Internship & Praticum

Internships and Practicum 

Student in black shirt

All Recreation Therapy students are required to gain practical experience under the supervision of a professional. All students are required to complete practicum (Pre-Internship field learning) and Internship (14 consecutive weeks).


RECL 169: Practicum in Recreation Therapy = 100 hours of observation and hands-on learning.

Procedures to Add RECL 169 and to Complete Practicum Learning Hours

The RECL 169 form is now online.

If you are ready to complete practicum and add RECL 169 please follow these procedures:

1.    Look for a practicum site using the resources listed on this website (click here)

2.    Update your resume.

3.    Once they find a site willing to mentor their practicum, the student should complete the next steps.

4.    Forward an email from the site supervisor that provides proof that the supervisor has accepted the practicum student (does not need to be fancy).

5.    Student completes the online electronic 169, 170ABC FORM. (this includes 3 learning objectives that they copy from the practicum learning checklist). It is best if the supervisor approves the 3 learning objectives. It is critical that you carefully read the directions noted at the beginning of this form. Email Dr. Ross if the following link does not work. Https://

6.    Request an add code from Dr. Suzy Ross,  Add RECL 169.

7.    Upload your revised resume to Canvas dropbox.

8.    Complete practicum hours and learn using the Practicum/Internship Learning Checklist. Please take this list to your practicum site and show it to your supervisor so you can both and use it to help guide your learning and activities. Please carefully read the directions at the top of the page.

9.    Upon completion of your hours, the site supervisor will complete an online evaluation of your performance. This is a requirement for your grade. Email Dr. Ross if this link does not work.

10.Upon completion of  hours, upload a scanned copy of your Practicum/Internship Learning Checklist to Canvas dropbox. Keep in mind, you will ONLY check off learning items that you learned---items that described what you learned during practicum. You will NOT check every single item. That is not realistic. Practicum learning usually only covers items identified in “Month One.”


RECL 170A: Pre-internship 1-unit course meets the semester before your internship. Meets 4-5 times during the semester.

Purpose is to review internship requirements and update resume content, hone interviewing skills, receive national exam pointers, and examine the internship competency-learning checklist. Passing grade requires a secured internship placement (accepting an internship offer). 

  1. Submit your request for Internship placement using the electronic 170A FORM. Make certain to follow the directions at the top of the page.
  2. The university internship supervisor will approve or disapprove the internship placement.
  3. Upon approval, if there is no liability contract with that agency, the university RT Director will work with the SJSU procurement office and the internship agency to write and complete a liability contract.
  4. Begin making plans to start your internship.


RECL 170C: Internship - 560 hour (40 hours/week for 14 consecutive weeks); a semester-long placement at an agency.

What is internship? The student works directly with a certified Recreation Therapist to develop knowledge, skills and abilities required to meet entry-level competencies.

Recreation Therapy Internship Procedures

  1. Request an add code for RECL 170C (10 units).
  2. Obtain the syllabus and course requirements via Canvas.
  3. Student begins internship.
  4. Complete a midterm evaluation, major project, final evaluation and other requirements indicated in the syllabus. A mid-term evaluation includes a 20-minute conference call that includes the student, agency supervisor, and university supervisor.
  5. Upon completion of your internship, submit all 170C requirements to Canvas dropbox before the indicated deadline.
  6. At semester’s end, a pass/fail grade is submitted that records student effort, action, and competency attainment.

Internship and Practicum Location Lists

(FYI - There are hundreds not on this list. Research and discover one that is just right for you). You are not limited to this area.

 VA Practicum

VA Internship Materials

Certification Information Websites and Forms


Practicum Q & A:

What Is Practicum?

Where Will I Do This?

When Should I Start?

How Do I Find An Agency?

When Do I Take RECL 169 Practicum Class?

Do I Have To Do All 100 Hours During The Semester I Take Practicum Class?

How Else Can I Maximize My Success?


What Is Practicum? Practicum is pre-internship, hands-on-learning experience working with a Recreation Therapist for 100 hours. This often involves observation, coaching, and interactions with clientele.


Where Will I Do This?  You will be working in a location you choose that can range from highly medical to non-medical. It is best to start your practicum in a non-medical community-oriented setting and gain experience and exposure to people with various needs/conditions. Once you gain experience, it is suggested that you complete some practicum with a medical oriented agency.


When Should I Start?  Practicum is arguably the most important aspect of your entire degree. Currently, you are only required 100 hours of practicum however; if you only complete the minimum of 100 hours you will have far fewer internship options and weaken your ability to get a good job right out of college. Maximizing practicum hours is extremely important to your success.

This means that you should start your practicum NOW. See the internships tab for our Dept. website for lists first and then request a meeting with Dr. Ross if you would like help with a referral.

It is suggested that you take the HRTM 169 class right away (2nd semester of your major) and then continue to do some practicum hours each semester of your curriculum from there.


How Do I Find An Agency?  Please look on the board outside of the Department Office.

Also, please go to the practicum/internship database found on Practicum and Internship Database Updated February 2014 and look at different kinds of agencies.  I apologize that this list is outdated and my not have accurate information since personnel and agencies make changes all of the time.

Also, please look at the State of California CBRPC list of approved internship sites.


When Do I Take RECL 169 Practicum Class? Take this class as soon as possible. During the semester you take this class you will be required to use a learning checklist found at (170A and 170C TR Practicum and Internship Learning Checklist). Use this list to track your learning. You will turn this in at the end of your practicum along with an evaluation form found on that same website.


Do I Have To Do All 100 Hours During The Semester I Take Practicum Class?  Yes. If this is humanly impossible, please talk with Dr. Ross about an exception.


How Else Can I Maximize My Success?  Diversity of practicum settings.

We suggest that by starting early, you can rotate to all sorts of different types of settings and expose yourself to diverse people, agencies, diagnosis, conditions, ages, etc.  This will maximize your opportunities for internship and a future career.


Faculty Advisor, Recreation Therapy Internship

  • Name:   Susan L. Ross, Ph.D., CTRS, RTC
  • Office:   SPX 205
  • Email: