Occupational Therapy Assistant Program: Pinning Ceremony and Holiday Faire Celebration

To celebrate their accomplishments, program leaders coordinated a pinning ceremony on November 18, 2021.

By: Bailey Gerber & Jake Hreha

The first cohort of 16 students in the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program recently celebrated the completion of both their classroom phase and their on-site fieldwork. To celebrate their accomplishments, program leaders coordinated a pinning ceremony on November 18, 2021. IWU President Dr. Wright gave a beautiful opening address and Dr. Rice, Dean of the School of Health Sciences provided a memorable closing send-off.

Occupational Therapist Assistant Programs for the Next Generation

Occupational therapist assistant programs give students the opportunity to get into the field of occupational therapy with a two year degree. Occupational therapy assistants take an active and hands-on role in the therapy provided at occupational therapy clinics. Occupational therapy education at Indiana Wesleyan University sets up students to become certified occupational therapy assistants.

The American Occupational Therapy Association recognizes IWU as one of the occupational therapy programs offering distance education. It's important to have your certification in occupational therapy in order to practice. This is why IWU incorporates certification into their occupational therapy assistant associate degree. Students at IWU are prepared for the national certification examination and occupational therapy practice.

Occupational therapists must know a large amount of information and be prepared to work with people in the clinical setting. The national board for certification recognizes that in order for occupational therapists to be effective they need to have a large base of knowledge. IWU helps prepare students to attain state licensure through the successful completion of their courses and clinical education.

The program, which culminates in an associate of science, is based at IWU’s Greenwood Education Center. The first two cohorts of OTA students took part in the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education’s rigorous accreditation process, which includes student interviews with accreditors. The OTA program received accreditation for seven years, the highest number of years possible for a new program.

(A tray with Indiana Wesleyan University pins.) - TOP PHOTO

(A group of students stand for the pledge and creed for occupational therapy.) - BOTTOM PHOTO

A tray with Indiana Wesleyan University pins.
A group of students stand for the pledge and creed for occupational therapy.

Occupational Therapy Assistants Recognized

A Holiday Faire auction to showcase students’ work followed the pinning ceremony. “To prepare students in learning the therapeutic process of helping clients perform everyday activities or ‘occupations’ that they need or want to do, we teach students ‘activity analysis,’ or breaking down an activity, through art media,” says Julie Carson, OTA program director. “Through activity analysis, occupational therapy practitioners adapt and modify everyday activities so clients can live productively. In addition, creative media like woodworking, crafting, leatherwork, can be used in therapy to help clients regain hand strength or coordination, improve memory, follow directions, and perform other everyday activities.”

The auction raised funds for OTA student development and the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. The proceeds from the auction were able to provide three Greenwood children with holiday gifts this year. Funds will also be used to give OTA students the opportunity to go to professional development conferences.

(People look at notes and gifts on a table.) - TOP PHOTO

(A person writes a note on a table.) - BOTTOM PHOTO

People look at notes and gifts on a table.
A person writes a note on a table.

OTA program leaders were grateful for the opportunity to honor the hard-working students who are committed to changing the world. “It was wonderful to meet students’ families and give them the chance to see what students have been working on,” says Julie Carson. “After a year in the field, our alumni can become fieldwork educators – so we’re excited to continue working with these graduates and connect them with future students who go through the program.”

In light of this year’s success, the second annual pinning ceremony and Holiday Faire will take place on November 17, 2022. Learn more about the OTA program here.

Bailey Gerber

Content Creator, IWU National and Global

Bailey Gerber is a vocabulary geek and grammar enthusiast at IWU-National and Global, so she spends most of her time reviewing webpages, video scripts, flyers, and – of course – blog articles. She loves all things involving words, and in her spare time you’ll find her buried in a book (probably with a cup of coffee in hand).

Jake Hreha

SEO Copywriter, IWU

Jake Hreha is a graduate of Ball State University, where he majored in advertising with a concentration in media presentation and design. He is passionate about design, and in his free time he enjoys cycling, traveling, and reading.

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