The therapeutic recreation program (TR) in the School of Kinesiology and Recreation is proud to announce the most recent passing rates for Illinois State students taking the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification exam were nearly 92 percent, compared with the national rate of 85.3 percent.

The TR program at Illinois State is not only designed to prepare students in passing the certification exam but to work as future professionals in their field. Therapeutic recreation specialists work with clients who have disabilities, injuries, illnesses, or other health conditions and use a variety of activities to create a healthy physical and social environment.

Students in the program combine classroom study with internship experiences, conference attendance, clubs, and study abroad experiences to prepare for a future in the field.

TR faculty member Rachel Smith notes that the faculty and curriculum available to students in the major are some of the main factors that contribute to their success.

“ISU is fortunate to have two full-time therapeutic recreation specialists teaching all the TR curriculum. The curriculum is designed to not only help students become successful recreational therapists but also to become familiar with concepts on the national exam. We offer opportunities to not only learn the material, but practice and apply what was learned through hands-on course experiences,” she said.

Smith also explains the value of real work experience that TR students at Illinois State are exposed to, another main contributor to their success with the certification exam.

“Students at ISU complete multiple fieldwork experiences, working hands on for persons with disabilities. Having exposure and experience to concepts learned in the classroom in a real-life situation allows the students to see their course work come to life. I believe it is this connection the translates to higher pass rates,” she explained.

TR alum Morgan Serberger was one of the students who was in the recent group that made up the high pass rate.

“I felt that all my courses that I took in my degree pathway for TR were very beneficial to helping me prepare to take the exam once I graduated. I also really liked that it was required to complete two internships before graduating because I think it better prepared me for taking the test. I got real experiences in the field that related to exam questions, and that helped me as I became a future professional,” she said.

Want to learn more about therapeutic recreation at Illinois State? Visit the School of Kinesiology and Recreation’s website for more information.