A recreational therapist uses activities associated with the idea of recreation, such as dancing, playing music or creating art, as treatment for people who suffer from mental, physical and emotional problems. The first step to becoming a recreational therapist is completion of a bachelor's degree. Colleges across the country offer recreational therapy bachelor's degrees, along with the opportunity to further the program of study with graduate programs in the field.
The University of Toledo
Earn a bachelor's degree in recreational therapy from the University of Toledo, the only program in the state of Ohio of its kind. Courses in the four-year program include medical terminology, recreation programming, inclusive recreation, animal assisted recreational therapy, purposeful living role of occupational therapy, health problems of ageing, abnormal psychology, introduction to recreation and leisure and aquatic therapy. Students also take general core classes such as college composition, health science and principles of psychology.
Applicants must have a high school diploma and SAT/ACT scores. Students who wish to further their education may enrol in the university's master's of recreational therapy program.
The University of Toledo 2801 Bancroft Toledo, OH 43606-3390 800-586-5336 utoledo.edu
Western Carolina University
Students may be interested to know that Western Carolina University was the first accredited university in the United States to offer a bachelor's degree in recreational therapy. The four-year degree includes classes in kinesiology, recreational therapy services for older adults, administration of recreational therapy services, human anatomy and physiology, first aid and safety education, medical terminology and introduction to pharmacology. All students perform a recreational therapy internship prior to graduation. While enrolled, students have the opportunity to join the WCU Recreational Therapy Association and apply for two annual recreational therapy student awards.
Students first apply to Western Carolina's general studies program. Upon beginning their studies, students who maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or higher may then apply to the recreational therapy program; an essay and knowledge test are required. Applicants to Western Carolina require a high school diploma.
Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC 28723 828-227-7495 wcu.edu
East Carolina University
Take your recreational therapy education further with a master's degree in recreational therapy administration from East Carolina University's College of Health and Human Performance. Course work includes management of health care operations, documentation in recreation therapy, biostatistics for health professionals, risk management and legal liability and administrative aspects of recreational therapy. Students have the option to complete a thesis/research project or take additional electives. Program graduates may sit for the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation exam.
Graduate assistantships are available to deflect the cost of tuition. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in recreational therapy or a related field, three letters of reference and completed course work in psychology, statistics, biology and college algebra.
East Carolina University The College of Health & Human Performance Minges Coliseum Greenville, NC 27858-4353 252-328-4630 ecu.edu