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Standards for Curriculum and Voluntary Accreditation of Sport Management Education Programs

NASPE-NASSM Joint Task Force on Sport Management Curriculum and Accreditation

The sport business industry is among the largest industries in the United States. Sport management is the field of study offering the specialized training and education necessary for individuals seeking careers in any of the many segments of the industry. An increasing number of institutions offer sport management programs. Concern over the lack of an identified and recognized base of common knowledge for sport management resulted in the development of the NASPE-NASSM Joint Task Force on Sport Management Curriculum and Accreditation. The task force developed a competency-based minimum body of knowledge needed for baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels. The work resulted from study of curricular research and consultation with academicians, practitioners, and professional associations. The final document was approved as standards by professionals in June 1992.

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Norm Chouinard

Sport management programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels have proliferated over the past 2 decades. In most if not all of these programs, the internship course component has been identified as a vital element in professional preparation programs. Teacher/coordinators of sport management programs that include an internship component must be highly skilled to meet student needs. Equally important in the effective delivery of these programs is the need for the university to fully endorse the value of student internships through proper financial, technical, and human resources. The purpose of this paper is to examine, through a review of the literature, the goals and objectives of student internships, program characteristics of meaningful internships, and future implications for teacher/coordinators of sport management programs. Professors of sport management must act as change agents to further enhance the quality of student internships in professional preparation programs.

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Noni Zaharia, Anastasios Kaburakis and David Pierce

The growth of sport management programs housed in (or with formal curriculum-based ties to) a school of business indicates more academic institutions are reconsidering sport management as a business-oriented field. Thus, research is necessary regarding benchmarking information on the state of these academic programs. The purpose of this study is to explore trends on administration, housing, accreditation, faculty performance indicators and research requirements, as well as salaries for faculty and alumni of such programs. Data were submitted by 74 department chairs and program directors employed in U.S. business schools featuring sport management programs. Results indicate that the majority of sport business programs are part of an interdisciplinary department; COSMA accreditation is largely viewed as redundant; and, depending on business schools’ accreditation, variability exists concerning faculty performance measures and research impact, as well as faculty and alumni salaries. These findings suggest considerable progress of sport management programs within business schools.

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Kimberly A. Bush, Michael B. Edwards, Gareth J. Jones, Jessica L. Hook and Michael L. Armstrong

Recently, scholars of sport management have called for more research aimed at understanding how sport can be leveraged for social change. This interest has contributed to a burgeoning paradigm of sport management research and practice developed around using sport as a catalyst for broader human and community development. In order for sport practitioners to successfully develop, implement, and sustain these programs, integration of development-based theory and concepts are needed in sport management curricula. Service learning is one pedagogical approach for achieving this objective, and is well suited for promoting social change practices among students. This study assesses how participation in a sport-for-development (SFD) service learning project impacted the social consciousness and critical perspectives of sport management students. Results suggest the experience raised student’s awareness of community issues, developed a more holistic perspective on the role of service, and influenced their future careers.

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Mary A. Hums

Although the sport industry continues to evolve, one thing has not changed—the need for sport managers to be good citizens. What does it mean to be a good citizen and how does that relate to us as sport management educators and researchers? This lecture suggests what we as sport management educators can do to help our students become better citizens in this day and age. As new issues emerge, our graduates will be forced to make decisions which often place the Temple and the Agora—the spirit of sport and the business of sport, the conscience and commerce of sport management— in opposition to each other. These new issues encompass topics such as social entrepreneurship, technology, environmental respect, sport for development and peace, and sport and human rights, and need to be woven into the fabric of our sport management curriculum.

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Robin Hardin, James Bemiller and Joshua Pate

Experiential learning is a critical component to a college education in the area of sport management as students must enter the workforce with hands-on industry experience. One experiential learning tool is a cocurricular club that offers volunteer work experience for sport management majors. The University of Tennessee’s Partners in Sports is an example of a sport management cocurricular club that prepares students for working in the sport industry through volunteer experiences. The purpose of this study was to provide a governance and organizational framework of a student-operated sport management cocurricular club and explore how it fits into the Foster Five-Step Experiential Learning Model (Foster & Dollar, 2010). This study examines the governance, student involvement, leadership, opportunities, financials, and yearly activities of Partners in Sports and offers practical applications for each area. The exploration revealed that a cocurricular club fits on the Volunteer Exploration step of the Foster Five-Step Experiential Learning Model as it introduces students to the sport industry by offering experiential learning opportunities. Providing a cocurricular club allows sport management programs to maximize initial industry exposure to students.

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Jo Williams and Colleen Colles

Changes in higher education, demands for accountability, and concerns over academic quality have brought increased attention to accreditation (Eaton, 2006). The growth of specialized accreditation has created numerous opportunities but also brings challenges (Tullis & Carney, 2007). The sport management discipline has recently launched an outcome-based and mission-driven accreditation organization: the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA). The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions sport management faculty and administrators have towards the potential benefits and challenges of accreditation. Surveys (N=322) were distributed and 119 useable responses were obtained. In general, respondents indicated support for COSMA but many also expressed concerns. Institutions that had joined COSMA had different perspectives than those who had not, particularly in relation to the value of external benefits such as competitive advantages and increased marketing potential. Concerns over costs, involvement of business professionals and the credibility of the organization were also considered.

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Windy Dees and Todd Hall

Experiential learning (EL) is a pedagogical approach in which students are given the opportunity to apply conceptual knowledge to practical situations (Muir & van der Linden, 2009; Rogers, 1969). Experiential learning opportunities are one way that sport management programs are preparing graduates for employment in the industry. Southall et al. (2003) suggest the creation of a metadiscrete EL model in which sport management programs provide out-of-classroom learning opportunities under the guidance of faculty mentors, which are offered throughout the entire college experience. Grand Slam Marketing (GSM) at Georgia Southern University is a prime example of the metadiscrete EL model prescribed by Southall. GSM is a faculty-guided, student organization at Georgia Southern University (GSU) that is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of majors including sport management. A plethora of implications for professors and students can be formulated from evaluating the GSM model and are discussed in the manuscript.

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Andrea N. Geurin-Eagleman and Erin McNary

Past research shows that the job market for sport management academic positions was strong, with more job openings than qualified professors to fill the positions. Due to changing global and higher education climates, however, it was necessary to conduct further research to examine how these shifts in the external environment have impacted the sport management job market. Therefore, this study employed a content analysis methodology to examine the faculty job openings in sport management from 2010 to 2011. In addition, current doctoral students were surveyed to determine their preparation and expectations for the academic job market. Results revealed much greater parity between the number of open positions and the number of doctoral student job seekers than ever before. Similarities and differences were discovered between the actual job market and students’ career expectations and goals. Ultimately, the job market has become more competitive and job seekers must take steps to ensure a competitive advantage.

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Deborah R. Shapiro and Brenda G. Pitts

As the field of sport business management develops, it is critical to assess its literature. A content analysis of 34 sport business management journals between 2002 to 2012 was conducted relative to sports, physical activity, recreation, and leisure for individuals with disabilities. Journals were selected based on their alignment with sport management curriculum standards. Results show that of the 5,443 articles reviewed in this study, merely 89, or .016%, pertained to disability sport, leisure, recreation, or physical activity. Information insufficiency was found across all sport management curriculum domains. Similarities and differences are discussed relative to other content analyses conducted in sport management and disability sport. Results provide direction for future scholarship and advancement of studies in disability sport in sport business management.