The Allied Health Sciences Department at Jackson State Community College is readying for the launch of a new Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program. It is anticipated that the first class will be admitted in the fall semester of 2015. This is pending approval and receipt of developing program status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
Dr. Julie Bezold joined the allied health team at JSCC as the OTA program director in the fall and is in the process of coordinating resources for a successful launch of the program. Bezold comes to JSCC with an extensive background in occupational therapy as both a practitioner and an operator of an outpatient rehabilitation clinic.
Bezold states that she is excited for the opportunity that this program brings to Jackson and the communities of West Tennessee. A career as an OTA is very rewarding for those who choose it as a career path. OTAs make such a positive impact in the quality of life for so many people.
The OTA associate degree program will prepare students to assist people of all ages, with varying abilities or disabilities, to become independent in their day-to-day activities. Students will learn to act as part of a rehabilitation team, under the supervision of an occupational therapist, to assist in data collection needed for a patients initial evaluation, carry out treatment plans, use technology to help people overcome disabilities, and design activities to help people reach their goals.
Upon successful completion of all degree requirements and pending accreditation status from ACOTE, the student will be eligible to apply for state licensure and sit for the National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapy Assistants. After successful completion of this exam, students will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Upon successful completion of the COTA exam, students will be eligible for state licensure.
Applications for the fall program will be accepted from January until May 31, 2015. Applicants with complete applications will be scheduled for group interviews. Students will be notified by the end of June, 2015 regarding program acceptance. Due to the large number of expected applications, not all applicants may be interviewed for the OTA program, Bezold states. It is in the students best interest to submit a completed application.
Students interested in applying to the program must have a minimal 2.5 GPA and completed anatomy and physiology I, with a C or higher, within the five years before the student expects to begin the program. Students are encouraged to make contact with the OTA Department to investigate the program and receive advisement. Information regarding the program can be found at www.jscc.edu/ota. Julie Bezold can be reached at 731-424-3520 (ext. 50755) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org answer questions and advise prospective students.