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Degree Title

Bachelor of Science

Apply by:

Dec. 01

 

To begin:

Aug. 23

Overview

Imagine a career in which you help others get better and stay healthy by having them engage in the things they love to do! Our Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Recreational Therapy (RT) is designed for students who are eager to pursue a career in recreational therapy or for students who plan to pursue graduate education in allied healthcare programs such as physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), audiology and speech language pathology (SLP), nursing, rehabilitation counseling, athletic training (AT), art therapy, music therapy, or child life. 

Recreational therapy, also known as therapeutic recreation, is a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity-based interventions to address the assessed needs of individuals with illness and/or disabling conditions, as a means to psychological and physical health, recovery and well-being. 

The Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Recreational Therapy is designed to prepare students to become competent entry-level rehabilitation professionals and recreational therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) domains. 

Recreational Therapy Track  

The Recreational Therapy track is designed for students who want a career in Recreational Therapy. The Recreational Therapy track curriculum makes students eligible for CTRS certification via NCTRC’s academic path. The Recreational Therapy track has 39 credits of required courses, 18 credits of internship, and 3 credits of electives. 

  • Why Apply?

    What sets the RRT degree at FIU apart from other universities?  Our innovative program is intentionally designed to provide students with exciting learning opportunities. Some of the highlights of our degree include:  

    • Only RT degree available in the state of Florida 

    • Two tracks (Rehabilitation Track and Recreational Therapy Track) for more flexibility to meet your career and education goals 

    • Fully online degree option 

    • Stand-alone degree rather than a track 

    • Focus on experiential education and hands-on learning experiences 

    • Opportunities to learn novel recreational therapy modalities such as scuba diving, yoga, validation therapy, aquatics, therapeutic drumming, reiki, aroma therapy 

    • Diverse faculty and student population 

    • FIU is geographically located in a vibrant city with access to year-round outdoor leisure and recreation opportunities.  

    • Florida is the state with the largest population of older adults.  

    Recreational Therapy is a fast-growing profession. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the U.S Department of Labor, employment of recreational therapists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than average for all occupations. The increase in the number of aging adults is generating recreational therapy jobs nationwide, but especially in Florida as Florida is the state with the highest percentage of persons ages 65 and over.

    Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Recreational Therapy: Recreational Therapy Track choose careers pathways in physical medicine and rehabilitation agencies, schools, behavioral/mental health facilities, military services organizations, community-based and disability organizations, assisted living facilities, adapted sports programs, parks and recreation departments, government, and home healthcare.

    The Recreational Therapy Tack prepares students to be eligible for certification as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) via NCTRC’s academic path, and work as a recreational therapist right after graduation. Recreational Therapy jobs are growing due to the prevalence of disability in our society. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. have some type of disability. The curriculum in the recreational therapy track emphasizes the role of recreational therapy in the healthcare team through treatment, education, and the provision of recreation and leisure-based interventions – all of which are instrumental to improving and maintaining physical, cognitive, emotional, & social functioning, preventing secondary health conditions, and enhancing quality of life. 

    What is a CTRS? 

    A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) is a certified recreational therapist who has demonstrated professional competence by acquiring a specific body of knowledge and passing the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) exam and is the most qualified professional to provide recreational therapy services. A CTRS often serves as a member of the healthcare treatment team with other healthcare professionals. 

    What is NCTRC?   

    The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) is the premiere credentialing organization for the field of recreational therapy. NCTRC sets standards for certification including education, experience, and continuing professional development. FIU’s RRT program is based off NCTRC standards.  

    How do I become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS)? 

    Students who graduate from the Recreation Therapy Track are eligible to become a CTRS the via NCTRC’s academic path, and work as a recreational therapist right after graduation. 

  • Courses

    The Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Recreational Therapy is designed to prepare students to become competent entry-level rehabilitation professionals and recreational therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains. The recreational therapy track prepares students to be eligible for certification as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) via the academic path and work as a recreational therapist right after graduation. The curriculum in the Recreational Therapy Track emphasizes the role of recreational therapy in the healthcare team through treatment, education, and the provision of recreation and leisure-based interventions – all of which are instrumental to improving and maintaining physical, cognitive, emotional, & social functioning, preventing secondary health conditions, and enhancing quality of life.

