Delivery Method: Online (instructor-led). Local practicums.
Duration: 47 weeks, including a 7-week practicum
Start: April & October
Wages: Average starting wage $24.79/hour

About the Career

Therapeutic Recreation Assistants (TRAs) help older adults rediscover joy. By using a person-centred approach, TRAs assist each individual in pursuing past recreational and leisure activities while also learning new ones. TRAs enhance older adult’s quality of life while maintaining their independence and wellbeing. This is a career for well-trained, passionate and caring individuals who want to make a difference in older adults’ lives.

Therapeutic Recreation addresses the whole person, focusing on their social, physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual domains. As defined by Iso-Ahola (1980), “therapeutic recreation is purposeful intervention designed to improve the client’s quality of life through recreation and leisure.” The programs and leisure activities that Therapeutic Recreation Assistants design are evidence-based and outcome-focused. Most importantly, they are person-centred.

As a Therapeutic Recreation Assistant, you’ll find opportunities for employment in:

  • Residential settings (intermediate & long-term care)
  • Community & senior centres
  • Assisted living housing 
  • Adult day centres 
  • Rehabilitation centres

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.

About the Program

This 47-week online diploma program includes a seven-week practicum in your home community. Theory is delivered entirely online, practicums will take place in your home region.

This program is collaborative and engaging. In your virtual classroom, you will make friends, receive support, and collaborate with classmates to learn and grow together.

This program is purposeful. Therapeutic Recreation Assistants support and promote optimal health in older adults through recreation and leisure activities that include arts and crafts, music, gardening, games, social events, outings, entertainment, and exercise. 

This program is rewarding. Taking a person-centred approach, you’ll design and lead programs and activities for older adults that bring joy to their lives, and yet, the joy you receive will be greater than the joy you give.

Admission Requirements

Pre-requisites

  • 19 years of age, or completion of grade 12 graduation, or equivalent
  • English 12 or equivalent
  • Passing verbal test if English is an additional language 
  • Completion of a Criminal Record Consent Form under the Criminal Record Review Act

Program Courses

Our Faculty

Free Therapeutic Recreation Assistant Guide Book

A Stenberg College Publication

Therapeutic Recreation addresses the whole person, focusing on their social, physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual domains. As defined by Iso-Ahola (1980), “therapeutic recreation is purposeful intervention designed to improve the client’s quality of life through recreation and leisure.” The programs and leisure activities that Therapeutic Recreation Assistants design are evidence-based and outcome-focused. Most importantly, they are person-centred.

Each of the program plans in A Therapeutic Recreation Assistant’s Guide: Program Plans for Older Adults was developed by a Stenberg College student as part of their coursework. They are excellent examples of evidence-based, outcome-focused and person-centred programming. These program plans represent the quality education Stenberg College Therapeutic Recreation Assistant students receive while attending school.

Front Cover of Book - Program Plans for Older Adults

Please click below to download “A Therapeutic Recreation Assistant’s Guide: Program Plans for Older Adults” in your preferred format:

Download the PDF
Download for Apple using the Books app

Accreditation and Recognition

Stenberg College is designated by the BC government’s Ministry of Advanced Education through the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB). PTIB is responsible for setting standards of quality and ensuring consumer protection. Stenberg College has also received the BC government’s Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation, which is BC’s brand or “seal” of quality post-secondary education for public and private institutions. This program is also approved by the Registrar. 

Government Sponsored Program

In partnership with BC Care Providers Association

Stenberg College and the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) have announced a government-sponsored training program for BC residents to become Therapeutic Recreation Assistants (TRA). As a rural/remote-focused project, preference will be given to those applicants residing outside of the Lower Mainland. All applicants are welcome to apply and encouraged to explore this growing career.*

Click here to submit your expression of interest on the BCCPA website.

*In partnership with the BCCPA, applicants residing outside the lower mainland may be eligible for government funding to complete the Stenberg College Therapeutic Recreation Assistant program. Funding is subject to availability. Applicants are required to meet Stenberg College entrance requirements and BCCPA’s selection process. To be eligible, you must be currently unemployed, precariously employed, or employed but requiring upskilling or training to prepare for changing job requirements or new opportunities.  Must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person entitled to work in Canada and reside in BC.

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