Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Author ORCID Identifier
Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Higher Education Administration
THE PROFESSIONALIZATION OF COLLEGIATE RECREATION AND THE EDUCATIONAL PATHWAYS OF ITS PRACTITIONERS: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY
JASON R. INCORVATI, B.A. UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST
M.E.S.S., UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Ph.D. UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST
Directed by: Ezekiel Kimball, Ph.D.
The professionalization of collegiate recreation, like many fields, has led to attempts to standardize training, create shared language, come to an agreement amongst practitioners on what essential knowledge the work should be based upon, and have collective understanding as to how new members to the field should be socialized (e.g., Arminio, 2011; Duran & Allen, 2020; Wilensky, 1964). Professional associations for student affairs practitioners list knowledge of student development theories as a core competency necessary to be successful in their respective roles (ACPA/NASPA, 2016). Although collegiate recreation is a common student affairs department unit and student development theory has a prominent role in its professional association’s list of core competencies (NIRSA, 2009), the professional socialization of collegiate recreation practitioners is likely to differ from those of other student affairs practitioners. In contrast to most other student affairs practitioners, who typically earn master’s degrees in higher education, student affairs, and/or college student personnel (MED-HESA) (Miles, 2013), aspiring collegiate recreation practitioners have historically not been advised to acquire a MED-HESA degree and the latest literature that addresses this in even cursory ways is well over two decades old (Aiken, 1993; Patchett et al. 1997). This misalignment of critical knowledge acquisition and educational pathways has profound implications for the collegiate recreation profession.
The following study utilized a two-phased mixed methods explanatory design. First a quantitative survey design was used to explore the personal and professional contexts of collegiate recreation practitioners, their educational pathways, their knowledge and perceived usefulness of student development theory, additional factors that may influence their use of student development theory in practice, regional differences amongst the professionalization of the field, and factors that may influence advice they may give prospective collegiate recreation practitioners entering graduate school. The second phase utilized qualitative semi-structured interviews to assist with the interpretation of the data collected before the Covid-19 Pandemic and now in the context of changes to the hiring environment in higher education (Cook & Lord, 2022; Jiskrova, 2022; Powers et al., 2022).
Incorvati, Jason R., "The Professionalization of Collegiate Recreation and the Educational Pathways of its Practitioners: An Exploratory Study" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations. 2994.