Current Student Information
Paid and volunteer positions in recreation are great ways to gain a perspective on the many avenues one may choose within the parks, recreation, and leisure services profession. The Therapeutic Recreation (TR) curricula include fieldwork prior to the internship (PRLS 241 – Practicum) and a paid or unpaid full-time professional capstone experience (PRLS 490 – Internship). These 'real world' opportunities allow exploration of specific interests while building the resume.
PRLS 241 – PRLS Practicum
The practicum provides the sophomore-level student with an initial guided work experience in the field of recreation on one of Mason's distributed campuses. TR students volunteer 120 hours over 10 to 14 weeks during the fall (September-late November) or spring (February-late April) semester. A variety of practicum sites exist to match student interests, including the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center, The Edge, Aquatic and Fitness Center, and the Fairfax County Park Authority. Adjunct faculty serve as on-site supervisors, offering student support to ensure an exceptional experience.
After registering for the course (PRLS 241 – 3 credits) and contacting the faculty instructor of record, Dr. Kozlowski (email@example.com, 703.993.2027), students must select a site and obtain approval. This occurs in the semester preceding the practicum experience. For further information regarding the practicum, please visit Dr. Kozlowski' website at http://mason.gmu.edu/~jkozlows.
PRLS 490 – PRLS Internship
The TR internship is the capstone Mason Core requirement. Completed during the senior year, the internship provides students with an opportunity to network with outstanding professionals and to undertake tasks that allow them to independently apply their university coursework to real-life situations while completing a project for the agency. This experience helps seniors launch their professional careers, making them a more valuable asset to any hiring organization.
Interns have the opportunity to work full-time (30 to 40 hours per week) at an approved agency under a certified therpeutic recreation specialist for a minimum of 560 hours during a semester. Only one other non TR course may be taken during the internship (fall, spring, summer) semester. Senior standing is required (90 hours completed) as well as satisfactory completion of all other coursework. TR interns are supervised directly by professionals, who communicate regularly with the student's Faculty Supervisor.
Student interns must register for PRLS 490 – 12 credits, select a site, and obtain both agency and university approval during the semester preceding the internship. This will give the site supervisor and Internship Coordinator, Dr. Wiggins, ample time to develop an agency agreement. Internships can be very competitive, so it is best to plan ahead.
Details on the internship may be found in the SRHT Internship Manual
For inquiries about the internship program, please contact Dr. Brenda Wiggins, Internship Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.993.2068.
The web links below may be of interest for students and professionals needing ready access to information or contacts in the field. State, national, and international professional associations are also listed.
General Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies
Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resource Management
Association for Experiential Education (AEE)
International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR),
National Association for Interpretation (NAI)
George Wright Society
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
Wilderness Education Association (WEA)
American Camp Association (ACA)
North American Association for Environmental Education
The Student Conservation Association
Sport, Resort and Commercial Recreation