Program delivery note

Program delivery note: Fanshawe will temporarily deliver this program as listed under "locations" to the right of your screen or in the "+ more details" menu on mobile.

Take your love of people and event management to limitless career heights - 2022/2023

With the Recreation and Leisure Services program, you'll have the opportunity to take your love of people and activity to limitless career heights. Because you'll combine academic and field work over the two years of the program, you'll acquire the knowledge and skills to promote community development and involvement and to plan and implement special events and programs in a variety of recreation fields. For instance, past graduates have had the chance to learn through exciting field practicums at the YMCA, The City of London, The Western Fair District, The London Knights Hockey Club and London Children’s Museum – to name a few!

What you learn in our recreation and event management courses

You'll also study writing for the human services, computer applications, psychology and leisure and how to be an effective leader. As well, you'll learn how to finance and market special events, and study the ins and outs of how parks and recreational facilities operate. Your skills will be as diverse and dynamic as the always evolving recreational sector. When you graduate, there'll be work for you in a wide range of places such as administration and programming in retirement facilities, non-profit organizations (e.g., YM/YWCA, Boy's & Girl's Clubs), hospitals, municipal departments, aquatic centres, private agencies (e.g., resorts), treatment centres and special event organizations.

"In this economy, I needed solid skills, a post-secondary diploma and a career that would provide employment until I can retire. Working in geriatrics will be guaranteed employment. This is my goal, but there are endless possibilities with this diploma. I am inspired to find out what the world will offer me."
Jenny Rensby



Admission Requirements - 2022/2023

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U), University/College (M), or Open (O) stream WITH:
- Any Grade 12 English (C) or (U)
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE)
Human Services Foundation Ontario College Certificate AND:
- standing in the required course stated above
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED)
Mature Applicant with standing in the required course stated above

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Grade 12 Recreation and Healthy Active Living Leadership (M)
  • Grade 11 Health for Life (C)

  • Grade 12 Healthy Active Living Education (O)

  • Grade 12 Child Development and Gerontology (C)

  • Grade 12 Human Development Throughout the Lifespan (M)

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Students should develop leadership experience in schools, church, community organizations and special activity interests appropriate to this field, e.g., volunteer work in municipal recreation departments, coaching, lifeguard, camp counsellor, school activities such as sports, dramatics, physical recreation, student council, etc.
  • Students should develop good writing and speaking skills
  • A knowledge of and interest in community development and helping others

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:

  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements


  • Admission to the Fanshawe College Human Services Foundation program does not guarantee admission in a subsequent year to the Recreation and Leisure Services program. Successful completion of the Fanshawe College Human Services Foundation program, however, does enable the student to be given additional consideration when applying to the Recreation and Leisure Services program.  The Human Services Foundation program is the preferred designated preparatory program for admission to the Recreation and Leisure Services program.

Post-Admission Requirements

The following items are applicable to the program and are time sensitive.  Please refer to for important information about preparing for placement by the due date.

  • Possession of a Standard First Aid course certificate (either St. John Ambulance or Canadian Red Cross or equivalent) and a Basic Rescuer course certificate (Level "C" CPR)
  • Evidence of Good Health
  • Police Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening, including a check of the Pardoned Sexual Offenders Database
  • Placement Agreement


