There a few colleges and universities in Maryland that offer training in occupational therapy (OT). Most schools offer associate's programs for students wishing to become occupational therapy assistants. Students can also select a school that offers graduate programs to prepare for employment as an occupational therapist. Currently employed therapists have the opportunity to complete continuing education courses. Most OT programs include fieldwork experiences or training. Field-related clubs may provide additional opportunities to work with the human body.
Allegany College of Maryland (ACM)
ACM has its main campus in Cumberland and two branch campuses in Bedford and Somerset counties in Pennsylvania. This school offers an Associate of Applied Science program in occupational therapy assistant through the Division of Allied Health and Wellness. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Students complete training in areas such as human motion, intervention techniques, neuroscience clinical applications and treatment planning. Students are also required to join the American Occupation Therapy Association (AOTA) to meet the program requirements. The college also offers a student occupational therapy assistant club where students can participate in activities such as community events, educational workshops and professional conferences.
Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC)
CCBC's School of Allied Health offers an Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant at its Catonsville campus in Baltimore. The degree is a part of the state's health workforce shortage program, which offers eligible students grants to cover tuition expenses. Students complete 70 credit hours of training in areas such as physical and physiological dysfunction, clinical techniques and human performance. The program also includes eight credit hours of fieldwork experience. Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the occupation therapy assistant examination from the NBCOT.
This Towson school offers 114 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and is the largest university in the Baltimore area. Students seeking advanced training can enroll in a combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Occupational Therapy or a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program. For the combined program, the bachelor's portion includes 44 credits of core classes and 27 credit hours of clinical fieldwork, while the master's portion consists of 36 credit hours of major coursework. To progress through the program, students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75. The master's program includes a professional track for students who are not practicing occupational therapists. This track runs for 26 months and includes clinical reasoning, physiological and physical rehabilitation fieldwork. By completing these programs, students qualify to take the occupational therapist certification exam administered by the NBCOT.
University of Maryland-College Park
The College Park campus is the main location for the University of Maryland. The university is ranked 19th in the top public schools category by the U.S. News and World Report 2013 edition. Through the Reed-Yorke Health Professions Advising Office, students may complete a pre-occupational therapy non-degree program to prepare for advanced education in occupational therapy at other institutions. Students complete a bachelor's degree in their major of choice along with occupational therapy prerequisite courses.
To work in this field, graduates must obtain licensure from the Maryland Board of Occupational Therapy Practice. Requirements for official licensure for occupational therapy assistants (OTA) and occupational therapists (OT) include completion of a jurisprudence exam, submission of continuing education documents if completed an occupational therapy program over a year ago, submission of a written statement describing moral character, verification of an OTA or OT certification from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and a verification letter from any state or country where previously licensed. The board also offers temporary license for eligible applicants who are awaiting certification exam results. To maintain licensure, OTAs and OTs must submit a renewal application and complete at least 12 hours of continuing education training annually.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Occupational Therapy Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Allegany College of Maryland||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$3,660 per year in-district, $6,660 per year in-state; $7,950 per year out-of-state*|
|Community College of Baltimore County||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$3,712 per year in district; $6,650 per year in-state; $9,718 per year out-of-state*|
|Towson University||4-year, public; small city|| Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Occupational Therapy,
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy,
Professional Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
| $9,182 per year in-state and $20,788 per year out-of-state (undergraduate);
$8,820 in-state, $15,984 out-of-state (graduate)*
|University of Maryland-College Park||4-year, public; large suburb||Pre-Occupational Therapy Program (courses completed along with a bachelor's degree)||$9,996 per year in-state; $31,144 per year out-of-state*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator