The recreational therapy faculty shortage: A crisis for the profession


  • Marieke Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS, FDRT
  • David R. Austin, PhD, FDRT, FALS



doctorate, faculty, recreational therapy, shortage


A national shortage of doctorally prepared faculty is threatening the health and longevity of the field of recreational therapy. As more faculty reach retirement age, there are few new doctorally trained recreational therapists available to fill this gap. In 2014 alone, more than 15 faculty positions were available, and there was only one new PhD on the market. When existing faculty move to fill these positions, gaps are created in university recreational therapy programs across the country. This article reviews how substantial and potentially damaging this shortage is and provides a number of suggestions for addressing the shortage. These suggestions include retaining senior faculty, increasing the number of doctorally prepared recreational therapists, and recruiting new faculty.

Author Biographies

Marieke Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS, FDRT

Professor, Recreational Therapy Coordinator, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina.

David R. Austin, PhD, FDRT, FALS

Professor Emeritus, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana


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How to Cite

Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS, FDRT, M., & Austin, PhD, FDRT, FALS, D. R. (2015). The recreational therapy faculty shortage: A crisis for the profession. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 14(1), 35–42.




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