Exciting New Program at the MEC: Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

Interested in an exciting healthcare career with excellent job security? Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) may be just the career for you. To add to the many different programs, NOVA’s Medical Education Campus (MEC) is excited to announce the adoption of the new OTA Program. The OTA program is in the initial phases of applying to Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in hopes to continue toward eventual accreditation. Occupational Therapy Assistant courses, pending ACOTE’s timeline, will start in January 2013.

Imagine the excitement of being part of NOVA’s first OTA cohort! This is an excellent time to become an occupational therapy assistant. Occupational therapy is a growing, dynamic and vibrant profession. In fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for occupational therapy practitioners will continue to grow into the foreseeable future.

So what does an occupational therapy assistant do? OTAs work with individuals of all ages to help them improve their functional capacities to participate in self-care, work and leisure pursuits under the guidance and supervision of a registered occupational therapist (OTR/L). OTAs can work in a variety of settings including: schools, rehabilitation centers, extended care facilities, acute care hospitals, outpatient clinics, mental health facilities, community mental health entities and contract agencies.

NOVA’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is designed to prepare students with entry-level skills to provide rehabilitative services to persons with psychosocial, physical and developmental impairments. The OTA program is a full-time, five-semester sequential curriculum leading to an associate in applied science degree.

For those interested in learning more about the program, please contact the Assistant Dean of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Meg Cook at mkcook@nvcc.edu or 703-822-2007. At this time, it is recommended that interested candidates refer to the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog and take the pre-requisites, at minimum, and the general education courses, as desired, if interested in pursuing this exciting career. Also, keep your eyes open for upcoming information sessions where there will be opportunities to learn more about the OTA curriculum and meet faculty.

Please also encourage students to consider earning an associate in applied science degree as an occupational therapy assistant.