    Course Requirements: 57 credits of required courses + 3 credits of electives


    Prerequisites

    DEP 2000 Human Growth Development

    Transfer: BSC 2086 & lab OR FIU: PET 3325C/L OR ZOO 3731/L Human Anatomy (or combination course of Human Anatomy and Physiology)

    Transfer: BSC 2086 OR FIU: APK 3110 OR HSC 3549 OR PCB 2099 OR PCB 3702 Physiology (or combination course of Human Anatomy and Physiology


    FIRST SEMESTER (12 CREDITS):

    LEI3400 Diagnoses and Conditions in Recreational Therapy (co-requisite: LEI3703)

    LEI 3703 Introduction to Recreational Therapy (co-requisite: LEI3400)

    LEI 3707 Inclusive Recreation Services (Global Learning)

    HSC3537 Medical Terminology

    LEI3001 Leisure and Recreation in America


    SECOND SEMESTER (12 CREDITS):

    CLP4146 Psychopathology (previously known as "Abnormal Psychology." Do not re-enroll if already taken as Abnormal Psychology.)

    LEI4711 Client Assessment, Documentation, & Evaluation in RT (prerequisite: LEI 3703)

    LEI 4724 Recreational Therapy Facilitation Techniques (prerequisite: LEI3703)

    SDS4403 Facilitative Communication and Helping Skills

    LEI3723L Recreational Therapy Facilitation Techniques and Modalities Lab (topic 1)

    LEI3723L Recreational Therapy Facilitation Techniques and Modalities Lab (topic 2)

    LEI3723L Recreational Therapy Facilitation Techniques and Modalities Lab (topic 3)


    THIRD SEMESTER (12 CREDITS):

    LEI4705 Program Planning in Recreational Therapy (prerequisite: LEI3703)

    LEI4712 Evaluation and Evidence-Based Practice in Recreational Therapy (prerequisite: LEI3703)

    LEI4940 Internship I (320 hours total = 160 hours x 2 sites, 27 hours per week minimum) (prerequisite: LEI 3703) (requires completion of orientation and paperwork the semester before enrolling) (GPA: 2.5)

    Elective Elective (3 credit hours; advisor-approved elective; consider taking GL Foundations course; see advisor for GL requirements)

    Advisor-approved electives, minor or certificate to reach 120 total credits: 24 credit hours 


    Graduation Requirements

    1)      FIU cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better on a 4.0 scale
    2)      Completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours in acceptable coursework; minimum of 45 credits must be upper division 
    3)      University Foreign Language (FLENT/FLEX), Global Learning, and Summer Enrollment requirements must be met
    4)      All program and University requirements must be met
    Note: If CLP 4146 and/or HSC 3537 was taken as a transfer 1000/2000 level course, student will need to take an additional elective.

    Internships 

    Internship is an important part of the RRT degree, especially for students in the Recreational Therapy track. Internship I and II are required for Recreational Therapy track students.

    INTERNSHIP I (LEI 4940 – 6 credits) 

     Internship I is comprised of a total of 320 hours of practicum experience. Students have the option to complete two separate 160-hour rotations at an approved therapeutic agency (3 credits each) OR a full 320 hours at one approved agency (6 credits). 

    INTERNSHIP II (LEI 4941 – 12 credits) 

    Internship II is comprised of a total of 560 hours of practicum experience and is required by the NCTRC to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). Students must complete the 560-hour, 14-week internship at one agency under the supervision of a CTRS. Students should note that this is a full-time work commitment (40 hours a week).  

    Internship Sites 

    All internship locations must be approved by the internship coordinator before the internship begins. The internship coordinator offers several ‘Internship Orientation Meetings’ every semester to review the steps to obtain an internship and the requirements to complete a placement.  

  • Requirements

    To ensure every student’s success, we have certain admissions requirements for our program. To help you through the application process, our enrollment advisors can help to answer your questions and guide you every step of the way.

    Applications are accepted for Spring, Fall and Summer terms.


