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Occupational Therapy Schools in Louisiana

Louisiana is a diverse state filled with beauty and tough wilderness. In the municipality of New Orleans, the state has one of the most interesting, entertaining and yes, diverse cities in the U.S. Louisiana can be a great place to go to school as you work toward becoming a therapist.

Within the state, there are several options for students who want to become therapists. The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans is a great place to earn a master's degree in occupational therapy. The school's program is accredited by Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). This organization has a long history of accrediting occupational therapy programs.

At the University Health and Sciences Center, master's students follow a path that upon completion should have armed them with all the necessary knowledge and skill needed to become practicing therapists. The program is comprised of 90 semester hours and the time allotted for completion is 27 months. The entire time will not be spent in the classroom. There will plenty opportunity for clinical work, and the final six months are dedicated to full-time work in the field.

When programs speak of professional-level OT practitioners, this refers to occupational therapist. Technical-level practitioners are occupational therapy assistants. The academic requirements are much different for the two positions. No master's is required for an assistant. Assistants either complete a four-year baccalaureate or a two-year associate degree program at an accredited institution.

Regardless of which school and program a student chooses, there may be a major benefit to attending a school in Louisiana. The state is noted for having extensive financial aid for people looking to further their educations. With a combination of student loans and other financial aid, many students pay nothing while they are in school. If loans are involved in the financial aid package then repayment of those loans will not begin until the student has graduated or withdrawn from school. Occupational therapists and assistants are in high demand, so whatever school a person chooses he or she may find the wait for a job after graduation short or non-existent.

While in the state, students will have the opportunity to find out more about the history of this once French Colony. Actually, Louisiana was in the hands of the Spanish for a while before France regained it and Napoleon sold the land to the United States in 1803. For a short time, England also controlled part of the area that now forms the state. This changing of hands from one European power to the next, accounts for some of the diversity in the state. Add to that the influences of Native Americans and immigrants and slaves from Africa and the melting pot is all but overflowing. Many of these groups did not totally assimilate, leading to cultural fractions within the state.

New Orleans is the top tourist attraction in the state. Mardi Gras alone draws a wealth of visitors. This celebration has been an occurrence in the city since 1838. The French Quarter is one of the must-see sections of the city. Throughout Louisiana, there are beautiful historic homes and plantations and the waterways are also popular with visitors and locals.