How do I Choose the Best Occupational Therapy Assistant Schools?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 December 2018
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The number of occupational therapy assistant schools has increased in the past three to five years as the medical community has become more accepting of the allied health services. Occupational therapy is the use of work and work-related activities to help people overcome physical, mental, and emotional issues. These therapies are internationally accepted and have been proven to benefit people who have a long-term disability or are recovering from an illness or accident.

Occupational therapy assistant programs are usually organized within a larger community or career college. When comparing occupational therapy assistant schools, there are three factors to consider: job placement programs, teaching style, and atmosphere. Most students who register in this type of program have been working in the health services field for between two and five years. This additional life experience and maturity is quite valuable in this field.

Review the occupational therapy assistant schools' job placement program. Talk with the career counselor or visit the career center. Ask about the placement rate, the different sections where students were placed in the past five years, and the types of positions they filled. Look at the list of job placement partnerships to determine if positions are available in multiple sectors, such as long-term care facilities, hospitals, and medical clinics. This is very important, as this is the only way to gain experience in this role.


Discuss the school's procedure if there is a problem, such as who the contact is and find out if the school will provide support if needed. Almost all schools have a job placement program, but the important information will be in the details. Ask to speak with a graduate or a current student on a job placement to better understand what the experience is like.

There are a wide range of teaching styles, but they can typically be divided into two groups: lecture and interactive. A lecture style is appropriate for fact-based courses. However, in an occupational therapy assistant program, the vast majority of the course should be interactive. An example of an interactive teaching style includes active class participation, question and answer sessions, and presentations.

The best occupational therapy assistant schools are usually located near a large rehabilitation center or hospital. Proximity makes it easier for the school to organize job placement programs and guest lecturers from medical professionals. This type of program is usually nine to 12 months in length, and often has continuous enrollment.

The atmosphere of the school is very important when making a selection. Take a guided tour of the facilities and campus. After the tour, walk around the public areas of the school and watch how the students interact with each other and the space. The quality of the programs, application review process, and the dedication of the students all have an impact on the general atmosphere and will help you decide if this school is for you.



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