The Department of Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences began its Program in Rural Sociology and Community Studies in 2004. Since 1914, when the first courses in rural sociology were taught at Texas A&M, rural sociologists have served the people of Texas and the Nation through a wide range of areas. The Program emphasizes applied research and extension programs for rural people and communities in four major areas.
- Sociology of Agriculture
- Community Governance and Environment Quality
- Sociology of Nutrition and Health
- Rural People, Communities and Socioeconomic Change
Community Development Program
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved in January, 2007 the creation of the bachelor of science degree in community development to be offered by the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences.
The Community Development major is an interdisciplinary program. The curriculum provides students with theoretical, statistical, decision-making and communication skills that they can effectively apply in federal and state governmental agencies, community planning firms, municipal departments, marketing firms, and other professional settings. The program will enhance students’ abilities to: collect and analyze different kinds of data; work with community leaders, groups and public; identify and mobilize necessary resources for development processes; and assess outcomes and impacts of community development on residents and newcomers. Graduates with a Community Development major will be able to apply their skills to such issues as: institutional development; human capacity building; economic development; youth development; poverty; welfare-to-work; water quality; land use planning; and other issues involving the mobilization of and collaboration with diverse community groups.
Students who select this major will enroll in a set of core courses in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences. These courses emphasize the importance of parks, recreation, tourism, and youth-oriented programs to community development processes and strategies. In addition, they will select courses specifically required for the community development major.