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Directors School

Directors School LogoThe NRPA Directors School is an exclusive professional development opportunity designed to prepare new and potential directors of park and recreation agencies for the challenges of leading and managing effectively. Potential attendees must first apply to the Directors School. Once accepted, they will receive instructions on how to register.



August 22 – 28, 2015
Oglebay Resort and Conference Center
Wheeling, West Virginia 


Applications for Year 1 Now Being Accepted


For information regarding Year Two registration, please call 800-624-6988, ext. 4126.


Learning Objectives

The learning objectives are based on the CAPRA standards and the Management of Parks and Recreation Agencies text.

  • Identify qualities of a good manager and develop the management skills required to run a successful park and recreation agency.
  • Develop the skills necessary to evaluate a park and recreation agency's organizational structure and administrative procedures.
  • Develop proficiency in designing and implementing agency strategic and marketing plans.
  • Build an improved leadership skill set.
  • Evaluate and identify the legal responsibilities and implications related to park and recreation agency operation.
  • Develop and implement performance management systems to evaluate the performance of agency personnel and the overall success of the agency itself.
  • Prioritize programs and services in order to maximize positive impact on their communities.
Year One Session Topics: Year Two Session Topics: Special Interest Topics:
Management Agency Accreditation Alternative Fund Development
Economic Benefits Partnerships Best Practices
Agency Planning Resources Planning and Management Surviving Political Quicksand
Organization & Admin. Operations Maintenance and Operations  
Public Engagement Strategies Information Systems  & Technology  
Leadership- Creating a Culture of Leadership (Yrs 1 & 2) Employee Supervision  
Human Resources Management  Recreation Program Management  
Legal Issues Fiscal Resources Management & Partnerships  
Public Relations, Marketing & Branding Evaluation and Action Research  
  Risk Management, Safety & Security  

Who Should Attend

This two-year program is perfect for

  • Current park or recreation directors;
  • Current park or recreation assistant/deputy directors; and
  • Mid-level managers being groomed for a park and recreation director position.

Participant Insight

Check out Chris Umphres from Kansas. Where will Directors School take him?

“This has been an awesome and wonderful experience. I only wish I had attended sooner. The classmates, instructors, accommodations and observers were great. The diversity of the school is an invaluable asset as practices, views, philosophies, differences, and commonalities are all brought together for the enrichment of all. My spark is now a healthy flame that is burning bright and hot and my aim is to re-light the flame in those I manage and lead in hopes of motivating in spite of our challenges. Thank you NRPA and Oglebay for a wonderful experience.” –2012 participant

“My favorite aspect of the Directors School is [the] ability to network and share with some awesome people. 'D School' is a special place.” –2012 participant

“I am very impressed with the NRPA Directors School. Although the program was intense it was worth every moment.” –2012 participant

“The expertise offered during Directors School is exceptional and the networking opportunity is invaluable.” –2012 participant

Future Directors School Dates:

  • August 22 to 28, 2015

For more information about the program content, contact customer service at [email protected]

For more information on registration and other details, contact Oglebay Resort and Conference Center at [email protected]

The three sponsoring organizations of this event are: The Oglebay National Training Center, National Recreation and Park Association, and The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University.

**Qualified applicants who submit an application and get accepted are not obligated to attend.