Public Health Fundamentals for Park and Recreation Professionals Certificate

Promote understanding of your agency’s vital contribution to community health and wellness. This comprehensive program incorporates place-based assignments and five online courses including the Public Health & YOU courses developed in partnership with the Indiana University School of Public Health.

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The Public Health Fundamentals for Park and Recreation Professionals Certificate is comprised of five online courses covering the fundamentals of public health. The certificate is geared toward park and recreation professionals who want a deeper understanding of how their programming, facilities, and policies impact the public’s health. A key component of this certificate is the online discussion forums and web assignment that promote interactivity and sharing of ideas. The students move through the series of courses, assessments and assignments and receive constructive feedback on assignments.

This course of study is our inaugural offering in engaging park and recreation professionals in health-related terminology and strategies. Successful learners leave this certificate with policy and programming ideas to influence their community’s health and the tools to communicate these changes to community leaders.

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Course Schedule

  • Course 1: An Introduction to Public Health
  • Course 2: Environmental Health
  • Course 3: Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Course 4: Public Health Administration
  • Course 5: Behavioral, Social, and Community Health

The certificate program includes the following elements:

  • Five self-paced, self-study e-courses
  • Independent study assignments, which are reviewed by course instructors, with substantive feedback provided
  • A Distributed Learning Platform site for storage of work and feedback

Be able to:

  • Describe the role of park and recreation agencies in resolving public health issues.
  • Apply concepts learned in the e-courses to a park and recreation model.
  • Identify and describe program and/or policy strategies that park and recreation agencies can use to promote health.
  • Identify partners outside the field of park and recreation who could assist in implementing and evaluating program and/or policy strategies.
  • Describe the different factors that impact positive health behavior with regard to the ecological model.

Recommended Background

The certificate will be most beneficial for park and recreation professionals and others interested in advancing their understanding of park and recreation agency impact on community health.


Public Health Fundamentals for Park and Recreation Professionals Course CollectionReview by JUKEYA ROBINSON (MONAE)
Although this course was very time consuming, I feel that the information was thoroughly taught and informative. (Posted on 4/20/2020)
Good overview of Public HealthReview by Sam
Some of the assignments were tough to connect with parks and recreation. Overall it was a good experience. (Posted on 4/20/2020)
Pretty GoodReview by Jill
I was hoping it'd focus more on parks and recreation and their functions. (Posted on 4/14/2020)
Good glimpseReview by Joshua
Overall very good glimpse into society's need for Public Health organizations. The interactions between so many different factors that influence the safety and health of every single individual from the highest to lowest in society. (Posted on 4/14/2020)
Good reviewReview by Stephanie
I got my masters in this subject so it was a good review. Encouraging research was a good refresher. (Posted on 10/18/2019)
Great learning opportunity and valueReview by Brittany
Great information, lots of resources. Very applicable to my work as a program supervisor in community recreation; I liked how each lesson tied directly back to my professional work. Very fun course! (Posted on 6/13/2019)
Good Overview and Great Resource MaterialsReview by John
The amount of resource information provided in the bibliographies is impressive. I liked that I was able to complete the course on my own schedule.

My organization is a charitable nonprofit entity. The questions were more aligned with someone working in a park and recreation agency.

Overall, it was a worthwhile learning experience. Many of the concepts, especially the theoretical models, were new to me. (Posted on 12/27/2018)

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