Department of Occupational Therapy

Welcome to the Department of Occupational Therapy at York College! We are the only Occupational Therapy program in the CUNY system. We boast a culturally diverse student body, with all of the CUNY student, academic, and library resources at your disposal.

When you graduate, you will be eligible to take the National Board Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam, and become state licensed to practice as a registered occupational therapist.

This dual degree BS/MS professional program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).  The professional phase of the program starts in the fall of each year, with full-time day classes for three years, and one semester of full-time clinical rotations.  Our graduates are employed in several states and various settings: hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, community settings, and private practice.  They work in public, local, state, and federal institutions as staff therapists, managers, consultants and supervisors.  The job market is excellent, and our graduates often have a choice of jobs.

The Profession

Simply stated, occupational therapy enables people to do the “day-to-day activities that are important to them” despite impairments, activity limitations, or participation restrictions or despite risks for these problems (Neistadt & Crepeau, 1998, p.5). Occupations are another name for these day-to-day activities. Occupations are goal-directed activities that typically extend over time, have meaning, and involve multiple tasks.

Occupational therapy is the art and science of directing human participation in selected tasks to restore, reinforce, and enhance performance, to facilitate learning those skills and functions essential for adaptation and productivity, to diminish or correct pathology, and to promote and maintain health.

The Nature of the Work

Occupational therapists use selected activities to help individuals become self-reliant, and build a balanced life style of work and leisure. In a partnership with clients, occupational therapists may work individually, or in conjunction with members of healthcare teams (which may include physicians, vocational counselors, nurses, social workers, speech pathologists, physical therapists, teachers, and others).

Occupational therapists work in hospitals, clinics, schools, rehabilitation centers, home care programs, private practice, community health centers, nursing homes, and day care centers. Occupational therapists are licensed by New York State through the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Occupational therapists are registered by NBCOT. This licensure and registration (OTR/L) allows occupational therapists to carry professional and administrative responsibilities for occupational therapy clinical programs and services. They are responsible for evaluating clients, deciding upon program goals, working with clients to implement goals, and evaluating progress. In addition, OTR’s educate practitioners entering the field and are involved in research.

Additional Information

The BS/MS Occupational Therapy program at York College has been awarded grant money from the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration enabling the neediest students to receive scholarship money, including a stipend for books and living expenses. In addition, the OT Program at York College also continues to maintain a contract with the Department of Education which is another way students can obtain scholarship money for the graduate portion of their education.

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