Recreation and Leisure Services-2022/2023

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
WRIT-1094Reason & Writing 1 for Community Studies3
This course will introduce Community Studies students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
COMP-1546Computer Applications in Recreation3
An introduction to computer fundamentals designed to increase digital literacy and expose students to a range of software packages currently in use in organizations to support information processing. Software packages covered include: word processing, spreadsheet and presentations package as well as Web 2.0 tools to create charts, simple databases, and multimedia presentations. Connections to Recreation and Leisure are explored by using projects related to the field.
RECN-1058Recreation Industry-Intro3
This course is intended to provide students with a greater understanding of what the Recreation and Leisure Services Industry consists of. It will introduce students to the characteristic roles, structures, funding and operation of a number of different recreation fields (ex. Municipal, Therapeutic and Outdoor Recreation) in an attempt to help students understand the diversity that exists in the Recreation and Leisure Services Industry in Canada. In addition to learning about the many benefits associated with recreation services, students will explore the history of organized recreation in Canada and the 3 service sectors (Public, Commercial and Not for Profit) with respect to their roles in providing programs and services aimed at creating healthy communities. This course is also designed to help students identify a field of recreation that aligns with their values, interests and skills as they look ahead to future placements and potential employment.
RECN-1035Field Orientation 13
The student will visit a variety of recreation and leisure service-related agencies, organizations, and facilities. These experiences are focused on developing knowledge and understanding regarding the scope of recreation and leisure services, and the role of professionals related to the delivery of these services in the community.
RECN-1059Org & Admin of Quality Physical Rec3
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of safe fitness activities and classes for all ages including fitness training principles to ensure healthy outcomes for all participants. Students will also learn to create quality and inclusive recreation activities via designing and presenting programs with their peers. Basic nutrition and wellness will also be explored as well as the basic principles of Health Child Development through quality recreation programs and services.
PSYC-1014Psychology-Recreation & Leisure Services3
This course is designed to help Recreation & Leisure students learn basic principles of psychology, major sub-fields and important research findings. Major topic areas include psychological research, biology and behaviour, sensation and perception, consciousness, developmental issues (emphasized), thinking and intelligence, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, personality theory and assessment, health and stress, psychological disorders / treatment and social psychology.
RECN-1002Becoming an Effective Leader3
Using experiential and academic methods this course will focus on the development of various leadership styles with a strong focus on personal development. Through examination of various leadership styles and theories, students will develop the ability to select and apply the most suitable style to meet the needs of a given situation. Students become aware of the impact of behaviour, personality, attitudes and values, as they apply to leadership in recreation settings. Students will develop leadership and communication skills through cooperative learning strategies.

Level 2
Gen Ed - Take a 3 credit General Education elective course
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
RECN-1004Program Planning3
Successful completion of this course will provide the student with knowledge about and appreciation of selected principles and methods of program planning in the field of recreation. In addition, the student will learn skills and techniques applicable to the program planning process. Students will learn to apply a Program Planning Template in order to develop the required skills necessary to design, organize, administer and evaluate quality and meaningful recreation and leisure activities.
COMM-3082Communications for Community Studies3
This course, designed for students who plan to work in the field of Community Studies, focuses on professional written and verbal communication skills. Students learn to prepare a variety of work-related documents. In addition, students learn about research methods and documentation formats. The principles of effective writing - organization, grammar, style, clarity, and tone - are reinforced throughout the course. The goal of the course is to prepare students for the communication tasks and considerations they will encounter in the Community Studies workplace in order to meet the needs of employers and/or the communities they will serve.
RECN-1008Creating Effective Teams3
Through experiential and academic methods, this course will assist the student in understanding and being part of effective teams. Emphasis will be on leading and trust, motivation theories, ethical power and politics, networking, team dynamics and leadership, problem-solving and decision making skills, the value of global diversity, organizational change and organizational culture through the perspective of professional 'teams'. The student will experience firsthand the evolution of a group, through hands-on group work and direct participation in a supportive team environment.
RECN-1037Field Orientation 23
Using experiential and academic methods, this course focuses on examining the breadth and diversity of recreation and leisure service organizations with a view to preparing students for the Level 3 Field Placement. Students will develop research and presentation skills through the creation of a multimedia project on an agency or organization from one of the various sectors and sub-genres of the Recreation and Leisure Services field. In-class theory and lecture will focus on aspects of the placement experience including interview techniques, the development and recognition of soft skills, goal-setting and methods of increasing visibility and employability in the field.
RECN-1039Orientation to Therapeutic Recreation3
This course will explore the role of Therapeutic Recreation in the overall scope of leisure services. The student will address the principles and practices of service delivery within the field of Therapeutic Recreation.
MGMT-1232Business Management in Recreation-Intro3
This course teaches introductory business management theory and its application in the Recreation and Leisure industry. This includes curriculum related to the marketing, human resources, social corporate responsibility, and technology in business.

