Mississippi Occupational Therapy Assistant program receives 100 percent pass rate

Published 7:00 am Monday, February 20, 2023

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Perkinston Campus received a perfect pass rate for the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, students are eligible to be Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA).

“This is an incredible feat for our students, having all of them pass the national boards,” said Courtney Broome, director of the OTA program.  “Not only does it speak volumes about how our program prepares students for the exam, it also says so much about our students and all they have accomplished.”

The associate-degree-level Occupational Therapy Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).  Students enter the program during the spring semester.

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“As one of those who passed their national exam for certification, I cannot say enough about the OTA program at MGCCC and how it prepares you for what comes next,” said Heather Ladner of Necaise.  “The program is administered and taught by skilled professionals who want their students to succeed and do everything they can to make sure that happens.  It truly makes a difference in how well you do in your chosen career field when you graduate from a strong program like the one at Gulf Coast.”

Graduates of the program can work under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist in providing treatment development, restoration, prevention, and maintenance programs. The focus is on consumer-centered functional independence so clients may perform those tasks essential to productive living and to the mastery of self and context. This program prepares graduates to practice in a variety of health care and community settings as a member of a team.

Christine Weaver of Gulfport, who is a current sophomore in the OTA program, said she has always been passionate about the body and its functionality.

“I have always had the desire to help others but didn’t have a direction,” Weaver said. “The program was suggested to me by a family member, and I got in touch with Ms. Broome to get my prerequisites set up.  It has been a wonderful experience for me, and I truly enjoy not only the lectures, but the hands-on activities we participate in as well.”

Sara-Ashley Parsons of Bay St. Louis, also a sophomore in the program, said she found the OTA webpage at MGCCC while she was living in Singapore.  “I already have a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, but knew I wanted something more.  This program was perfect.  I have really enjoyed every minute of it.”

Broome said prerequisites include having an 18 composite score on the ACT and a 2.5 GPA on all college coursework.  Students must take the HESI A2 Exam and complete several classes successfully.  “Students who are interested should start now getting their prerequisites out of the way and plan to start next spring,” she said.  “We are very proud of what we do in this program, and we are proud of our students.  By ensuring they meet certain standards before entry, we can be assured of their success in the program and in their OTA career.”

For more information on the program, visit mgccc.edu/occupational-therapy-assistant or contact Courtney Broome at 601-528-8810 or courtney.broome@mgccc.edu.