Undergraduate Course Descriptions

NLS 100T Transitions (1). Course designed to assist students in their transition to Murray State University. Content includes orientation to the specific areas, majors, and minors within academic programs. Other topics may include university procedures, policies, resources, strategies for success and extracurricular activities. Only one transition course will count toward graduation. Graded pass/fail.

NLS (REC) 101 Introduction to Recreation and Leisure Services (3). An overview of the history, philosophy, aims, and objectives of the recreation and leisure profession.

NLS (REC) 102 Camp Leadership and Campcraft (2). Introduction to the history and objectives of organized camping with emphasis on the role of the modern camp counselor.

NLS (REC) 104 Rural Tourism (3). Course is designed to provide students with an overview of rural tourism including factors such as supply and demand, as well as cultural, economic and environmental impacts. Additional topics may include sustainable and global tourism. Students will be required to participate in field experiences.

NLS (REC) 129 Basic Canoeing (1).

NLS (REC) 150 Recreation Activity Leadership (1).
Course provides a study of challenge education programming and direct experience in facilitating challenge education activities.

NLS (REC) 161 Outdoor Cooking and Menu Planning (1). An introduction to basic outdoor cooking. The course will cover basic equipment, food preparation techniques, nutrition and menu planning for backcountry.

NLS (REC) 162 Backpacking and Outdoor Living (1).

NLS (REC) 163 Caving (1).

NLS (REC) 164 Rock Climbing (1).

NLS 207 Diversity and Inclusion in a Global Society (3). The purpose of this course is to explore the meaning and impact of diversity for individuals and organizations in society. An overview of issues relating to diversity such as identity, difference, prejudice, privilege, and bias will be studied as they relate to patterns of discrimination based on certain criteria, such as race, color, religion or creed, national origin or ancestry, gender, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, citizenship, sexual orientation, etc. Students will explore successful strategies and methods for achieving inclusive workplaces and interactions in society.

NLS (REC) 264 Intermediate Rock Climbing (2). The course will review outdoor rock climbing basics including techniques, equipment, knots and belaying. Students will then be given instruction and practice on setting up proper anchor systems for top-rope climbing. A weekend field experience is required for this course. Prerequisite: REC 164 or permission of instructor.

NLS 290 Community Engagement and the Nonprofit Sector (3). Introduces students to the broad roles of nonprofit and recreation organizations in society. Includes an emphasis on the values embodied in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, such as service, volunteering, human and cultural diversity, trust, stewardship, and social justice. Requires service in a community organization as part of the Service Learning Scholars Program.

NLS (REC) 295 Wilderness and Remote First Aid (3). The course will cover wilderness first aid basics and help-delayed care in environments where advanced medical services may be unavailable or delayed. Students will be trained in other areas of patient care, including the performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation for the professional rescuer (CPR-PR). Students will be required to participate in a Wilderness Care Weekend Experience.

NLS 300 Introduction to Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector (3). Course introduces students to the field of Nonprofit Leadership Studies. It surveys the roles and functions of nonprofit organizations, as well as of individual philanthropy in society. The course provides students with a broad understanding of key trends and issues in the nonprofit sector, and introduces them to key questions in the research, theory, and practice of leading and managing nonprofit organizations and philanthropic institutions.

NLS (REC) 301 Outdoor Adventure Skills (3). An introduction to basic skills and concepts in a variety of outdoor adventure activities. Proficiency will be developed in hard skills (knots, belaying, paddle strokes, etc.) for various outdoor adventure activities including, but not limited to, rock climbing, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, and caving. The course covers group dynamics, effective leadership, communication, and decision making in the backcountry. Weekend experiences required.

NLS (REC) 302 Special Event Management (3). An overview of special event management with a focus on best practices for effective planning, implementation, and evaluation. Includes organizing and delivering a special event.

NLS (REC) 304 Community Recreation Service Learning (1). Students obtain hands on professional experience by completing 40 service learning hours in community recreation programs. Recreation majors only. Prerequisite: REC 101.

