Therapeutic Recreation (Gerontology)

  • Delivery Method: Combined Delivery
  • Duration: 47 weeks, including a 7-week practicum
  • Starts: Twice per year (May and November)
  • Credential: Diploma
  • Wages: Up to $24.83/hour to start

Imagine a career where you can support the well-being of seniors through fun and rewarding activities! Older adults are the fastest growing age group in Canada, resulting in an urgent and growing need for professionals who can support and promote optimal health for this generation.

Therapeutic Recreation assistants promote concepts and leisure activities that promote health, increase self-esteem, increase enjoyment and life satisfaction and develop personal independence.

As a Therapeutic Recreation Assistant you will develop, facilitate, and measure programming and promote health through leisure education, client interventions, community development, partnership, physical activity and fall prevention.

Admission Requirement

  • Completion of Grade 12 or 19 years of age or older
  • English 12 with a grade of C+ OR Technical Communications 12 with a grade of B+ or have ELET Test with option to take a Challenge Exam
  • Completion of Computer Proficiency Questionnaire
  • Passing Stenberg College entrance interview
  • Successful completion of a short written essay
  • Passing Verbal Test of English if English is a Second Language
  • Completion of a Criminal Record Consent Form under the Criminal Record Review Act
  • Please note: A valid driver’s license (or new driver status) is highly recommended. Graduates without a driver’s license may face limited employment opportunities and lower wages.

* Note: English requirements may be obtained by alternative means such as evidence of Post-Secondary studies at an equivalent level where English was the first language or completion of an acceptable English assessment equivalency test – TOEFL, IELTS, LPI or an ICES Evaluation.

Prior to Program Admission, Program Advisors will outline practice education requirements for the program. Upon enrollment, you will be informed of next steps and timelines. Non-compliance could result in program dismissal. Requirements for practice education placements include:

  • Acceptable Criminal Record Search under the Criminal Record Review Act
  • Proof of Immunity Status as required by industry
  • Acceptable Medical Examination Form completed by a physician

*Additional criteria may be required to fulfill industry guidelines; students will be informed in advance of any requirements that need to be fulfilled for placements.

Financing Your Education

You could be eligible for Employment Insurance funding for education, government student loans, as well as other financing options; Stenberg’s Financial Aid Officer would be happy to provide further assistance.

Student Stories

Read stories from our students and grads about their experience with the Therapeutic Recreation program at Stenberg.

Sarah Evans

Sarah’s ability to connect with people of all ages is what led this former banker to the field of Therapeutic Recreation.

Sarah’s decision to attend Stenberg was initially a difficult one; put off by the idea of the combined delivery format of Stenberg’s Therapeutic Recreation program, Sarah wondered whether she would be able to keep up with online courses and younger classmates. Ironically, online learning turned out to be one of Sarah’s favourite aspects of the program. “It allowed me to work at my own pace, to be there for my family and to run my business from home. In the beginning, I was concerned that if I had questions I would be kind of on my own but that wasn’t the case at all. Online learning can seem scary, but believe me it’s not. If I can do it anyone can do it. I was very computer illiterate before I started, but all of the faculty and staff were there for me throughout my whole Stenberg journey and made me feel very comfortable and confident… Everyone was very open and very helpful throughout the program.”

Thriving in her new career as a Recreational Therapy Assistant, Sarah raves that she can now “go into work with a big smile on my face because I know I’m going to have fun; I’m going to make a difference in the lives of the seniors that I work with.”

“The work I do as a Recreation Therapy Assistant providing meaningful activities for the residents is so important. It’s amazing the impact that recreational programs have on the quality of living for seniors in long term care and it’s a wonderful feeling to know that I am a part of that.”

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