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Academic Accreditation - CARTE


Committee on ACCREDITATION of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE)

The Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE), an organization created to develop minimal quality standards for accrediting university education programs in the field, was established in 2010 and is sponsored by ATRA.  CARTE is an approved accreditation program under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).


CARTE and ATRA entered into a ten-year contract from 2013-2022 in an effort to stabilize and standardize higher education program accreditation specifically for the field.


The mission of CARTE is to promote the highest levels of professional competence of recreational therapists through: 

  •  The development and promotion of professional preparation standards;
  • The encouragement of excellence in educational program development; and 
  • The accreditation of recreational therapy professional preparation programs


CARTE Board nominations now being accepted 

The committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE) is currently soliciting applicants for the following opportunities to service as board members:

  • Student - 1 year term (one position)
  •  Recreational Therapist Practitioner - 3 year term (two positions)
  • Recreational Therapy Employer - 3 year term (one position)
  • Professional Educator - 3 year term (one position)


Read the official announcement for qualifications, criteria, and nomination procedures. For more information, consult the CAAHEP website.



ATRA believes that a single form of academic program accreditation is essential in ensuring consistent content and rigor among undergraduate recreational therapy programs. One of ATRA’s Guiding Principles is our belief in “evidenced based practice, professional credentialing, and accreditation” (ATRA, 2015). Additionally, one of the key findings from the ATRA Higher Education Task Force was to strengthen and standardize undergraduate recreational therapy curricula.


Current Status

In support of our guiding principles, findings from the Higher Education Task Force, and in support of consistent RT educational experiences, ATRA sponsors the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE). ATRA believes accreditation through CARTE is the best method for ensuring consistent content and rigor within undergraduate RT educational programs due to its sole focus on curriculum competencies related to recreational therapy.


Adopted by ATRA Board of Directors | August 2019


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