Recreation Therapy Practicum Placement

The Recreation Therapy Practicum program at Mohawk College is guided by the Ministry of Education’s vocational standards for Recreation Therapy in Ontario, the Essential Employability Skills that guide College education in the province of Ontario and external standards of practice for Therapeutic Recreation in Ontario through professional organizations such as TRO (Therapeutic Recreation Ontario) and APO (Activity Professionals of Ontario).

Practicum is a non-paid work experience with a college approved agency. The practicum experience is designed to benefit both the practitioner and the organization. The onsite supervisor trains and mentors the student into the field. The student provides enthusiasm, new ideas, energy and the inquiring mind of a willing developing practitioner. The mentor-practitioner exchange contributes to the growth and development of both a new generation of professionals and the profession itself (Inglish, 2009).

The Therapeutic Recreation Professional practice competencies occur over three semesters in the two year program with the goal to achieve maturity, confidence and ability to work independently in the field with minimal supervision. For this reason, the practicum program has been designed to provide 3 opportunities to progress the student through experiences of exposure, immersion and competence.

Program Highlights

Mohawk RT Intensive Program:

Mohawk College is pleased to offer a 31 week RT intensive program for students with completed allied degree or diploma. For more information, visit the Recreation Therapy Intensive Diploma program page.

Advanced Practicum Assignment Update:

Agency approval is now required for students developing programs in advanced practicum. This approval will ensure preceptors are aware of what the student programming idea is and how it will be implemented. We are encouraging students to share their programming assignment with their agency in case the agency wishes to develop their program further.

Practicum 1 Reminders:

Please remember that first practicum is an "exposure” to the field and we ask that students be able to shadow practitioners in their daily operational tasks. This will provide the student with a broad overview of what it is like to practice Therapeutic Recreation. They are not required to develop programs in first practicum unless both student and agency create that goal specifically.

We are in the process of communicating with Recreation and Leisure Service community partners in order to offer placement opportunities in the Recreation Therapy program.

Practicum Seminar

Seminar classes prepare students for the field. Faculty teach theoretical concepts that are conducive to the field of Recreation Therapy, in order to develop the fundamental skills, awareness, philosophy and professional attitude consistent with a student entering the Recreation Therapy profession. Students will be evaluated through a set of applied assignments outlined by the Practicum Coordinator. There are seminar classes attached to each practicum during second, third and fourth semester. For further information please contact Field Placement Specialist, Julie Pollock.

First Practicum (WORK 10090) provides exposure to a variety of placement opportunities across the lifespan, including Adult Day Program, Community-based programs and Long Term Care. Students will shadow practitioners in the field, while paying close attention to program delivery and program development standards outlined by TRO.

Second Practicum (WORK 10088) allows students’ to expand from exposure to immersion in the Recreation Therapy field. There are opportunities to work alongside Recreation Therapy Practitioners within the Community in Hospitals and Long Term Care Facilities, paying close attention to both assessment and documentation TRO standards of practice.

Third Advanced Practicum (WORK 10128) focuses on competence in the field. Students are encouraged and empowered to share, educate and utilize theory, facilitation techniques and creative ideas to enhance and complement the existing recreation departments they complete their Advanced Practicum training in.

Recreation Therapy Intensive Practicum (WORK 10608) focuses on immersion and competence in the field. Students are provided opportunities to work alongside Recreation Therapy Practitioners as well as encouraged to empowered to share, educate and utilize theory, facilitation techniques and creative ideas to enhance and complement the existing recreation departments they complete their intensive practicum training in. 

Practicum Requirements

Students are required to meet agency screening guidelines such as police clearance checks, medical testing and mandatory agency orientation or training as requested by the agency. Students are responsible for inquiring about the agencies requirements at the agency interview. Students are responsible for the associated costs.

Students are required to complete Mohawk College's Non-Academic Requirements through the HSTRAX. The NAR for Recreation Therapy include:

  • VSC (Vulnerable sector screening within 6 months)
  • Immunizations:
    1. MMR
    2. Tetanus, Dipheria, Pertussis
    3. Varicella (Chicken Pox)
    4. Hepatitis B
    5. Tuberculin Skin Test
    6. Mask fit (only for selected agencies)
  • Flu Vaccination (recommended)
  • FIRE
  • AODA
  • Workplace Harassment

Students will provide a photocopy of their completed Health and Safety Passport and/or proof of above requirements to their agency supervisors.

Practicum Prerequisites

Prerequisite courses for practicum provide important knowledge and essential skills to begin placement. Students will not be confirmed for placement until all academic requirements are met. Students are encouraged to refer to the Practicum Manual for more specific information.

Practicum Selection Process

The student is placed in all three practicums once they have submitted an Agency Selection Form for each practicum. Students are to provide their top two choices; one being Long Term Care, and is reviewed by the FPS before moving forward with the interview process. The FPS will do her best to provide an agency of the students’ choice, but it is not always guaranteed. Students need to be aware that they are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from their practicum.

Once approved for interview, students are instructed to contact the Agency Supervisor by phone or email to set up an interview and the Agency will confirm with the FPS once the placement is secured. Obtaining an interview with a prospective agency does not guarantee a placement. Agency Supervisors are encouraged to discuss with the potential student any medical requirements and/or agency-specific training during the interview process.

Students may not seek placement at an agency where they have an immediate relative, family friend, or any other personal relationship as this may pose as a conflict of interest. Final approval for any situation that falls into this criteria needs to be discussed with the Practicum Coordinator, Tracy Hopkins.

Practicum Hours

Recreation Therapy Practicum Outline over 2 Year Diploma Program
Practicum 1
Year 1
Winter semester January
to April
8 hours/week
x 10 weeks
Thursdays Total
80 hours
Practicum 2
Year 2
Fall Semester September
to December
16 hours/week
x 10 weeks
160 hours
Practicum 3
Year 2
Part A:
Winter Semester
to April
16 hours/week
x 10 weeks
Part A & B Combined =
Total 280 hours
Part B:
End of Winter Semester
Mid-March to end of April 3 weeks x
40 hours/week
5 weeks x 24 hours/week
Full Time
Your Choice of Days

Practicum (WORK10608)

Semester 2


Intensive Students Only  Spring/Summer Semester June to September 40 hours/week x 11 weeks  Total 430 hours  
Grand Total over 3 Placements : 520 hours


Contact Us

The Field Placement Specialist serves as a liaison between the College and Agency, and acts as consultant to the agency supporting the students’ learning experience. The FPS is the first point of contact for all agencies with questions and/or concerns pertaining to the practicum process, and is responsible for maintaining accurate information about each agency on the college database. The FPS monitors mid-term and final evaluation submissions from Agency Supervisors and responds promptly to both Agency and Student in the event of an issue or question that may arise. Please feel free to contact the Recreation Therapy Field Placement Specialist at any time:

Julie Pollock

Recreation Therapy
Julie Pollock, R/TRO
905-575-1212 ext. 2033, Office: A226
julie.pollock [at]