B.S. in Recreational Therapy

Doing something stimulating and joyful makes a world of difference for someone in a wheelchair or suffering from illness. You'll learn how to use movement, art, and other activities to engage people in their own healing and quality of life. This growing field is gaining respect and practitioners of all ages.

What you'll study
Recreational therapy has grounded interventions and techniques that you'll want to master. From anatomy to program planning, the curriculum emphasizes clinical interventions that assist individuals with illnesses or disabling conditions in improving their physical and emotional well-being. You'll also choose a concentration centered on children, adults, or management.

How you'll learn more
NSU's health care facilities and range of coursework are augmented by caring professors who are experts in biology, psychology, and human services. Two field placements provide the direct experience you need to enter the workforce and become proficient in caring for distinct communities. Taking certain courses online gives you freedom to complete the recreational therapy degree on your own terms.

Where it can take you
Therapy changes lives. As a professional, you will gain credentials as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and improve your chances of working in your preferred community. Common settings include schools and centers for young children, the disabled, and the elderly.

Review the approximate annual cost of tuition, housing, studying part-time, and other options.

Tuition and Fees

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The bachelor's program in Recreational Therapy is comprised of 120 credit hours. The program consists of a general education section, a core course section and the concentration(s) selected by the student.

CORE COURSES (3 credits each)

The Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy, including the concentration and field experience is a 120 credit program.  The program consists of 30 credits in general education, and 54 credits within the major, which includes 6-credits of supervised field experience in Recreational Therapy. In addition, students will be required to complete one of the three 12 credit concentrations within the program, and may choose up to 24 credits of open electives. The open elective courses may be selected to count toward an additional 12-credit concentration(s) of their choice, which will be recorded on the student’s transcripts.

