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August 21, 2012

ULM proposes new health sciences program unique to Louisiana

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is proposing a new program—the only one of its kind in Louisiana—that would expand career opportunities for occupational therapy assistants.

Today in Baton Rouge, the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors approved a proposal for the Occupational Therapy Assistant to Masters of Occupational Therapy (MOT) Bridge Program.

In a letter of support for the College of Health Sciences program, ULM President Dr. Nick J. Bruno wrote, “We strongly believe the MOT program will provide comprehensive graduate education to bridge the skills of the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant to the Master’s entry-level Occupational Therapist.”

Occupational therapy assistants (OTA) can complete the proposed master’s degree, which is comprised of 69 credit hours, in just over two academic years.

Students would attend intensive weekend classes at ULM and participate in online instructional activities—all of which would be ideal for the working professional, said Patti Calk, assistant professor and department chair of occupational therapy.

“The OTA to MOT bridge will offer students more options to advance their careers and more flexibility in job choices. By offering this degree in a combination online and weekend program, baccalaureate prepared, certified occupational therapy assistants can continue providing quality services to the community while obtaining their master's degree in OT,” she said.

College of Health Sciences Dean Dr. Denny Ryman said the proposed degree would significantly benefit the economy.

"The new MOT program will address the needs of the health care community for graduate-level occupational therapists and will provide opportunities for well-paid positions, which benefits the local and regional economies," Ryman said.  

The MOT is pending final approval by the Louisiana Board of Regents.

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