Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Have My Copy -- Better Get Your Own

I just received my copy of the newly published Guidelines for Competency Assessment and Curriculum Planning for Recreational Theapy Practice. This is the 2nd edition of this important publication. As with the 1st edition, published in 1997, ATRA is the publisher.

Ray West, Terry Kinney, and Jeff Witman served as editors for the new Guidelines. We all owe them a great deal of appreciation for their fine efforts.

It hardly seems possible to me that it has been more than 10 years since the 1st edition of the Guidelines was published. That publication was an important event because it established guidelines universities could use to develop and evaluate their programs. The Guidelines also offered students with a means to assess potential university curricula to determine how complete they were, as well as offering a yardstick for self-assessment. I know of one university that had the students use the Guidelines competencies to assess themselves after their sophmore year and then, again, as they completed their degrees. Students could then see the great gains they had made in developing themselves for careers in RT.

For practitioners the Guidelines marked a step forward for their profession. Their profession could be made stronger by universities employing the guidelines to make sure the professional preparation they provided met the guidelines. Also, the practitioners could directly apply the compentencies to themselves to self-assess whether their skills were keeping up with those called for in the Guidelines.

The 1st edition of the Guidelines certainly had a large impact on the profession. Now the new, revised edition has the potential to move the profession forward once again. It contain up-to-date information that faculty, students, and practitioners can immediately use.

All practitioners should make sure that their departments order a copy of the new Guidelines so they will have ready access to it. Faculty need to made sure they own personal copies and that they require students to purchase copies as a textbook.

Copies of the Guidelines are available from ATRA's online bookstore.


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