Recreation and Leisure Services

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Program Code: 1202

School: School of Community and Health Studies

Credential: Diploma

Program Type: Post-secondary program

Program Length: 2 years/ 4 semesters

Start Date: Fall

Location: Progress Campus


Telephone: 416-289-5303

The goal of the Recreation and Leisure Services program is to teach you how to improve the quality of life for all citizens by developing healthy communities.

The Recreation and Leisure Services courses are based on a curriculum that reflects the current recreational focus on wellness and culture. As such, you gain strong leadership skills to:

  • Create and establish dynamic and diverse programming that appeals to all age groups
  • Prepare budgets
  • Market activities
  • Recruit, train, assign and evaluate teams of volunteers

In addition to classroom learning, the Recreation and Leisure Services program allows you to apply your skills to the real world through the province's most extensive supervised field placement program. You complete 880 hours of supervised field practicum, which helps to develop critical practical skills through integration of classroom learning into real life situations.

As a leisure service professional, you will be a front-line practitioner in direct contact with program participants. Unicef Canada, in it 2013 report, Stuck in the Middle, suggests that children today may be the first generation to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. The Centre for Active Healthy Kids, Sick Kids suggest that 75 percent of obese children grow up to be obese adults. In addition, with Statistics Canada reporting that only 15 percent of Canadian adults are getting the recommended amount of exercise, you will help to implement the changes Canadians need to live healthy active lives.

Semester 1
Course Code Course Title Location
COMM-160/COMM-161 College Communications 1 Progress Campus
GNED-179 Mastering the Moment: An Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation Progress Campus
RECL-102 Recreation Programming Principles Progress Campus
RECL-103 Keys to Success in Recreation and Leisure Services Progress Campus
RECL-104 Gerontology and Wellness Progress Campus
RECL-113 Child and Youth Development Progress Campus
Semester 2
Course Code Course Title Location
COMM-170/COMM-171 College Communications 2 Progress Campus
RECL-121 Practical Applications of Recreation Programming Progress Campus
RECL-124 Field Seminar 2 Progress Campus
RECL-125 Field Placement 2 Progress Campus
RECL-126 Inclusive Recreation Progress Campus
RECL-127 Advanced Computer Applications Progress Campus
RECL-128 Effective Leadership Skills Progress Campus
Semester 3
Course Code Course Title Location
ENGL-207 Report Writing for Recreation and Leisure Services Progress Campus
GNED-500 Global Citizenship: From Social Analysis to Social Action Progress Campus
RECL-201 Event Management Progress Campus
RECL-209 Field Seminar 3 Progress Campus
RECL-210 Field Placement 3 Progress Campus
RECL-230 Community Development Progress Campus
Semester 4
Course Code Course Title Location
GNED General Education Elective Progress Campus
RECL-222 Launching Your Career Progress Campus
RECL-223 The Business of Recreation and Entrepreneurship Progress Campus
RECL-231 Recreation Management and Marketing Progress Campus
RECL-234 Healthy and Active Lifestyles Progress Campus
RECL-245 Field Placement 4 Progress Campus

Semester Note

- Minimum C grade required for all courses (excluding GNED)

Companies Offering Jobs

Agencies that have hired program graduates include Chartwell Retirement Residences, Ajax Recreation and Culture Department, Bridgepoint Health, Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Leisureworld Senior Care, Markham Parks, Recreation and Culture Services, Variety Village, Boys and Girls Clubs and the YMCA.

Program Highlights

  • Course themes in this School of Community and Health Studies offering include programming, communication and group skills, community development, life span development, diversity and recreation management.
  • Through the program's revised course curriculum (effective Fall 2015), there is an increased focus on entrepreneurship, health and active lifestyles, and experiential learning (i.e. positive space training, presentations to industry professionals and opportunities to volunteer at PRO Forum and Play It Smart).
  • Most courses have four major pieces of work (for example, three assignments and either a mid-term or a final test).
  • Supervised field placements take place in the second semester (two days a week), and in the third and fourth semesters (three days a week).
  • Among the offering's field placement partners are: Ajax Recreation and Culture Department, Boys and Girls Clubs East Scarborough and Durham, Cedarbrook Lodge, Centre for Dreams, Kennedy House, Hour Glass Fitness, Viva Pickering, Oshawa Seniors Centre Bridgepoint Health, Variety Village, Markham Parks, Recreation and Culture and Whitby Parks and Recreation.
  • You receive supplemental training in CPR "C", standard first aid, AED, Snoezelen, High Five (Quest 2 and Principles of Healthy Child Development).
  • Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO) offers two province-wide student awards during its annual educational forum to students in their graduating year. Centennial College Recreation and Leisure Services graduates have captured these prestigious awards for nine consecutive years (2007 to 2015).
  • Established by the 2011 graduating class, the Sandy Foster Student Award of Merit is awarded annually to one student entering the second year of the Recreation and Leisure Services program at Centennial College. This award recognizes a student who consistently demonstrates a commitment to his/her studies and a passion for recreation and carries a $2000.00 cash value.