    Steps To Apply:

    Freshman Students

    Please submit the following:

    • Online application
    • $30 application fee
    • Official SAT or ACT scores
    • Official high school transcripts

    Transfer Students

    Please submit the following:

    • Online application
    • $30 application fee
    • Official college transcripts

    If you have less than 60 transferable college credits, you must also submit official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores in addition to any transcripts from postsecondary schools to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.


    International Students

    In addition to the above requirements, international applicants should submit:

    • Official English Language Proficiency exam scores (TOEFL or IELTS).
    • NACES official course-by-course evaluation and translation of college transcripts.

    If you have less than 60 transferable college credits, you must also submit official high school transcripts with translation.

    Program Admission Requirements

    Candidates must first be accepted into the university. Students admitted to Florida International University are admitted directly to their chosen major.

    Program Completion Requirements

    A total of 120 credits are required to complete the fully online undergraduate degree. Students must complete the University Core Curriculum, University requirements and College of Arts, Sciences and Education requirements while satisfying requirements toward their major and are expected to make good progress based on critical indicators, such as GPA in specific courses or credits earned. In cases where students are not making good progress, a change of major may be required. Advisors work to redirect students to more appropriate majors when critical indicators are not met. For specific course requirements, visit the Courses tab on this program page.

    Admission Documents

    To complete the online undergraduate programs admissions form, select your program from the application form. You may complete the online application and submit it, even before taking any entrance exams. All supporting admission documents may be sent to:


    Florida International University

    Office of Undergraduate Admissions

    P.O. Box 659003

    Miami, FL 33265-9003

    USA


    FIU also accepts transcripts electronically via:

    • Faster (All FL public institutions)
    • Naviance (Typically used by private high schools)
    • SMART/Joint Service Transcript – Military records

    *Meeting the university minimum requirements does not guarantee admission

  • Tuition and Aid

    We’re thrilled that you’re considering online education and want you to know exactly what to expect for tuition and fees. Education is an investment in your future. Use the following student tuition and fees calculator to determine your costs.

  • Top Faculty

    Garland Jones: Garland D. Jones, visiting assistant teaching professor is a licensed and board-certified recreational therapist and has worked in the field of recreation for over 12 years. Professor Jones has experience working with various parks and recreation agencies, state funded programs; private community-based agencies and volunteers her time with the Special Olympics, Miracle League, Sunshine League, coaching, recreational consulting and working with adults and children with special needs. She has dedicated her career to working with socially and economically at-risk populations and takes pride in her profession.   

    Professor Jones has an extensive background in management (sports, recreation and hospitality), health/ exercise science, marketing and has developed programs within several southeastern regional communities with a focus on quality-of-life initiatives. Her current research areas of interest include substance abuse, outdoor recreation and sports adaptations, physical rehabilitation, geriatrics, Caribbean community health initiatives, public health and experimental therapies.  

    Professor Jones is an active member of several professional organizations including the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) and the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE). Professor Jones is currently pursuing her DrPH in Public Health from Capella University. Prior to arriving to FIU, Professor Jones was the Director of Recreational Therapy for a large tri-county based healthcare organization and served as an internship site supervisor for FIU. 

    Lauren Ortega: Lauren Ortega, MS, CTRS, earned her B.S in Physical Education: Sports and Fitness Studies and her M.S in Recreation and Sport Management: Recreational Therapy from FIU. After getting her M.S. in RT, she started working at FIU as the Internship Coordinator for the Recreational Therapy program. Then, she went to work as an Activities Director at a nursing and rehabilitation center in Miami, FL. Currently she is the Director of the Recreational Therapy Internship Program at FIU and a member of ATRA (American Therapeutic Recreation Association). She has also served as a visiting instructor for the program. Director Ortega also works part time as a Recreational Therapist for Strive Recreational Therapy Services. She has done 1 poster presentation at a ATRA National Conference in 2013 and she has, furthermore, co-authored a chapter on Equine Assisted Therapy in the textbook, Facilitation Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation (Dattilo & McKenney, 2016). Major areas of interest within RT include Equine Assisted Therapy, Special Olympics, Aquatics, SCUBA therapy, and Paralympics. 

