant
Twelve Northwest Missouri State University recreation students applied their classroom learning to real-world experiences and earned course credits through a traveling program, Exploring Recreation Resources (ERR), this summer in Colorado.
Dr. Sue Myllykangas, associate professor of recreation, annually instructs the course. Biology instructor Lisa Stobbe accompanied the group on the trip, June 10-23.
“Since Dr. Stobbe and I work cross disciplines, it allowed students to see how their general education requirements and biology credits apply to their majors,” Myllykangas said.
The traveling course provided students with opportunities to visit a variety of parks and recreation agencies and learn about career possibilities by speaking with professionals in the industry.
“It’s all about connecting with things that make students excited,” said Myllykangas, who has instructed the traveling course for seven years. “It helps them understand what they’re learning and apply it to their goals.”
The schedule is designed around participants’ interests and areas of study.
Among the sites students visited were Denver Central Park, where students learned about Frederick Olmstead’s impact on park developments; Water World park, which helped students understand filtering processes; Athletic Republic, where students learned about performance enhancements; and Celestial Seasons Tea Company, where students learned about marketing aspects of health and wellness.
“The trip enhanced my educational experiences at Northwest by confirming all the concepts, terms and techniques we learned in class,” Kulowra Porter, a junior therapeutic recreation major, said. “We got to see professionals use the skills we are taught at school.”
During the trip, students were responsible for completing a workbook that consisted of 40 textbook concepts demonstrated in visits and tours. Students also completed a comprehensive exit exam at the trip’s conclusion.
ERR is targeted to freshmen and sophomore parks and recreation majors but is open to other students and majors as well. Students may participate in the program twice, earning three credit hours for each trip.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468