Internships in Recreation, Sport and Tourism: Exploring Student Perceptions
Author(s)Gower, Ryan Kyle
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
The internship requirement holds a prominent place in the curriculum of National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) accredited programs. To date, there has been a dramatic shortage of investigations to explore student perceptions of the mandated internship experience. While investigations in other fields are plentiful, the curricular experiences and personality traits of students who enter the parks and leisure industries casts doubt upon the transferability of such studies to this population. To address this gap in the literature, this study had the following three goals: (a) To identify emerging themes or consistencies in the self-report data, (b) to determine the extent to which student responses seem to support, repudiate or differ from findings in similar studies done outside the field, and (c) to provide recommendations and insight for future research that will enhance our understanding of experiential learning within leisure studies and recreation programs. The results of the study are telling in revealing what participants do and do not gain from their internship experience.