    Tonia Porter: Tonia Porter, MS, CTRS/LRT earned her bachelor’s degree in Brain, Behavior & Cognitive Science from University of Michigan and master’s degree in Recreational Therapy Administration from East Carolina University, and is a registered yoga instructor. Porter began her recreational therapy career working in inpatient rehabilitation at Shands Rehab Hospital during which time she co-founded a non-profit organization called Warrior Institute. Warrior Institute provides outdoor recreation programs combined with biofeedback training to military service members, veterans and their families. Porter enjoys introducing individuals to outdoor adventure and facilitating RT programs in nature. She joined FIU for the first time from 2015-2018 and then spent a couple years working between North Carolina and Alaska, happily returning to FIU faculty in 2020.  

    Alicia Pola: Alicia Pola, CTRS, CCLS, graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.S. in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration and a minor in Counseling. She then earned an M.S. in Recreation Therapy from Temple University to spearhead her career as a certified Recreation Therapist. Her passion for learning has driven her to pursue a Ph.D. in Recreational Therapy at Clemson University. As a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS) and certified child life specialist (CCLS), she sought employment as a Recreation Therapist for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Here she collaborated with an interdisciplinary team of OTs, PTs, SLPs, psychologists, behavioral therapists, paraprofessionals, parents, and teachers to provide students with varying disabilities, 4 to 18 years of age their right to access a free and public education, in the least restrictive environment with appropriate supports. Prior to working for the school system, she interned, volunteered, and worked in multiple clinical and recreation settings with children and adults with an array of diagnoses and conditions, developmental levels, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Her breadth of experience in camps, community centers, nursing facilities, and parks, reinforces her belief that everyone should be given opportunities for adventure, creativity, independence, leadership, and play! 

    Tania Santiago Perez: Tania Santiago Perez, MS, CTRS, has been an Assistant Teaching Professor of Recreational Therapy at Florida International University since 2015, and the leader of the Recreational Therapy tracks since 2018. She earned her B.S. in Exercise and Sports Sciences in 2010, and her M.S. in Recreation and Sport Management, Recreational Therapy track in 2013. She is currently on her third year of doctoral studies at Clemson University in the PhD in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Recreational Therapy cognate area. Her dissertation involves investigating the relationship between scuba social identity and levels of self-efficacy, socio-psycho-bio health, and health-related quality of life among individuals with physical disabilities. Tania has published one article in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, and has an article in press in the Therapeutic Recreation Journal. Also, she has 3 conference proceedings and 10 presentations at recreational therapy state, regional, and national conferences.  

    Tania started her professional career at a nonprofit organization working as a Recreation and Sports Coordinator. After getting her master’s degree, she worked at an Assisted Living Facility helping older adults with neurocognitive conditions. Then, she went to Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces where she worked as a Recreational Therapist with a variety of populations including children and adults with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities, children with physical disabilities and/or visual impairments, and veterans.  During her time at FIU, Tania has taught over 60 courses in 8 different topic areas and has co-founded three community programs with students and community partners: 1) a handcycling program for adults with physical disabilities, 2) a soccer program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and 3) a virtual adult day training program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Tania has served as reviewer for the American Therapeutic Recreation Research Institute since 2015, as board member for the South Florida Paralympic Partners since 2015, as secretary and senator for the United Faculty of Florida-FIU Chapter since 2017, as member of the Faculty Senate Interprofessional Ad Hoc Committee since 2019, as board member of the Therapeutic Scuba Institute since 2019, and as member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association International Committee since 2020.  

    Tania has received several FIU awards including the 2017 CASE Engagement Award, the 2018, 2019 & 2020 CASE Service Awards, and the 2019 Top Scholar Award for Teaching and Mentorship.

fiuonline.fiu.edu

120 Credits Required

fiuonline.fiu.edu

$228.81 In-State Tuition Cost

fiuonline.fiu.edu

$345.87 Out-of-State Tuition Cost

Highlights

  • Fully Online Degree

  • Only RT degree available in the state of Florida 

  • Every undergraduate student is paired with success coach

  • Program starts: Fall, Spring, Summer

  • Become part of an exceptional community and make the most of your education. Join the Honors College.

  • Opportunities to learn novel recreational therapy modalities such as scuba diving, yoga, validation therapy, aquatics, therapeutic drumming, reiki, aromatherapy

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