November 13-16, 2016 Eagle Ridge Resort: Galena, Illinois: click here to register

Professional Development School (PDS) is the longest standing educational and networking opportunity offered by the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association. The tradition of park and recreation professionals attending Professional Development School goes back to the 1980’s creating thousands of PDS graduates.

Professional Development School provides park and recreation professionals the opportunity to experience high quality education in a small, student-focused atmosphere. PDS is committed to providing park and recreation professionals the skills, knowledge base and networking opportunities needed for personal development and career advancement so as to sustain and better the agency and community they serve. 

Graduation from Professional Development School consists of the completion of a two year curriculum. Additionally, the school offers a unique graduate level annually that allows professionals the opportunity for continued development year after year.

Do you directly supervise or does your agency have professionals who would benefit from two and a half days of intensified skill development, increased knowledge base and networking with fellow professionals in areas such as supervision, management, budget, motivation, teamwork, etiquette, communication, presentation skill and self-fulfillment?

If the answer is yes, send them to Professional Development School 2016 "Decades of Adventures", November 13-16 at the Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena, IL. Perhaps, this someone at your agency is you? Scholarships are available for Professional Development School through the Illinois & Park Recreation Foundation.  click here to read more

Professional Development School Goal
Year 1: LEARN – Instilling the backbone of the profession
Year 2: CONNECT – Understanding the professional you are
Graduate: INSPIRE – Motivating self-development and advancement in your career and agency

Additional Information
Should you have any questions please contact Bret Fahnstrom, Executive Director of the River Trails Park District at or Matt Fairbanks, Education and Membership Director at IPRA at


2016 Fees:

Member Rate            Single $750  / Double $675

Non-Member Rate   Single $850 /   Double $775


The 2016 Curriculum is being finalized and will display on this page when it is complete. 

Future Professional Development School Dates: November 12-15, 2017 & November 11-14, 2018.
Like us on FaceBook  alt  to keep up with all the updates for 2016 and keep track of all our past adventures!