Skip to main content
Skip to main navigation

Recreation & Park Administration - Therapeutic Recreation

  • Overview
  • Careers
  • New Freshmen
  • New Transfer
  • Illinois State Students

Therapeutic recreation is a human service profession that utilizes recreation and leisure as a means to increase health, well-being, and quality of life for people with disabilities, injuries, illnesses, or other conditions.

Illinois State University therapeutic recreation students put theory into practice both in the classroom and in field settings. Students complete two internships, develop professional networks through conference attendance and club involvement, and have excellent study abroad opportunities.

Members of the recreation and park administration faculty have won teaching, research and service awards at university and national levels. Faculty members also conduct and publish research in refereed journals and author industry-leading textbooks.

Why Study Recreation & Park Administration - Therapeutic Recreation?

Therapeutic recreation professionals help people in community and clinical settings. Recreation therapists plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. These therapists use a variety of modalities, including arts and crafts; drama, music, and dance; sports and games; aquatics; and community outings to help maintain or improve a patient's physical, social, and emotional well-being.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment of recreational therapists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom generation ages, they will need recreational therapists to help treat age-related injuries and illnesses and to help them maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

Related Majors

Related Skills

  • Possess strong interpersonal, communication, and other people skills
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Possess therapeutic program planning skills
  • Ability to manage pressure well
  • Possess the understanding of human behavior
  • Good conflict resolving skills
  • Empathy for others
  • Appreciation for diversity
  • Interest in social change
  • Good listener and motivator
  • Demonstrate proficiency in organizational skills
  • Skilled in work in teams and with individuals of various ages, abilities, and backgrounds
  • Writes and speaks proficiently
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good multitasking capabilities
  • Creative thinking ability

Being Successful in the Field

Prior to the start of the senior internship, students are required to provide proof of certification in First Aid and CPR/AED Adult and Pediatrics and 400 documented hours of field experience.

Students graduating from the therapeutic recreation sequence who meet the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) requirements are eligible to take the examination to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.

Related Fields

  • Special recreation associations
  • Substance abuse facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health centers
  • Long term care facilities
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation

Professional organizations in therapeutic recreation

  • American Therapeutic Recreation Association
  • Illinois Recreation Therapy Association
  • National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Megan Kayfish  110 Student Services Building  meturne@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-0735 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Lindsey Nicholson  McCormick Hall 163  lnkronm@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5972 

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA

2.0

Middle 50% GPA

2.57 - 3.59

Required Courses

None

Recommended Courses

  • Intro to Psychology (PSY 110)
  • Anatomy & Physiology I (KNR 181 or BSC 181)
  • Lifespan Development (PSY 213)
  • Medical Terminology (HSC 105)

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone Note
Mindy Kinney  McCormick Hall 250  mdkinn2@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5782  Last Names A-K 
Daphnye Walker  McCormick Hall 250  dlwalke@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5782  Last Names L-Z 

Middle 50% GPA

2.57 - 3.59

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Application Period

September 1 - September 30, February 1 - February 28

Application Information

Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on My.IllinoisState.edu.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone Note
Mindy Kinney  McCormick Hall 250  mdkinn2@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5782  Last Names A-K 
Daphnye Walker  McCormick Hall 250  dlwalke@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5782  Last Names L-Z 
2016-08-03T11:23:40.188-05:00 2016
©