2018 Curriculum Study Part B: Accreditation and Curriculum/Internship Characteristics


  • Melissa Zahl University of Utah
  • Norma Stumbo President of Educational Associates
  • Janell Greenwood BYU Idaho
  • Marcia Jean Carter SUNY Cortland
  • Allison Wilder University of New Hampshire




Accreditation, curriculum, higher education, internships, therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy


This paper is the second in a two-part series reporting results from the 2018 Curriculum Study. 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 curriculum study was to capture an in-depth, descriptive snapshot of TR educational programs in the U.S. and Canada as of 2018. The study results described TR curricula in five areas: (a) accreditation, (b) curriculum/internship, (c) university and unit, (d) faculty, and (e) student characteristics. This paper, Part B, reports on: (a) accreditation and (b) curriculum/ internship characteristics portions of the research. A 64- item online survey was sent to 91 TR program directors with 67 usable surveys returned (73.6% return rate). Half of the responding TR educational programs were accredited by either COAPRT or CARTE. The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC™) standards continued to be the most important driver of curricular changes. Curriculum changes included adding more TR specific courses, more assignments with courses, more TR credit hours, and more internship requirements and assignments, in addition to assessing specific student outcomes. Recommendations are made for future curricular studies and research.Subscribe to TRJ

Author Biographies

Melissa Zahl, University of Utah

Associate Professor,  Faculty of Occupational and Recreational Therapies

Janell Greenwood, BYU Idaho

Associate Dean, Department of Human Performance and Recreation

Marcia Jean Carter, SUNY Cortland

Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Recreation,Parks, Leisure Studies

Allison Wilder, University of New Hampshire

Associate Professor, Recreation Management and Policy





Research Papers