Georgia Southern plans to phase out recreational therapy program

The history department at Georgia Southern University held a lecture on book burnings in the Interdisciplinary Academic Building Tuesday.

Abby Fuller

STATESBORO — While Georgia Southern will be phasing out the recreational therapy emphasis area within the recreation and tourism management program, a plan has been put in place to ensure that current students finish strong.

Students in this emphasis area must be supervised by a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) in order to be properly certified upon graduation. Georgia Southern’s only CTRS announced resignation in April, according to Ryan Schroeder, dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Current GS students in the recreational therapy program were then informed that the program is no longer available and will not accept any new students.

Later, they were told that GS would help all current students in the program finish it, according to Hannah Pryor, president of the Student Therapeutic Recreation Association.

Pryor said that because GS is the only college in the state of Georgia that offers a recreational therapy program, all of the current students enrolled in the program would have been forced to transfer to an out of state university if GS did not hire another CTRS to help current students finish out the program.

The program has now been approved to hire a full-time visiting instructor starting this fall to teach courses in the recreational therapy emphasis area and supervise internships, according to Schroeder.

“While the university’s highest-producing programs are prioritized, programs with low enrollment are routinely phased out,” Schroeder said. “The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences recognizes and appreciates the incredible value that graduates of the Recreation Therapy emphasis area bring to our communities.”

Because the recreational therapy emphasis area has had low and increasingly shrinking enrollment for consecutive semesters and lost the only faculty member who taught courses in that emphasis area, the program will be phased out.

Abby Fuller, Daily Managing Editor, [email protected]