Therapeutic Recreation

City: Mississauga
Two-Year with Placement Ontario College Graduate Certificate
Sep Closed


Be a part of a field dedicated to optimizing health and improving quality of life through recreation and leisure.

The Lambton College Therapeutic Recreation, Ontario College Graduate Certificate program prepares graduates to work with people who have physical, mental, emotional, cognitive or social limitations that may affect their attitudes, ability and motivation to participate in leisure and maintain healthy, balanced lifestyles. Recreation Therapists address patients’ barriers to independent, meaningful social contact, and community participation.

Reasons to Choose Lambton College's Program

This Lambton College program is licensed to and delivered by Queen's College (PDF), a licensed private career college in Mississauga, Ontario. Students who are registered at are students of a public college and as such, will receive full credit from Lambton College for all Lambton College courses completed at the Queen's College campus in Mississauga. Students who meet program graduation requirements will graduate with a credential from Lambton College. Students may be scheduled to have classes on Saturdays.

Admission Requirements

  • A university degree in a health related or human services field.

The admissions process is competitive and meeting the minimum academic requirements does not guarantee admission.

Lambton College reserves the right to alter information including admission requirements and to cancel a program or course at any time; to change the program curriculum as necessary to meet current competencies or changes in the job market; to change the pathways to third-party certification bodies; or to withdraw an offer of admission both prior to and after its acceptance by an applicant or student because of insufficient applications or registrations or over-acceptance of offers of admission. In the event Lambton College exercises such a right, Lambton College's sole liability will be the return of monies paid by the applicant or student to Lambton College.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS of 6.5

- or -

  • TOEFL iBT 79

- or -

  • Passed Lambton Institute of English placement test

Please Note: IELTS is the only proficiency score accepted by the Study Direct Stream (SDS) program. Additional country-specific requirements may also be applicable.

Meeting the minimum English requirements does not guarantee admission. Students with higher English proficiency scores will receive priority in the admission assessment process.


  • Term 1 $8,400.00
  • Term 2 $7,700.00
  • Term 3 $8,400.00
  • Term 4 $0.00
Total Cost of Program

Tuition fees are estimates and are subject to change each academic year. Fees do not include books (unless specifically noted), supplies or living costs.

Lambton College reserves the right to alter information including admission requirements and to cancel at any time a program or course; to change the location and/or term in which a program or course is offered; to change the program curriculum as necessary to meet current competencies or changes in the job market; to change the pathways third-party certification bodies; or to withdraw an offer of admission both prior to and after its acceptance by an applicant or student because of insufficient applications or registrations or over-acceptance of offers of admission. In the event Lambton College exercises such a right, Lambton College’s sole liability will be the return of monies paid by the applicant or student to Lambton College.

Additional Fees

  • Placement Book (mandatory)
  • Gentle Persuasion Training
  • CPR/First Aid (not provided by the College)

Costs Associated with Placement

Students are responsible for all costs associated with traveling to and from placement. There may also be an additional cost for Police Records Check which may be required in order to be eligible for placement.

Failed Placement Courses Fee

Students who fail any of the field placements courses in Term 4 will be required to pay an additional $3,325 in retake fees.


The anticipated cost for textbooks in this program is approximately $500 - $700 per term. This amount accounts for both mandatory textbook costs (included in tuition fees) as well as textbook fees not included in your tuition fee amount.

Important Dates, Deadline & Late Fees

For additional information on registration dates, deadlines and late fees please refer to Registration Dates and Deadlines.

Student Fees

A student services fee is included in your tuition.

Health Insurance Coverage

Emergency medical insurance is mandatory for all international students at Lambton College. This includes students who are full-time and part-time and who are on a co-op. This insurance is provided by - a third party insurance provider.

See Insurance Costs & Details


Technology Requirements

In order to keep pace with the requirements of each and every course in your program, Lambton College requires that each student have access to a laptop while studying at our college.


Unpaid Placement

Please be aware that field placements are unpaid opportunities for students to gain valuable work experience.

Professional Communications

This course is designed for international students with diplomas or degrees. It focuses on polishing communications skills acquired through one's academic career and workplace experience. Through various business writing and speaking scenarios, students learn Canadian business practices and communication styles, incorporating inclusivity and diversity. Close attention is paid to proper incorporation of the intellectual property of others to ensure academic integrity. Students will practice organized and dynamic speaking and will strive for polished business documents.

