Recreation therapy student practices in the field

Recreation Therapy Earns Initial CAAHEP Accreditation

12/20 – The Recreation Therapy program earned its initial accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon recommendation by the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE).

“We are excited and very proud to join only 10 other programs that have received this level of external validation through this accreditation in the recreation therapy profession,” SHAHS Director Steve Elliott said.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs is the largest programmatic accreditor of the health sciences professions. CAAHEP is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as an agency that carries out its accrediting activities in cooperation with 25 review Committees on Accreditation. Their mission is to provide quality assurance in health sciences and health professions education by setting standards for program accreditation and evaluating program performance.

Specialized accreditation examines programs within an education institution. Standards used to measure these programs are intended to reflect what a student needs to know and be able to do to perform successfully within that profession. The CAAHEP accreditation process evaluates and ensures that the standards of each profession under the CAAHEP umbrella are met by each program.

“The recreation therapy faculty have worked extremely hard to develop an outstanding program,” Elliott said. “Whether it be our partnerships with ACCESS of Wilmington (Miracle Field) or paws4people, our innovative curriculum or the prestigious agencies where our interns are placed, our program is simply top-notch.”

Elliott went on to say the site reviewers from CARTE took a deep dive into the recreation therapy courses, resources, and faculty and were very impressed with what they saw.

Recreation Therapy Program Coordinator Dr. Brent Hawkins said, “Site reviewers were most impressed with the breadth and depth of the treatment modality courses offered to students, student-faculty connections, students’ awareness of the recreation therapy profession beyond the curriculum, quality of the faculty and administrative support of the program. The recreation therapy program surpassed the minimum standards necessary for accreditation by meeting approximately 97 percent of the knowledge and skill competencies in their curriculum.”

The Bachelor of Arts in Recreation Therapy program, housed within the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, prepares students to use recreation activities and other active treatment modalities and interventions to increase the functional abilities and quality of life of people of all ages, especially individuals with disabilities and health conditions. Recreation therapists complement physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well other allied health and human services to address clients' adjustment to illness/disability and education for a new lifestyle. Click here to learn more about the program.