Therapeutic Recreation

Kingston Campus | Program Code: 0988 | Open for International Students
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This one-year (three semester) program prepares students with specialized training to work within recreation, health, education and/or social service delivery systems serving individuals a variety of abilities. Graduates will acquire the skills to complete standardized client assessments, develop and evaluate group and individualized programs and use a variety of facilitative techniques to assist individuals to participate in meaningful recreation activities that will enhance health, improve functional ability and increase quality of life. The program is built on the core belief of the inherent benefits of play, recreation and leisure to all people. Students will learn to adapt recreation activities so people with a variety of abilities can participate and to use recreation as a therapeutic tool to improve, maintain, and/or restore health and wellness.

Our program includes face-to-face classes primarily and some online classes to provide maximum flexibility for students who may be working in the field and wanting to upgrade their credentials.

Recognizing the increasing opportunities for private practice, a unique feature of our program is a course in Small Business Development to provide students with the skills in the areas of financial literacy, private practice documentation requirements, relevant business regulations, business planning, etc.

Program Details

Code 0988
Start Date September
Credential Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Campus Kingston
Program Length 1 Year
Delivery Full-Time
Open for international students
1 Year continuous (3 semesters)

Program Highlights

The St. Lawrence College Therapeutic Recreation curriculum has been successfully reviewed and determined to be in alignment with the Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO) Essential Competency Framework (ECF). As a result, graduates of this program are eligible to apply for Registered Professional designation with Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO).

Students in this program also receive a student membership with Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO).

Program Outline


This course introduces the causes, and characteristics, of a variety of physical and cognitive impairments, including those that occur as part of the aging process. Students then explore the implications of these impairments, and the role of therapeutic recreation in working with individuals affected with these impairments.

This course provides the student with the knowledge of the fundamental theories, models and practices of therapeutic recreation.  Topics include theories of play, recreation and leisure, ethics in TR practice, the history of the profession, and therapeutic recreation definitions and service models.  Students are challenged to develop their own personal philosophy of therapeutic recreation professional practice.

This course explores the therapeutic recreation process and provides students with the opportunity to design and develop client-centered programs and intervention plans.  Students learn the principles of program design including goal and objective development and activity analysis.  The therapeutic recreation accountability model is utilized to help explore the accountability that exists for the therapeutic recreation professional.

In this course, students learn about inclusion, advocacy and adapting recreation activities for individuals with disabilities.  Students also learn to apply principles of universal design to assess leisure and recreation resources in the community. 

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to explore leadership and management functions of the therapeutic recreation professional. Topics include leadership, supervision, motivation, communication, empowerment and team development. Each are explored from the perspective of working with clients, staff, volunteers and other team members.

This course provides the student with the knowledge required to participate effectively as a member of the multidisciplinary team. Students gain a basic comprehension of human form, function, biomechanics and lifespan development. Students are introduced to basic medical terminology and develop an appreciation of the expertise and roles played by various multidisciplinary team members.

Students are introduced to assessment tools used in TR practice and can assess and interpret an assessment of their choice.  Students also have the opportunity to create TR outcomes and implement the outcomes using program design while documenting using methods such as SOAPA (subjective, objective, analysis, plan, and assessment) notes.

This course provides students with an introduction to the philosophy, principles, and techniques of leisure education.  Implications for curriculum development, various settings and leisure service delivery systems are also explored.  Topics will include how to get started, review of specific leisure education programs already developed, what and how to teach, who to teach and leisure education in therapeutic recreation services.

This course introduces the causes, characteristics and implications of a variety of impairments related primarily to mental illness and addictions. Students explore the implications of these impairments, and the role of therapeutic recreation in working with these individuals through case studies and practical applications of the therapeutic recreation process. 

This course provides students with insight into a variety of issues and trends presently impacting the field of therapeutic recreation.  Students explore topics such as community development, professionalization of the field, ethical issues and advocacy for the role of TR in various practice settings. Issues and trends will be examined from multiple perspectives.

This course examines both the qualitative and quantitative research processes commonly used in Therapeutic Recreation, issues related to conducting Therapeutic Recreation research, and the analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. Knowledge and application of these topics enables students to conduct basic research and write grant proposals for exploratory or systematic purposes. Additionally, students learn how to access and interpret basic research in their professional careers.

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore a variety of evidence-based processes, facilitative techniques, and modalities used by the therapeutic recreation professional for identified populations. Some of the topics covered include clinical decision-making, outcome-based activity selection, communication techniques, instructional and counselling techniques, social skills training, physical activity, inter-generational programming, and community integration.

