Therapeutic Recreation Diploma
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Therapeutic Recreation Diploma


JanAnywherePT Online w/ in-person labs
MayAnywherePT Online w/ in-person labs
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Program length

Two years (including a two-month practicum)



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Total tuition: $9,044.00
Total fees: $2,702.00
Total tuition: $27,132.00
Total fees: $2,702.00

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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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Building on the Therapeutic Recreation certificate program, this additional year focuses on the concepts, theory and practical experiences related to leadership and critical thinking you will need to work with clients and enhance their quality of life through leisure activities. The leadership and communication skills you develop will help you encourage clients, who may have cognitive or physical impairments, to participate in activities. This program includes a 320-hour practicum.

In this program, you will learn how to enhance your clients' quality of life through leisure activities.The program covers the knowledge, skills, and attitudes you will need to work with clients who require recreation therapy.

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. Available through on-campus instruction, hybrid delivery, or online education.
  • 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. Available through on-campus instruction, hybrid delivery, or online education.

Note: Hybrid delivery may include a combination of workshops, seminars, self-study, and/or tutorials.

All NorQuest College Therapeutic Recreation practicums meet the requirements of the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA).

Therapeutic recreation professionals wishing to meet ATRA standards are welcome to contact the program area to apply for enrolment in individual courses, but are advised to first contact to determine specific course needs.

Many students choose the Therapeutic Recreation diploma with a goal to complete a degree. See the Future Opportunities section of this program 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
  • Being comfortable in groups of all sizes
  • Function effectively independently, on a team, and in stressful situations

Practicum/Work Experience

The Therapeutic Recreation Diploma program includes a 320-hour practicum in Year 2.

Students in the online program will be required to attend an on-campus workshop for assessment of practical skills before starting their practicum experience. Tutorial support is also available.