Parks and Recreation
Recreational therapists use selective activities to address the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial needs of persons with illness or disability. Activity modalities and intervention techniques are utilized to improve function/health and to promote independence and wellness.
The bachelor of science degree emphasis in recreational therapy supplements a solid liberal studies foundation with course work related to human development/growth and movement. Field work, practicum, and a culminating internship assist students in gaining experience in a RT setting prior to graduation. In addition, students may choose from several specialty tracks which offer focused coursework to enhance knowledge and skills in a given area, i.e., mental health, rehabilitation, corrections, gerontology, and community. Minors are also available in related areas such as gerontology, exceptionalities, psychology, sociology, and adapted physical activity and animal-assisted interventions.
The recreational therapy program is designed so that students will meet the eligibility requirements to sit for the national certification exam administered by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). Some states, including Pennsylvania, offer certification through the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). While certification is not required; it can advance your career. In Pennsylvania, the requirements include, but are not limited to: a passing score on the Environmental Literacy Test, work portfolio, and attendance at a EE Certification Workshop. Requirements vary by state, so please visit the NAAEE state affiliate where you work.