Recreation Therapy


Laura McLachlin 
Office hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 
1:30-3:00 p.m. & Tuesdays 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Office phone: 530-898-5227
Office location: Yolo 183

Michael Leitner
Office hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 1:00-3:30 p.m.
Office phone: 530-898-6774
Office location: Yolo 195


In the Department of Recreation and Parks Management at CSU, Chico, the Recreation Therapy (RT) option provides students with the necessary knowledge and skill to make a difference in someone else’s life. This option educates students on how to interact, rehabilitate, and provide treatment to persons with illnesses and disabling conditions. With the RT option, students can enhance an individual’s independence and restore their ability to participate in life’s everyday activities.

After students complete their bachelor’s degree, the RT option helps them prepare for professional careers. Professionals in this field have a vast selection of opportunities to apply their skills, in such areas as physical medicine and rehabilitation, acute care, mental health services, facilities for older adults, and state hospitals and corrections. The curriculum at CSU, Chico follows the job competencies approved by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, graduates are eligible to sit for the national exam and become certified.

Interesting in being a Recreation Therapist? Check out this video.


  • RECR 260—Recreation Therapy and Inclusion
  • RECR 360—Recreation Therapy for Older Adults
  • RECR 460—Advanced Recreation Therapy Practices
  • RECR 462—Recreation Therapy Service
  • RECR 464—Recreation Therapy Techniques
  • RECR 466—Program Management for Recreation Therapy
  • RECR 468—Facilitation Techniques in Recreation Therapy
  • RECR 569—Recreation Therapy Case Management


All students in the Department of Recreation and Parks Management are required to complete 700 hours of pre-internship, and 560 hours of internship time. Students in Recreation Therapy must carefully choose their internship sites, with their advisor's advice, in order to meet certification requirements. Opportunities exist to work with children, the elderly, or other special populations, in both community and clinical settings. There are group advising sessions for Recreation Therapy (RT) students each semester. 

Advising Information

Professional Organizations

Programs of Interest

Other Therapeutic Recreation Links

Current Research Interests and Service Projects

Licensure for Recreation Therapy in California

In 2009, a task force was established to work toward licensure for recreation therapy in California. The purpose of licensure is to protect consumers and to regulate the practice of recreation therapy. Recreation therapy practice is already licensed in four states. Many more states and Canadian provinces are also pursuing licensure.

Efforts to achieve the goal of licensure in California are supported by the following:

  • Faculty and students in the Department of Recreation, Hospitality, & Parks Management California State University, Chico
  • California Park & Recreation Society
  • American Therapeutic Recreation Association
  • National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification
  • California Board of Recreation and Parks Certification

Click on the link below to watch how recreation therapy impacts the lives of individuals with disabilities. Special thanks go to Northeast Passages and its director, Jill Gravink, for providing the video.
Link to Tom's Story (recreation therapy)

Therapeutic Recreation Careers

Coming soon

Alumni Success Stories

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Upcoming events     

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