Graduate Program in Occupational Therapy

By: Hofstra University

Hi everybody welcome to the webinar for the Occupational Therapy Program at Hofstra University. Thank you for joining us today and if you have any questions please feel free to type them in and we will answer them as we go along in this webinar. Today we'll address several topics such as what is occupational therapy, and what is it that occupational therapists do.We'll take a quick look at the job outlook for OT. We will discuss the occupational therapy program here in Hofstra University and lastly we'll take a quick look at some of the things that occupational therapy students here are involved in, it's likely that if you're attending this webinar that you may already have some knowledge but we'll review and please feel free to ask questions. Okay so what is occupational therapy? Occupational therapists help people across the lifespan to participate in the things that they want to do and the things that they need to do and we do that through the therapeutic use of everyday activities which we call occupation. Some common occupational therapy interventions that we use with the clients that we serve include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills that they might have lost and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupations are things that people want to do and people need to do for example we see a little boy tying his shoe, we see people dancing in that have some sort of disability and they're in a wheelchair we see a little boy eating, we see students studying a skier that has one leg that's missing. These are all things that people want to do skiing, dancing, studying, and things that people need to do eating and dressing, driving and through the use of these occupations we help people get back to where that they want to be.

So in occupational therapy we use evaluation and intervention to help people of all ages, birth through older adults and populations to participate fully in the things that they want to need to do. So we help develop skills or maintain skills, perhaps recover skills and if that's not necessary. We would look at things like looking at intervention regarding changing the environment or the tasks but in any case what we're doing is we're improving participation in occupation. So the job outlook for OT is very promising the median pay for occupational therapists across the United States as of May 2016 is eighty one thousand nine hundred and ten dollars a year. There are about a hundred and three thousand practitioners in the workforce in the United States, predominantly female The good news for OT is that the profession is expected to grow 27% and that 27% will be from 2014 to 2024 and that's considered to be a growth rate that is much faster than the average for all professions. That's pretty good news, that means there's jobs out there.

Business Insider January 2017 rated occupational therapy number 12 in the top 25 best jobs in America right now. CNN Money, August of this year said that OTS number five of the fastest growing jobs in America and here we go 40% of new grads receive a job offer after just one month of graduation. Within three months almost 84% of new grads have received their first job offer. This slide looks at some of the practice settings that occupational therapists work in you can see that long-term care facilities or skilled nursing facilities or even subacute they kind of all mean the same thing and that's the largest area or practice setting that you see OTS working in there is OT working in the schools, early intervention, home health, we work in hospitals, acute care outpatient, we work in the home, we work in academia and we also work within the community. So there's lots of variability in terms of where you can find jobs and how and what and who you want to practice with so I'd like to talk a little bit about our program hosta so T program is fully accredited by the American Council for OT education that's a code current class size is 31 students, we have a beautiful safe campus, great teaching facilities, a beautiful lab, we have exceptional dedicated faculty, and we have strong clinical affiliations. Here on this slide you see the faculty in the occupational therapy program.These are the full time faculty so I'm Gioia Ciana I'm the assistant professor and program director .Robin Akselrud is our academic field work coordinator and our assistant field work coordinator is Yu-Pin Hsu and lastly we have James Battaglia. James is a certified hand therapist and also teaches within the program. In order to be considered for admission, you'd have to go through the OT cast, the OT centralized application service sent process and the link is listed on this slide.

You don't have to submit all documents by February 1st so all documents need to be submitted and verified by the OT cast system before February 1st or on February 1st. To be considered for admissions for the following September. So admissions requirements include graduating with a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0, you would need three letters of recommendation, we like to see letters from occupational therapists, that know you, that you perhaps shadowed with but that's not necessary. We asked you to upload a personal essay that identifies your areas of interest and your reason that for seeking your training in OT. You have to submit all transcripts of prerequisite courses if they're not completed as part of your bachelor's degree. You have to submit your documentation of your observation hours and at that point we review the uploaded documents and we may invite you to campus for for an interview.

Graduate Program in Occupational Therapy

When you come to campus you'll be required to do an on-site essay as well as face to face interview if you're an international student you must take the TOEFL exam and pass with a minimum score of at least 80%. Some of the prerequisites that we require; are human anatomy with lab, human physiology with lab. So human anatomy and human physiology are sometimes taken combined as human anatomy physiology, one human anatomy physiology,two as long as those classes have a lab component and are four credits we will accept them. We also accept exercise physiology in lieu of human physiology. We look for social behavioral science course, for example a sociology and anthropology etc.

