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Jennifer Hinton

Jennifer Hinton

Associate Professor, Associate Professor, Program Director, Clinical Coordinator

College of Health and Human Sciences

School of Health Sciences

Contact Information

Phone: 828.227.2715
Office: 434 Health and Human Sciences Building


Jennifer L. Hinton, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS, FDRT completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation from Kent State University and a Master of Science degree in Recreation and Park Administration with an emphasis in Outdoor Therapeutic Recreation from Indiana University. She holds a PhD in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with an emphasis in Recreation Therapy from Clemson University. Jennifer is currently employed as Associate Professor, Program Director, and Clinical Coordinator of the Recreational Therapy degree program at Western Carolina University. Her primary responsibility, along with her colleagues, is to ensure excellent educational opportunities for the approximately 150 majors and pre-majors in the undergraduate program. This includes teaching courses, structuring curricula, and providing service to persons with disabilities and other professionals in the region. To do this, she collaborates closely with a wide variety of professionals on campus to improve her and her students' knowledge base. For example, we work collaboratively with the HIGHTS program providing a service to youth with behavioral health diagnoses through the Adventure Based RT course. Providing service to the University at large, and the profession, can happen more readily with these collaborations. Jennifer is deeply committed to professional involvement and is currently serving on the board for the Committee for the Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education. She presents regularly at state, regional, and national workshops.


  • Ph D, Clemson University, Recreation Therapy
  • MS, Indiana University-Bloomington, Therapeutic Recreation
  • BS, Kent State University Kent Campus, Therapeutic Recreation

Teaching Interests

I have a wide variety of teaching interests. Along with overall curriculum development, my specific interests in nature and adventure-based applications provide a unique pathway for many students in the Program.

Research Interests

My research interests vary, but typically focus on curricular and credentialing aspects of the profession. I have also recently co-published on the use of dogs in therapy.

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