Introduction to Canadian Health Care

In our increasingly complex world there is a growing awareness that health care delivery is in a crisis situation. In order to make the best decisions, health care professionals must be aware of how our health care system works, where it has come from, the future of health care, and where health professionals fit within the bigger picture. This course is designed to introduce the student to these concepts by examining the interrelationships between the interrelationships between the individual, community and international health care. Also covered in this course is, the role stress plays in health, alternative and complementary health care, as well as personal and professional ethics, attitudes, and values.

Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation

This course provides an in-depth study of the scope of therapeutic recreation. Students study the historical and philosophical foundations of the professions. The role of therapeutic recreation professionals in the spectrum of health care and human service settings serving clients with a variety of disabilities is explored. A review of the various definitions used by each of the professional TR organizations, a variety of service models of practice as well as the Therapeutic Recreation process is introduced. Students develop an appreciation of the needs of people with different abilities and the barriers to recreation that they face. There is also a focus on approaches to integration within the community and the issues related to this profession. Students are introduced to ethics in the profession of Therapeutic Recreation.

Ethics & Values for the Recreational Therapist

This course is an introduction to the study of philosophy and ethics, and their application to the profession of recreation therapy. Students will evaluate a variety of ethical theories and concepts, as well as the competing ways in which these can be employed to resolve moral issues, in order to develop an ethical foundation for professional practice. Students will learn about ethical theories, including deontology and consequentialism, virtue theory, rights theory and ethical relativism. Finally, the application of such theories to ethical problems specific to professional practice. Issues such as client autonomy, rights and obligations, informed consent, notions of well-being, sexuality, conflict of values, truthfulness and fairness will be examined. Students will have the opportunity to develop decision making, judgment, and personal value positions that form the basis for the examination of professional conduct and personal accountability.

Human Relations

This course provides a forum for enhancing students' abilities and understanding of the value to human social interaction through communication and connection. This course places a strong emphasis on applied learning in the context of communicating with others, recognizing that personal development evolves from social interaction. Course topics include the study of emotion-focused brain functionality, self-understanding and awareness, understanding the importance of perception skills in relationships, developing strong verbal and nonverbal communication skills, recognizing prosocial leadership skills, understanding and establishing healthy team dynamics, and addressing conflicts in relationships.

Introduction to Community Mental Health

Effective practitioners begin their work with an understanding of how individuals think, feel, and behave. Included in this knowledge must be the contextual factors that impact wellness, including the following: personal challenges, relationships, environmental stressors, and diversity needs. The goal of this course is to provide future front-line workers with practical examples of how a mental health concern might develop and how they might respond. Examination of the biological and sociocultural determinants of addictions and mental illness, treatment options, and community resources that can be leveraged to enhance wellbeing are the key components of this course. Students will not only apply theory and diagnostic criteria to a presenting problem, but they will also become responsive to the grey areas that are unique to a person's situation.

Therapeutic Recreation Support Networks & Community Resources

This course will define formal and informal support networks essential to client adjustment and successful social recreation participation. Students will become familiar with community resources and learn how Therapeutic Recreation professionals facilitate education and guided transition to increase access.

Therapeutic Recreation Practice & Professional Portfolio

This course will provide students with a sound understanding of professional and ethical considerations related to therapeutic recreation practice in the province of Ontario. Students will examine current trends and critical issues in the field of therapeutic recreation including the role of various professional organizations, professional standards and the process of professionalization. Students will acquire the foundational knowledge and skills required to pursue internship opportunities in the field of therapeutic recreation, and will begin the process of developing a professional portfolio of learning and experiences which demonstrates essential abilities of a competent practitioner. Students will examine their role in advancing the profession and identify goals and objectives for their ongoing professional development.

Patient & Family Centred Care

Patient and Family-Centered Care (PFCC) is an approach to the planning, delivery and evaluation of healthcare based on mutually beneficial partnerships among patients, families and health care professionals. These partnerships occur at the clinical, program, organizational and policy levels to assure the quality and safety of health care delivery. This course focuses on effective leadership strategies to advance the practice of patient and family-centred care within healthcare organizations.

