It’s fall! Collegiate recreation professionals are busy opening facilities, starting programs, and training student employees. Once the dust has settled and the new academic year is underway, NIRSA encourages you to stop and reflect on your own learning needs.

“The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The willingness to learn is a choice.” –Brian Herbert

NIRSA members have PhDs, masters and bachelors’ degrees, and various other credentials. And our members know that a commitment to continuing education is necessary to keep current in today’s changing higher education landscape. For that reason, NIRSA strives to support members on their learning journeys.

Through various events, programs, and tools, NIRSA designs educational products to help support members’ growth in NIRSA’s Core Competencies and to help connect campus recreation and wellness professional’s worldwide. NIRSA’s website is your source for information to help you chart your learning course. Take a tour of the Grow section to see what we have for you!

Learning Events

While the Annual Conference continues to be the premier event for campus recreation and wellness professionals, NIRSA members have discounted access to a suite of other in-person and online learning events. See what combination of opportunities will set you on the path for intentional professional success.

With 100+ educational sessions and networking events, attending NIRSA’s Annual Conference is a great way to dive into the NIRSA experience. Attendees will learn from a wide variety of subject-matter experts and connect with like-minded professionals.
NIRSA institutes provide the opportunity for a more intimate, focused learning environment for functional specialists and emerging leaders in the field. The Association also offers partnership events—collaborations with our higher education association colleagues—to help provide members with learning opportunities that allow them to develop more broadly in the field of student affairs.
Want to keep your learning local? Check out the regional event opportunities to learn and connect with your colleagues closer to home.
Learning can happen in person or online—informally or more formally—but NIRSA’s goal is still the same: to help you connect with learning that supports knowledge and skills to help you grow your career.

#RecChat is a public conversation dedicated to issues in collegiate recreation. This is a great tool for informal, social learning that members can engage in at their desks or on the go!

NIRSA offers a more formal learning experience through the Risk Management Best Practices series presented by SportRisk.

Are you interested in seeing more online content from NIRSA—to learn, to earn CEUs, and to connect with your NIRSA colleagues? If so, tell us more by emailing NIRSA’s Professional Development Department!

Career Tools

In addition to the suite of learning events, NIRSA also offers a range of tools for emerging and established collegiate recreation professionals to be intentional about your learning and demonstrate your commitment to the profession.

What skills and abilities do you need to develop to be successful in collegiate recreation? What body of knowledge do you need to prepare yourself for that next job? NIRSA’s Core Competency Framework can help you identify areas where you need to grow.
Where are you in your skill and knowledge development? The Self-Assessment Tool can be used in several ways. For example, you can use it to help assess your skill gaps and look for educational opportunities to meet your learning needs. If you’re a supervisor, you may think about incorporating the tool into your department’s performance management program by having it become part of your staff annual review processes and development conversations.

Want to learn how other members have incorporated the Core Competencies into their departments? Visit the NIRSA website.

The Registry of Collegiate Recreation Sports Professionals (RCRSP) is the Association’s credential program. There are three pathways to enter into the Registry, but the key is really in your renewal. Once accepted into the Registry, your renewal—accomplished by earning the required CEU credits within a three-year period—demonstrates that you have made an effort to design and follow through with your professional development plan based on NIRSA’s Core Competencies. This indicates to your peers and your supervisors that you are in tune with current trends in the field.

Presenter Resources

NIRSA wants to help members develop not only the subject matter expertise required, but the knowledge of adult learning theory and instructional design that is necessary to deliver relevant and impactful education experiences. NIRSA is currently in the process of evaluating and developing resources to help NIRSA members grow their presentation skills. How can we help you develop your presenter skills? Please share any ideas by emailing NIRSA’s Professional Development Department.

The Association is rooted in helping members become more marketable as they approach new professional opportunities in the field. Make sure to visit the Grow section of the NIRSA website for development opportunities throughout the year.

  • For more information about NIRSA’s Professional Development resources and opportunities, please contact NIRSA Director of Professional Development Kristen Gleason.
Director of Professional Development at |

Kristen Gleason is currently the Director of Professional Development at NIRSA