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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Current Students

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Student Handbook

[PDF] RPLS Student Handbook (4 MiB)

Southern Minnesota Recreation and Park Association Student Scholarship - Deadline October 31st, 2018

The SMRPA Scholarship was established to recognize those students pursuing a degree in the field of Recreation, Parks and/or leisure studies at Minnesota State University - Mankato orWinona State University.  One or more scholarships, equaling $1000 each, will be distributed each academic year, following the recommendation by the Review Committee.

Appilcants must be enrolled as full time students; must be declared RPLS majors with either Junior or Senior standing; demonstrate a minimum GPA of 2.50, within the major; have a successfully completed a minimum of 12 credits of course work with RPLS or RTTR prefix; documented evidence of work or volunteering in recreation or related field; and complete a personal essay.  Application deadline is Noon, October 31st, 2018.  See your advisor for complete requirements and how to apply.  

Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation Scholarship - Deadline November 2nd

The MRPF scholarship is for juniors or seniors majoring in a park and recreation major and attending a four-year curriculum at a Minnesota Institution or permanent Minnesota resident attending a neighboring state.  The scholarship program includes up  to 5 $2000 scholarships.  Students may only receive this scholarship once.  Eligibility is that student must be junior or senior; have a minimum GPA of 2.8 overall and 3.0 major; be enrolled in a program with parks and recreation emphasis.  Deadline is November 2, 2018 at 11:50 p.m.  Please see your advisor for complete requirements and how to apply.  

Volunteer Opportunities

ELK's Nature Center - Nature Center Docents Needed.  Please consider giving a minimum of 5 hours pwer month to this cause.  The Center is open Tuesday and Thursday 5-9 pm and every other weekend Friday - Sunday 12-5 pm.

Darby's Dancers, Dance Express - Dance Express is proud to add the new special needs program "Darby's Dancers" to its schedule.  Darby's Dancer is a non profit.  The Darby's Dancer program is designed to provide dance education to children with special needs at no cost to their families and offer a foudnation for inclusion with other dancers within an established dance organization.  Each child is paired with a one-on-one volunteer that acts as thier personal coach.  No dance experience is necessary.  Contact Dance Express for more information 507-625-3865 or  

YMCA STRIDE - We are recruiting both PAID and UNPAID (volunteer) Coaches for our teams!  Students can obtain between 2-10 hours of volunteer work a week.  Our program runs twice weekly on either M/W or T/TH with 10 different sites around town.  New this season - STRIDE has partnered with the Mankato Chapter Miracle League to create an inclusive environment for boys of all abilities.  This group is mainly focusing on working with middle school boys from the Minnesota Autism Center and will be branching out to future seasons to other populations and ablities.  

MRCI Workforce - Whether you enjoy music, arts, wellness or any recreational activity, we'd love to have you!  No special experience needed.  Contact

Conference Opportunities

2019 National Outdoor Recreation Conference - May 6-May 9, 2019, Rapid City SD.  More information can be found here:

Why get an internship before applying for your first "Big Kid" job?

Read the blog written by our own Dr. Kristi Montandon for the Career Development Center regarding why you should get an internship.  Check it out here: 

Minnesota Recreation and Park Association - Student MembershipMRPA

Student Membership Rate is $10.00 and apply to those that are full-time undergraduate or graduate students pursing a degree in recreation, leisure services, or related fields at any university, community college or vocational school. Members receive job postings and internship/volunteer announcements, they can connect with professional mentors, are invited to the annual conference with paid lunch, receive Member Connection, MRPA's quarterly newsletter, receive reduced rates for educational training, conferences and workshops, scholarship opportunities and many more fantastic membership benefits. Visit for more information or call 763-571-1305 x100.

Rethinking The Role Of A Conservation Officer

The DNR's Ken Soring wants officers making big-picture decisions and recruits with passion for natural resources. The article featured in the StarTribune by Dennis Anderson indicates that the DNR will hire people with a background in resource management and then pay for them to attend Law Enforcement school. See the article here:

MTRA MembershipMTRA logo

Students are encouraged to join the Minnesota Therapeutic Recreation Association (MTRA) for free. When you join the MTRA you are able to view recently posted TR jobs among many other benefits. To join please click on the following link:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

In the May 2013 edition of Parks & Recreation was an article on Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Many public park and recreation professionals are unaware of this opportunity. The learn more about this please view the article.

[PDF] Public Service Loan Forgiveness (5 MiB)