Patient Safety

Ensuring patient safety and healthcare quality is critical to everyone in healthcare practice. This course provides healthcare professionals with the knowledge, skill and systems thinking needed to lead the implementation of effective quality and patient safety programs. Learners will examine evidence informed, best practices and elements needed to create a culture of safety and one that engages patients in patient safety. Topics also focus on concepts of human factors, technology, medical errors and the standards and organizational practices which govern quality, safety and risk management in health care today.

Research in Therapeutic Recreation

This course will introduce the student to the research process with a focus on types of research, data collection, and analysis. Needs and issues surrounding research in the field of therapeutic recreation will be explored and consideration will be given to the reasoning underlying the research process. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of a self-reflective practice and the importance of conducting basic research in their professional careers.

Current Concepts in Health & Wellness

This course deals with health promotion strategies needed to make healthy, rational, lifestyle choices, to maintain or improve health and how to approach personal change. Students require an understanding of the bio - psycho -social processes to keep well and knowledge of the interventions that will encourage wellness, promote activity, energy and life, even empowerment. Students will also explore the philosophy of holistic health.


Adapted Recreation & Program Planning in Therapeutic Recreation

The focus of this course will be on understanding the importance of developing inclusive recreation programs and assisting clients to access activities through adaptive strategies and resources. Students will learn how to conduct activity and task analyses using a systematic approach and will source equipment and opportunities for individuals with a diverse array of interests and needs. Students will have the opportunity to facilitate, participate in, and evaluate a diverse range of adapted activities.

Diverse Abilities in Therapeutic Recreation

This course examines a diverse range of conditions that may result in limitations with varying degrees of severity that have the potential to impact many different areas of life. There will be a focus on the abilities, limitations and characteristics of conditions and their relationship to the five domains of therapeutic recreation and quality of life. Person First language will be introduced to promote a positive attitude toward people with disabilities which will foster an individual, not a categorical, approach to understanding and working with people with disabilities. Legislation supporting persons living with diverse abilities will also be discussed.

Leisure & Aging

Students will develop their knowledge of various issues related to aging including the aging process, theories on aging, ageism, implications of an aging Canadian society, and the role of recreational and leisure activity in the successful aging process. Included in this will be an exploration of various physical and cognitive ailments and disease processes commonly found in the elderly. With this knowledge, students will develop a variety of recreational and leisure programs that focus on physical, cognitive, and psychosocial elements.

Leisure Education & Counselling in Therapeutic Recreation

This course will explore the role of leisure education in assisting individuals and groups in leading a fulfilling leisure lifestyle. This course will also introduce students to counselling tools, techniques and strategies common to leisure education. Students will gain an understanding of the practical and theoretical aspects of lifespan development while studying barriers that impact leisure participation. Students will be given the opportunity to apply this theory by developing leisure awareness activities and interventions for individuals and groups in a variety of settings with a focus on therapeutic recreation.

Therapeutic Recreation Assessment

This course focuses on the role of assessment in the design, delivery and evaluation of therapeutic recreation services for diverse populations. Students will have the opportunity to examine, evaluate and apply a variety of therapeutic recreation assessment tools and techniques. This course provides the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to write therapeutic goals and objectives and to develop individual and group programming based on research. This course will also provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to demonstrate empathic interpersonal communication skills and to recognize professional and ethical considerations associated with the administration and documentation of assessments.

Therapeutic Recreation Leadership

This course will provide the student with an in-depth introduction to recreation leadership theory and techniques. Students will examine the diverse leadership roles and responsibilities of therapeutic recreation professionals as group leaders, supervisors and administrators. This course will also emphasize the understanding of group dynamics, motivation, and managing conflict. This highly interactive course will enable students to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to be effective leaders in diverse settings.

Field Placement Seminar

This course prepares students for CPL-4008 or FPP 1008 Field Placement in Term 4. Students will examine the importance of a positive attitude, and identify their strengths and areas for growth in preparation for field placement hours. They will reflect on previous experiences and begin identifying potential career opportunities in the field of recreation therapy. The seminar integrates the program's academic content with the practical experiences of the student. Students will have the opportunity to reflect on professional practice and discuss the application of theory and knowledge in the field of recreation therapy.

Post-Graduate Field Placement

This field placement is designed to consolidate all of the academic learning presented during the course of the program. Students will demonstrate competence in all of the Standards of Practice associated with the field of recreation therapy. Students will have the opportunity to integrate theory and philosophy with professional practice. During placement, students will demonstrate knowledge of the therapeutic recreation process. This will include performing an activity analysis and adaptation as required. Students will establish effective working relationships with other disciplines as they work within agencies which offer recreation therapy services.


