Frequently Asked Questions - Practicum in Therapeutic Recreation

Q: When is a student eligible for the internship/practicum course?
A: An acceptable internship/practicum must be completed after all required therapeutic recreation, support, and elective coursework is completed. The student must have a GPA equal to or greater than 2.5 before they can commence on their internship/practicum.

Q: How long is the internship/practicum?
A: The internship/practicum experience will take place over a 15-week period. The total minimum number of required hours is 560.

Q: How do students select their internship/practicum sites?
A: With the assistance of the academic supervisor, students will select potential internship/practicum sites and may or may not be asked to make initial contact with the agency. If you have a contact that you think could be a supervisor, please let the practicum coordinator know as soon as possible (devan.mcneill@uleth.ca). They will make sure the contact is able to be contacted directly or through a different process. Once an internship agreement is complete, the student submits the agreement form to the academic supervisor for final approval. There is a pre-internship survey form that students will be asked to complete. This will assist the student in recognizing the type of setting, location, and population that interests them. This survey will also provide assistance to the academic supervisor when supporting the student to find a placement.

Q: When may students look for internship/practicum sites?
A: Students are encouraged to begin researching possible internship sites once they have completed 10 courses or 30 credits.

Q: Who qualifies as a site/agency supervisor?
A: According to NCTRC, an acceptable internship must have one (1) identified primary supervisor. The primary supervisor is responsible for working with the student on a consistent basis, coordinates all other secondary supervision, and completes all evaluation materials and weekly reports pertaining to the internship experience. Individuals must have had their CTRS credential for at least one year in order to supervise. You can go to www.NCTRC.org and place the supervisor’s last name there and see if they have had their credential for at least 1 year.

Q: Can students get paid for their internship/practicum?
A: Typically the internship is unpaid. The agency is not required to arrange living quarters for students or defray student living expenses while they are engaged in the internship; however, there are some that may partially cover expenses or allow for a stipend to be given to the student. Students are also responsible for parking, transportation, insurance, and other costs associated with the role.

Q: How will students be evaluated and graded?
A: Students will receive a pass/fail upon completion of their internship experience. The grade will be based on the agency supervisor’s evaluation and satisfactory completion of assignments. Students are required to achieve a minimum final GPA greater than 2.5 in order to attain credit for TREC 4550.

Q: Can students complete an international internship/practicum?
A: Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and submit a Letter of Intent written by the student about why they are interested in this experience, 3 letters of reference (supervisors, employers, faculty, clergy, etc.), and an interview with Faculty and the Internship Coordinator. If students are interested in this option then they must discuss this with the practicum coordinator one year in advance.

Q: Once a student graduates with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Lethbridge and complete their internship/practicum are they automatically considered a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS)?
A: For students from the program to become a CTRS they must meet NCTRC’s requirements. By graduating from the program (including completing all required courses), and by completing the internship under an NCTRC approved CTRS supervisor, students are then eligible to apply to NCTRC to write the exam for CTRS designation. There are other routes to becoming a CTRS, however these need to be discussed with NCTRC. The BTR program is set up for students to become CTRS; however, it is not something that the university grants. NCTRC is the only organization to grant the CTRS designation (NCTRC.org).

Q: What supports are available to students pertaining to the internship/practicum?
A: Prior to the internship there will be several internship information sessions where pertinent internship information will be provided to students. These will start approximately 1 year prior to the internship commencing. It is important that students attend these meetings so the various internship components are understood by the student. The practicum coordinator and program coordinator are available to provide support to the student prior to and during the internship. An internship crisis plan will also be created by the student to assist in recognizing the specific supports available to them during their internship.

Q: Are there tuition fees during the internship/practicum?
A: Yes – The internship is considered a full time five-course (15.0 credit hour) semester and tuition fees are calculated accordingly.

Q: Other than the actual internship, are there any other expectations during the semester that the internship takes place?
A: Yes – Students will have assignments that require completion on top of the on-site internship. These will pertain to the internship, but will generally need to be completed on the student’s own time outside of the internship hours.