Using Competencies to Assess Entry Level Knowledge of Students Graduating From Parks and Recreation Academic Programs

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assessment, competencies, entry-level professional, accreditation, self-perceptions


To address the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions accreditation standard 7.01.01, the Entry Level Competency Assessment was developed to measure 46 competencies in four categories needed by entry level professionals. Students rated their competence prior to beginning their senior internship. The results indicated that students were most confident in their abilities with interpersonal, professional practice, leadership/management, and community relations competencies. In addition, the findings indicated that students were more confident with competencies that they had actually experienced and less certain about competencies that were discussed in class but not experienced in the field. The instrument used in this study was a reliable measure and has the potential to be incorporated by other academic programs to measure how well students perceive their abilities to be successful in the future and to reveal curricular weaknesses that can be enhanced to increase student competence.


This article was originally published as Hurd, A. R., Elkins, D. J., Beggs, B. A. (2014). Using competencies to assess entry level knowledge of students graduating from parks and recreation academic programs. Schole, 29(1), 51-60.