We asked you to make sure that you've taken abnormal psychology sometimes named psychopathology or psychology of deviance that's a three credit course another three credit course in psychology is developmental this is a human development across the lifespan we ask that you take a structural and mechanical kinesiology course that's three credits and then lastly is HPR 130 which is orientation to occupational therapy that course is only given here at Hofstra and so that course is given in the summer prior to the start of the program in September. we like to see elementary statistics though that's not a required prerequisite, it's recommended okay all prerequisite courses must be completed before they before you begin the OT program in September we give preference to those applicants with the minimum grade point average of 3.0 and all coursework an accumulative grade point average in two-point science 2.75 in the sciences. It is necessary to indicate the courses that you have in progress or planned on on the OT cast application so you can apply before all of the prerequisites are done you just need to indicate that you plan on taking those courses which courses they are or perhaps you're taking them as you're submitting. In that case we may conditionally or provisionally approve you or accept you into the program and the condition or the provision would be that you successfully complete all of our required prerequisite courses before the beginning of the the program in September This is a core sequence map in in our in our program, we start off in the fall go to the spring and summer and then year two we have fall, spring and summer the curriculum builds on itself and that's a really nice thing so you start with a lot of the foundation courses and you leading up to the intervention and assessment courses in the second year in the summer of year one you're taking some splinting modality course along with your capstone research project and I'd like to talk to you for a minute about the fieldwork requirements here so fieldwork is clinical experience you're learning where you're immersed in a clinical or community setting so beginning with year one in the first semester the fall semester there's a level one experience that's embedded within the assessment in occupational therapy course going ahead to spring of the first year another level one in the physical disabilities course health and disability factors related to performance and participation and here students are placed in a number of facilities that include physical dysfunction and that might be a hospital an outpatient facility a subacute facility moving on to year two in the first full semester there the fieldwork component level one is embedded within the development course course and here we have students that are immersed in pediatric settings and that might take the form of a school or a sensory gym sometimes it's a NICU or a pediatric hospital and the last level one experience is in the spring of year two and here students are a engaging in community activities that might take the form of working with breast cancer survivors those with traumatic brain injury it might be in a school setting / - facilitating social skills lots of opportunity to work with community dwelling folks and then we have required two level to field work experiences and those level two fieldwork experiences begin in this summer of the second year and go into the fall and those are full-time three-month experiences each total credits for this program and our 68 okay so I want to talk to you a little bit about student life here at Hofstra we have the Student Occupational Therapy Association Club this is a club that's recognized by Hofstra University and as such we have some really good funding for some wonderful events that I'll be talking to you about many of our students attended the American Occupational Therapy annual national conference in Philadelphia this past April this was an exciting conference to go to because it was our centennial it was our one hundred years of as a profession so students got to really do a lot of good networking go to some really wonderful lectures and here's some fabulous keynote speakers we had students who actually presented some of their research at that conference and coming up in November at the New York State Occupational Therapy Association conference and students will attend that as well up in Albany in New York and some students will be presenting their research as well the American occupational therapy foundation offers some scholarships for occupational therapy students and we have had some students who have certainly applied for those scholarships so this is a really cool event the students participated in light the night here on Long Island in Eisenhower Park and they walked to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society this event happened pretty recently and we're still calculating how much money the students have raised for this event the students had a fabulous time and walked for a great cause. Here you see students again from the second year of our program who went to a basketball game hosted here at Hofstra and I think it was Hofstra against Drexel and they they were there supporting autism awareness This is this second-year students this is some of the students in the occupational therapy lab and I wish you could see the lab in full but we have a wonderful kitchen area, a great bathroom area, we have some a bed and some sensory equipment, and some great mat tables and lots of good intervention tools and assessments Here we have students in class hard at work having a good time and learning here is a nice photo of some students who went to the AOTA conferance in Philly this past April their future OTS and they got super pumped about the profession and came back very excited. Just a little demographics about the incoming class of this past September we took in 30 students, 24 were from New York State, two from New Jersey, two from Rhode Island, we had a student from Maryland, a student from Connecticut. We encouraged out of state applications we love to get a wide diversity of students from all areas and cultures the median age range of our students was 24 years and we have 23 students and 7 males all you guys out there apply please.

