Bradford Woods Professional Training Series
Therapeutic Outdoor Programs (TOP) is a 16 credit graduate certificate program, and 15 credit undergraduate minor, offered through the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies (RPTS), providing students and therapeutic outdoor professionals with a comprehensive foundation of the theoretical components and practical application of outdoor adventure therapy. The graduate certificate and TOP minor allow interested students to participate in specific classes that will enhance their ability to effectively teach, assess, and facilitate groups with specific needs in a variety of settings.
In the past 20 years, the number of organizations offering therapeutic outdoor programs has greatly increased providing an often unmet need in medical or therapeutic interventions. TOPs can contribute a unique venue towards improved health and quality of life for diverse populations. However, there are few comprehensive training or educational programs currently available in therapeutic outdoor practice. The Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies TOP Certificate, at Indiana University, offers students the opportunity to bridge a unique skill set of the theoretical and experiential not offered through any other program or department on campus.
Students completing the Therapeutic Outdoor Program certificate, or undergraduate minor, will learn a broad range of therapeutic interventions, philosophical and theoretical foundations, as well as opportunities to develop the experiential skills essential to the profession. Students will also enhance their understanding of the current knowledge, practices, and professional standards associated with therapeutic outdoor programs.
Requirements for the certificate: Completed BA/BS degree, with a 2.5 cumulative GPA. An overall 3.0 GPA minimum is required for the TOP Certificate. Students earning lower than a C- (1.7) in any of the TOP Certificate courses must retake the course.
O504: Therapeutic Outdoor Program Instructorship
This course addresses the techniques, knowledge, and procedures used in the instruction and supervision of individuals and groups with specific needs in Therapeutic Outdoor Programming (TOP) environments. Group leadership, program planning for specific needs populations, teaching techniques, and other skills necessary in adventure settings such as client assessment and adaptations are discussed and applied experientially. (3 cr)
O521: Group Processes and Adventure Facilitation
This course investigates the philosophies, theories, and practice of facilitation in adventure education combining critical inquiry and discussion with direct experience. Participants will negotiate and navigate the roles of student, collaborator, facilitator, and instructor through the lens of adventure facilitation. (3 cr)
O520: Principles of Therapeutic Outdoor Programs
This course is designed to provide an examination of the foundational principles regarding the use of outdoor settings and programs as therapeutic interventions in the development and promotion of overall wellness, skill building, and social/behavioral growth for persons or groups with specific needs. (3 cr)
Y561: Advanced Therapeutic Recreation Processes
This course involves in-depth discussion of the application of the recreational therapy (RT) process through individualized assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. This course also presents the clinical application of the RT process in the therapeutic use of activity to address client needs and build on client strengths, as well as develop knowledge in the application of the TR process within self-identified diagnostic groups. (3 cr)
R695: Practicum in Therapeutic Outdoor Programs
Students work closely with professionals in the TOP field in a mentor relationship in order to advance and apply skills as a practitioner working directly with specific therapeutic groups and TOP programs in a pre-approved setting. (4 cr)
TOTAL GRADUATE CERTIFICATE CREDITS = 16
For more information regarding the University TOP Certificate program, please click here.
The TOP minor is offered through the Department of RPTS
Course prescription for a minor in Therapeutic Outdoor Programs - 15 credits (Note: no substitutions allowed)
Voight, Ph.D., CTRS
Shay Dawson, M.A., CTRS
Jennifer Piatt, PhD, CTRS
Chuck Dietzen, MD
For more information, contact: