Internships in Sports and Fitness - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Internship Application and Deadlines

If you wish to be considered for an internship, you will need to send a current resume and submit a completed application.

RIC Adaptive Sports and Fitness, and Clinical Therapeutic Recreation Application [PDF]

Applications for fall, spring, or summer internships must be received by the following dates in order to be considered.

  • Fall: June 1
  • Spring: October 1
  • Summer: March 1

INTERNSHIPS:

RIC Adaptive Sports and Fitness Program & Clinical Therapeutic Recreation Program

An internship with either the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's (RIC) Adaptive Sports and Fitness Program or the Clinical Therapeutic Recreation Program offers unparalleled access to hands-on, real-life work experience in a dynamic environment at the top-ranked rehabilitation hospital in the US.

These disciplines work together to help our clients meet their goals. RIC’s Adaptive Sports and Fitness Program and Clinical Therapeutic Recreation Program routinely collaborate with physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and other professionals within RIC, as part of a comprehensive system of care aimed at enhancing a person’s quality of life.

Community-based Internships

The RIC Adaptive Sports and Fitness Program provides interns with an opportunity to gain vital work experience with two distinct internship programs:

Fitness Center

The RIC Fitness Center is a universally designed fitness facility catering to the health and wellness needs of people with a wide range of physical disabilities through one-on-one programs and group and specialized classes.

An internship with the RIC Fitness Center is especially suited for people who are highly motivated, with a strong drive to think creatively, who are interested in working with diverse populations, and who aspire to help others reach their maximum potential through fitness and fitness-related activities.

Fitness Center Internship Information

About the RIC Fitness Center

Located in the heart of Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, the Fitness Center of the RIC Adaptive Sports and Fitness Program is the largest single program offered, with an active annual membership of nearly 1000 people living with a physical disability or visual impairment. The 9000 square foot on-site fitness center features a full line of state of the art strength and cardio equipment and offers a variety of specialized fitness classes and one-on-one services. To learn more visit the Services and Classes pages.

Interning with the RIC Fitness Center will provide students with hands-on learning and increasing responsibilities that will help each intern build upon their education and develop a solid foundation on which to build their future goals.

Who will be considered for an internship?

Junior and senior students from undergraduate and students of graduate programs are accepted from a variety of majors, such as:

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Exercise Science
  • Kinesiology
  • Other health related fields

What can an intern expect?

Interns with the Fitness Center have many responsibilities, including:

  • Covering the fitness center floor and assisting members with machines and adaptive equipment.
  • Performing client evaluations, which include comprehensive evaluation of ROM and strength.
  • Leading member classes
  • Observing special programs such as personal training and functional fitness sessions and assisting the exercise physiologists in creating and implementing exercise programs.
  • Attending meetings and educational sessions
  • Representing RIC’s Adaptive Sports and Fitness Program with the hospital and in the community

All interns are required to develop, implement if appropriate, and complete an Internship Project. Projects can encompass a range of topics. Recent projects have included a member incentive program, survey of city accessibility, and creating member educational sessions/programs. Projects will be assigned and must be approved by the intern supervisor and Fitness Center manager.

Fitness Center interns also may have opportunities to assist with research and advanced exercise testing, and work with the Adaptive Sports Program with adults and youth.

Interns will be assigned a supervisor whom s/he will work closely with in addition to being an integral part of the Fitness Center team.


See the General Internship Information page for features and requirements of all Adaptive Sports and Fitness Center internships.

Adaptive Sports

RIC's Adaptive Sports Program, one of the oldest programs in the US, is a progressive program providing competitive and recreational opportunities for people of all ages with physical disabilities. It includes youth and adult programming, military programming, and Caring for Kids – a noncompetitive program for youth.

This internship is for those interested in adaptive sports, who are self-directed, who seek a career related to sports, adaptive sports, or program/event management, and who welcome an unconventional schedule.

Adaptive Sports Program Internship Information

About the RIC Adaptive Sports Program

The RIC Adaptive Sports Program was established in 1981 and is one of the largest and most comprehensive community based multi-sport, year-round programs in the United States. Hosting programs at facilities throughout the community as well as at our home at the RIC Fitness Center, the Adaptive Sports Program is comprised of three program areas:

Accepting an internship with the Adaptive Sports Program at RIC will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of adaptive sports programming, program strategizing, planning and management, as well as working with diverse populations.

Who will be considered for an internship?

Applications from junior and senior students from undergraduate and students from graduate programs are considered from a variety of majors, such as:

  • Adaptive Physical Education
  • Community Recreation
  • Kinesiology
  • Sports Management
  • Therapeutic Recreation
  • Other related fields…contact the Sports Program Manager if you are interested in pursuing an internship but do not have a background in one of these areas.

What can an intern expect?

Interns with the RIC Adapted Sports Program have a variety of responsibilities, including:

  • Assisting Sports Program Coordinator/s in all aspects of program implementation
  • Independently leading at least one program under sports coordinator’s supervision
  • Recruiting and managing volunteers
  • Representing the Adapted Sports Program within the hospital and in the community
  • Assisting with and traveling to tournaments with sports teams
  • Reporting program outcomes and other administrative duties as assigned
  • Working weekends, evenings, local and regional travel, which may include overnight stays

In addition to the above responsibilities, Caring for Kids internships follow the guidelines set forth by the NCTRC that requires interns to:

  • Commit to a 14-week internship
  • Complete a major long-term project enhancing delivery of services provided by Caring for Kids program
  • Visit and observe clinical therapies
  • Assess participants and lead groups focused on enhancing physical, social and emotional goals
  • Caring for Kids interns may also be involved in assisting with Adaptive Sports and Fitness programs

Students accepting an internship with the Caring for Kids program will have a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) as their immediate supervisor who s/he will work closely with while at RIC. Students seeking to sit for the NCTRC exam will be given priority for internship openings with the Caring for Kids program.


See the General Internship Information page for features and requirements of all Adaptive Sports and Fitness Center internships.


Clinical-based Internships

Therapeutic Recreation

The Therapeutic Recreation Department strives to assist patients at RIC return to an independent and fulfilling quality of life through leisure, cultural, and recreational activities.

An internship with the Therapeutic Recreation Department is great for people who want exposure to a variety of patient populations and experience in helping individuals lead healthy and active lifestyles as independently as possible through the use of recreation activities, education, skill development, and community reintegration opportunities.

Clinical Therapeutic Recreation

About the RIC Clinical Therapeutic Recreation Program

The Clinical Therapeutic Recreation Program is an integral part of a patient’s rehabilitation process while at RIC. The team works closely with other allied health professionals to devise treatment objectives that can range from leisure skills training and community reintegration outings, to leisure education sessions and recreational resource awareness. Based on a leisure assessment, a treatment plan is developed to aid the patient’s rehabilitation goals and leisure interests. Therapies may involve recreational therapy, music therapy, horticultural therapy, art therapy, and animal-assisted therapy.

A student accepting an internship with the RIC Clinical Therapeutic Recreation Program will gain valuable experience working directly with patients with a variety of disabilities including, spinal cord injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, amputation, cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and auto-immune diseases.

Who will be considered for an internship?

Internships with the RIC clinical-based therapeutic recreation program are limited to senior undergraduate and graduate students majoring in therapeutic recreation only and who are seeking to sit for the NRTRC.

Interns are selected by the manager of the Therapeutic Recreation Department. Each intern will have a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) as their immediate supervisor who s/he will work closely with while at RIC.

What can an intern expect?

Interns with the Clinical Therapeutic Recreation Department have many responsibilities, including:

  • Participating in patient team huddles and working closely with other disciplines to achieve patient goals
  • Leading individual and group therapy sessions
  • Completing necessary documentation and goal writing
  • Assisting with Adaptive Sports and Fitness programs
  • Writing inpatient therapeutic recreation assessments, treatments, and evaluations
  • Engaging patients in leisure time activities, music, art, and animal assisted therapies

In addition to these responsibilities, interns are required to:

  • Attend one Grand Rounds presentation
  • Independently arrange a visit to and report on a therapeutic recreation department in another facility
  • Prepare and present one case study
  • Complete a major long-term project enhancing delivery of services provided by the Clinical Therapeutic Recreation program

Interns are expected to attend all program meetings, meet with their supervisor weekly, and represent the department within the hospital as well as in the community, which may require evening and weekend hours.


See the General Internship Information page for features and requirements of all Adaptive Sports and Fitness Center internships.


See the General Internship Information page for features and requirements of all Adaptive Sports and Fitness Center internships.