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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 $54,520, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The program will also emphasize community projects. Students enrolled in the program since last year will be starting work this week on the creation of a sensory garden for the disabled and visually impaired at Wil-O-Way Grant (207 S. Lake Drive, Milwaukee). The college is approved to enroll another 18 students this fall.
For more information or to enroll, visit www.bryantstratton.edu or call the Wauwatosa campus at 414-302-7000.
About Program Accreditation
The occupational therapy assistant program is accredited 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 www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program 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). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
About Bryant & Stratton College:
Founded in 1854, Bryant & Stratton College has built its reputation and success on a commitment to excellence and high standards. We're proud to be regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, (267) 284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. 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 160 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 https://www.bryantstratton.edu.