All Therapeutic Recreation majors complete a 15-week or 600 hour internship under the direct supervision of an actively Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) as the agency supervisor and an actively certified university supervisor who is a CTRS. This capstone field placement occurs after all major coursework is completed and is a sitting requirement for the national certification examination to become a recreational therapist. RTH 498 is the undergraduate internship course for 15 credits; RTH 700 is the graduate internship course for six credits. Internships conform to the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification Field Placement Standards and are offered Spring, Fall, and Summer semesters. Each internship takes place at a single agency where interns are exposed to opportunities to develop skills related to the therapeutic recreation process encompassing 69 Job Tasks of a CTRS as defined by the current (2014) NCTRC National Job Analysis including:   

  • Professional Relationships and Responsibilities
  • Planning Interventions and/or Programs
  • Implementing Interventions and/or Programs
  • Evaluating Outcomes of the Interventions/Programs
  • Documenting Intervention Services
  • Treatment Teams and/or Service Providers
  • Developing and Maintaining Programs
  • Managing TR/RT Services
  • Awareness and Advocacy

Students secure an internship through competitive applications and interviews with agencies featured on a pre- approved list representing diverse settings across the USA. The list is accessed on a protected website reserved for UW-La Crosse TR majors.  Interns receive a letter grade for their internship experience including:

  • Completing eight written biweekly reports detailing insight into applying the TR process in their particular role and setting (e.g., physical rehabilitation, inclusion, behavioral health, skilled nursing care, residential treatment for youth);
  • The agency supervisor’s midterm and final evaluation of  the intern’s performance in 69 job tasks of a CTRS and a rating of personal and professional development criteria;
  • Posting, and responding to peers’ posts, about internship topics in an online Discussion Board;  

ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE AGENCY SUPERVISOR:

  • Completing a Special Project formatted to reflect the APIE-D process who may earn CEUs for intern supervision as stipulated by NCTRC [Assess, Plan, Implement, Evaluate-Document]
  • Completing a research paper or case study, presenting an inservice, coordinating an event, or related assignments

Interns within a 250-mile radius of La Crosse receive a visit from the faculty supervisor; interns outside the 250-mile radius communicate with the university supervisor through phone or Skype exchanges which include the agency supervisor.

Agencies desiring affiliation complete a questionnaire, provide resumes and a written plan for mentoring interns in the job tasks of a CTRS, and sign an affiliation agreement prior to being added to an approved site list. For more information on our internship program, prospective agencies who desire to become internship sites are welcome to contact the Internship Coordinator:

Tara DeLong, M.S.
Lecturer
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Department of Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation
2036 Health Science Center
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
Office: 608.785.8203
Fax: 608.785.8206
Email: tdelong@uwlax.edu