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Academics > College of Professional Studies > Department of Business and Recreation and Tourism > Recreation and Tourism Management

Department of Recreation and Tourism Management


Tourism is now the largest industry in the world, with one out of ten people worldwide working in some part of the vast tourism field. The amount of leisure time available to people around the world is increasing and so has the demand for leisure programs and services. To effectively and efficiently deliver these high-demand services, we must have well-trained and highly qualified recreation and tourism graduates.

The Recreation and Tourism Management Program at Concord University prepares students for professional careers in this dynamic and expanding field. Our curriculum focuses on program planning, public relations, marketing, budgeting and management of Recreation and Tourism services.  This "learn by doing” college degree blends traditional class work with opportunities for real-world experience in a variety of settings. Our bachelor degree offers four areas of emphasis from which students may tailor their coursework: Park and Recreation ManagementTourism Planning and PromotionHospitality Management and Sports Management.

Our program prepares students for careers in state and local parks, resorts and recreation service companies, lodging and hospitality, restaurants and food service, and public or private organizations that develop and promote the tourism and sports industries. We also offer two RTM Minors and a Certificate Program in Tourism Management.

Why Major in RTM?

Outdoor recreation activity in the United States generates $887 billion in consumer spending and creates 7.6 million jobs.  (Outdoor Industry Association, 2018)
“Over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and deepening ‎diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. ‎Modern tourism is closely linked to development and encompasses a growing number ‎of new destinations. These dynamics have turned tourism into a key driver for socio-‎economic progress.‎” (World Tourism Organization, 2019)
Research shows that jobs in Tourism Management provide high levels of both job satisfaction and independence (Coughlin & Haarhoff, 2015)
1 of every 10 jobs in the United States is in the Travel and Tourism field. (U.S. Travel Association, 2019)

RTM Internship Program

The RTM program at Concord University places an emphasis on students learning by doing. Our internship program is key to that idea. Internships provides students with real work experience in something they are passionate about.

An internship is required for all RTM majors except those with a Sports Management degree emphasis. Upon approval by the RTM Faculty Internship Supervisor, the student is allowed to take an internship during the fall, spring or summer semester.  

Find out about the benefits of an internship, student eligibility, advice on selecting an internship, application forms and more below. 

Benefits of an Internship

What you get from your internship will be determined by what you put into it. The exact nature of each internship will be determined by the type of business or organization in which the student is placed. The following are a few specific benefits you should expect: 

  • Receive practical hands-on work experience before graduation. 
  • Learn current methods and techniques in a work environment.
  • Practice, improve, and evaluate classroom skills, techniques, and theories. 
  • Identify and meet individual goals while growing as leaders. 
  • Evaluate personal likes and dislikes to make sound career decisions. 
  • Develop professional contacts with networking opportunities.
  • Build a stronger resume that will help in obtaining full-time employment.


Student Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for enrollment in the Internship Program, the student must meet the following requirements: 
  • A 2.0 grade point average 
  • Senior standing
  • Completion of most RTM core courses
  • Prior approval from the faculty member (advisor) responsible for the student's particular concentration.
  • Notification of intentions to the Faculty Internship Supervisor
Picking an Internship

Select the type of experience that you believe is most appropriate for meeting your professional objectives. Remember, if you wish to be a restaurant manager, you will not want to have all of your experience be in hotel housekeeping and front desk management. Remember also that having a variety of work experiences is useful. Completing an internship away from home and away from campus is an excellent way to demonstrate your mobility. This will show prospective employers that you are self-reliant, independent, etc.—all positive traits within the hospitality industry. 

The internship should support or complement your educational objectives. As you consider each internship option available to you, you may wish to ask yourself how that choice would “fit” your concentration. Also, ask yourself if you are personally and professionally prepared for field experience. If it is truly to be a worthwhile experience, the choice must be based on more than just choosing Florida in the winter or the mountains in ski season. 

When selecting an internship, view it as more than training. A good internship will provide you with an opportunity to affirm (or refute) your chosen career path. Look at the internship as an opportunity to gain a competitive edge on your peers (and in economic times like these, this has become more important than ever). By linking classroom theory with practice through participation in an internship, you're also signaling your commitment to the industry. 


Internship Requirements and Grading

Students must obtain employment in an approved position, preferably in their area of emphasis, during or after their senior year. This work experience shall be for a minimum of 600 clock hours (to earn 12 credit hours). A grade of Pass or Fail will be recommended for this course.

The internship is expected to be a complete job experience and should incorporate a wide range of responsibilities. The student is expected to become a working part of the agency and to seek broad experience by observing, reporting, participating, supervising, and managing agency activities whenever possible. 

As part of the experience, the intern is required to maintain and submit a written record of the internship. This written record will include a daily log, a bi-weekly activities report and an internship final report. The final report must be typed, double-spaced and be at least 5 - 10 pages in length. The final report must be submitted to the Faculty Internship Supervisor no more than two weeks after the completion of the internship. The faculty internship supervisor must also receive a completed RTM Internship Student Evaluation form completed by the placement site student's supervisor.

