Students engaging animals and older adults

Improving Lives, Improving Function

Prepare for a rewarding career as a Recreational Therapist

Recreational Therapy

The Recreational Therapy program prepares students to work as professionals in the field of Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy. Students in the SRU Recreational Therapy program will have an opportunity to:

  • work with a variety of clinical populations,
  • engage in experiential learning,
  • and study evidence-based research in the field of therapeutic recreation.

Recreational therapists work in a variety of settings, including long term care, addictions treatment, physical rehabilitation, behavioral health, serving at-risk youth, and with people with developmental disabilities.

The Recreational Therapy degree program is designed to prepare competent entry-level recreational therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. Successful completion of Recreational Therapy coursework and a 14 week internship results in student eligibility for the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) examination and entry-level employment in the Therapeutic Recreation profession.

The Recreational Therapy program is accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and Committee on the Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE). You can learn more about the profession of Therapeutic Recreation at the American Therapeutic Recreation Association's website.

Stay connected with Recreational Therapy by joining the RT Facebook group.

CARTE Program Outcome Results

NCTRC Exam Results
The NCTRC 3 year, first-time candidate report indicates that of the 76 students who took the examination during the testing period 2012, 2013, 2014, the pass rate was well above the national average.  The Slippery Rock University student pass rate was 85.5% compared to the national rate of 75.3%.

Clinical Performance Appraisal Summary Results

  • In 2014, of the 38 students rated, 50% were rated as "exceeds expectation,"  28.95% were rated "above expectation" and 21.05% ratings were in the "achieves expectation"  category.  
  • In 2015 of the 49 students rated 59.18% were rated as "exceeds expectation,"  26.53% were rated as "above expectation" and 14.29%  were in the "achieves expectation" category. 
  • In both 2014 & 2015 the overall performance ratings for students  was at the "achieves expectation" level and above, there were no students rated as below or not meeting expectations.

Apply Now

Are you interested in majoring in Recreational Therapy? Are you interested in SRU? If so, you could be a "Recreational Therapy Major for a Day." Prospective students are invited to come to SRU to experience a day in the life of a Recreational Therapy major. The faculty members will pair you with a current students and you will attend classes just as if you are a RT major!

Sound like fun? Contact Dr. Deborah Hutchins, Dr. Colleen Cooke, or Dr. Betsy Kemeny to establish a date and time for your visit.

To apply for admission to the Recreational Therapy program, follow these steps:

  1. Submit your application to SRU.
  2. Set-up a campus visit, either with the admissions department or by contacting Recreational Therapy faculty members, Dr. Deborah Hutchins, Dr. Colleen Cooke, or Dr. Betsy Kemeny.