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Individuals interested in learning about the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at East Central College are urged to attend one of the upcoming information sessions.


Sessions are scheduled for Thursday, March 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30  p.m.; Tuesday, April 30 from noon to 1 p.m.; and Tuesday, May 21 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Room 105 of the Health and Science Building on ECC’s Union campus.


At each session Dr. Lea Brandt, OTA program director, will explain the occupational therapy assistant’s role with the healthcare team, admission requirements for the program, the application process and the job outlook for OTA graduates.


Started in 2010, the OTA program is unique because it partners the University of Missouri –Columbia School of Health Professions with ECC and five other post-secondary institutions in Missouri to offer the Associate of Applied Science degree in OTA.  East Central teaches the general education courses, while the core sequence of courses is transmitted from UMC via interactive television and other distance education options to ECC’s Union campus.  Students in the OTA program spend a portion of their time at clinical settings in surrounding communities. 


The core program curriculum begins each January and continues through December. 


Robyn Walter, chair of the allied health and nursing division at ECC, noted that the deadline to submit an application to the OTA program is May 31.  “In addition to the required forms and letters of recommendation, an essay is required.  Individuals interested in the program must also observe an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant at a site of their choice as part of the application process,” said Walter.  “The observation visit gives the applicant the opportunity to get a first-hand look at what is involved in the profession.”


Prior to entering the program, applicants must complete all 27 credit hours of general education coursework which includes eight to nine credit hours of anatomy and physiology and the appropriate prerequisite classes.  Admission requirements include a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 and a grade of C or better in all coursework.


Walter stated that the OTA consortium program gives ECC the flexibility to offer another health care degree option at the college without the typical start-up costs.  “Through this partnership program, students from the area have the opportunity to pursue a career as an occupational therapy assistant without having to move or make a long commute,” Walter said.  “The MHPC Occupational Therapy Assistant program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council on Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association.  Students are eligible to sit for the national certification exam upon successful completion of the program.”


Individuals who cannot attend one of the sessions but are interested in learning more about the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at ECC should call 636-584-6616 or email  

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