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore the range of skills and knowledge required to develop a plan to set up a small business or private practice in Therapeutic Recreation. With the view to developing a basic outline for a business plan, students focus on a number of key elements in this process including business and personal financial literacy, personal characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, the importance of gathering market information, basic marketing and business networking concepts, and relevant regulations and documents specific to running a Therapeutic Recreation business.

In these courses, students learn to apply all knowledge and skills gained throughout the program at an approved agency within the therapeutic recreation field. Students will choose one of two options including an 11-week or 18 week full-time unpaid internship placement.  Under the guidance of an onsite mentor, students gain hands-on experience and consolidate the skills required to become a practicing Recreation Therapist upon graduation


Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a minimum of a two-year post-secondary diploma or degree, with a specialty in health, education, or community and social services.

Health Requirements

Immunization - Communicable Disease Requirements

Completion of the Immunization - Communicable Disease Form is a mandatory condition for your clinical/practical placement. THIS FORM IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Download your Immunization - Communicable Disease Form

Questions regarding immunizations can be emailed to

As an active SLC student, you are automatically enrolled in a student insurance plan. To learn more about how this applies to your immunization requirements please visit (domestic) or (international).

Other Requirements

Criminal Background Check: Applicants are advised that Criminal Background Checks (CBC) conducted by the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) are required for programs with field or clinical placements. Certain criminal convictions may prevent participation in placements and program completion may not be possible. Attaining and paying for a CBC and Vulnerable Sector Screening (OPP) is the responsibility of the student, and these may have to be renewed every three to six months. Applicants with criminal records are advised to contact the Associate Dean/Campus Dean of the respective school prior to applying.


Students complete up to 710 hours of full-time internship in the Spring/Summer semester. Some of the internship sites include: Providence Care (Hospital and Community sites), Providence Manor, Sienna Senior Living, Hospice, Kids Inclusive, Sherwood Park Manor, Girls Inc. Limestone, The Royal Ottawa, CNIB, and more!

Complete SLC Placement requirements

  • 6 Training Modules
  • Student Declaration/Oath of Confidentiality
  • Student Covid 19 Waiver
  • Immunization
  • First Aid & CPR
  • Student Agreement






Program Fees
Ancillary Fees
$5,849.67 CAD
Program Fees
$0.00 CAD
Ancillary Fees
$1,559.33 CAD
$7,409.00 CAD

Fees are estimates only.  Tuition is based on three semesters.

Program Fees
Ancillary Fees
$26,955.00 CAD
Program Fees
$0.00 CAD
Ancillary Fees
$2,378.35 CAD
$29,333.35 CAD

Fees are estimates only.  Tuition is based on three semesters.


Our Kingston campus has seen significant renovation over the past few years, including a brand new Student Life and Innovation Centre that houses a new gymnasium, fitness centre, pub, and more.

Kingston Campus

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Therapeutic Recreation program may find employment working with individuals of all ages in health, recreation or human service organizations. Specifically, graduates may find work in long term care facilities, adult day programs, hospices, hospitals and health care agencies, rehabilitation centres, residential facilities, mental health agencies, addiction services and community agencies, schools and in private practice.

Graduates have attained work in a variety of community agencies including: Kids Inclusive, Providence Care, City of Ottawa, Girls Inc., Villa Marconi (Ottawa),Helen Henderson, The Royal, Golden Life Management (British Columbia), Spark Life Care, Sienna Senior Living (Toronto).


"Thank you for preparing me for TR-specific interviews! The professors supported me & accommodated my needs; I felt confident when applying & interviewing for TR positions. The program allowed me to learn new information and put that knowledge into first-hand experiences, by providing client-centred care during my internship."
Jessica Boot (Class of 2021)
"Coming from a university background, I found that the program was very practical in terms of actually preparing for jobs."
Caitlin Kinsella
"What struck me most distinctly from Day 1 of the TR program was the passion of the professors who practice as Recreation Therapists."
Tiina Liinamaa
"My favourite part of the program would be all the hands-on and experiential learning we are able to do."
Braelyn Amodeo
"I have been so impressed with the knowledge that our SLC Therapeutic Recreation Student came with at the start of her internship. It was like having a second Recreation Therapist working with me rather than a student at my side."
TR Internship Supervisor at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre
"I was prepared to assess, create a plan, and monitor the progress of my clients during internship. I was confident discussing clients with other healthcare professionals, because I understood the medical terminology and was able to provide an informed opinion. My peers came from a variety of backgrounds which made the program very enriching overall."
Laura Gerrity (Graduate)

Program Contacts

Program Contact

Candice McMullen
613.544.5400, ext. 1865

Admissions Information
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