Dr. Ashton-Forrester, program coordinator. Dr. Gray, Dr. Johnson, Ms. Miller, Dr. Sardina
Graduates in recreation therapy (RT) are trained to utilize recreation activities and other active treatment modalities to increase the functional abilities and quality of life of people of all ages with disabilities and illnesses, such as cognitive impairments and developmental disabilities, behavioral health issues including substance abuse, physical disabilities and illnesses, and dementia and other illnesses relate to aging. RT compliments other allied health professions and therapies to address clients’ adjustment to illness/disability and educate them for new lifestyles. In addition, graduates in RT can pursue graduate degrees in physical, occupational and speech therapy.
The purpose of the baccalaureate program in recreation therapy is to prepare graduates who possess the knowledge, skills and competencies to practice recreation therapy in health-care and community-based settings, and be leaders in the field of RT and health-care. This preparation places a priority on the development of skills through in- and out-of-class applied learning experiences, practica, internships, and community engagement. Furthermore, student outcomes emphasize critical thinking and evidence-based practice as means of assisting clients and organizations in reaching their goals, and maximizing the quality of life of individuals served.
Students in the recreation therapy major may select one of four areas of concentration: (a) physical rehabilitation, (b) behavioral health, (c) geriatrics, including a minor in gerontology, and (d) pediatrics, which helps them prepare to work as child life specialists.
In order to be eligible to practice RT, graduates must be credentialed as Licensed Recreational Therapists (LRT) by the North Carolina Board of Recreational Therapy Licensure and Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). Licensure and certification are obtained by completing a bachelor’s degree in RT and receiving a satisfactory score on the NCTRC national certification exam.
All students wishing to major in Recreation Therapy must meet the minimum criteria for admission and follow the Recreation Therapy application procedure which includes timely submission of the Recreation Therapy application packet.
Minimum criteria for acceptance into the program includes:
a) 2.5 cumulative GPA at UNCW or transfer institution; and a minimum of 25 hours experience working or volunteering with individuals with disabilities, disabling conditions or illnesses.
Completed application packet must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
Application packet must include:
- Completed application form
- Two-page essay
- Signed Recreation Therapy Technical Standards, and
- Current degree audit or transcript if student is a transfer student
- Documentation of volunteer/work experience with individuals with disabilities, disabling conditions, or illnesses.
The admission procedure also requires an interview with a Recreation Therapy faculty member.
Priority Application Deadlines
- For Fall admission, Feb. 15th
- For Spring admission, Sept. 15th
Oral Communication Requirement:
To satisfy the oral communication requirement for the B.A. degree in Recreation Therapy a student must successfully complete RTH 480 .
Applied Learning Requirement:
To satisfy the applied learning requirement for the B.A. degree in Recreation Therapy a student must successfully complete RTH 348 and RTH 497 .
Requirements for the B.A. Degree with a Major in Recreation Therapy:
Complete one of the following sequences:
Optional Concentration (9 hours)
In addition to the total hours in the major, students may complete 9 credit hours in a specialization, in addition to the recreation therapy internship (RTH 497 ) in the area of specialization: a) behavioral health, b) geriatrics, c) pediatrics, or, d) physical rehabilitation. Concentrations are described below.
Behavioral Health Concentration
To complete a recreation therapy concentration in behavioral health, students must complete all the required courses for the recreation therapy major, RTH 497 (12 credit hours) in an approved behavioral health setting; and 9 credit hours selected from the following courses:
To complete a recreation therapy concentration in geriatrics, students must complete all the required courses for the recreation therapy major, RTH 497 (12 credit hours) in an approved geriatric setting; GRN 101 ; and 6 additional hours selected from the following courses:
To complete a recreation therapy concentration in pediatrics, students must complete all the required courses for the recreation therapy major, RTH 497 (12 credit hours) in an approved pediatric setting; RTH 384 , ATR 470 , and 3 additional hours selected from the following courses:
Physical Rehabilitation Concentration
To complete a recreation therapy concentration in physical rehabilitation, students must complete all the required courses for the recreation therapy major, RTH 497 (12 credit hours) in an approved physical rehabilitation setting, ATR 470 , and 6 additional hours selected from the following courses:
Total with concentration: 82 hours
Student progression in the program is contingent upon the following:
- Students must maintain at least a 2.50 RT major GPA, and a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all RTH required core courses.
- Students found to have been in violation of the university’s Academic Honor Code will be subject to disciplinary action as set forth in the current Code of Student Life.
- Students found to be in violation of the Recreation Therapy Technical Standards will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the program.
- Students found to be in violation of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s Code of Ethics will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the program.