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Douglas College Therapeutic Recreation grads surpass national exam average

Douglas College Therapeutic Recreation graduates are setting a track record for their certification exam results, with a consistent 100-percent pass rate over the past two-plus years.

On average, 80-percent of Douglas College Therapeutic Recreation Degree grads sit the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification exam within one year of graduating. From July 2015–November 2017, every Douglas examinee has passed, exceeding the national average pass rate of 84-percent during that same period.

Therapeutic recreation is a field where recreation therapists use leisure activities to help improve the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities and other challenges. Douglas College offers two credentials in therapeutic recreation: a bachelor’s degree and a diploma.

Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) is an internationally recognized designation. The Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation program prepares students to sit the certification exam once they graduate. Though the credential is not currently required to practice as a recreation therapist in B.C., accreditation makes grads more desirable to employers, says Tricia Rachfall, Coordinator of the Douglas College Therapeutic Recreation program.

“Some employers, such as Vancouver Coastal Health, do require certification – or at least eligibility to write the certification exam – in order to be hired as a recreation therapist. For other employers, certification is an advantage, but not a requirement – yet. This is changing, and we will see more and more employers recognizing the certification.”

Rachfall also says certification raises the bar of professionalism in the therapeutic recreation field.

“Recreation therapists are in the same teams as occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech language pathologists; all of whom require a form of professional certification. The Therapeutic Recreation Certification gives our graduates more recognition and acceptance,” says Rachfall.

Brenda Kinch, President of the British Columbia Therapeutic Recreation Association, says the Therapeutic Recreation faculty and staff at Douglas College have worked hard to ensure graduates of the bachelor’s program are eligible to write the certification exam.

“They have successfully cultivated a balanced culture between academic and experiential learning. Students are challenged by the theoretical and then required to put theory into practice throughout their degree. I strongly believe this balanced approach is what makes Douglas College students so successful on the certification exam,” says Kinch.



Melissa Nilan, Communications Coordinator

604 527 5547