NLS 305 Grant-making and Philanthropic Foundations (3). Course analyzes the role, structure, and working of philanthropic foundations. This course thus aims to teach grant-making best practices and to prepare students for work in the field. It exposes students to key aspects of grant-making institutions, such as mission development, needs assessment, grant proposal analysis, and site visits. This experience will familiarize students with local nonprofit organizations, expose them to local needs, and help them to develop their own grant-making strategy. The course may include a student philanthropy component. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

NLS (REC) 306 Aging in American Society (3). An overview of physical, mental, social, and emotional aspects of aging. Focuses on the issues affecting older adults, as well as the individuals and organizations/institutions supporting them. Addresses the broader implications of these issues for society.

NLS (REC) 311 Leadership in Adventure Education (3). Course will provide a thorough study of leadership in adventure education programs. Topics will include leadership styles, trip planning, risk management, and group dynamics. Weekend experiences required. Prerequisite: REC 161 and either NLS 301 or two of the following: REC 129, 162, 163, or 164.

NLS (REC) 340 (350) Extended Backcountry Travel (3). Designed to develop an understanding of leadership, knowledge, and skills specific to extended back country travel situations. Week-long experience required. Field experiences may include, but are not limited to: backpacking, canoeing, and kayaking.

NLS 350 Program Development (3). Develops knowledge and understanding of techniques in organizing, planning, and evaluation of various types of nonprofit and recreation programs. Examines program development tools such as the logic model, and emphasizes program outputs/outcomes, structure, and policies/procedures. Provides opportunities to apply management and program development tools to a real-world context through service learning projects. Part of the Service Learning Scholars Program.

NLS 351 Leadership, Governance, and Board Development (3). Introduces students to the leadership and governance component of the nonprofit sector. Exposes students to leadership theories, leadership styles, and decision-making processes as they apply to the nonprofit sector. Provides an analysis of the role of governance structures in nonprofit organizations, including board development and relationship between executive director and board. An emphasis is placed on ethical issues in governance and leadership. Requires service in a community organization as part of the Service Learning Scholars Program.

NLS 352 Human Resource and Volunteer Development (3). Introduces students to the processes and practices of managing paid and unpaid staff with a focus on recruitment, development, supervision, recognition, and retention. Explores the roles, values, and dynamics of volunteerism in fulfilling organizational missions, including governance structures, committee systems, and advocacy activities. Requires service in a community organization as part of the Service Learning Scholars Program.

NLS 370 Philanthropy, NGOs and International Development (3). Course analyzes the role of international philanthropy and transitional nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in addressing world poverty. It provides students with an overview of the size and scope of U.S. international philanthropy, as well as the actors and challenges of international development assistance. The course introduces students to major debates on international development, and focuses in particular on the effectiveness and efficiency of international philanthropy and NGOs.

NLS 380 The Nonprofit Sector in Comparative Perspective: Study Abroad Experience (3). The course will explore civil society and nonprofit organizations in different cultural context. Students will be exposed to the multiple ways nonprofit organizations respond to the global issues confronting the world today. Particular attention will be given to the roles and functions of nonprofit organizations outside the United States, with an emphasis on the differences and similarities with the U.S. context. The course includes both pre-departure classroom meetings and international travel, and may also include student involvement in a local and/or international community service organization. In total, students will complete a minimum of 45 hours of classroom activities- combining pre-departure meetings and abroad experience.

NLS (REC) 395 Wilderness and Remote First Aid Instructor (2). Course covers the skills and competencies necessary to become certified as a Wilderness and Remote First Aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer Instructor. Certification may be obtained through the American Red Cross. Weekend experiences required.

NLS 400 Professional Internship (1-3). A professional development experience with a community organization under the direct supervision of an experienced social sector professional. Course is repeatable for up to six hours of credit. Prerequisites: NLS 350, 351 and 402; and instructor approval.

NLS 402 (502) Financial Resource Management and Fund Development (3). A review of the impacts of basic economics and market dynamics on the nonprofit sector, frame an overview of financial management, and resource development processes and practices. The course presents students with quality practices and tools used in budgeting, accounting, reporting, and fund raising. Part of the Service Learning Scholars program.

