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Path to Certification
NCTRC Standards for Professional Eligibility

The option to submit the Professional Eligibility Application

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Application Deadlines for Certification Exam

 

July 10, 2014 for October 6-18, 2014 exam

October 1, 2014 for January 5-17, 2015 exam

February 1, 2015 for May 4-16, 2015 exam

July 1, 2015 for October 5-17, 2015 exam




1. Are you interested in becoming a CTRS by using your Therapeutic Recreation degree and Therapeutic Recreation Field Placement?

or

2. Are you interested in becoming a CTRS by using your Bachelor’s degree and Therapeutic Recreation work experience?

or
NO

3. Have you already sent in this information, gained professional eligibility, and would like to sit for the NCTRC exam?

or

Academic Path
The Academic Path eligibility requirements to take the CTRS exam are a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited college or university with a major in therapeutic recreation or a major in recreation or leisure with an option in therapeutic recreation. An official transcript must be submitted with application and verify the degree, major and coursework.
A “major in therapeutic recreation” or “major in recreation with an option in therapeutic recreation” refers to the completion of a degree which includes the following:

  1. A minimum of 18 semester or 24 quarter hours of therapeutic recreation and general recreation content coursework with no less than a minimum of 15 semester or 20 quarter hours in therapeutic recreation content. A minimum of five (5) courses in therapeutic recreation is required and each course must be a minimum of three (3) credit hours.    Content specific therapeutic recreation coursework is recommended as part of the NCTRC professional eligibility requirements. Specific course content in the following areas: a) Assessment; b) TR Process; and c) Advancement of the Profession is highly recommended but not required for eligibility.
  2. Supportive courses to include a total of 18 semester hours or 24 quarter hours of support coursework with a minimum of: (i) three (3) semester hours or three (3) quarter hours coursework in the content area of anatomy and physiology; (ii) three (3) semester hours or three (3) quarter hours coursework in the content area of abnormal psychology; and (iii) three (3) semester hours or three (3) quarter hours coursework in the content area of human growth and development across the lifespan. The remaining semester hours or quarter hours of coursework must be fulfilled in the conte nt areas of social sciences and humanities.
  3. A minimum 560-hour, fourteen (14) consecutive week field placement experience in therapeutic recreation services that uses the therapeutic recreation process as defined by the current NCTRC Job Analysis Study under the supervision of both academic and agency field placement supervisors who are NCTRC CTRS certified. An acceptable field placement experience is one which is completed after the majority of required therapeutic recreation and general recreation coursework is completed as verified on the official transcript and the completed fieldwork verification form.

Academic Path - Application prior to degree completion

Applicants may apply for professional eligibility review after completion of the following conditions:

  1. Enrollment in a degree program pertaining to Therapeutic Recreation/Recreation Therapy as defined by the current NCTRC standards.
  2. Completion of a minimum of 90 credit hours toward degree attainment.
  3. Completion of all required coursework other than the field placement requirement, as defined by the current NCTRC standards.
  4. Submission of an official academic transcript denoting the completion of the above requirements.

Applicants completing this option of the Academic Path application process will be awarded NCTRC certification and the CTRS certificate upon demonstration of the following:

  1. Successful completion of the NCTRC exam.
  2. Completion of a field placement experience in accordance with NCTRC Standards.
  3. Academic degree attainment as documented by an official academic transcript.
  4. Field Placement Verification Form signed by the field placement supervisor

Please note: Applying through this process will require an additional $25.00 fee. The total application fee is $425.00 when submitting the Professional Eligibility Application.


Professional Eligibility Application
Printed Version (PDF) OR Online Submission

FEE POLICY

Equivalency Path A
The eligibility requirements to take the CTRS exam are a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited college or university verified by an official transcript and the following:

  1. A minimum of 18 semester or 24 quarter hours of therapeutic recreation and general recreation content coursework with no less than a minimum of 15 semester or 20 quarter hours in therapeutic recreation content. A minimum of five (5) courses in therapeutic recreation is required and each course must be a minimum of three (3) credit hours. Two (2) of the required therapeutic recreation courses may be taught by the applicant as a full-time educator. Content specific therapeutic recreation coursework is recommended as part of the NCTRC professional eligibility requirements. Specific course content in the following areas: a) Assessment; b) TR Process; and c) Advancement of the Profession is highly recommended but not required for eligibility.
  2. Supportive courses to include a minimum of 24 semester hours or 32 quarter hours in the content areas of social sciences and humanities.
  3. A minimum of five (5) years of full-time paid work experience in therapeutic recreation services that uses the therapeutic recreation process as defined by the current NCTRC Job Analysis. Applicants who possess a graduate degree in therapeutic recreation need a minimum of three (3) years of full-time paid work experience in therapeutic recreation services that uses the therapeutic recreation process as defined by the current NCTRC Job Analysis.

Equivalency Path B
The eligibility requirements to take the CTRS examination are a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited college or university verified by an official transcript and the following:

  1. A minimum of 18 semester or 24 quarter hours of therapeutic recreation and general recreation content coursework with no less than a minimum of 15 semester or 20 quarter hours in therapeutic recreation content. A minimum of five (5) courses in therapeutic recreation is required and each course must be a minimum of three (3) credit hours. Two (2) of the required therapeutic recreation courses may be taught by the applicant as a full-time educator. Content specific therapeutic recreation coursework is recommended as part of the NCTRC professional eligibility requirements. Specific course content in the following areas: a) Assessment; b) TR Process; and c) Advancement of the Profession is highly recommended but not required for eligibility.
  2. Supportive courses to include a total of 18 semester hours or 24 quarter hours of support coursework with a minimum of: (i) three (3) semester hours or three (3) quarter hours coursework in the content area of anatomy and physiology; (ii) three (3) semester hours or three (3) quarter hours coursework in the content area of abnormal psychology; and (iii) three (3) semester hours or three (3) quarter hours coursework in the content area of human growth and development across the lifespan. The remaining semester hours or quarter hours of coursework must be fulfilled in the content areas of social sciences and humanities.
  3. A minimum of one (1) year full-time, paid work experience in therapeutic recreation services that uses the therapeutic recreation process as defined by the current NCTRC Job Analysis Job Skills, under the supervision of a CTRS.


WORK EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

Equivalency Path B

  • Required work experience in therapeutic recreation must occur in the 5 years before application.
  • Credit will not be given for administrative or consultant work, which does not include direct client services.
  • One-year full-time experience is defined as a minimum of 1500 hours worked (excludes scheduled and unscheduled leave time) within a minimum of a full calendar year (52 weeks). The 1500 hour number is determined from calculating full-time as a minimum of 32 hours per week over 46 weeks. 46 weeks is determined by subtracting potential vacation, holiday and leave time from 52 weeks in a year.
  • A minimum of 32 hours per week will be considered full-time status. Part-time employment of no less than 20 hours per week will be pro-rated to full-time equivalent up to the minimum of 1500 hours of employment.
  • The supervisor must hold an active CTRS credential throughout the period of supervision and the supervisor may be either: Employed on-site with direct supervisory responsibility for the applicant (direct supervisory responsibilities refer to having primary responsibility for the applicant’s performance evaluation, clinical and/or managerial supervision); or a preceptor or consultant to the agency and applicant. The preceptor/consultant must provide on-site supervision of the applicant for a minimum of one hour for every 10 hours of the applicant’s employment for a minimum of 150 hours within the calendar year of supervision. Supervision must include direct observation of practice as well as supervisory meetings.
  • The CTRS supervisor must complete a formal evaluation provided by NCTRC.


Professional Eligibility Application
Printed Version (PDF) OR Online Submission

FEE POLICY

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