Centre for Global Engagement


1457 London Road

Sarnia ON, N7S 6K4

After Graduation

Employment Opportunities

Using a piece of technology equipment

Graduates work in a variety of settings such as hospitals and related urgent and community care facilities, long term care and assisted living residences, rehabilitation hospitals and clinics, day programs and outpatient services, private community-based agencies. The program is designed to enable graduates to work towards the Therapeutic Recreation Ontario’s (TRO) Registration Credential (R/TRO DIP).

Looking for Support After Graduation?

The International Graduate Services & Support Centre (GSSC) is a place dedicated to assisting International alumni as they seek employment and settle into Canadian life following graduation.


Student sitting in common areas on her ipad.
Proof of certain vaccinations and police record checks may be required.

Students entering this program must meet specific field and clinical requirements by a specified deadline to be eligible for placement with our community partners.

After students have applied to Lambton College, they can login to to view specific requirements.

Student Success Story

During her time at Lambton Neethu Sara Joseph secured a placement opportunity at Bluewater Health Hospital, which later became her full-time employer when she started her career as a Substance Use Navigator. Neethu’s early success through her placement opportunity, affirmed her passion for healthcare and instilled her with a sense of purpose and drive that helped her excel in her field.

Neethu has further honed her skill as a Casual Life Enrichment Worker at Afton Park Place, a long-term care facility in Sarnia, and attributes the Therapeutic Recreation program and the opportunities that came from it to be instrumental in her post-graduation success.

Neethu Sara Joseph, Substance User Navigator

Neethu Sara Joseph, Subsance Use Navigator

Placement Requirements

Before students begin their placements, the following is required in order to be eligible for field placement.

Step 1

Before arriving in Canada, complete the following vaccinations and provide original copies of immunization receipts:

  • Tetanus/Diphtheria
  • Pertussis
  • COVID-19 Vaccine - 2 doses (approved in Canada)

Step 2

After arriving in Canada, complete the following:

  • Vulnerable Sector Background Check
  • Standard Level First Aid
  • CPR Certification (Level C)
  • Tuberculin Skin Test #1 and #2

All Step 2 requirements must be completed in Canada.

Unpaid Placement

Please be aware that field placements are unpaid opportunities for students to gain valuable work experience.

Placement Hours & Sites

A recreation therapist speaking with senior group.

Students in the Recreation Therapy program complete 430 hours of unpaid placement in a community setting.

During Term 4, students complete a block placement of 40 hours per week.

The placement sites are hand picked by Lambton College staff to ensure the best possible sites for students. Our recreation therapy coordinator works with more than 50 placement partners across the province to provide our students with different experiences, the ability to work in their home communities, and to travel.

More Information

Student Responsibilities

  • Course and program delivery schedules are proposed and subject to change for each intake.
  • Students are required to bring their own laptop with wireless capability.
  • Students are advised to bring an official copy of their most recent police clearance, driver's license, and vaccination record from their home country.
An international student smiling at desk on campus.
Set yourself up for success!

Technology Requirements

It is required that students purchase a laptop with a Windows operating system.

Internet Speed Requirements

For best performance for students learning remotely, an internet connection with a minimum of 40 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload speed is recommended in order to effectively use video conferencing and remote lecture delivery software as well as, other online resources remotely. Due to the large area over which students may be dispersed, we are unable to recommend a specific provider, so you will need to inquire around your area to find one that best suits your needs.

Minimum Laptop Requirements

In order to access the internet and virtually-delivered software and courseware, student laptops should include the following at a minimum. By meeting the following specifications, students will be equipped to access software and courseware on their laptop through the internet:

  • Intel i5 8th Gen Processor or equivalent
  • 16 GB of RAM (with a minimum of 8 GB)
  • 100 GB HDD or more
  • HD Graphics
  • Webcam with a microphone
  • Wireless 802.11n/ac 5ghz capable
  • Windows Operating System (Windows 11)


To ensure students are getting the most our of their classroom experience, some software will be required.

Lambton College has made this software easily accessible online. Students can leverage our Microsoft Office 365 software packages and services. In addition, much of the software you require for your courses will be available on demand for use on any device - on or off campus.