College of the Canyons welcomes a new faculty member.With a goal to bolster the program with new curriculum and increased opportunities for students, College of the Canyons has named former Santa Monica College athletic director Dr. Rhonda Hyatt director of the college’s Recreation Management program.
As the program’s sole faculty member, Hyatt will be responsible for the development and organization of new recreation management courses and curriculum; the articulation of more program transfer agreements with surrounding four-year colleges and universities; the carrying out of various student outreach and recruitment efforts; and the development of community partnerships that will in turn foster increased recreational programs and educational opportunities.
“Having lived in the Santa Clarita Valley for a number of years, I’ve been able to follow the tremendous progress, growth and innovation that has gone on here at College of the Canyons,” Hyatt said. “So I’m looking forward to joining the team and working to develop an enhanced mission and vision for the college’s recreation management program that will fit the needs of both this campus and the surrounding community. “It will be a challenge, but that’s the fun and exciting part of my job,” added Hyatt.
Dr. Hyatt comes to College of the Canyons after spending the last four years as the athletic director at Santa Monica College. Prior to that Hyatt spent one year as the Senior Associate Athletic Director at California State University, Northridge —preceded by four years as the Assistant/Associate Athletic Director there. Before moving into an administrative position, Hyatt was the Head Athletic Trainer and an adjunct faculty member at CSUN.
Having earned an Ed.D. from UCLA, Hyatt also holds an M.S. degree in Physical
Education from the University of Arizona and a B.S. in Education with an emphasis in
Athletic Training from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
“Dr. Hyatt’s vast knowledge and extensive professional experience will make her an
important asset to the continued development and success of the college’s
Recreational Management classes and programs,” said Len Mohney, COC Dean of Physical
Education. “Under her guidance, College of the Canyons will be able to better equip
students with the skills and training needed to pursue careers in a variety of
sports and recreation related industries.”
Introduced in 2006, the 23-unit recreation management program at COC involves a mix
of classes and field experiences in the areas of recreation and leisure for all age
groups — and is designed to prepare students for transfer to a four-year recreation
Coursework includes classes in recreation and leisure in contemporary society,
facilities management, recreation and the environment, planning programs and events
for recreational purposes, and therapeutic recreation with special populations, as
well as courses in sociology and psychology.
In addition to the ongoing development of more recreation management courses at COC,
a number of the college’s current Kinesiology Physical Education-Activity (KPEA)
classes will soon be cross-listed for inclusion under the recreation management
Professional recreation managers are generally responsible for assisting and
planning a variety of programs and overseeing the daily operations of one or more
recreational facilities for an agency (i.e. city, county, state, or federal)
including community service related programs and activities.
“Recreational management is one of those emerging professions in which a lot of the
necessary certifications and accreditations require work-related experiences gained
from internships, volunteerism and observation of professionals in the field,” Hyatt
said. “So we need to create and then expose those opportunities to our students,
because we have many of them right here in our own community.”