Level 3
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
PLAN-3011Special Event Mgmt & Board Governance3
Leaders in recreation need to know how to work in committee groups, as well as how to recruit, motivate and manage volunteers. During this course, student committee groups will explore the planning and execution of an event in the community, and fulfill the role of volunteers in a recreation setting. This course will prepare students to implement effective strategies for meaningful volunteer involvement and allow a clearer understanding of the relationship between a Board of Directors and staff.
FLDP-3002Field Practicum 15.2
The student will have an opportunity for an immersive hands-on experience at a selected recreation agency in the community. The student will apply the theories and concepts discussed in class in a practical and meaningful way.
FINA-3049Business Finance in Recreation3
This course is an introduction to financial operation concepts. Students will examine the various forms of business ownership; learn about the time value of money, how to create a budget and read basic financial statements. Students will be introduced to alternative sources of revenue including fundraising, sponsorships, partnership, and grant proposals.
RECN-3024Outdoor Rec & Experiential Education3
An exploration of the historical and philosophical concepts governing experiential education and people's recreational use of natural outdoor settings. Students will develop a conceptual foundation of the relevant issues, trends, and approaches that inform the delivery of outdoor recreational and educational activities in Canada. Emphasis will be placed on the unique psychological and social benefits of outdoor recreation, managing risk, and the stewardship of outdoor educational environments.
RECN-3015Therapeutic & Inclusive Rec Practices3
This course will assist the student in developing an awareness of and a sensitivity to individual rights and cultural diversity. The class will focus on the adaptation of recreation programs and services that reflect the needs of the client. The students will develop a philosophy related to inclusive recreation practices within the field. The course will further address the trends and skills required for those focusing on a career in Therapeutic Recreation. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the ageing process, symptoms of various health conditions and the therapeutic role that meaningful recreation and leisure can play in the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals into communities.
RECN-3022Community Rec, Benefits & Outcomes3
When a recreation professional is committed to providing high quality recreation programming, the participants and community s/he serves can receive powerful benefits. Since recreation occurs within a variety of communities, it is essential that students be able to identify which approach to use with the particular community they are serving. Students must also understand the unique role of a community developer. Since a big part of community development is the creation of partnerships, successful partnerships will be explored. This course will examine methods aimed at measuring the quality of recreation programs and activities. Students will also learn how to communicate the benefits of recreation to the general public, in order to ensure that recreation remains an essential service in any community.

Level 4
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
RECN-3023Ethics & Professional Issues in Rec2
Using academic and discussion methods this course will focus on heightening the awareness of acceptable ethics and codes of conduct related to the role of the recreation and leisure professional. Through group discussion and extensive case studies, students will become familiar with the theory and application of solutions to ethical and moral dilemmas in the field of Recreation and Leisure. Students will become aware of the impact of their personal and professionally held values systems as they apply to ethics and ethical decision-making in recreation and leisure settings.
RECN-3010Field Practicum 25.6
The student will be exposed to an intensive hands on experience at a selected recreation agency in the community. The student will apply the theories and concepts discussed in class in a practical and meaningful way.
RSCH-1006Research in Recreation3
This course will provide an opportunity for students to establish their understanding of research through a critical exploration of a subfield of recreation and leisure services. Utilizing research methods, consultation and professional association certification opportunities, the student will create a peer reviewed presentation relevant to their chosen field or area of interest.
RECN-3012Career Planning in Leisure Services2
Finding the best job in the recreation field is the goal of most graduates of the Recreation and Leisure Services program. This course will prepare students for the demanding job-search process as they apply current and practical job-search strategies. Students will develop an ePortfolio and contacts list pulled from their primary and secondary networks. This course will assist students in making sound programming and job-search decisions by understanding the current demographic, social, and economic trends impacting the field of Recreation and Leisure.
RECN-3014Parks & Recreation Facility Operations3
This course is designed to increase awareness of the requirements associated with the operation of public recreation facilities. The course covers such topics as Community Arenas, Public Swimming Pools, and Children's Commercial Play Equipment. It will also explore our Provincial and National Parks system and specifically the park management strategies utilized to meet recreational demands in an environmentally sustainable manner. This course will also examine some Risk Management issues associated with recreation facilities and practical steps to take as an operator in creating a Facility Safety Plan for any recreation facility.

