PRM Accomplishments


The PRM program prepares professionals to design, plan, promote, and deliver the physical and social components of the leisure service industry. This includes skills in administration, management, research and evaluation, leadership, and instruction. Graduates will be prepared to manage resources, facilities and programs, and to lead and instruct for programs in commercial, public, and non-profit settings.

University Review
In 2010-2011, the program completed the university review process, which included evaluation by a team of external reviewers.  Their summative impression stated, “Overall, the External Review Team was very impressed with all aspects of the PRM Program at WCU.  The program is well managed by a team of highly qualified and dedicated faculty.  In addition, the PRM program relies effectively on highly qualified adjunct faculty to deliver skills and some classroom based courses.  In general, the PRM program provides a nurturing and caring learning environment that is both student-centered and experientially based.  The program is respected and highly regarded by the University community at all levels including administration, faculty, students and alumni.”

Jessica Russo (Right), PRM major working with SMHS cheerleadersTent Peg
PRM majors create and publish the "Tent Peg," a semester newsletter, highlighting student travels, events, experiences and more.

Fall 2014 Tent Peg
Spring 2014 Tent Peg
Fall 2013 Tent Peg
Spring 2012 Tent Peg
Fall 2012 Tent Peg
Spring 2013 Tent Peg


PRM majors Will Butler, Emily Baker and Jessica Kleberg with the "Western Waterfall Awareness" poster at Undergraduate Research Expo 2011

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
PRM was a pilot program for WCU's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and we continue to implement QEP goals in our strategic plan, mission statement and course work. Examples of the QEP in action include the Whee Adventure Guides, the Cullowhee Canoe Slalom, student presentations at the Undergraduate Research Expo each year and implementation of the Electronic Briefcase within PRM 350.

Faculty Awards
PRM faculty have received numerous awards for teaching excellence including The Legislative Teaching Award, the Chancellor's Engaged Teaching Award, The Excellence in Teaching Liberal Studies Award and the Taft Botner Distinguished Teaching Award (Dr. Maurice Phipps, 2010 and Dr. Ben Tholkes, 2011). Dr. Tholkes received the National Park Service Commendation Award and the Ski Patrol Thirty Year Service Award. Dr. Phipps received the President's Council Award, the Frank Lupton Service Award and the Award of Merit for Outstanding Service from the Wilderness Education Association. Debby Singleton was one of five finalists for the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award and received the Professional Ski Instructors of America Twenty Year Service Award.

December 2011 PRM Graduates Will Butler and Holly MarshGraduation
The PRM program currently has about 70 majors, a 2.5 GPA requirement, an excellent retention rate and consistently graduates over 20 students each year.





Internship Sites
PRM students complete several internships during their time with the program. All students complete a combination of three 50 hour internships and a 400 hour capstone internship. These internships allow students to practice theories and skills learned in course work.  Students have serviced over 350 internship sites during the past 20 years both in the US and abroad. Here is a sampling of a few of the internship sites over the past couple of years:
Andrews High School
American Whitewater
Adventure Treks
Asheville Parks and Recreation Department
Basecamp Cullowhee
Balltown Bee Farm
Blue Ridge Parkway
Cataloochee Ski Area
Cedar Creek Stables
Friends of PanthertownPRM major Nick Provost, standing, working as a snowboard instructor for Cataloochee Ski Area as part of a mini-internship
Full Spectrum Farms
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino
High Hampton Inn
Iredell County Parks and Recreation
Jackson County Chamber of Commerce
Jackson County Parks and Recreation
Moonshadow Learning Services
Mountain Heritage Center
Mountain Top Golf Club
Mount Snow Ski Area, Vermont
Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours
Nantahala Outdoor Center
Navitat Canopy Tours
NC Wildlife Resource Commission
Oaks Country Club
Outward Bound
Sapphire Valley Resort
Smoky Mountain High School
Tuckaseegee River Clean Up
World Kayak
Wildwater Limited
U.S. Forest Service
U.S. National Whitewater Center
WCU Adopt-A-Trail
WCU Campus Recreation
WCU Intramurals
WCU Project Discovery
Yosemite National Park

Research and Publications
Energy Miles Study. Please see the article at
Chapters in "Introduction to Leisure Services in North Carolina"
Participant Use Survey in Panthertown Valley
"First Upper Nantahala River Recreational Water Release: A Whitewater Boater Experience Evaluation", in partnership with Duke Energy. Please see article:

Stay connected with PRM majors through Facebook.


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