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Cabarrus College to offer master’s in occupational therapy

CONCORD — Cabarrus College of Health Sciences announced that it will begin offering a master’s degree in occupational therapy beginning in fall 2014. The college received authorization this month from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer the program, which will mark the institution’s first awarding of a graduate-level degree.
A master’s degree is now required to become an occupational therapist, and Cabarrus College’s new two-year master’s program was designed specifically for occupational therapy assistants who wish to become occupational therapists. To help occupational therapy assistants with associate degrees gain the baccalaureate-level knowledge and skills necessary for entry into the master’s program, Cabarrus College also created a bachelor’s program in interdisciplinary health studies, which began this fall.
“We’ve created two high-quality programs and a streamlined process for those looking to advance in the occupational therapy profession. This is the only program in the state for occupational therapy assistants wanting to become occupational therapists,” said Dr. Meg Patchett, provost of Cabarrus College of Health Sciences. “The demand for occupational therapists is increasing rapidly due to expansion of health care coverage and the needs of our aging population. We are proud to be at the forefront of the changing health care landscape by providing these necessary and important programs.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase 33 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
“Our market analysis indicated a significant shortage of occupational therapists locally and nationally,” said Dianne O. Snyder, chancellor for Cabarrus College of Health Sciences. “We’re taking a proactive step to respond to this development head-on.”
Cabarrus College’s program also is in the process of accreditation by the American Occupational Therapy Association. For more information regarding admission into the bachelor of science in interdisciplinary health studies program or the master’s in occupational therapy program, contact the college’s admissions office at 704-403-1556 or visit www.cabarruscollege.edu .

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