'2+2' Option Offered for OTA/PTA Majors

Central Methodist University now offers students a unique, singular path to expanded employment opportunities with two rehabilitation healthcare certifications. Students who wish to train as both physical therapist assistants and occupational therapy assistants will now have the chance to earn both certifications in just four years.

Graduates from the PTA program who have successfully passed their certification exam may choose to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in OTA, says Dr. Rebbecca Fenton, OTA program director. PTA program director Dr. Megan Roemer and clinical coordinator Josh Nickell played an essential role in identifying this unique idea for Central students.

“We are excited to offer a unique opportunity, one where students can become dual certified in therapy services,” Fenton said. “At Central, a student can complete the Physical Therapist Assistant degree during their freshman and sophomore years and then complete a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant during their junior and senior years.”

“This partnership provides a unique opportunity for individuals interested in becoming health services extenders in the therapeutic professions to become eligible for double certification,” said Dr. Megan Hess, Division of Health Professions chair. “This double preparation would make that individual an even more valuable employee in the health services sector.”

With a degree plan that allows a seamless transition from PTA to OTA programmatic coursework and an OTA programmatic schedule that is employment friendly, certified PTAs taking advantage of this option will leave CMU as some of the most marketable individuals in the profession.

Occupational therapy and physical therapy are two of the fastest growing fields in healthcare, with OTAs and PTAs in high demand, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau estimates job growth from 2016-2026 at a rate of 29% for OTAs and 31% for PTAs, compared to just seven percent growth for all occupations averaged for the same 10-year period.

As with every CMU path of study, students will be able to take advantage of small class sizes on the Fayette campus and financial aid for those who qualify. Find out more about the OTA and PTA programs on their web pages.

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