Student Member Benefits


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Why Join IPRA?

The Illinois Park & Recreation Association provides student members with a network of industry professionals with whom they can engage to learn about current trends in the field, employment opportunities and best practices. You will also connect with other student members, with whom you can share experiences and tips as you navigate the completion of your studies and next steps. 

FREE to join! Student membership with the Illinois Park & Recreation Association is FREE.


Attend the IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference, featuring over 170 educational sessions! Student members may volunteer onsite and receive reimbursement for their registration fees. You may also apply for a scholarship from the Illinois Park & Recreation Foundation to offset travel costs.

Apply for an Illinois Park & Recreation Foundation Scholarship: The development of tomorrow’s leaders is integral to the mission of IPRF, as scholarships are provided to attend the Annual Soaring to New Heights Conference.


Access to IPRAConnect – an online environment where members can connect, engage and share information, resources and best practices with their colleagues. IPRAConnect allows student members to communicate easily with other students, park & recreation professionals, and educators, 
in real time. 

Meet & greet with park & recreation professionals at Professional Connection. Held during the annual Soaring to New Heights Conference, Professional Connection provides a relaxed, social atmosphere and an informal setting for talking with, and getting to know, professionals currently working in a variety of areas of interest. Use this time to set-up summer internships!


Attend the All-Conference Awards Luncheon by being sponsored by a park & recreation agency at the event (a great networking opportunity!) Meet agency leaders and connect with professionals, as we recognize outstanding efforts by IPRA members.

Your membership experience includes:


  • Access to network of 2,500 members and growing 
  • Access to IPRA’s online Membership Directory and IPRAConnect online communities
  • Discount on registration to IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights conference 
  • Discounts on professional development & event registration, including: CPRP Prep Training Classes, Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) Course and Professional Development School 
  • Discounts on online job postings
  • Volunteer opportunities with IPRA sections and committees
  • Membership in targeted Special Interest Group(s) 
  • Opportunity to apply to our award-winning mentoring program, ProConnect
  • Recognition for outstanding achievements at the individual and agency level through our Awards and Recognition program
  • Digital subscription to IL Parks & Recreation magazine and IPRA Today eNewsletter
  • Scholarships offered by the Illinois Park & Recreation Foundation for both students and professionals

Join Now - Student

I love all of the opportunities IPRA provides to its members to grow as professionals.  The involvement choices are varied and reach out to many different interests, skill levels, and time commitments.  IPRA Membership Survey 2018

          Volunteer with IPRA!  Leadership Opportunities Are Available in Your Association!