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NIRSA Research Agenda

NIRSA investigates critical areas for research

NIRSA actively supports scholarship that advances knowledge and practices in the field of collegiate recreation.

The NIRSA Research Agenda guides the Association’s support by identifying critical areas within the profession for investigation. The Research Agenda aligns with the Association’s Strategic Values and Core Competencies and reflects an intention to spur research that reinforces the importance of our values and the competencies of the profession.

Our Research Priorities

The NIRSA Research and Assessment Committee has identified the following areas as critical research priorities. The context of priority studies is intended to focus on the framework of collegiate recreation. Research related to the field but outside of the areas listed below is also encouraged and supported.

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New from SAGE Publishing

Browse through Recreational Sports Journal articles about the below topic areas at SAGE Publishing.

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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Identify factors, characteristics, or practices that are barriers to participation, promote inclusion, and increase recreation participation among students.

  • Facility and program inclusive practices
  • Advocacy within collegiate rec
  • Demographic differentiation
  • Policy formation
  • Barriers and facilitators to participation

Related Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Personal & Professional Qualities
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Financial Sustainability

Systematic analysis or description of revenue sources including referenda, user fees, investing, and fundraising.

  • Budgeting practices
  • Advocacy for value
  • Sponsorships and marketing
  • Capital financing
  • Revenue generation

Related Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

  • Sustainable Communities
  • Facility Management, Planning & Design
  • Business Management
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Health and Wellbeing

Assess the impact of activity, educational programming, and/or facilities on health and wellness behavior or indicators in students, faculty, or staff.

  • Holistic health
  • Developmental impact
  • Wellness in collegiate rec
  • Links to other behaviors
  • Injuries and illness

Related Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Programming
  • Research & Evaluation
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Human Resources and Professional Development

Identify factors, characteristics, or practices that are barriers to participation, promote inclusion, and increase recreation participation among students.

  • Facility and program inclusive practices
  • Advocacy within collegiate rec
  • Demographic differentiation
  • Policy formation
  • Barriers and facilitators to participation

Related Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Personal & Professional Qualities
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Legal Liability and Risk Management

Study legal liability and risk management practices, policies, and cases to assess effectiveness in controlling programmatic, financial, and human resources risks.

  • ADA compliance
  • Title IX and collegiate rec
  • Mitigation of risk
  • Contractual engagement
  • Youth engagement

Related Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

  • Sustainable Communities
  • Legal Liabilities & Risk Management
  • Facility Management, Planning & Design
  • Human Resources Management
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Participant Adherence, Recruitment, and Retention

Assess the effectiveness of participation, volunteering, and employment on achievement of student learning outcomes or on the value of recreation at the collegiate level.

  • Recruitment of participants
  • Longitudinal engagement
  • Facility and Program design
  • Special programming
  • Academic performance

Related Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Programming
  • Research & Evaluation
Browse RSJ Articles

Participant Motivation

Investigate the psychosocial aspects of participation in recreation programs and facilities including the benefits of participation and the factors influencing engagement and participation.

  • Benefits of participation
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic factors
  • Motivation across program areas
  • Program design and goal achievement
  • Facility design and participation

Related Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

  • Global Perspective
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Calendar
  • org chart
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Program Assessment and Student Learning Outcomes

Assess the effectiveness of participation, volunteering, and employment on achievement of student learning outcomes or on the value of recreation at the collegiate level.

  • Impact of programming on student learning
  • CAS standards
  • Assessment methods
  • Co-curricular collaboration
  • Non-traditional students

Related Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

  • Leadership
  • Programming
  • Research & Evaluation
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Technology

Analyze the relationship of technology in the execution, value, and growth of collegiate recreation facilities and programming.

  • Engagement of participants
  • Facilities and equipment
  • Participant tracking
  • Social and new media
  • Technology and programming

Related Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

  • Sustainable Communities
  • Programming
  • Research & Evaluation
Browse RSJ Articles

Learn More

Access additional information about these Research Priorities through the Recreational Sports Journal.

Details will be coming soon!

Our Guiding Principles in Research

  • Follow accepted standards in human participant research and campus established Institutional Review Board practices.
  • Abide by the highest ethical standards.
  • Practice efficient and effective stewardship of resources.
  • Disseminate research in a timely manner.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Identify factors, characteristics, or practices that are barriers to participation, promote inclusion, and increase recreation participation among students.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

  • Facility and program inclusive practices
  • Advocacy within collegiate rec
  • Demographic differentiation
  • Policy formation
  • Barriers and facilitators to participation

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Financial Sustainability

Systematic analysis or description of revenue sources including referenda, user fees, investing, and fundraising.

Financial Sustainability

  • Budgeting practices
  • Advocacy for value
  • Sponsorships and marketing
  • Capital financing
  • Revenue generation

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Sustainable Communities

Health and Wellbeing

Assess the impact of activity, educational programming, and/or facilities on health and wellness behavior or indicators in students, faculty, or staff.

