SSU’s partnership expands opportunities for incoming students


Shawnee State University’s two-year Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program is available to students in southwestern Ohio through a dual enrollment partnership with Southern State Community College in Hillsboro, Ohio. This collaborative effort allows SSCC students to complete the OTA program coursework closer to home while working towards their SSU degree.

Through this dual enrollment opportunity, students can enroll in a program that is time and cost efficient. It also offers students in rural communities further away from SSU the opportunity to obtain an associate’s degree from an accredited OTA program.

Kim Moore, SSU’s Director of the OTA Program, noted that students in the program have a high success rate when it comes to passing coursework and finding a job following graduation.

“Many of our students also decide to continue their education after completing this dual enrollment program,” said Moore, noting in past years their job placement rate at the time of graduation could be as high as 80%. “We have had some go on and get their master’s degree and even have the potential to earn their doctorate. It is a very good program, and I am proud to be a professor here.”

OTAs help people of all ages acquire or regain the skills they need to live independent, productive, and happy lives. They work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, public and private schools, and home health agencies.

“If you are considering becoming an OTA, talk to a current student in SSU’s program,” said Moore. “They will tell you all about their field work, their classes, and their experience with people. We will help you figure out both your educational and career goals.”

Lisa Whitten, SSU’s OTA Site Coordinator and Assistant Professor, discussed the program’s commitment to training and preparing current students to work in the field.

“The partnership was only around a year old when SSU decided to go fully remote for coursework in 2020,” said Whitten, noting that the return to in-person learning provides a lot more opportunities for students in the classroom. “It is important for students in the Occupational Therapy program to get hands-on experience and training. We look forward to teaching more students.”

To apply for the dual enrollment OTA program, incoming students are required to pass Algebra, Statistics, Chemistry, and Biology with a grade of “C” or higher. If these classes are completed at the college level prior to admission, an extra half point will be awarded toward their application. An ACT composite score of 18 or a total of 20 hours of prior college hours are also necessary for admission.

Students wanting to enroll should apply for admission to SSU and submit a high school transcript or GED and ACT/SAT scores. Students should also submit a separate Health Science application for the OTA program. The program typically accepts 25-30 students each year. Applications for the Autumn 2022 program are due by Apr. 1.

To learn more about Shawnee State University’s two-year Occupational Therapy Assistant program, visit shawnee.edu/ota or contact Program Director Kim Moore at [email protected] or (740) 351-3770.

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