We’ve been bringing you lots of stories from NRPA members all across the country about Certification – from one agency in Iowa with 18 certifications under their roof, to a whole host of Certified Park and Recreation Executives telling it like it is about executive-level certification in parks and recreation. The stories just keep coming and this one written by Jason Tryon, CPRP, Operations Director/Athletic Coordinator at Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation in Charlotte, NC, touches on what pursing Certification is all about – a challenge to oneself.
I was recently asked why I pursued the Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification. My initial thought was; why not? I think it is my obligation as a recreation professional to seek as much knowledge and offerings as possible. To me, the CPRP was a chance to reflect on my experience, and take the passion I have for this field into recognition, in the form of certification.
In a way, I looked at the CPRP test as a challenge to myself.
Jason (far right) with some kick-butt looking storm troopers at Charlotte's Mini Comic Con
The certification was motivation to prove to myself that I have gained a great deal of experience and knowledge over the last few years. I found the study guide to be extremely interesting, with topics that I have not dealt with in several years. This helped refresh my mind on how to pursue certain issues. After my first time reading through the study guide, I realized what areas I needed to focus on. This helped me not only for the exam, but also with day-to-day responsibilities.
I also decided to pursue certification as a level of dedication and acknowledgement. I hoped that this could show my employer and other departments the dedication I have and, hopefully, help my career path along the way. I have noticed more and more opportunities that are seeking the certification as a preferred accomplishment for candidates.
Not only that, I pursued the CPRP because I love the field of parks and recreation and hope to continue my career path as Director one day. In order to climb the ladder I believe it is vital to pursue any certifications I can.
The CPRP has helped me get involved on a national level with several committees through contacts I have made with NRPA and other certified professionals. CPRP has also helped me set an example to my staff; I can happily say that one of my staff members has decided to pursue the certification, which is a great feeling.
Next up, the CPRE exam!
In what ways can you relate to Jason’s experience and viewpoints on pursuing certification? If you are thinking about pursuing Certification, what are some aspirations you have for putting your Certification into action? Have a story about certification? Don’t be shy, share it in the comments below! Editor’s Note: Ready to become a Certified Park and Recreation Professional? Find out more about the certification and what you need to qualify.
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