Therapeutic Recreation

Improving well-being, independence, and quality of life through leisure and recreation

Imagine a job improving people's wellness, independence, and quality of life through fun and creative activities, such as games, arts and crafts, dance, drama, music, and outings.

Therapeutic recreation assistants utilize leisure experiences to build or maintain an individual's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The opposite of a desk job, this career attracts people who thrive on face-to-face interaction. Therapeutic recreation assistants are employed in a variety of settings, from assisted-living centers and rehabilitation facilities to hospitals and schools.

The program combines classroom instruction with hands-on training to develop therapeutic skills. ACC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a Certificate in Therapeutic Recreation.

What skills can I gain?

Associate degree students are prepared for employment in all settings where Therapeutic Recreation services are practiced, including psychiatric facilities. In the degree program, students study general academics as well as subjects specific to therapeutic recreation.

Students in both the degree and certificate programs study the preservation or improvement of health, functional capabilities, and quality of life for people with disabilities or chemical dependencies, as well as offenders and the aged. Upon completion of both programs, students are eligible for certification by the Consortium for Therapeutic Recreation/Activities Certification, Inc. as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Associate (TRA/TXC). Both programs also include an internship in which students put their classroom lessons into practice and experience the realities of the career.

Students interested in quickly entering the workforce, especially in long-term care facilities, typically pursue the certificate in Therapeutic Recreation.

How long will it take to earn a degree or certificate?

At least two years of study is required to complete the associate degree. Full time students in the certificate program usually require at least one year to graduate.

Where can I work with this education?

PLEASE NOTE: Many employers require applicants to pass a criminal background check.

Long-term care facilities for the elderly, such as nursing homes, assisted living centers, and retirement communities, are the number one employer of Therapeutic Recreation students, however other settings include psychiatric hospitals, schools, camps, and rehabilitation centers.

How do I get started at ACC and where can I find out about financial aid?

Visit ACC's future student's page for admissions information. The financial aid page has links for eligibility and applications.