Health and Wellbeing

  • Holistic health
  • Developmental impact
  • Wellness in collegiate rec
  • Links to other behaviors
  • Injuries and illness

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Health and Wellbeing

Human Resources and Professional Development

Analyze the relationship between undergraduate student, graduate student, & professional staff employment; consider factors such as engagement, retention, learning outcomes, job skills, & competencies.

Human Resources and Professional Development

  • Work/Life balance
  • Student employees
  • Professional development
  • Staff management and motivation
  • Workplace learning

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Leadership

Legal Liability and Risk Management

Study legal liability and risk management practices, policies, and cases to assess effectiveness in controlling programmatic, financial, and human resources risks.

Legal Liability and Risk Management

  • ADA compliance
  • Title IX and collegiate rec
  • Mitigation of risk
  • Contractual engagement
  • Youth engagement

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Sustainable Communities

Participant Adherence, Recruitment, and Retention

Assess the effectiveness of participation, volunteering, and employment on achievement of student learning outcomes or on the value of recreation at the collegiate level.

Participant Adherence, Recruitment, and Retention

  • Recruitment of participants
  • Longitudinal engagement
  • Facility and Program design
  • Special programming
  • Academic performance

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Health and Wellbeing
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Participant Motivation

Investigate the psychosocial aspects of participation in recreation programs and facilities including the benefits of participation and the factors influencing engagement and participation.

Participant Motivation

  • Benefits of participation
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic factors
  • Motivation across program areas
  • Program design and goal achievement
  • Facility design and participation

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Global Perspective
Health and Wellbeing

Program Assessment and Student Learning Outcomes

Assess the effectiveness of participation, volunteering, and employment on achievement of student learning outcomes or on the value of recreation at the collegiate level.

Program Assessment and Student Learning Outcomes

  • Impact of programming on student learning
  • CAS standards
  • Assessment methods
  • Co-curricular collaboration
  • Non-traditional students

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Leadership

Technology

Analyze the relationship of technology in the execution, value, and growth of collegiate recreation facilities and programming.

Technology

  • Engagement of participants
  • Facilities and equipment
  • Participant tracking
  • Social and new media
  • Technology and programming

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Sustainable Communities

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Identify factors, characteristics, or practices that are barriers to participation, promote inclusion, and increase recreation participation among students.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

  • Facility and program inclusive practices
  • Advocacy within collegiate rec
  • Demographic differentiation
  • Policy formation
  • Barriers and facilitators to participation

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Financial Sustainability

Systematic analysis or description of revenue sources including referenda, user fees, investing, and fundraising.

Financial Sustainability

  • Budgeting practices
  • Advocacy for value
  • Sponsorships and marketing
  • Capital financing
  • Revenue generation

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Sustainable Communities

Health and Wellbeing

Assess the impact of activity, educational programming, and/or facilities on health and wellness behavior or indicators in students, faculty, or staff.

Health and Wellbeing

  • Holistic health
  • Developmental impact
  • Wellness in collegiate rec
  • Links to other behaviors
  • Injuries and illness

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Health and Wellbeing

Human Resources and Professional Development

Analyze the relationship between undergraduate student, graduate student, & professional staff employment; consider factors such as engagement, retention, learning outcomes, job skills, & competencies.

Human Resources and Professional Development

  • Work/Life balance
  • Student employees
  • Professional development
  • Staff management and motivation
  • Workplace learning

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Leadership

Legal Liability and Risk Management

Study legal liability and risk management practices, policies, and cases to assess effectiveness in controlling programmatic, financial, and human resources risks.

Legal Liability and Risk Management

  • ADA compliance
  • Title IX and collegiate rec
  • Mitigation of risk
  • Contractual engagement
  • Youth engagement

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Sustainable Communities

Participant Adherence, Recruitment, and Retention

Assess the effectiveness of participation, volunteering, and employment on achievement of student learning outcomes or on the value of recreation at the collegiate level.

Participant Adherence, Recruitment, and Retention

  • Recruitment of participants
  • Longitudinal engagement
  • Facility and Program design
  • Special programming
  • Academic performance

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Health and Wellbeing
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Participant Motivation

Investigate the psychosocial aspects of participation in recreation programs and facilities including the benefits of participation and the factors influencing engagement and participation.

Participant Motivation

  • Benefits of participation
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic factors
  • Motivation across program areas
  • Program design and goal achievement
  • Facility design and participation

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Global Perspective
Health and Wellbeing

Program Assessment and Student Learning Outcomes

Assess the effectiveness of participation, volunteering, and employment on achievement of student learning outcomes or on the value of recreation at the collegiate level.

Program Assessment and Student Learning Outcomes

  • Impact of programming on student learning
  • CAS standards
  • Assessment methods
  • Co-curricular collaboration
  • Non-traditional students

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Leadership

Technology

Analyze the relationship of technology in the execution, value, and growth of collegiate recreation facilities and programming.

Technology

  • Engagement of participants
  • Facilities and equipment
  • Participant tracking
  • Social and new media
  • Technology and programming

Related
Strategic Values & Core Competencies:

Sustainable Communities