So that's it I want to thank you very much for your attendance today and be happy to any answer any questions. Yes so the question is can I take kinesiology at Hofstra? and yes you can take kinesiology at Hofstra kinesiology is offered in in all semesters but it is offered during the summer of the semester right before Fall enrollment for the program so that would be an example of a student being conditionally accepted and that means that the kinesiology course would be planned planned for summer of 2018. If the course is successfully completed that student would be enrolled then and fully accepted into the program that passed that next month September. Question, is there a minimum amount of observation hours required? We do not a state a minimum number of hours I know that there are many programs that do. What we do like to see in observation hours is a variety of experiences, so we value that someone might spend you know 30 hours in a pediatric setting and that's great but we really do like to see that a student has experiences across several occupational therapy practices and populations so someone who maybe did 20 hours in an adult setting, 20 hours in an older adult setting like a geriatric setting, maybe somebody who's worked some hours with or observes the Maui's with children, that's what we like to see we like to know that you have some really good knowledge base of what OT looks like in what OT does for a number of different settings. Is life a, question, is lifespan development and acceptable developmental psychology course and the answer is most likely it would be you can always send send me a course description or the syllabus for the course my contact information is listed on this last screen and we could always take a look. Question how does level one field work during the fall and spring semesters. So we have a total of four level one experiences they range anywhere from 30 to 45 hours in this setting they're embedded within a particular course in each semester so year one fall year one spring year to fall an ear to spray if you go back to the curriculum sequencing page you'll see that there's a red star next to those courses in which fieldwork is embedded question how long ago can observation hours have taken place again we don't specify how long ago we we don't really talk about that I I would suspect that your observation oh it should be pretty fresh and I I would like to say maybe not more than three years but again there's really no no limit on in terms of years better for you as a student who's interested in occupational therapy to have had done some observation pretty recently questioned our kinesiology and HP r130 offered online so here at Hofstra kinesiology is not offered online and HP r130 is a hybrid course with some online work and some on-campus work question our field work settings out our field work settings outside of the university and yes they are we have field work settings we have lots of good clinical affiliation we're part of the where I'll align with the northwell health system one of the largest health care systems in the United States many of our students are placed in hospitals outpatient or acute care subacute we have a number of placements within many types of pediatric setting sensory gyms schools we have a contract with the Department of Education here in New York we have community settings we are very proud of the number of community settings that we have affiliation agreements with and and so those that particular field work is this spring of the second year so yeah most of our fields work settings the majority of they'll feel 99.9% of all of our field work settings are outside of the university we have field work settings also across the United States we're not just limited to New York State question does the personal statement essay required by ot cast mean hosters requirement and yes it does a common question that we get very frequently is are the GREs required and the answer is no we do not require GREs question if you have a 2.9 grade point average with observation hours and work experience in health care what recommendations would you give to be a stronger applicant I understand that the applicant pool is very competitive and want to know what factors play into your decision and choosing candidates for the OT program so the the climate in OT right now is is that it is very competitive primarily based on the job outlook so having said that the minimum grade point average of 3.0 you know should be attained we also look at the natural science grade point average which our minimum for acceptance is 2.75 and we also look at the prerequisite requirements so my suggestion would be to look at those three overall grade point averages just to see where where you might need to to enhance so perhaps you didn't do so well in your first year of college maybe you didn't do so well in a couple of the sciences I would go back and I would maybe either retake those classes or take another class or two to bring your grade point average up we do look not only at grade point averages but we look at observation hours across multiple practice settings we do read the personal statements those essays that are uploaded on ot cast we look for an essay that's well written grammatically correct with no typos or errors we look to see that the student really understands the profession and and is very clear about the reason for wanting to become an occupational therapist so those those are the things and then of course there is there is the the interview process itself so those are the things we look at question four classes that were retaken do you consider the higher grade or we or average the two grades we look at the highest grade question when our decisions sent out decisions will be sent out by April the latest we we review applications on a rolling basis our first group of interviews will be this January and then the second group of interviews will be held in March question when does an applicant receive a request for interview and acceptance or declines into the program I think I just just answered that so decisions are sent out either accepting a waitlist or deny by April okay well well thank you very much for one last question what is the Technology Assessment class all about that class is all about technology as it relates to the people that we serve in occupational therapy so this is technology across the lifespan and across all practice settings so some things that you might see in this course or learn about would be augmentative communication devices iPad apps positioning and seating wheelchair adapted mobility and things like that now the question do you accept kinesiology ot practice to fulfill the structural mechanical kinesiology prerequisite to answer that question really appropriately I would need to see a course description and again my contact information is listed on this slide so feel free to send the course description or the syllabus for that course and then I can really look and look at it thoroughly and give you a good answer all right well thank you so much for attending today if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at any time, information is on the slide Thank you.

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