The NRPA Leadership Certificate provides leaders practical and applicable methods for transforming themselves and their agency. This new certificate offers a robust online learning opportunity for maximum flexibility. The program navigates through the latest in leadership principles that will take you and your agency to the next level. Whether you come from a large or small agency, the NRPA Leadership Certificate prepares you to handle any decision that comes your way.

Program Overview

The online certificate includes four courses that will expand upon the leadership foundation you have developed as a current senior leader within your organization. The courses also help to build a foundation for those who are aspiring to leadership roles within park and recreation. Each course is roughly 3 hours in length and engages learners with thought-provoking exercises. The online courses have been designed with the working professional in mind, and we respect your time. Whether you have ten minutes or an hour, you can take advantage of the online program at your leisure. 

Who Should Enroll?

Current and aspiring senior managers or professionals who are working in or aspiring toward leadership roles.

Program Details

Four online courses will provide you with a deep dive into the concepts that make good leaders great. Each course will provide 0.3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for participants. To receive your NRPA Leadership Certificate, you must complete each of the four courses (1.2 CEUs). You may register for each course individually, but for the best deal, purchase them as a package which includes all four courses. Enrolling in the package will provide you instant access to each course as they are released.

Register Now: Leadership Certificate Package

The four courses are as follows:

  • Strategic Thinking is a process that defines how you think about, assess, view, and create the future. Leaders have the responsibility to include strategic thinking for themselves, their employees and the organization as a whole by applying these strategies for the part of the organization that they are responsible for. Topic areas:

    • Strategy and Leadership, or Creating a strategy-focused organization;
    • There are two sections devoted to developing strategy; and
    • The final section discusses how strategies are implemented.

Register Now: Strategic Thinking Course

  • Human capital management explores the characteristics of Human Capital Management.  Most park and recreation agencies spend half of their budget or more on labor costs.  As a result, it is imperative to receive a good return on investment in employees as they are an organization’s most important asset. Course outcomes:

    • Creating an effective organizational culture;
    • Developing effective teams;
    • Leadership skills necessary for excellence in human capital management; and
    • Creating a performance-focused organization.

Register Now: Human Capital Management Course

  • Operational leadership represents best practices in creating effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability in operations from recreation and parks to park and facility planning and administrative support. Course outcomes:

    • How to lead a successful organization;
    • How to instill operational efficiency and effectiveness;
    • Measuring organizational performance; and
    • The public service motivation.

Register Now: Operational Leadership Course

  • Diversity and cultural awareness explores the importance of developing a diverse, equitable, and ethical workplace. To instill an innovative and progressive workplace, it is important that leaders consider how to instill diversity into the organizational culture. This course will cover the following four areas:

    • Defining culture, diversity, and inclusion; 
    • Designing an inclusive environment for your organization both internally and externally;
    • Managing community outreach; and
    • Creating an ethical organization.

Register Now: Diversity and Cultural Awareness Course



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