YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University’s entry level master’s program in occupational therapy has been selected as one of the best in the Midwest by Health Grad.Com, a national website that helps students make career decisions in deciding what they want to specialize in amid the rapidly growing field of health care.
Eastern Michigan’s program was one of 11 cited in the Midwest and one of only three Michigan programs listed in that region, one of four in the website’s analysis, which also includes programs in the north, south and western areas of the United States.
EMU's program was applauded for its admission requirements, the program's emphasis on extraprofessional collaboration, a well-rounded course of study and its hands-on learning through the program's labs and classroom.
‘A unique atmosphere of learning’
In ranking Eastern, the website cited the following elements of EMU’s program:
“At Eastern Michigan University, learning is a collaborative process, and its MOT program is no exception,” the website wrote. “Established in 1941, the program is designed to produce the next generation of successful and effective OT practitioners through extraprofessional collaboration. Thanks to this method of study, MOT students learn from and about other professional students to improve patient health outcomes.
“As a student here … you’ll have access to superb, hands-on learning through facilities like the Occupation and Activity Analysis Lab, a classroom lab equipped with a small kitchen designed for demonstrations that relate to independent living; and the Motor Learning and Movement Assessment Classroom, a classroom lab equipped with a variety of tools and instruments for testing range of motion, postural stability, and dynamic movement.”
Website covers many aspects of health care jobs
Healthgrad.com says it seeks to tell students “about the exciting world of health care and all of the careers that are available.” The website says its aims to cover a wide variety of aspects in health care employment in the United States today
“It is our hope that with this comprehensive health care career information in a single website, you will be able to make an informed choice about your health care career,” the website says in its description.
How programs are rated
Why did Eastern get rated highly? With national accreditation as the given starting point, the website says it then looked exclusively at the class of schools that produced graduating cohorts with a 100 percent pass rate on the National Board for Certification in OT exam in 2017 – the most recent year recorded.
“With the baseline established, we then began the more involved task of hand selecting the programs we feel represent the best overall value by creating an exceptional student experience, including aspects such as availability of resources and the quality of teaching facilities, faculty qualifications and special educational opportunities available,” Health Grad.com said in the description of its rankings.
A quickly growing field, with widespread need
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OT jobs are expected to greatly increase between 2016 and 2026, expanding by more than 24 percent. With a median salary of more than $83,000 per year, there are numerous well-paying jobs available with the correct training.
The reason for the expanding need? “The occupational therapy creed of helping people live meaningful and fulfilling lives has lined up with trends in population demographics, and with modern healthcare industry concerns about quality of life issues,” the website said.
“Among those demographic trends is an ever growing population of people living to a more advanced age, and dealing with the conditions often associated with it. Combine that with a profusion of new diagnoses of disorders along the autism spectrum and disabilities affecting children, and the OT role has jumped in importance at all ends of the lifespan and in every setting, from schools and physiotherapy clinics to assisted living facilities and gerontology practices.”
For more about the rankings, see the Health Grad.com website.
Details about Eastern’s program are at the University’s OT program website.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.