May 10, 2015

Bryant & Stratton College Announces First Occupational Therapy Assistant Program In Rochester

By B&SC News Team

Bryant & Stratton College Announces First Occupational Therapy Assistant Program In Rochester

ROCHESTER, NY (May 11, 2015)Bryant & Stratton College is proud to announce that the Greece campus will now offer an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Associate of Applied Science Degree program. This will be Rochester’s first and only OTA program. Bryant & Stratton College identified a need for trained OTA graduates in the Rochester community and developed the program to fill rising demand within the local healthcare industry. The College is accepting its first cohort of students in September at their facilities on Long Pond Road that is beginning construction on the new OTA lab.

According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for certified OTAs is expected to increase by 41 percent nationally by 2022. Bryant & Stratton College’s OTA program offers a functional degree that can be used in traditional and non-traditional settings and serves needs across a wide continuum of care-including autism, geriatric, veteran care, hospice and palliative care.

The fifth and final term of the program consists of full-time fieldwork, giving students the real-world skills and hands on education that will help them secure credentials that will allow them to immediately join the workforce. The OTA program exemplifies Bryant & Stratton College’s commitment to providing students with a unique educational experience that connects their classroom learning with practical workplace capabilities.

The College recently launched its EmployableYOU™ initiative. Under this fully integrated classroom-to-workplace experience, students develop and assess their career-related skills and embedded workplace capabilities by immersing themselves in their field of study. In this learning environment, students continue to practice and hone their skills while completing required courses. Students transfer their learning to employment preparation activities including portfolio preparation, mock interviews, resume writing, and internship/practicum experiences to leverage career search resources.

This strong connection to real-world learning starts with the instructional staff at the college. Program Director David Merlo brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the students and campus community with a 19 year teaching background. Prior to teaching, he worked in community settings where he assisted individuals with mental illness to successfully integrate into work, school, and community. He continues involvement in academic and clinical communities by serving on boards and committees, and presenting at regional and national conferences. In 2014, the American Occupational Therapy Association awarded David the highest commendation for occupational therapy assistants who have made “outstanding contributions to the advancement of occupational therapy.”

“I’ve always been passionate about making our world a better place for all. Occupational therapy engages that passion along with my creativity and love for working collaboratively with people of all ages, cultures, and abilities. Seeing the dramatically increased demand for occupational therapy services has only confirmed that I chose the right career at the right time. I am thrilled that Bryant & Stratton College will offer candidates a high quality OTA program, delivered by outstanding faculty in less than 2 years, within state-of-the-art classrooms and lab” said Merlo.

The occupational therapy assistant program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is Once accreditation of the program has been obtained, its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).

Bryant & Stratton College operates nine campuses in New York State located in Amherst, Albany, Buffalo, Greece, Henrietta, Liverpool, Orchard Park, Saratoga/Malta and Syracuse, offering degree programs in over 20 fields.

About Bryant & Stratton College:

Founded in 1854, Bryant & Stratton College has built its reputation and success on a commitment to excellence and high standards. Bryant & Stratton College is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Bryant & Stratton College has campus locations in New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as an Online Education division, and a Professional Skills Center. For over 170 years, Bryant & Stratton College has offered students access to career-relevant education leading to bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificates in the fields of business, criminal justice, design, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, human resources, paralegal studies and information technology. General information can be found on the college’s website at