Therapeutic Recreation Services and Child Life
This option concentrates on the philosophy that recreation is essential to people's overall development. Following the guidelines set by the National Recreation and Park Association and the National Therapeutic Recreation Society, students work in settings serving people with physical, emotional, psychiatric, and developmental disabilities. Students also work with older adults, people with chronic illness, people with substance abuse problems, and individuals in correctional institutions.
Graduates are able to help people develop and maintain their health and well-being through therapy, leisure education, and recreation activities to promote a quality leisure lifestyle. Completing the option will prepare students for certification as a therapeutic recreation specialist.
Students in this option take courses in leadership, program planning, processes in therapeutic recreation and public relations. They also take courses in chronic illnesses, programming for persons with disabilities, the legal aspects of sport and recreation, and personnel.
Internship opportunities for students completing the therapeutic recreation services option have included:
- Gaylord Hospital
- Loomis Village
- Sisters of Providence Health Systems
- Western Massachusetts Hospital
Related Springfield College Clubs include:
- Campus Community Service Club
- YMCA Club
Employment opportunities within the therapeutic recreation profession have included:
- Camps and outdoor recreation settings
- Correctional facilities
- Hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities
- Mental health and substance abuse agencies
- Rehabilitation centers
- Senior citizen centers
- Sheltered workshops and vocational training centers
Child Life Option
Students in the therapeutic recreation option can also complete the child life option. Following the theoretical foundations of family-centered care and the values set by the Child Life Council, this option prepares students for certification as a child life specialist. Course material includes child development, working with hospitalized children and their families, and psychosocial clinical issues and techniques.
Internship opportunities for students completing the child life option have included:
- Baystate Children’s Medical Center
- Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
- Shriner’s Hospital
- UNC Health Care
Child life specialists can work in clinical settings such as:
- Short Stay/Day Surgery
- Inpatient Unit
- Emergency Department
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
- Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
- Burn Unit
For more information about the therapeutic recreation option or child life option, contact Matthew J. Pantera, chairperson of the Sport Management and Recreation Department, at (413) 748-3749. For general admissions questions, contact the Office of Admissions at (800) 343-1257.