Program

Therapeutic Recreation (Bachelor)

Campus
Coquitlam
Learning Format
Full-time
Part-time
Admission Type
Limited Enrolment
Offered
Fall

Overview

Make a real, positive difference in the lives of people facing disabilities, injuries, social isolation and other challenges with a career in recreational therapy. As a recreation therapist, you’ll help children, adolescents, adults and seniors improve their overall health and well-being and live full, independent lives through fun and leisure activities.

The four-year Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation program gives you the tools to assess, plan, implement and evaluate a wide range of leisure services for people with barriers to participating in leisure activities. Such services might include arts and crafts, dance, music, sports, games, aquatics and group outings. You’ll apply what you learn in the classroom through practicum placements and community projects, where you’ll work with real clients in a variety of health-care and social-service settings.

Job prospects are good

Recreation therapists work in the fields of gerontology, paedology, psychology, rehabilitation and more in a variety of settings, including hospitals, mental-health centres, long-term care homes, rehabilitation centres and social-service settings. There are many job opportunities in the recreation therapy field, and the average annual salary in B.C. is $52,000, with positions in health care often paying higher than average. 

Surveys show that 89 percent of our Therapeutic Recreation degree graduates are working in the field after graduation. (Source: B.C. Student Outcomes).

Get certified

As a graduate of the Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation program, you will be eligible to write the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation certification exam to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). Douglas College graduates typically surpass national exam averages, with a 100-percent pass rate over the past several years.

Many B.C. employers do not currently require certification for practice as a recreation therapist, but more and more are beginning to, as it raises the bar of professionalism in the industry. Additionally, as an internationally recognized credential, certification will improve your chances of getting the job you want.

Program Requirements

Curriculum Framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 121 credits
  • 25% (31 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College
  • Students in the BTR are required to attain a minimum of 60% ( C letter grade) in all courses utilized for credit toward the Bachelor's Degree in Therapeutic Recreation in order to progress in the program.
  • A minimum program GPA of 2.00 is required 

Program Requirements:

Course Number Course Title Credits

Required Courses:

BIOL 1104

Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology

3.00

ENGL 1130

Academic Writing

3.00

ENGL or CMNS Elective (UT)

Any university transferable course from CMNS or ENGL

3.00

PHIL 4706

Ethics in Therapeutic Recreation and Health Promotion

3.00

PSYC 1100 or 1200

Intrduction to Psychology I or

Introduction to Psychology II

 

PSYC 1130

Lifespan Human Development

3.00

PSYC 2341

Abnormal Psychology

Note: This course is required for NCTRC Certification.

3.00

CFCS 2432

Understanding Aboriginal Perspectives and Experiences

3.00

THRT 1101

Therapeutic Recreation Foundations

3.00

THRT 1102

Leisure and Community Recreation

3.00

THRT 1122

Professional and Person-Centred Approaches in Therapeutic Recreation

3.00

THRT 1203

Recreation Leadership I

3.00

THRT 1204

Principles and Practices of Health

3.00

THRT 1205

Communication Skills for Recreation and Health  Professionals

3.00

THRT 2301

TR Process I

3.00

THRT 2306

Inclusive Leisure Practice

3.00

THRT 2307

Valuing Diversity: Therapeutic Recreation and Mental Health

3.00

THRT 2308

Older Adulthood: Psychosocial Issues and Therapeutic Recreation

3.00

THRT 2309

Physical Fitness: Theory and Application in Therapeutic Recreation

3.00

THRT 2406

Recreation Leadership II

3.00

THRT 2407

Therapeutic Recreation and Physical and Developmental Disabling Conditions

3.00

THRT 2408

Older Adulthood: Chronic Health Conditions and Therapeutic Recreation

3.00

THRT 2455

Therapeutic Recreation Practice: Degree

4.00

THRT 3505

TR Process II: Leisure Counselling

3.00

THRT 3506

Recreation Leadership III: Advanced Leadership and Group Processes in Therapeutic Recreation

3.00

THRT 3601

Community Development: Concepts and Application in Health and Social Services

3.00

THRT 3710

Research Methods and Implementation

3.00

THRT 4701

Management in Therapeutic Recreation and Health Promotion

3.00

THRT 4702

TR Process III: Leisure Education and Program Planning

3.00

THRT 4704

Leisure and Health Promotion

3.00

THRT 4802

Current Issues and Trends in Therapeutic Recreation and Health Promotion

3.00

THRT 4855

Therapeutic Recreation and Health Promotion: Internship

12.00

THRT 4901

Advanced Assessment in Therapeutic Recreation and Health Promotion

3.00

Elective (UPLV)

Select two 3000-5999 level course.

