2018 Curriculum Study Part A: University, Faculty, and Student Characteristics


  • Melissa Zahl University of Utah
  • Norma Stumbo President of Educational Associates
  • Marica Jean Carter SUNY Cortland
  • Allison Wilder University of New Hampshire
  • Janell Greenwood Brigham Young University-Idaho




Faculty characteristics, higher education curriculum, student characteristics, therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy, university characteristics


This paper is the first in a two-part series documenting an in-depth, descriptive snapshot of TR educational programs in the US and Canada, as of 2018. The 2018 study is the fifth installment of a decades-long research project that captures descriptive snapshots-in-time of TR curricula. The intent of this study was to capture descriptive data on TR curricula in the United States and Canada as of 2018. The study results describe TR curricula in five areas: (a) accreditation, (b) curriculum/internship, (c) university and unit, (d) faculty, and (e) student characteristics. This paper, Part A, reports on: (a) university and unit, (b) faculty, and (c) student characteristics portions of the research. A 64-item online survey was sent to 91 TR program directors with 67 usable surveys (73.6% return rate). Respondents reported that the TR programs are located in mid-sized to large schools with university enrollments of 3,000 and above. Results showed that TR programs are housed in a variety of colleges, but most frequently in colleges with Health in their title. TR faculty tend to hold adjunct positions with master’s-only degrees. Wide ranges are evident in the number of students enrolled per TR program. Recommendations are made for future curricular studies and research.Subscribe to TRJ

Author Biographies

Melissa Zahl, University of Utah

Associate Professor of Occupational and Recreational Therapies

Marica Jean Carter, SUNY Cortland

Adjunct Lecturer Department of Recreation, Parks, Leisure Studies

Allison Wilder, University of New Hampshire

Associate Professor, Recreation Management and Policy

Janell Greenwood, Brigham Young University-Idaho

Associate Dean, Department of Human Performance and Recreation





Research Papers