May 16, 2016

Milwaukee Area to Benefit from Accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

By B&SC News Team

Milwaukee Area to Benefit from Accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

The greater Milwaukee area and students alike will benefit from a newly accredited occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program at Bryant & Stratton College’s Wauwatosa campus – one of only two like it in the area. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Students with a degree from an accredited program are eligible to sit for the national certification exam.

“It is so exciting for the Milwaukee area to have another OTA program,” said Deb McKernan-Ace, OTA program director at Bryant & Stratton College. “It was a long process working through the national accreditation process but it was worth it. This is a much needed program that is great for students and the community.”

Considered one of the fastest growing careers, OTAs are ranked the top healthcare support job in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report. Demand for OTAs is expected to grow by 40% over the next decade, due in large part to an aging population. OTAs helps patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. When it comes to the elderly, OTAs can help them live independently for longer in their own homes.

Students will benefit from a new occupational therapy assistant lab on-campus that teaches students the latest techniques in helping patients get acclimated in home settings. The lab is furnished to allow students to practice everyday tasks with patients, such as cooking, cleaning, and getting out of bed. In both the classroom and fieldwork, the program teaches students to work in a variety of unique areas, including non-medical settings such as senior centers, YMCAs, and community mental health agencies.

“We want to emphasize the breadth of the profession and all the possible places for employment,” explained McKernan-Ace. The median annual wage for OTAs is