Therapeutic Recreation

Algonquin College
1 year
Full time/part time
Graduate diploma / certificate
Scholarships available
Algonquin College

About this program

Therapeutic Recreation

This Ontario College Graduate Certificate program prepares you for a career in the field of Therapeutic Recreation. Therapeutic Recreation Specialists work with individuals who, due to illness, disability or other life circumstances require assistance to meet their individual goals and dreams. In this program, you develop a strong foundation of skills and knowledge to facilitate purposeful, quality leisure experiences. You use the tools of recreation and leisure to provide client centred, strengths-based therapeutic recreation services, which lead to happiness, well-being and quality of life.

Develop advanced knowledge of how to complete participant assessments, create individualized and group programs and document participant outcomes. Apply a variety of facilitative techniques to promote inclusive and meaningful recreation and leisure experiences, and advocate for participants across a variety of service settings to maximize environmental resources that are essential for well-being. Through collaboration, teamwork, research and professional involvement, you learn to adapt, implement and evaluate recreation activities to meet the needs of people in a wide range of settings. Develop your professional identity and goals to prepare you for placement and employment, which may include private practice. Your placement consolidates the skills and learning that you have attained throughout your coursework.

Admission requirements

Program Eligibility

  • Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma, Degree or equivalent credential in a health-related or human services field.
  • Applicants with international transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above and may be required to provide proof of language proficiency. Domestic applicants with international transcripts must be evaluated through the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS) or World Education Services (WES).
  • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service (Academic) Overall band of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band; OR TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 88, with a minimum in each component: Reading 22; Listening 22; Speaking 22; Writing 22.
  • International Applicants:
    International applicants who meet the program eligibility requirements are required to complete preparatory courses (4-months in duration): Introduction to Canadian Health Studies (ICHS). Students who successfully complete the introduction will then proceed to their original health program of choice. The ICHS requires applicants to submit an academic IELTS score.

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Are open minded, compassionate and caring.
  • Enjoy learning about, and working with people with physical, cognitive, social and emotional challenges.
  • Excel working as part of interprofessional teams and independently.
  • Are enthusiastic, creative and innovative.
  • Have strong problem solving and brainstorming skills.
  • Possess strong interpersonal and organizational skills.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

Level: 01

  • Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation
  • Leadership and Adaptive Recreation
  • Therapeutic Recreation and Selected Populations I
  • Therapeutic Recreation and Aging
  • Therapeutic Recreation Assessment
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Healthcare

Level: 02

  • Facilitation Techniques
  • Issues and Trends in Therapeutic Recreation
  • Research, Evaluation and Documentation
  • Therapeutic Recreation and Selected Populations II
  • Field Placement Preparation and Therapeutic Recreation Entrepreneur Development
  • Leisure Education

Level: 03

  • Therapeutic Recreation Field Placement

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Program delivery

Other Delivery Options:

  • Part-time On Campus


For more information about tuition fees, please visit the college website. 


Credential: Ontario College Graduate Certificate

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Provide for the safety of clients, self and others in compliance with applicable legislation, regulations, standards and ethical practices.
  2. Assess individual needs, strengths, challenges and interests of people experiencing barriers to healthy leisure lifestyle in order to assist them in meeting their goals.
  3. Maintain accurate documentation in accordance with ministry guidelines, professional standards of practice and organizational policies and procedures.
  4. Plan, implement and evaluate holistic individual and group recreation therapy programs which respond to identified needs, align with assessment results and adhere to current best practices.
  5. Provide individual and family therapeutic functional intervention, leisure education support, and opportunity for recreation participation.
  6. Research, analyze and evaluate recreation therapy activities and programs using evidence based practices.
  7. Plan, implement and evaluate community, private and institutional programs and/or services and processes to enhance quality of life for clients.
  8. Collaborate with individuals, caregivers, interprofessional teams, volunteers and community service providers using a person-centered approach to promote personal, social, economic and the health-related benefits of recreation therapy services.
  9. Develop and plan for ongoing personal and professional growth and development.
  10. Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.

Career paths

Graduates may find employment as recreational therapists, recreation/restorative aides, recreationalists, activation therapists, recreation program coordinators, recreation facilitators, recreation programmers, recreation assistants, therapeutic recreation coordinators and community program facilitators.

Graduates of this program are eligible to become registered members of Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (R/TRO). Membership type will depend on the postsecondary credentials they hold. For more information, please see Additional Information.

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About this institute

Algonquin College

Consider Algonquin’s unique campuses Algonquin College, located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, offers an experience that includes personalized learning and industry-ready skills through field-work, work placement and co-op.  With more than 300 programs, including degrees and graduate certificates, we have the...

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Contact info

Algonquin College

1385 Woodroffe Avenue
K2G 1V8 Ottawa Ontario

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