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.