Menu
Certificate in

Recreation Therapy


Build your credentials with a flexible, online program that empowers you with the educational foundation necessary for a successful career in recreation therapy.

 
 

Education that Moves You Forward

Do you have a passion to work with seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities or mental illness? With Cal State East Bay's Recreation Therapy Certificate program, you’ll be able to meet one portion of the academic coursework required for the credential as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) with the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) and/or Recreation Therapist Certified (RTC) with the California Board of Recreation and Park Certification (CBRPC).

BestColleges.com Logo

Selected by the Best Colleges Review as one of the "Best Online Programs"

QH 2017 Logo

Certified courses by nationally-recognized Quality Matters (QM) Review Standards

Accredited and certified by the California Board of Recreation and Park Certification, Inc. (CBRPC)


Set Your Own Pace

Cal State East Bay’s Recreation Therapy Certificate program is featured in a convenient online format to fit your busy schedule. You’ll enjoy the flexibility of learning at your own pace, enabling you to take one to three classes per semester to advance your career.


Be an Agent of Change

As a professional recreation therapist, you’ll plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses.

Recreation therapists use a variety of modalities, including arts and crafts, drama, music and dance, sports, aquatics, and community outings to help maintain or improve a patient’s physical, social, and emotional well-being.

Typical job responsibilities include:

  • Helping patients learn social skills to become or remain independent
  • Assessing patients’ needs using observation, medical records, tests, and discussions with other healthcare professionals and patients’ families
  • Engaging patients in therapeutic activities, such as exercise, games, and community outings
  • Teaching patients ways to cope with stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Documenting and analyzing a patient’s progress
  • Evaluating interventions for effectiveness
  • Helping patients recover basic physical and mental abilities and build their confidence to socialize effectively and integrate into the community
  • Working with physicians or surgeons, registered nurses, psychologists, social workers, physical therapists, teachers or occupational therapists

Occupational Trends

Employment of recreation therapists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026.

–Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor


The median annual wage for Recreation Therapists was $47,680 in 2017, with the top 10 percent earning more than $74,210.

–Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor


Recreation Therapists held approximately 19,200 jobs in 2016.

–Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor


Get Ahead in Your Career

Join the list of accomplished recreation therapists at some of the most prestigious treatment centers in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, including veteran hospitals, rehabilitation centers, correctional facilities, mental health facilities, senior independent living centers, skilled nursing facilities, schools, senior centers, and pediatric care facilities.

In meeting all credential requirements, you’ll also be able to sit for national and state certification exams.

Please note additional requirements are needed to fully qualify for the credential. If you’re interested in obtaining NCTRC certification (Path A or B), please see below for the requirements. For further information, visit the NCTRC website.

Path A:

  1. Completion of a bachelor degree or higher
  2. Completion of specific coursework in
        Recreational Therapy (Therapeutic Recreation) and related areas
  3. Five (5) years full-time paid work experience in Recreational Therapy (Therapeutic Recreation)
  4. Successful completion of the NCTRC Certification Exam

Path B:

  1. Completion of a bachelor degree or higher
  2. Completion of specific coursework in Recreational Therapy (Therapeutic Recreation) and related areas
  3. One (1) year full-time paid work experience in Recreational Therapy (Therapeutic Recreation) under the supervision of a CTRS
  4. Successful completion of the NCTRC Certification Exam

Program Objectives

As a graduate of the program, you’ll acquire:

The knowledge to interpret the stages of human development, principles of behavioral change, and models for delivery of recreation therapy programs and services.

The utilization of effective leadership and teamwork strategies, standards of practice, assessment techniques, and documentation requirements in recreation therapy.

The ability to articulate clearly in both written and oral formats the ethical, philosophical, historical, and administrative foundations of the recreation therapy profession.

The skills to identify techniques that contribute to a culture of dignity and respect in the recreation therapy profession, based on principles of access, inclusion, and independence.

Program Format

The Recreation Therapy Certificate program is conveniently offered online with two courses (REC 362 & 364) that can be taken as hybrid or online only. In order to successfully complete the program, you will need an internet connection and email capability. Courses are compatible with all major browsers and operating systems.



Certificate Requirements

To earn your Recreation Therapy Certificate, simply complete six courses while maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on all required coursework.

Required Courses

Fall Semester

Course
Units
REC 360: Foundations in Recreation Therapy (Online)
3
REC 361: Recreation Therapy Diagnostic Groupings (Online)
3
REC 362: Recreation Therapy Documentation and Assessment (Hybrid with Online-only option)
3

Spring Semester

Course
Units
REC 363: Recreation Therapy Process & Techniques (Online)
3
REC 364: Recreation Therapy Program Planning and Implementation (Hybrid with Online-only option)
3
REC 365: Advancement of RT Profession & Management (Online)
3

Featured Faculty

Dr. Erick Kong

EdD in Educational Leadership and Management
Alliant International University

MS in Education, Concentration in Online Teaching and Learning
California State University, East Bay

BS in Recreation, Option in Recreation Therapy
California State University, East Bay

AS in Physical Therapist Assistant
Ohlone College

Dr. Erick Kong

EdD, CTRS, RTC

I believe in creating an environment for students to become critical thinkers so that they can take what they learned and apply it to situations they may face in the future especially when collaborating with other healthcare professionals.

