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Questions to Ask Your Potential OTA Program

Dr. Nicole Scheiman

As you narrow down your list of potential occupational therapy assistant (OTA) programs, be sure to take advantage of opportunities to talk to program faculty, students, and alumni. While a webpage or brochure can give you lots of great program details, there’s nothing quite like getting the an inside perspective directly from the source. Here are a list of questions you will want to ask on campus visits and in follow-up conversations with the schools on your list. 

  1. What is the school’s National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam pass rate? Remember: You must pass the national board exam to practice as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).
  2. What percentage of graduates are employed? Employment placement rate is important because it indicates how well the program can help you secure a job when you graduate. Do employers seek out this University’s graduates to fill their open positions?
  3. How many students does the school accept per cohort? How many cohorts do they accept per year? This makes a significant difference with faculty to student ratios and the school’s ability to meet each student’s needs. What is the faculty to student ratio during hands-on lab experiences? Will you have the feedback you need during active simulations?
  4. Will the school provide you with contact information to speak with graduates? Current students? It is important to get feedback from those who have completed the program and those who are currently in the program.
  5. How accessible are the professors? Do they have office hours and/or open door policies? Do they answer emails in a timely manner?
  6. What makes the program unique? This is important, as each program is different and can focus on distinct aspects of the profession.
  7. What is the culture or environment of the program? Of the classes? This is particularly important, as you want to ensure you and the program are a great fit!
  8. What do students like best about the OTA program? Likely, it is what you will like best too!
  9. Are fieldwork opportunities completed offsite with current OT practitioners or on campus as simulations? It is important to know how many opportunities you will have to take your skills into the real community with real patients and clients!
  10. How many years of clinical experience do each of the faculty have? You want to ensure your professors have lots of clinical experience and in varied areas, such as mental health, pediatrics, and adult rehabilitation.
  11. What are the benefits of an OTA-B program versus an OTA-A program?
  12. Will there be a choice of completing fieldwork near HU or going home to complete it?

We would LOVE to answer all these questions for you about our occupational therapy assistant bachelor’s degree program at Huntington University! Please make an appointment to visit us and tour our dedicated classroom, our occupations lab, skills lab, and dedicated pediatric lab! You can also tour the University and even spend some time in our classes with our current students.

Learn more about HU’s OTA program at huntington.edu/OTA.

Written by
Dr. Nicole Scheiman