As a Recreation and Leisure graduate, you will be able to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  • Develop, implement and evaluate inclusive recreation, leisure and wellness programs and events for individuals, groups and communities that respond to assessed needs, interests, abilities and that use available resources and incorporate best practices
  • Apply administrative and customer service skills to support the delivery of recreation, leisure and wellness programs, events and services
  • Analyze, develop and implement marketing strategies to reach diverse individuals, groups and communities for programs, events, services and facilities using current communication technologies
  • 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
  • Supervise, lead and support the development of staff and volunteers involved with recreation, leisure and wellness programs, events and services
  • Apply safety and accessibility practices to the efficient operation and administration of recreation and leisure facilities and settings
  • Promote the benefits and values of recreation, leisure and healthy active living and recommend inclusive programs, events and services to individuals and groups
  • Apply community development strategies that engage citizens and community partners while advocating for healthy communities
  • Develop strategies for ongoing personal and professional development as a recreation and leisure services professional

Global Citizenship and Equity Portfolio

Students in this program will develop a portfolio documenting their engagement with the College's signature global citizenship and equity competencies. For more information on Global Citizenship and Equity, the GC&E Portfolio and the supports available to you, please visit

Educational Partners

Qualified graduates may be eligible to participate in an articulated program with select universities, institutes and professional associations. These partnerships allow you to apply academic credit towards further study.

The Recreation and Leisure Services program's educational partners are:

  • Brock University (7.5 credits can be received towards either a 15-credit or a 20-credit Honours degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies)
  • Athabasca University (60 credits can be received toward a 120-credit Bachelor of Professional Arts degree – Human Service major)
  • Hartpury College (complete an Honours BSc degree in Sports Studies in one calendar year, three semesters, while living in Hartpury, Gloucestershire, UK)

Career Outlook

  • Community outreach worker
  • Youth outreach worker
  • Coordinator
  • Supervisor
  • Programmer
  • Group facilitator
  • Activation aide
  • Outreach worker
  • Manager

Academic Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status (19 years or older)
  • English Grade 12 C or U, or equivalent (minimum grade required) or take the Centennial College English Skills Assessment for Admission

1. Apply Online

Are you an International Student? Apply directly to Centennial College here.

If you are applying through the Second Career Strategy, please apply at the Employment Training Centre for Second Career (Progress Campus). Second Career Strategy is a funding initiative for those who have been laid-off and are in need of training. For more information go to Second Career Strategy.

If you have previously attended a full time program at Centennial College, you may be eligible for a Program Transfer. Visit Enrolment Services at any Campus for information.

All other applicants must apply online at A non-refundable application fee of $95 must accompany applications. The fee is payable online, by telephone, online banking, by mail, or in person to For more information go to Application Fees.

2. Submit Documents

Current Ontario high school students and graduates from Ontario high schools: Notify your guidance counsellor that you have applied to college and your school will forward transcripts to Centennial College via

Graduates of college/university, or high school outside Ontario but within Canada: You are responsible for requesting that your educational institute sends any required documents and transcripts to

Applicants who attended school outside of Canada: If you are submitting transcripts to meet admission requirements, you must have the transcripts assessed by an independent credential assessment agency such as World Education Services (WES) or International Credential Assessment Service (ICAS).

For more information go to Submitting your Transcripts.

3. Confirm Your Offer of Admission

Offers of Admission are sent by mail to eligible applicants. When you receive your offer, you must login to your account at and confirm before the Deadline to Confirm noted in your offer letter.

You may confirm only one college and one program offer at a time.

You must confirm your offer by the Deadline to Confirm noted in your Offer of Admission letter or your seat may be given to another applicant.

When you confirm your Offer of Admission at Centennial College you are given access to your personal myCentennial account where you can check your email, grades, register for courses, pay tuition fees, and see your class timetable.

4. Pay Fees

Centennial fees statements are sent by email to your personal email account and to your myCentennial email account. Fees statements are not mailed.

You must make a minimum payment by the Fees Deadline noted in your Fees Statement or your seat may be given to another applicant.

5. Build Your Timetable (Register for Courses)

Build your timetable (web-register for courses) at

Fall registration begins mid-July
January registration begins mid-December
May registration begins mid-April

Your web-registration will not open if:

You have not submitted your minimum fee payment by the deadline
You received a Conditional Offer of Admission and you have not met the conditions of your offer.

Once you have paid your fees or have made appropriate arrangements, register for your courses online through myCentennial.

Fees noted below are estimates only. Tuition is based on two semesters, beginning Fall 2015.

Student Tuition (2 Semesters) Incidental Fees Total
Canadian $2,767.00 $992.00 $3,759.00
International $12,400.00 $2,187.00 $14,587.00