Community Youth Sport Development
Within the last decade there has been an influx of school and non-school programs that seek to meet the diverse needs of youth. Shifting social conditions, such as economic hardship, the growing gap between rich and poor, disparate funding of public schools, and the growing elitism and privatization of non-school sport programs make it unlikely that the majority nation’s youth will receive quality physical activity opportunities.
Clearly, both school and non-school physical activity programs are required to address the needs of all youth effectively. Likewise, non-school programs, such as those offered through Boys and Girls Clubs, YWCA’s, YMCA’s, and municipal recreation departments require well-prepared physical activity professionals to provide leadership, innovation and dedication in enhancing the lives of all youth. The need for qualified and dedicated individuals to work in and lead these programs has increased dramatically.
A recent national study of programs offered through non-profit agencies suggested that thousands of new professionals are needed each year to fill community service job vacancies. In addition, opportunities to study and apply the various elements of youth service work is critically needed. The department of Kinesiology at UNCG is well-positioned to provide advance study in the youth development field. Systematic education, program evaluation, and current service-oriented physical activity programming are some of the areas of inquiry in the CYSD program.
Goal and Objectives
A major goal of Community Youth Sport Development (CYSD) is to provide students a non-licensure program designed to increase their knowledge and understanding in teaching and leading in community-based youth serving agencies. It also provides ample opportunity for community based research and evaluation.
Students will gain competencies in:
- program design
- implementation and evaluation
- funds development
- community collaboration
- volunteer and staff management/supervision
- addressing social inequalities
- cross-cultural awareness.
M.S. Degree Information
The Master of Science in Community Youth Sport Development (CYSD) is a non-licensure program designed to increase their knowledge and understanding in teaching and leading community-based youth serving agencies. CYSD students advance their knowledge and develop skills in a variety of areas through coursework and practical experience, including: (a) teaching; (b) program design, implementation, and evaluation; (c) volunteer and staff training, management, and supervision; (d) fundraising; and (e) community collaboration. Knowledge and exposure to the social and cultural conditions that produce underserved communities are also gained by students through their coursework and field experiences, along with an understanding of how to address social inequalities.
Coursework includes a 36 hour set of courses within Kinesiology as well as outside disciplines. Most of the courses are applied in various community settings. Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, Parks and Recreation Centers, schools, and various for profit and non-profit youth programs provide the “hands-on” course experiences. A capstone experience is included in the program of study for which 250 hours of work in a community setting is required. In some instances, international sites are provided for this clinical experience.
Students wishing to pursue a PhD in Kinesiology with a focus on Community Youth Sport Development will be exposed to a 60-credit hour program. This program is well-suited for those students who have a particular interest in the study of sport-based youth development programming. The PhD candidates will be involved in clinical doctoral work that prepares them to direct undergraduate and graduate programs in youth development at colleges and universities. It also prepares individuals whose interests align with professional development (i.e., Teacher Education). In some cases, this degree program also prepares those interested in acquiring leadership roles in community youth serving agencies. Research methods that focus on program evaluation, theory testing, and community-engaged scholarship are introduced throughout the program, preparing the student for successful implementation and completion of the dissertation. Course work will expose the student to required KIN courses as well as outside courses–all serving to support the student’s course of study. An ultimate goal is for graduates from this concentration to be positioned to prepare other professionals for work in sport-based youth development programs. Students interested in pursuing Community Youth Sport Development studies at the
doctoral level are asked to mention “PhD in Kinesiology with a focus in CYSD” in the first paragraph of the statement
of purpose in their applications.
Plan of Study
Each student will progress through their CYSD degrees based of his/her individual plan of study. In both MS and PhD programs four main courses will be required. They are: 1) KIN 519-Mentoring in Community Youth Development Programs, 2) KIN 520-Physical Activity Programs for Underserved Youth, 3) KIN 521-Evaluating Physical Activity Programs for Underserved Youth, and 4) KIN 676-Seminar in Youth Development. Additional course work will take place within and outside of Kinesiology and will be determined by the student’s plan of study.