Moving towards a Master’s degree as entry level into the therapeutic recreation profession is one of the hot topics in the field. Some professionals argue that students should immediately continue their education after undergrad. There are some pros and cons with this route, in my opinion. Some can argue that the young professionals receiving their masters right after undergrad may not have as much experience. Then maybe we can help this viewpoint by having more internship requirements.
In my experience, some of my peers have stated they want field experience before going back to school. Field experience is a great learning tool, especially in the Therapeutic Recreation profession, because there is no cookie cutter way of doing things. So why is it that some professions allow their professionals to work, and gain field experience, and go to school, such as online learning? The convenience of online learning flows with our busy lifestyle in today’s society. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more online masters programs for the Therapeutic Recreation profession, like Indiana University offers? In my opinion yes it would be, and it could lead to more professionals, in the field, gaining their masters.
There is the opposing viewpoint as well for masters as the entry level. Some include “Advanced degrees may exacerbate the shortage of health care workers.” (Beck) There would be more respect placed on the degree than the profession itself. There are also challenges when starting a master’s program such as; “appropriate faculty to teach at the level, support from universities, and financial concerns.” (Beck)
This current issue can be argued both ways, but I believe if we want to be a respected therapy service, we should consider having a master’s as an entry level. I am attaching a wonderful presentation from Teresa M. Beck PhD, CTRS outlining the issue. Should We Stay or Should We Go- Masters Degree as Entry Level into Therapeutic Recreation
“Should We Stay or Should We Go: Masters Degree as Entry Level into Therapeutic Recreation”
Teresa M. Beck PhD, CTRS