6.00

Elective (UT or UPLV)

Select two 1000/2000 level university transferable course or   3000/4000 level course.

6.00

Total Credits

 

121.00

Support Areas

Degree students must choose a minimum of two support areas from the eight choices listed below, and must have their choices approved by a TR Faculty Advisor. Support areas provide an increased depth of knowledge, in addition to the required TR courses, and will guide elective course selection as well as practicum site placement (THRT 2455 & THRT 4855).

  1. Gerontology
  2. Physical Rehabilitation
  3. Mental Health
  4. Corrections/Criminology
  5. Children and Youth
  6. Adapted and Adventure Programming
  7. Entrepreneurship/Business Management
  8. Employee/Workplace Wellness
  9. Developmental Disabilities
  10. International Studies
  11. Community Recreation
  12. Research-Graduate Studies

Elective Courses

Degree students must select open electives (24 credits). The open elective courses a student takes will depend on specialty interest courses and the two support areas selected. Elective courses must connect to the student's two identified support areas. Please meet with your TR Faculty Advisor prior to registering in any elective course to ensure the course is acceptable for graduation.

Course Number Course Title Credits
Recommended Electives:    
CFCS 3810 Directed Research Studies 3.00
CFCS 4905 Wellness Coaching 3.00

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must meet the Year One admission requirements listed below:

  • General College Admission Requirements
  • Attendance at an Information Session is strongly recommended.
  • Admission to the Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation program is contingent upon suitability and readiness for the program.
    • Suitability is determined on the basis of awareness of self and others, life/work experience and overall personal readiness

  • Applicants will submit:

    • A Letter of Intent outlining the reasons a candidate has chosen this program, long and short term goals, and strengths and limitations as a candidate

    • A program application form

    • An up-to-date resume

    • A minimum 2 letters of reference with one being from a current (within 1 year) employer, teacher or instructor.

    • A personal interview may be required.

  • Due once an offer of admission is made:

    • A Criminal Record Check – Applicants will receive instruction from Enrolment Services once an offer of admission has been made.

    • A tuition deposit to secure seat (full-time applicants only)

Note: A negative TB test or Chest X-Ray, flu shot and proof of current vaccinations will be required for most practical experiences.

More admission and program details are available in the Prospective Student Guide.

Certificate in Academic Foundations - Pathway into the Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation (CAF-BTR)

This pathway will be of interest to:

  • Students who are unsure if Therapeutic Recreation is a profession they are interested in and would like an opportunity to sample some courses
  • Students who are unsuccessful in the current application process due to seat availability but would like to continue to work towards acceptance into the BTR
  • Students who are unsuccessful in the current application process due to readiness or suitability but would like to continue to work towards acceptance into the BTR

Students must complete the 30-credit Certificate in Academic Foundations with the following courses in order to be eligible for admission to the BTR:

And complete two courses from the following:

*BIOL 1103 and 1203, 1105 and 1205, or 1109 and 1209 can be substituted for BIOL 1104.

PLEASE NOTE:  Completion of the CAF-BTR does not guarantee admission into the BTR.  Students are still required to complete the BTR Admission requirements and while completing the CAF-BTR, will need to apply for entry into the BTR program.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements listed below for Third Year Access:

Students who have a diploma or degree in Therapeutic Recreation or a related field of study may be granted permission to access third year courses; however, they will likely be required to take some first-and second-year courses to meet the degree and certification requirements.

