2003 National Therapeutic Recreation Curriculum Study Part A: Accreditation, Curriculum and Internship Characteristics


  • Norma J. Stumbo
  • Marcia J. Carter
  • Jin Kim


In 1996, Stumbo and Carter conducted a survey to examine therapeutic recreation curricula across the country and to describe their current status. The intent of the present study was to re-examine, update, and compare therapeutic recreation curricula across the US and Canada from the original study completed in 1996 (Stumbo & Carter, 1999a). The first part of the current 2003 study (Part A) focused exclusively on three areas: (a) accreditation, (b) curriculum, and (c) internship characteristics. The results showed that therapeutic recreation curricula were located at universities and departments that varied widely. Of the 65 responding institutions, 36 (55 percent) were accredited by the NRPA/AALR Council on Accreditation. Almost 80% of responding institutions reported revising their curriculum in the last three years and that NCTRC certification standards had the greatest influence on curriculum revision. Therapeutic recreation curriculum structure between institutions was diverse. The average number of weeks for a senior internship was 13.5, up from 12.6 in 1996, indicating an overall increase in number of weeks required. Based on the results of this study, several recommendations are made for therapeutic recreation faculty and the national organizations. Part B follows in the next article and focuses on (a) university, (b) faculty, (c) student, and (d) placement information.





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