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Occupational Therapy Programs in Arkansas

For men and women thinking of entering the growing field of occupational therapy, the lure of an expanding field and the opportunity to help others can be difficult to resist. However, before starting the journey to become a professional in this field, one should be prepared to put in a good deal of academic and practical work.

To become an occupational therapist, students should expect to be required to earn no less than a master's degree after having completed an undergraduate degree. Students can earn this graduate degree in the form of Master's of Science (M.S.) and in the form of a Doctorate (Ph.D.). In the state of Arkansas, one can find a strong occupational program at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA).

With any program, a proven record of success is of the utmost importance. Potential students should conduct extensive research before choosing any program. It seems prudent to spend more than a couple hours researching potential schools when considering that the choice made will play such an influential factor in the future. At Central Arkansas, the occupational therapy program has been accredited since the mid 70s. Since receiving that acknowledgement from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education in 1974, the school has been continually accredited, and is currently the only professional-level occupational therapy educational program in the state.

Speaking of the state, Arkansas is a place where Southern hospitality still rings as a source of pride for many residents. Because of the many battles fought on the grounds of this southern state, Arkansas is in many ways a memorial to The Civil War. There are monuments and places of recognition throughout the state, and Civil War re-enactments are commonplace in cities and towns within its borders. The state is also home to the beautiful Ozark National Forest, which contains the remarkable Whitaker Point. Ultimately, no visit to the state would be complete without a trip to its many spas and medicinal springs in Hot Springs, a popular tourist destination.

The state capital of Little Rock is steeped in history relating to The Civil Rights Movement of the 60s and is home to the locally well-known River Market. About 30 miles to the west of Little Rock sits the town of Conway. The town has approximately 55,000 residents, and is home to the UCA campus, which has an enrollment of nearly 12,000 students.

While all therapy programs offer students what they will need to become qualified to enter the profession, it is important to remember that not all programs are created equal. A strong program gives students numerous opportunities to interact with patients, professional therapists and sponsors and professional services that offer occupational therapy. These early introductions will not only give students a taste of what they can expect once the program is complete, but will also allow them to make important contacts that could lead to future employment.

A degree from UCA has been shown to be a strong hiring point in recent years. In fact, 95 percent of the students graduating from the school's occupational therapy program reported having found employment within two months of graduation.