Temple Now Offering RT in Rehab Sciences Department
In an effort to keep the academic community of recreation professionals informed about changes occurring within higher education, the therapeutic recreation faculty at Temple University would like to share our exciting news. Since 2002, the TR program has experienced a 56% increase in the number of students majoring in therapeutic recreation at the bachelor and master’s levels and currently has an overall enrollment of close to 150 students. Effective Fall 2010, the EdM in TR is being replaced with a new M.S. in Recreation Therapy. This new degree will feature more deliberate attention to evidence-based practice, and there will be opportunities to use coursework to support specialty certification through NCTRC. TR graduate faculty will also be involved in the recently created interdisciplinary PhD in Health Ecology, so please share this important news with potential graduate students looking for a strong research focus in their doctoral program and we will be sure to share graduate/research assistantship announcements on the list serve in the upcoming months.
As part of changes in the organization of the College of Health Professions and Social Work, the TR degree programs (B.S., M.S.) will be housed in a new Department of Rehabilitation Sciences along with the degree programs of Occupational Therapy (MOT, DOT). Together, these degree programs, including the PhD in Health Ecology, will coalesce around both disciplines’ shared commitment to the social model of disability as espoused in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). This departmental change is effective July 1st 2010 and represwents new opportunities for our degree programs to become even stronger, and new opportunities for cross-disciplinary synergy are on the horizon.
I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Salzer, Director of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center Promoting Community Integration of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities at the University of Pennsylvania, has been recruited to lead the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. Mark’s community-based research focuses particularly on identifying and eliminating barriers to full community participation, including leisure and recreational activity, promoting effective utilization of mainstream community resources, and enhancing the development and effectiveness of support programs. Mark is an established collaborator with Temple’s TR faculty. In his role as Director of the RRTC, Mark solicited TR faculty involvement in writing a position statement on the role of recreation and leisure in promoting community inclusion of persons with psychiatric disabilities. Mark has also collaborated with us as a consultant on our NIH/NIMH research project that is examining the role of leisure and active living in recovery for persons with mental illness from diverse cultural backgrounds. This research project, directed by a team of faculty (Yoshi Iwasaki, Kathy Coyle and John Shank) and community partners, is entering its second year of funding and preliminary findings will be presented at the ATRA Research Institute in September.
Thus, as academic programs in research intensive universities are continuously challenged to maintain relevance and rigor, I am pleased to share with you on behalf of all TR faculty these most recent changes that will help sustain Temple’s longstanding excellence in TR teaching, research, and service.
John Shank, EdD, CTRS
Professor and Chair
Therapeutic Recreation Department
College of Health Professions & Social Work