Pre-Occupational Therapy

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Featured Course:

Therapeutic Modalities & Exercise

This course allows for you to learn the principles and application of various therapeutic treatments and rehabilitations for injuries in a physically active population.

“The ability to perform an occupation is impacted by interaction between the activity, the skills, and attributes of the individual and the environment. Occupational therapists strive to optimize performance by facilitating a positive interaction between the components of the person, environment, and occupation.”

Pre-Occupational Therapy

Pre-Occupational Therapy is a pre-professional track that is unknown to most students. There is a difference in Pre-Occupational Therapy and Pre-Physical Therapy. Pre-Occupational Therapy uses the patients to focus on activities of daily living, workplace, and environment barriers. Occupational Therapist and Physical Therapist do have overlapping elements, yet Occupational Therapy is geared towards: 

  • Enabling individuals to participate actively and meaningfully in their day to day lives.
  • Working towards self-care, productivity, and leisure with each individual patient.
  • Occupational therapists may work in the home, hospital, clinic, or community setting to enable clients to adapt to or overcome obstacles and optimize their involvement in daily life.

Alma College has excellent Pre-Occupational Therapy courses that can be completed in conjunction with an Integrative Physiology and Health Science (IPHS) major. These courses allow you to be successful after Alma College, in completing a graduate degree within Occupational Therapy.

All IPHS pre-professional tracks start with BIO 121 as a pre-requisite for the major course sequencing (IPH 225, 226, 344, 327). Students need to take BIO 121 within their first year at Alma College, and if this cannot happen, please contact any member of the IPHS department to determine how best to enter into the major sequence.

The strong anatomy and physiology training provided by the IPHS major has allowed many students to gain entrance into professional programs across the country. Although professional school requirements differ among schools, most require a very strong psychology background, with knowledge in chemistry and mathematics. Students will receive a well-rounded liberal arts experience with exposure to other departments on campus.

If a student is interested in Pre-Occupational Therapy, they should investigate graduate degree programs requirements at their college of interest as soon as possible. Also within this track, it is recommended that you pair yourself with an Occupational Therapist, to see the clinical side of the workplace. There are local options in Alma, and nearby towns, however, most of our students do internships or job shadowing experiences on break or in the summer. Making a connection with a Occupational Therapist is a great learning experience and mentorship for each student involved in this field. For more information, contact Dr. John Davis, Dr. Karen Ball or any other member of the Integrative Physiology and Health Science (IPHS) Department.

Additional Sites of Interest:

The American Occupational Therapy Association: professional and student pages, list of accredited programs

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