Admission from Douglas College - Third Year Access – Douglas College TR Diploma Graduates

  • Re-application to Douglas College – Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation – 3rd year
  •  Letter of Intent outlining the  reasons a candidate has chosen this program, short-and long-term goals, and strengths and limitations as a candidate.
  • Complete a program application form.
  • A personal interview may be required.
  • Applicants who graduated more than 5 years previously must also submit a Referee Form completed by their current employer (supplied by TR Department). The form must come directly from the employer to Douglas College.

Applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements and are not automatically guaranteed a seat in the program. Admission will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Due once an offer of admission is made:

  • A Criminal Record Check- Applicants will receive instruction from Enrolment Services once an offer of admission has been made.
  • A  tuition deposit to secure seat (full time applicants only)

Note: A negative TB test or Chest X-Ray, flu shot and proof of current vaccinations will be required for most practical experiences

Depending upon year of graduation, students with a diploma in TR from Douglas College will receive 56 – 60 transfer credits towards their degree and may be required to take some first-and second-year courses to complete the BTR.

Admission From Other Institutions - Third Year Access – Non-Douglas College TR Diploma Graduates 

  • Meet the General College Admission Requirements
  • Have a minimum grade of C (60%)in individual courses counting towards the BTR credential.
  • A Letter of Intent  outlining reasons a candidate has chosen this program, short-and long-term goals and strengths and limitations as a candidate.
  • Complete a program application form.
  • Provide proof of credential– submission of transcripts.
  • A personal interview may be required.
  • Applicants who graduated more than 5 years previously must also submit a Referee Form completed by their current employer (supplied by TR Department). The form must come directly from the employer to Douglas College.

Admission will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Due once an offer of admission is made:

  • A Criminal Record Check- Applicants will receive instruction from the Registrar's Office once an offer of admission has been made.
  • A tuition deposit to secure seat (full time applicants only)

Note: A negative TB test or Chest X-Ray, flu shot and proof of current vaccinations will be required for most practical experiences.

Students will be required to take some first-and second-year courses to complete the BTR. Completion of the BTR should be expected to take at least two-and-a-half years of full-time study. This will depend on the amount of transfer credits applicable to the BTR.

Cost

You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

Career Pathways

Career opportunities include:

  • Community Development Officer 
  • Corporate Recreation Manager 
  • Counsellor - Eating Disorders 
  • Manager, Physical Activity Program 
  • Provincial Events Lead 
  • Recreation & Sports Administrator 
  • Recreation Assistant/Therapist 
  • Recreation Therapist 
  • Recreation Programmer 
  • Recreation & Sports Administrator 
  • Wellness Manager

 

Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

FAQs

This depends on the setting, the type of work you choose to do, and whether you have a diploma or a degree. The average starting salary for a Degree graduate is approximately $30/hour and upwards. Degree graduates are also more likely to advance over time, to positions that pay more.

The Degree is not offered online. We offer an Online Diploma pathway if you are interested in online/distance education.

No, you can apply to the degree program as a first year student and complete the four years as a degree student. Applicants unable to commit to attending full-time classes for four years can complete the diploma on a full-time basis then apply to the degree program as a third year access student.

Yes, you can choose to do third year degree access as a full-time or part-time student. A number of the third and fourth year courses are offered in the late afternoon, evening, three hour blocks or in alternate delivery styles.

This is a common question, especially if you've been out of school for some time. We recommend that you feel comfortable with your writing skills. If you know that you could improve your writing skills, we recommend that you take a suitable course or that you involve yourself in any experience that will give you practice and feedback on your writing skills. For example, you may want to take a short course or workshop through your local School Board Continuing Education offerings, or through you local Parks and Leisure Service Agency Program offerings. If you are confident with your academic writing skills, this is likely not necessary.

It's also helpful to have good computer skills, especially word processing (for writing papers) and internet research skills. Other skills include time management, organizational skills and coping skills for wellness.

While volunteering isn’t required, you may wish to volunteer in the industry in order to get a feel for Therapeutic Recreation.

Lastly, we recommend that you start the program having practiced what we preach; in other words, enjoy some leisure and do whatever it is that builds wellness for you.

More Information

The program utilizes computer technology and it is therefore expected that students enter the program with basic word processing and Windows application skills.

Tuition Deposit

When offered a full-time seat in this program a non-refundable, non-transferable $350 tuition deposit is required.