Recreation and Leisure Services

Program: RELS
Credential: Ontario College Diploma, Co-op
Delivery: Full-time
Work Integrated Learning: 1 Co-op Work Term
Length: 4 Semesters, plus 1 work term
Duration: 2 Years
Effective: Fall 2023, Winter 2024
Location: Barrie


Students are introduced to skills and knowledge needed to succeed in recreation and leisure services. The curriculum includes: community recreation, outdoor adventure, arts, culture, heritage, leisure, fitness, retirement activities, life enrichment in long term care, adaptive-therapeutic recreation, facility operations, programming and event planning. Business administration fundamentals are incorporated with courses in marketing, accounting, technology, human resources, entrepreneurship and research. Experiential learning opportunities include a paid co-operative work semester, field trips, and participation in a number of events or programs working with children to seniors. Students gain competencies in leadership and group facilitation by designing, delivering and evaluating diverse, inclusive, relevant, environmentally sustainable recreation leisure and wellness initiatives.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities include: retirement home and long term care activity director/life enrichment, adaptive/therapeutic recreation, facility and parks operations, municipal programmer, administrator in community, arts, heritage and cultural organizations, leader, director, facilitator at registered charities, athletics in education institutions, fitness and healthy/active lifestyle centres, private and commercial clubs, event planning services, recreation supervisor- youth organizations, correction facilities, resorts-sport and recreation manager, outdoor and adventure recreation.

Program 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. analyze, develop and implement marketing strategies to reach diverse individuals, groups and communities for programs, events, services and facilities using current communication technologies;
  3. 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;
  4. supervise, lead and support the development of staff and volunteers involved with recreation, leisure and wellness programs, events and services;
  5. apply administrative and customer service skills to support the delivery of 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;
  10. utilize environmentally sustainable practices;
  11. select basic entrepreneurial strategies to identify and respond to new opportunities.

Practical Experience

All co-operative education programs at Georgian contain mandatory work term experiences aligned with program learning outcomes.  Co-op work terms are designed to integrate academic learning with work experience, supporting the development of industry specific competencies and employability skills.

Georgian College holds membership with, and endeavours to follow, the co-operative education guidelines set out by the Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) and Experiential and Work-Integrated Ontario (EWO) as supported by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

Co-op is facilitated as a supported, competitive job search process. Students are required to complete a Co-op and Career Preparation course scheduled prior to their first co-op work term. Students engage in an active co-op job search that includes applying to positions posted by Co-op Consultants, and personal networking.  Co-op work terms are scheduled according to a formal sequence that alternates academic and co-op semesters as shown in the program progression below.

Programs may have additional requirements such as a valid driver’s license, strong communication skills, industry specific certifications, and ability to travel. Under exceptional circumstances, a student may be unable to complete the program progression as shown below. Please refer to Georgian College Academic Regulations for details.   

International co-op work terms are supported and encouraged, when aligned with program requirements.

Further information on co-op services can be found at

Program Progression

The following reflects the planned progression for full-time offerings of the program.

Fall Intake 

  • Sem 1: Fall 2023
  • Sem 2: Winter 2024
  • Work Term: Summer 2024
  • Sem 3: Fall 2024
  • Sem 4: Winter 2025

Winter Intake 

  • Sem 1: Winter 2024
  • Sem 2: Fall 2024
  • Sem 3: Winter 2025
  • Work Term: Summer 2025
  • Sem 4: Fall 2025


A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program co-ordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option. Additional information can be found on our website at

Admission Requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to:

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit for Prior Learning website for details:

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student's responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: A record of criminal offences, for which a pardon has not been granted, may prevent students from completing their placements, thereby affecting their ability to graduate.

Graduation Requirements

16 Program Courses
2 Communications Courses
3 Program Option Courses
3 General Education Courses
1 Co-op Work Term

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, from year to year, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.

Program Tracking 

The following reflects the planned course sequence for full-time offerings of the Fall intake of the program. Where more  than one intake is offered  contact the program co-ordinator for the program tracking.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
Program Courses
COMP 1058 Technology in Administration 42
REAS 2003 Research in Recreation and Sport 42
RECR 1000 Introduction to Recreation 42
RECR 1001 Program Planning 42
Communications Course
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 2
Program Courses
ACCT 1013 Accounting Fundamentals 42
FITN 1002 Fitness and Wellness 42
MKTG 1000 Introduction to Marketing 42
RECR 1002 Event Planning 42
RECR 1006 Recreation Across the Lifespan 42
Communications Course
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
Semester 3
Program Courses
RECR 2003 Sport and Recreation Administration 42
RECR 2012 Arts Culture and Heritage in Recreation 42
RECR 2013 Recreation Leadership and Group Dynamics 42
RECR 2014 Inclusive and Adaptive Recreation 42
General Education Course
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Program Option Courses - Group 1
Select 1 course from the available list during registration. 42
Semester 4
Program Courses
RECR 2001 Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Sustainability 42
RECR 2006 Community Development 42
RECR 2016 Professional Opportunities and Issues 42
General Education Course
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Program Option Courses - Group 2
Select 1 course from the available list during registration. 42
Program Option Courses - Group 3
Select 1 course from the available list during registration. 42
 Total Hours1008
Plan of Study Grid
Co-op Work TermHours
COOP 1041 Recreation and Leisure Work Term (occurs after Semester 2) 560
 Total Hours560
Program Option Courses - Group 1 may include:
RECR 2015Therapeutic Recreation
RECR 2005Sport and Recreation Facility Operations
Program Option Courses - Group 2 may include:
ENTR 1000Social Entrepreneurship
ENTR 2009Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Program Option Courses - Group 3 may include:
RECR 2017Activation in Gerontology
TOUR 2014Sports Tourism

Graduation Window

Students unable to adhere to the program duration of two years (as stated above) may take a maximum of four years to complete their credential. After this time, students must be re-admitted into the program, and follow the curriculum in place at the time of re-admission.

Disclaimer: The information in this document is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. 

Program outlines may be subject to change in response to emerging situations, in order to facilitate student achievement of the learning outcomes required for graduation. Components such as courses, progression, coop work terms, placements, internships and other requirements may be delivered differently than published.


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