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
RT1100 Recreational Therapy: Theory and Foundations
This course examines the history, concepts, theories, and foundations of therapeutic recreation. It introduces the role of therapeutic recreation for disadvantaged populations and persons with disabilities and illnesses in health care and community settings. Students will examine the application of therapeutic recreation in prevention services and the link between social, psychological, and physical health. Students will also gain a basic understanding of the disabilities, impairments and illnesses most often encountered in the provision of therapeutic recreation services. Students will gain a basic understanding of the principles and techniques in therapeutic recreation programming to include: client assessment, individual programming planning, behavioral techniques, activity analysis, documentation, specific program design, and program evaluation.
3
RT1200 Recreational Therapy with Physically Disabled Individuals
Addressing physical and psychological needs of individuals with physical disabilities. This course will also provide appropriate recreational therapy techniques and methods used in providing services to individuals in clinical and community settings.
3
RT1400 Current Trends in Recreational Therapy
This course will examine the most recent trends in the field of Therapeutic Recreation. Topics that will be discussed will include: the current settings in which recreational therapists are typically employed, various treatment modalities, collaboration entities that are beneficial to clients treated in recreational therapy environments, and future developments within the Therapeutic Recreation field, including evaluation of current research in this area.
3
HS1300 Interpersoal Assessment Skills in Human Relations
This course provides an opportunity to learn basic skills essential for the assessment of interpersonal relations. Students will examine interpersonal dynamics and communication in families, the workplace, community organizations, and social settings. An emphasis is placed on developing skills in listening, observation, and analysis. Case studies will be used to explore a variety of presenting problems and appropriate assessment strategies.
3
RT2000 Recreational Therapy:Processes and Techniques
An introduction to the processes and techniques of therapeutic recreation to meet the unique needs of people with disabilities. This course is designed to discuss the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation strategies utilized in recreational therapy. The course will also take an in-depth look at the challenges associated with the recreational treatment process and examine the various methods used in overcoming these challenges.
3
RT2100 Recreational Therapy for Individuals with Mental Illness
This course will address psychiatric, social, behavioral, and addiction difficulties through recreational therapy interventions in behavioral and mental health settings. This course will discuss the therapeutic recreation strategies and techniques that can improve functional abilities, enhance recreation skills and attitudes, build confidence, ease fears, promote greater self-reliance, strengthen interpersonal skills, manage stress and emotional difficulties, and enrich the client’s quality of life. Prerequisite: Psyc 3260
3
RT2200 Multicultural Issues in Therapeutic Recreation Settings
This course examines multicultural competence and helps students develop awareness, knowledge, and skills that will enable them to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. The course will also discuss the challenges and ethical considerations associated with working with diverse populations in a therapeutic recreation environment and the various methods used in overcoming these challenges.
3
PSYC 2350 Life Span Human Development
This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of systematic changes within the individual from conception through death. Unlike many studies of development, this course is structured around issues of development rather than examination of development from a chronological perspective. This structure will allow the student to more completely grasp life-span issues. Family, social roles, lifestyle, psychological disorders, mental abilities, and death and dying will be examined.
3
RT 3050 Clinical Assessment and Evaluation in Recreational Therapy
This course will examine the importance of reliable assessment and evaluation in the recreational therapy treatment planning process. There will be a focus on assessment, developing measurable treatment goals, evaluating outcomes, and documentation.
3
BIOL 3250 Comparative Verebrate Anatomy and Physiology
This course is a broad overview of human anatomy and physiology with comparisons to representative vertebrates (e.g., fish, amphibian, reptile, bird, and mammal). The form and function of the human body will be explored using a systems approach. Connections will be drawn between major themes including cell theory, homeostasis, evolution, hierarchy of structure, and unity of form and function for the selected vertebrates.
3
HS2100 Administration of Recreational and Leisure Services
This course will discuss contemporary recreational therapy program organizational principles and administrative issues, such as assessment, instruction, evaluation, and supervision of staff and clients in recreational activities as part of a therapeutic/rehabilitative program.
3
LED3000 Introduction to Leadership
This course presents leadership as an on going and developing set of theories and models. Recognizing these theories and models provides a basis for understanding how leadership influences the success of individuals, groups, and organizations. The development of several of these theories and models will be examined to create a current perspective on leadership.
3
HS3330 Human Behavior and the Social Environment
This course focuses on conceptual frameworks and issues in human behavior and the social environment. Additionally, the interaction between the social environment and human behavior will be emphasized, applying a systems perspective across the life span. The course will also discuss substantial information on human diversity and populations at risk, including information on racial and ethnic groups, gender, and sexual orientation. Implications for practice and relationship building will be explored.
3
BHS 3110 Health Care Ethics
This course is designed to introduce ethical thinking and concepts regarding health care to prepare the student with the essential vocabulary and thought processes to understand, evaluate and participate in ethical decision making.
3
HS 4250 Program Planning and Evaluation
This course provides an overview of the competencies necessary to critically plan, implement and evaluate human service programs. Relevant program evaluation models are reviewed and a primer of quantitative and qualitative research methods is provided. Data collection techniques and the ethics and standards of evaluation practice are also covered. Social and human service trends relevant to program planning are also addressed in order to assist in the development of human service programs to meet future societal needs.
3
HS 4100 Rehabilitation Principles and Case Management
The purpose of this course is to study the progression of rehabilitating individuals with disabilities in our society today. The relationship that exists among the different agencies and entities in the rehabilitation process will be highlighted and emphasized along with factors that facilitate or hinder the collaborative process. Principles and current practices in the process of rehabilitation will be introduced. These may include: the goals and models of case management in rehabilitation, client/consumer interviewing and assessment, planning for appropriate and effective intervention strategies, services, working with families, and benefits included in a rehabilitation plan, monitoring & evaluation of client progress, and follow up and closure.
3
RT 4100 Field Placement in Recreational Therapy I
The field experience will be individually arranged and will provide a supervised on-site training experience (560 hours). Students will select their choice of a Community Based Organization (CBO) and will complete their field experience in this site. This experience will provide a hands-on implementation of principles and theory learned as they relate to recreational therapy settings. Students will be supervised by an onsite supervisor who is NCTRC CTRS certified on a weekly basis.
3
RT4200 Field Placement in Recreational Therapy II
The field experience will be individually arranged and will provide a supervised on-site training experience (560 hours). Students will select their choice of a Community Based Organization (CBO) and will complete their field experience in this site. This experience will provide a hands-on implementation of principles and theory learned as they relate to recreational therapy settings. Students will be supervised by an onsite supervisor who is NCTRC CTRS certified on a weekly basis. Prerequisite: RT 4100.
3

