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MayOnlineOnline w/ in-person labs
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Program length  

6 terms



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Total: $11,574.00

Total: $31,334.00

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  • 50% in English Language Arts 30-1 or 70% in English Language Arts 30-2 or equivalent
  • 50% in Biology 30 or equivalent
  • completion of the Therapeutic Recreation – certificate program or equivalent and/or permission from the program chair is a requirement for admission to the diploma program
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Learn how to enhance your clients’ quality of life through leisure activities. Gain knowledge and skills to plan, implement, and evaluate individual and group therapeutic recreation and social activities, and explore the concepts, theory, and practical experiences related to leadership and critical thinking.

You will learn how to enhance your clients' quality of life through leisure activities. The program will prepare you to work with a variety of client groups in different care settings.

Both a certificate and diploma are available:

  • The certificate year (Year 1) Therapeutic Recreation – certificate focuses on the knowledge and skills required to plan, implement, and evaluate individual or group therapeutic recreation and social activities.
  • The diploma year (Year 2) focuses on the concepts, theory, and practical experiences related to leadership and critical thinking in order to prepare graduates to work more independently.

Currently the Therapeutic Recreation diploma is recognized as meeting the requirements for entry to practice for professional membership status with the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA).

Effective April 1, 2021, ATRA will require new applicants for professional membership to have a degree in therapeutic recreation or recreation/leisure studies.

Therapeutic recreation professionals who wish to meet ATRA standards are welcome to take individual courses through Open Studies. You are advised to first contact to determine specific course needs, and then apply for Open Studies. After applying, you can contact the program chair at 780.644.6300 to request enrolment in specific courses.

Many students choose the Therapeutic Recreation diploma with a goal to complete a degree. See Future Opportunities for information about degree programs and transferability.

Student Success

Students are more likely to be successful in this program if they:

  • are physically and emotionally able to manage workplace demands.
  • have access to a vehicle to travel to complete their clinical practice.
  • have access to a computer and basic computer skills

Applicants are requested to review the job requirements listed below and assess their ability to fulfill the demands of the therapeutic recreation occupation.

Working in therapeutic recreation, you must be able to:

  • work shifts and weekends
  • be on your feet for extended periods of time
  • use your knees, back, and arms to move clients who have minimal body strength
  • be comfortable taking a leadership role in groups of all sizes
  • work with clients of all ages, cultures, and genders
  • function effectively independently, on a team, and in stressful situations
  • demonstrate adaptability and critical thinking skills

Practicum/Work Experience

This program includes two practicums totalling 640 hours.


Edmonton, Online