NLS (REC) 403 Managing Recreation Areas and Facilities (3). Emphasis on planning, design, principles, and construction of buildings, playgrounds, parks, pools, camps, and athletic facilities for schools and communities. Prerequisite: NLS 101.

NLS (REC) 405 Organization and Administration of Recreation (3). A study of the organizational and administrative practices of commercial, public and voluntary recreation agencies. Prerequisite: NLS 101.

NLS (REC 410) Technology Skills for Community Organizations (3). Studies current and emerging technology, including social media and “big data,” as a tool to increase effectiveness and excellence in the management of nonprofit and recreation organizations. Practices basic skills required for individual and organizational success in the digital world.

NLS 430 NPOs and Community Development: Comprehensive Strategies for Impact (3). The course prepares students for action in the complex and ever-changing context in which mission-driven nonprofit organizations operate. This course provides students with current and emerging action strategies and practices to strengthen or improve less-advantaged communities, empower their residents, and interact with a broad spectrum of public, for profit, and nonprofit agencies. Students examine and apply quality practices in comprehensive community development, coalition and movement building, integrated strategies, collective and collaborative action, and strategic planning and assessment approaches. Students are required to complete service with an approved organization outside of class time.

NLS 445 (REC 401) Research and Evaluation in Recreation (3). A study of methods and techniques of research and evaluation as applied to recreation and park services. Prerequisite: REC 202.

NLS 450 Senior Seminar (1). Addresses the full range of professional development strategies, skills, and resources needed for a successful career in the nonprofit sector. Develops an understanding of and competencies in representing themselves in writing and in-person, in professional attire and etiquette. Emphasis on current networking tools, as well as the job search and interview process. Includes preparation of a career development portfolio.

NLS 460 (REC 450) Recreational Use of Natural Resources (3). This course will provide a thorough investigation of the recreational use of natural resources in the United States, as well as an overview of conditions around the world. The information presented will focus on the primary issue of “preservation versus use” of natural resources.

NLS 465 Policy, Legal Issues, and Advocacy for Social Change in Nonprofit Organizations (3). An exploration of the legal issues impacting the nonprofit sector, the roles of policy in insuring compliance and effective practice, and the application of advocacy strategies. Student will build understanding through the examination of the basic legal needs nonprofits have in common, requirements of the tax exemption, the legal aspects of fund development, human resources law for nonprofits, and political activities, among others.

NLS 470 (REC 465) Interpretation of Cultural and Natural Resources (3). A study and application of techniques and best practices appropriate to historical, cultural, and natural resource interpretation in park and recreation settings. Includes analysis and development of a appreciation of interpretive programs and visitors information services. Prerequisite: REC 202.

NLS 475 Social Entrepreneurship (3). This course is about utilizing entrepreneurial skills to craft innovative responses to social problems. Entrepreneurs are particularly good at recognizing opportunities, exploring innovative approaches, mobilizing resources, managing risks, and building viable enterprises. Social entrepreneurship applies to both profit and nonprofit organizations that have programs designed to create social value. Part of the Service Learning Scholars Program. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor.

NLS 480 Special Problems in Nonprofit Organizations (1-3). Involves developing a project or independent study to address issues and needs within local nonprofits. Students will be responsible for planning, implementing, and their outcome evaluations for the project or independent study. Part of the Service Learning Scholars program.

NLS 485 Seminar on Leadership Development (3). Course is a high-level exploration of leadership principles and practices, in support of the development of personal confidence and capacity to be more effective leaders and managers. Students will develop competencies for quality applications in the context of family, community, and career, including personal principles and values, ethical standards and practices, interpersonal and group dynamics, cultural competence, and vision and strategy development, among others.

NLS (REC) 490 National Recreation Sites and Rural Tourism Traveling Workshop (3). Study of national outdoor recreation sites and rural tourism where they occur. Includes educational interaction with professionals at national recreation sites and facilities and gateway communities. Course addresses primary management issues related to specific sites.