Education needed to become an Activities Assistant
Category: Reference, Education and News > Job and Careers
Asked by: baska-ga
List Price: $30.00
27 Mar 2004 22:17 PST
Expires: 26 Apr 2004 23:17 PDT
Question ID: 321221
I have a BA in Criminal Justice but now wish to pursue a career as an Activities Assistant in a nursing home or retirement community (helping with the spiritual and mental health of seniors through arts, crafts, recreation, etc). I need to know whether I can complete some short program to become certified or if I need to go back to school for another degree. Also, which colleges in Illinois, specifically Chicago or surrounding burbs offer these courses? Much thanks!
Re: Education needed to become an Activities Assistant
Answered By: loopaction-ga on 03 Apr 2004 08:18 PST
Employers are always subject to set up their own guidelines to which they choose to hire as an activities assistant based upon their needs. To find the answer to your question I started at http://www.nctrc.org/ which is the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification or better known as the NCTRC. The NCTRC is a much wanted certification as the "NCTRC's certification program was accredited by NOCA's National Commission for Certifying Agencies. NCTRC certification program parallels the standards followed in medicine by the American Board of Medical Specialties and by other related professions such as the National Board for the Certification of Occupational Therapy Board and the Certification Board for Music Therapists." Their book of information and standards for application and certification is 54 pages long and is available at http://www.nctrc.org/certification/certify.pdf . - It is very long and detailed but thorough. There are multiple paths to certification. Either formal education in Therapeutic Recreation or work experience with some classes, about 18 hours in therapeutic recreation. Through The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability http://www.ncpad.org/Factshthtml/theraprec.htm I found the following information. "Currently, universities offering four-year degree programs in TR can be found in 40 U.S. states. Degree requirements include a 360-hour internship under the supervision of a certified TRS. Courses taken outside of the major usually include but are not limited to: anatomy and physiology; psychology; and medical terminology." To find a program that suits your needs, I typed in "Therapeutic Recreation programs Chicago". This is what I found. http://www.recreationtherapy.com/trcollg.htm The Therapeutic Recreation website lists all colleges that offer a program in TR. Aurora University seemed to be the closest program to you. http://www.aurora.edu/recadmin/bstherrec.htm To get more information you will need to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org . Because you already have a degree, your situation will be unique as many of the classes you have already taken may count toward your new degree. You may only have to take the "specialty" classes for this area. To become certified, you will have to meet the minimum hour requirements set by the NCTRC. The listing of colleges I have linked for you are all the schools whose programs are "approved" and will lead you toward certification. In addition to contacting these schools and learning how your existing degree may help you toward completing your new goals, look for volunteer opportunities at your local hospital or possibly a MRDD center. It would be a great way to log hours for experience and to confirm that this is the career you want to have. The DHS of Illinois can be found at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/ors/ There website has a lot of information about the types of services the city provides and has links to opportunities that may apply to you. You may find that by calling them direct will be the fastest way to obtain the information you seek. Best of Luck.
rated this answer:
Thanks for the links to the schools. I do not want to become a certified activities director but their assistant. I must have read a type-o about a 75 hour training course for it. Thanks regardless
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