Dr. Kong joined the Department of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism faculty in 2007 and is an assistant professor. He is the coordinator of the recreation therapy program and also the academic field placement supervisor for internships. Dr. Kong grew up in the Bay Area and is nationally certified by the NCTRC as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) as well as state certified as a Recreation Therapist Certified (RTC) by CBRPC. He has been serving in the California Parks and Recreation Society (CPRS) Recreation Therapy Section board since 2015 and belongs to the NCTRC Standards of Practice (SOP) committee, along with Licensure Task Force for recreation therapy licensure in the State of California. Dr. Kong has presented at local conferences and workshops on learning competencies, as it relates to recreation therapy job tasks. His work experience includes working for the Institute on Aging, TODCO services, Kaiser Permanente, and the Center of Adventure Recreation.

Keelin Jardin

MS in Recreation and Tourism
California State University, East Bay

BS in Recreation, Option in Recreation Therapy
California State University, East Bay

Keelin Jardin

MS, CTRS, RTC

I believe in discovering each student's individual learning styles and help find their passion in pursuits to be intrinsically motivated leaders in the field of Recreation Therapy.

Mrs. Jardin joined the Department of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism faculty in 2016. She is a lecturer and an academic field placement supervisor for recreation therapy internships. Mrs. Jardin has been in the field of recreation and hospitality for the past 20 years as a program assistant, teacher, and activity director. For the past nine years, she has worked in a senior community leading activities as the program services manager. Mrs. Jardin has worked to enhance the profession by joining professional boards that are advocating for Recreation Therapy licensure. She has been a board member as president and secretary/treasurer for California Parks and Recreation Society in the Recreation Therapy section for the past three years. Jardin has spoken at conferences to promote and inform the public about the recreation therapy profession, internships, guided meditation, and prevention through play practices.

 
 Swipe left or right for the next/previous instructor
Dr. Erick Kong

Dr. Erick KongEdD, CTRS, RTC

Keelin Jardin

Keelin JardinMS, CTRS, RTC

Admission Requirements

To enroll in the program, you must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in any field. Recreation Therapy work experience is recommended.

Applying to the Program

The application for admission to the certificate program is open year-round. New students are admitted to the program twice a year, in fall or spring semester.

How to Apply

To apply to the program, complete the certificate application form below, as well as submit the following documents:

  • Your current résumé
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • Official transcript(s) that indicate your degree awarded

These documents may be mailed to:

Cal State East Bay
Department of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism
ATTN: Dr. Erick Kong
25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard, PE 130
Hayward, CA 94542


Still have some unanswered questions? Visit the Support section for additional program information. »

Common Questions

What is the refund policy for this program?
This program follows a strict refund policy. Once you obtain course materials and have been given access to the online class, you are ineligible for a refund.

How long does it take to complete the program?
Three (3) courses are offered in the fall semester and three (3) courses are offered in the spring semester. You may take one to three course(s) in each semester.

What software or hardware do I need to take the program, and what are the system requirements?
You must have access to a computer and the internet. You can access the program content from any web-enabled computer. You don't have to use the same computer to log-in to the program every time. A word-processing program (such as Microsoft Word) and the latest version of Internet Explorer are recommended.

Who should take this program?
Recreation professionals who want to advance their careers as recreation therapists, and those currently working as:

  • Activity Directors
  • Activity Therapy Directors
  • Activity Coordinators
  • Activity Assistants
  • Activity Therapists
  • Activity Specialists
  • Activity Aides
  • Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Inclusion Services Assistants
  • Recreation Aides
  • Recreation Coordinators
  • Recreation Leaders
  • Recreation Therapist Assistants
  • Rehab Therapists
  • Rehab Aides
  • Social Workers

Financing

Is there financial aid available for this program?
Traditional Financial Aid (such as completing the FAFSA, Pell Grants, etc.) is not applicable for Continuing Education certificate programs. However, there may be other options available to you. Learn more about other financial aid options.

Search Results

At Cal State East Bay, we pride ourselves on putting students first, from the moment you inquire until you graduate. We hope you've found answers to your questions in this support center, but if not, please get in touch.

Request More Info

At a Glance

Area of study: Certificate in Recreation Therapy

Ideal for: Professionals interested in working with seniors, veterans, people with disabilities or mental illness.

Program format: Online

Number of courses: 6 courses

Program length: 2 semesters (3 classes in Fall and Spring), self-paced

Tuition cost: $350/unit $6,300 total (Tuition fees are subject to change at any time.)

Questions?

Please let us know if we can answer any questions about the Recreation Therapy program. Many answers can also be found in our online Support Center.

More in This Program
Top