The internship grade will be based upon the student's performance relative to the general and specific responsibilities identified in the Internship Contract and the placement site supervisor's evaluation to the Faculty Internship Supervisor. 
Internship Student's Responsibilities

The initial task of each internship will be for the student to identify an interested business or agency that can provide an informative, innovative, expansive, and encompassing experience—one that matches the interests and career objectives of the prospective intern. Once this task is accomplished, many other details of the internship placement must be worked out with the participation of the host business or agency, the on-campus internship supervisor, other interested program faculty, and the prospective intern. Completion of these details will require substantial lead time. Consequently, the prospective intern is encouraged to begin planning for the internship well in advance of the desired beginning date—at least one semester, preferably a full year. 


A professional attitude is critical to the success of the internship. The student intern should view the experience as both a professional position, with commensurate responsibilities and obligations, and a learning opportunity about his or her chosen career field. A positive, enthusiastic, and hard-working attitude will greatly enhance the experience and the benefits gained from it. 

The success of the internship will also be dependent upon the degree of commitment the intern has to the placement site and to the internship program. Professional conduct and a high standard of performance are to be maintained throughout the internship, just as would be expected of any full-time, regular employee. Conduct and performance should reflect the policies and standards of the placement site, Concord University, and the tourism/hospitality profession. Prospective interns should be aware that failure to maintain acceptable standards of conduct and performance may lead to termination of the internship by the placement site supervisor or the Faculty Internship Supervisor. 

Student interns are expected to adhere to the work schedule agreed upon by the agency supervisor, the student, and the faculty internship supervisor unless changes are formally agreed upon by all parties. Any frequent or prolonged absences or any major deviation from the work schedule must be reported and explained to the Faculty Internship Supervisor. Excessive absenteeism or failure to carry out duties agreed upon in advance is grounds for termination of the internship, resulting in a grade of “W” or “F” for the experience. 

Get a full appreciation of what’s expected during the internship. This applies not only to you but also to the company or agency that agrees to sponsor your internship. If you do not have a shared understanding of both the objectives and parameters for your internship, you will need to establish such an understanding. Earning academic credit for industry-related field experiences depends on the strength of the relationship between all parties. The internship relationship is like that of a partnership. All members are equally important. Ideally, each partner shares in this obligation. Ultimately, though, the responsibility is yours. After all, it is your education!


Student Activities

RTM students have so much fun while earning their degree at Concord University. What students learn in the classroom is only the first step. From there, they have the opportunity to go on field trips, conduct research, participate in international student exchange programs and so much more. Below are some of our popular student activities. Let what you are passionate about guide your time at Concord. 

Adventure Programming

As part of our emphasis on "learning by doing," RTM students go on many field trips. Imagine spending the day with your classmates high up in the trees while you learn to navigate obstacles, work together and overcome your fears. Best of all, imagine earning college credit while doing it!


Caving Trips

From high in the trees to deep underground, the RTM program has something for all of our students. Students safely and responsibly explore limestone caverns in the region. While visiting places like Pig Hole Cave, students get their hands dirty as they examine geological formations and learn caving navigation techniques. 


Russia Student Exchange Program

For students interested in a career in international tourism, RTM has developed an exchange program with Volga State University of Technology located in the Mari-El Republic of Russia. Students and faculty have the opportunity to go to Russia and learn about their culture while students and faculty from VSUT come to Concord to learn about ours. This exchange of ideas is a wonderful benefit and opportunity for students. 


Student Research

RTM students are encouraged to conduct independent and original research in areas that are important to them. Working under the supervision of faculty, students have the opportunity to present their work at venues including regional conferences and Concord University Undergraduate Research Day.


Our Faculty and Staff

Clayton, Linwood
Linwood Clayton
Associate Professor of Recreation and Tourism Management
Gonderman, Lucinda
Lucinda Gonderman
Academic Program Associate
Ramthun, Roy
Roy Ramthun
Professor of Recreation and Tourism Management
Robinett, Susan
Susan Robinett
Department Chair / Professor of Business
Williams, Susan
Susan Williams
Director, Beckley Campus, and Professor of Marketing

Programs of Studies


Course Description

Faculty Internship Supervisor

To learn more about the RTM Internship Program, contact the Faculty Internship Supervisor below. She will walk you through the process of finding, applying and successfully completing your internship.

Dr. Susan Williams
Associate Professor of Recreation and Tourism Management
Marsh Hall, Room A121

Recreation and Tourism Management
Internship Program
Concord University
Campus Box F-42
Marsh Hall 105
P.O. Box 1000
Athens, WV 24712-1000

Internship Program Forms

Internship Program Manual
Internship Contract Application Form
Employer Student ‚ÄčEvaluation Form
Sample Internship Course Syllabus