So you need some credentials…

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Whether you’re in the activities field or the rec therapy field we are always looking to add to our resumes, build on our skills and add some CREDENTIALS to our name for all our hard work! 
So, the questions remain…what does it take? What are the steps? What exactly is the process? 

Well, the answer to all of those questions are outlined in this post for your convenience. Know what you need to do, and the steps you need to take can seem daunting, troublesome and confusing. Hopefully with the help of What The Rec, some insight to what exactly you’ll need and resources that can help you get there.
Disclaimer: These are the basic requirements for each position and do not delve into details regarding state licenses or laws.

How Do I Become A Recreational Therapist or Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist? – CTRS
Path A: 
1. Bachelors Degree in Therapeutic Recreation  
2. 14 week/560 hour internship experience in the field supervised by a CTRS 
3. sit for the CTRS examination

Path B: 
1. Completion of a Bachelor degree or higher
2. Completion of specific coursework in
    Recreational Therapy (Therapeutic
    Recreation) and related areas
3. Five (5) years full-time paid work experience in Recreational Therapy (Therapeutic Recreation)
4. Sit for CTRS examination

Path C:
1. Completion of a Bachelor degree or higher
2. Completion of specific coursework in
    Recreational Therapy (Therapeutic Recreation)
    and related areas – such as a Certificate of Advanced Study in Recreation Therapy
3. One (1) year full-time paid work experience in
    Recreational Therapy (Therapeutic Recreation) under the supervision of a CTRS
4. Sit for CTRS examination

FAQ: But, what counts as specific coursework in recreation and related area!?

  • A minimum of five (5) courses in recreational therapy (therapeutic recreation) is required and each course must be a minimum of three (3) credit hours.
  • Specific course content in the following areas: a) Assessment; b) TR Process; and c) Advancement of the Profession is highly recommended but not required for eligibility.
  • 24 Semester hours in social sciences and/or humanities (these courses NEED to include Anatomy & Physiology, Abnormal Psychology, Human Growth & Development).

How Do I Become a Certified Activities Director? – ADC

ACADEMIC EDUCATION

  • Complete MEPAP Part 1 and the 90-Hour Practicum – Basic
  • Complete MEPAP Part 2 and 90-Hour Practicum – Advanced Management
  • Bachelors Degree or Above – including specific coursework from the NCCAP’s body of knowledge content areas
  • WORK EXPERIENCE        
  • 6,000 hours within past 5 years
  • CONTINUING EDUCATION

    • 30 clock hours of within past 5 years of programs that cover content listed from the NCCAP Body of Knowledge
  • NATIONAL EXAM

    • Successful completion of the National Exam  

FAQ: Can I get this certification another way?
Yes you can. The NCCAP has FIVE different pathways to obtain your ADC. There are also ways to obtain an assistant certification. Please visit NCCAP.org for more information on these pathways.
FAQ: Can I specialize in an activity area?
A: Sure can! The NCCAP offers specialization titles including memory care, person centered care, home care, assisted living, and day center specializations.

How Do I Become a Board Certified Activity Professional? AP-BC
This certification is through the National Association of Activity Professionals Credentialing Center, and offers 5 ways of obtaining your AP-BC. The three most utilized are highlighted below.

Path 1:
1.  Bachelor degree or higher.
2. One year (2000 hours) experience working directly in activities within the past 3
years.
3.  30 hours of CE credit from the accepted continuing education topic
areas within 2 years prior to application.
4. Successful completion of the NAAP Credentialing Center Exam.

Path 2:
1.  Associate degree or a minimum of 60 college semester hours.
2.  2 years (4000 hours) of full time experience working directly in activities within 5
years prior to application.
3.  40 hours CE from the accepted continuing education topic areas
within 3 years prior to application.
4.  Successful completion of the NAAP Credentialing Center exam.

Path 3:
If you have an activities certification from another body such as your ADC or ACC, you are eligible to sit for the NAAP exam to become AP-BC
Similarly, If you have obtained your CTRS, you need to show proof you have been working with the elderly population for at least one year over the previous three years, and can then sit for the NAAP AP-BC exam.

For more information on any of these exams, pathways to education or career information please visit the certification websites:
http://naapcc.net/

http://www.nccap.org/

https://nctrc.org/


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