Courses can be applied toward other undergraduate majors or minors at NSU and toward elective credit. Courses will also serve to meet requirements for certification as a therapeutic recreation specialist. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreational Therapy. Additionally, successful completion of Concentration Emphasis Areas will be reflected on the student's transcript.


Child Life and Development

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE
PSYC 2370 Early Childhood Growth and Development
Students in this course will critically examine theories and research concerning the cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development of the typical and atypical child from birth to age eight. Emphasis will be placed on the ability to observe and describe child behavior and to understand the principles and processes that govern growth and development in the early childhood years. Implications of knowledge of child development for parental behavior, professional practices, and social policy will also be considered.
PSYC 2380 Child and Adolescent Development
This course examines aspects of growth and development during childhood and adolescence: physiological, cognitive, personality, and social.
PSYC 2300 Behavior Modification
This course will review behavior modification techniques applied to diverse areas such as mild and severe behavior problems in children and adults, behavior medicine, organizational behavior, sports psychology, and self-management.
RT 3100 Recreational Therapy Services for Children and Adolescents
This course will address physical, psychological, and social needs of children and adolescents through recreational therapy. The course will also take an in depth look at assessment, treatment, and evaluation considerations when working with children and adolescents. Age-appropriate activities to provide support, pain management, and coping education for medical and therapy procedures will be discussed, as well as activities that involve families to facilitate coping skills for the child and the family.

Adult Therapeutic Services

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE
GERO 2000 Introduction to Gerontology (Prerequisite: PSYC 1020)
This course explores the demography of aging and its implications for society, social structure, work and retirement, health care and housing, and the effects of an aging society on public policy.
PSYC 2390 Adulthood and Aging
This course examines the developmental experiences of maturity and addresses the physiological and psychological aspects of aging.
BHS 4110 Health Care and Aging
This course examines the psychosocial and cultural variations associated with maturing and aging. Topics covered will include an overview of life choices, living wills, and treatment, as well as cultural implications of senior care.
RT 3200 Recreational Therapy Services for Older Adults
This course will address the physical, psychological, and social needs of older adults through recreational therapy. This course will also take an in depth look at assessment, treatment, and evaluation considerations when working with the older adult population.

Health and Recreation Management

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE
MGT 2050 Principles of Management
This course provides an overview of management history and theory, schools of management thought, the functions and processes of management, and the environment within which the modern manager operates.
MGT 4170 Organizational Behavior
The class material will include both theory and practical application of Organizational Behavior in organizations. OB is the study of how individuals and groups impact the behavior within an organization. It is a field of systematic study that focuses on improving productivity and quality, and assisting practitioners to develop methods to empower people as well as to design and implement change programs. We live in a world characterized by rapid change, globalization, and diversity. OB offers insights in these areas while providing guidance for managers in creating an ethically healthy work climate.
HRM 4300 Managing Workplace Diversity
This course prepares students to manage in the diverse work place. Emphasis is on practical, experiential classroom activities designed to help students understand the range of cultural behaviors and expectations found in the work place.
RT 3300 Supervision in a Therapeutic Recreation Setting
This course will examine specific management, supervision, and leadership skills when overseeing therapeutic recreation practice. Operational and program evaluation procedures specific to therapeutic recreation settings will be discussed, including components such as developing quality improvement measures, directing and advising staff, and managing conflicts with clients and staff.

Courses can be applied toward other undergraduate majors or minors at NSU and toward elective credit. Courses will also serve to meet requirements for certification as a therapeutic recreation specialist. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreational Therapy. Additionally, successful completion of Concentration Emphasis Areas will be reflected on the student's transcript.