Gen Ed - Elective
Take 3 General Education Credits -
Normally taken in Level 2

Program Residency
Students Must Complete a Minimum of 20 credits in this
program at Fanshawe College to meet the Program Residency
requirement and graduate from this program

Careers - 2022/2023

Career Opportunities

The field is varied. Opportunities for employment can be found in the areas of administration and programming in such settings as retirement facilities, non-profit organizations (e.g., YM/YWCA, Boy's & Girl's Clubs), hospitals, municipal departments, aquatic centres, private agencies (e.g., resorts), treatment centres and special event organizations.

More Information - 2022/2023

A Two-Year Ontario College Diploma Program
Program Code: RLD2
Campus Code: LC (LC - London)
September Admission
15 week terms
Academic Calendars available at


School of Community Studies: 519-452-4224

Program Description

The Recreation and Leisure Services program is committed to developing the leadership skills of each of its students to support the achievement of recreation and leisure outcomes for individuals, groups and communities. Through concentrated academic and field work over the two years, students acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies to promote community development and involvement and to plan and implement special events and programs in a variety of recreation fields. This is practised in settings which emphasize planning, implementation and evaluation that can respond to the multi-dimensional needs of all members of the community. The students will be able to develop benefits based programming that addresses recreation as an essential service; one that can effectively respond to a variety of individual or community needs.

Program Offered:  Full-time, part-time day

Other Information

  • The Recreation and Leisure Services program is also offered on a part-time basis. Questions may be directed to the Program Co-ordinator.
  • Students who graduate from this program and wish to transfer to another Community Studies program at Fanshawe College, may qualify for some internal credits that have already been achieved.

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Develop, implement and evaluate inclusive recreation, leisure and wellness programs and events for individuals, groups and communities which respond to assessed needs, interests, abilities and that use available resources and incorporate best practices;
  2. Apply administrative and customer service skills to support the delivery of recreation, leisure and wellness programs, events and services;
  3. Analyze, develop and implement marketing strategies to reach diverse individuals, groups and communities for programs, events, services and facilities using current communication technologies;
  4. Contribute to the development of fiscally sustainable and responsible recreation, leisure and wellness programs, events and services using current and relevant principles and practices of business, finance and social entrepreneurship;

  5. Supervise, lead and support the development of staff and volunteers involved with recreation, leisure and wellness programs, events and services;

  6. Apply safety and accessibility practices to the efficient operation and administration of recreation and leisure facilities and settings;

  7. Promote the benefits and values of recreation, leisure and healthy active living and recommend inclusive programs, events and services to individuals and groups;

  8. Apply community development strategies which engage citizens and community partners while advocating for healthy communities;

  9. Develop strategies for ongoing personal and professional development as a recreation and leisure services professional.

Program Pathways

For information about Program Pathways visit

Program Details

More details

2022/2023 academic year: Refer to the More Info tab to view offerings for the 2022/23 academic year. Canadian students can start applying in early October for programs with Sep. 2022, Jan. 2023 and May 2023 start dates through

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2022 September

International Students

Start Dates
2022 September
Program Code

Program Coordinator:

Jeff Sadler

Day Time
Ontario College Diploma
60 weeks