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Academic Programs: Therapeutic Recreation: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are some of the unique features of Calvin's Recreation program that differentiates it from other schools?

  • It's Christian perspective. I don't know of another Christian college other than Messiah that offers therapeutic recreation curriculum and they do it in concert with Temple University so students don't have all Christian faculty.
  • Good relationships with area professionals. We have very good relationships with a variety of recreation organizations agencies in our community so our students are able to volunteer or find part-time work in the field along with the classroom work. This helps them identify the area of specialization they want to pursue.
  • Certification. Our students score better on the national certification exam for therapeutic recreation than other students in our region and nationally so this indicates that they have a better knowledge of the field than their peers from other institutions.
  • Practical experience of our faculty. Our faculty who are Christians, have been heavily involved in the profession at a national, state and regional level and are recognized as leaders in their respective fields. They have authored textbooks in recreation and therapeutic recreation and served on national professional association boards in leadership positions.
  • Internship placement. We place students in internships around the country, including some of the best internship sites such as the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill or the Childrens Hospital in Philadelphia .

What are your placement rates for jobs/graduate school?
Our placement rate has been very good both in jobs and in graduate schools. The job market is tighter in some areas of the country than others but generally speaking the field of TR is continuing to grow, especially in the area of elderly care/programs. Within the fields of youth leadership and community recreation, students have found jobs, especially if they are willing to relocate.

Where are Calvin grads attending graduate schools and what programs are they in?
Our students have attended a variety of graduate school programs both in Michigan and outside the state. Most therapeutic recreation students who attend graduate school pursue degrees in complementary areas such as social work, health administration, or counseling. These types of degrees open up new opportunities for them and their TR certification often gives them an edge in job opportunities because the trend is toward cross-training for different types of job responsibilities.

In the past five years, students have been accepted or attended graduate school in the following areas: University of Michigan (MSW), Michigan State University (Public policy), Western Seminary (youth ministry), Western Michigan University (counseling, MSW), Indiana University (Public recreation, Therapeutic Recreation), Willow Creek (youth ministry), Valparaiso University (Sports Management), Wooden Boat Building School, Calvin College (Masters of Education).

Where are Calvin graduates of the program working?
All over the country including: the Grand Rapids area, Denver, Colorado Springs, Seattle, Montana, Florida, Chicago, etc. They are working in a variety of settings including nursing homes, community recreation programs serving persons with disabilities, therapeutic camps, children's hospitals, psychiatric facilities with children and adult services, substance abuse programs, corrections facilities, therapeutic play centers, senior centers, and rehab centers.