OTD21

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Aug 13, 2017
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Hello!
I was recently looking at possibly applying to Jefferson College of Health Sciences Master of Science in OT program.
One of the requirements for their application is a completion of an essay no more than 1000 words describing your personal story.
While I know a personal statement is required for OTCAS I'm a little confused as to what really write for this one. Does anyone have any information while I wait for a response from admissions?
Should I take a different route than what I wrote for my OTCAS statement, elaborate on one particular event, or summarize my current one?
Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated.
 

therapist2be

2+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2016
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Occupational Therapy Student
Hello!
I was recently looking at possibly applying to Jefferson College of Health Sciences Master of Science in OT program.
One of the requirements for their application is a completion of an essay no more than 1000 words describing your personal story.
While I know a personal statement is required for OTCAS I'm a little confused as to what really write for this one. Does anyone have any information while I wait for a response from admissions?
Should I take a different route than what I wrote for my OTCAS statement, elaborate on one particular event, or summarize my current one?
Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated.

I was actually wondering the same thing because I recently added them to my application. I have a few schools like this and it's pretty annoying because you spend so much time writing the essay for OTCAS and then they want not only that one, but another full essay as well. WTHeck! I hate that. Anyway, please come back with the response they give you because I would like to know as well. Good luck!
 
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OTD21

2+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2017
80
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Pre-Occupational Therapy
I was actually wondering the same thing because I recently added them to my application. I have a few schools like this and it's pretty annoying because you spend so much time writing the essay for OTCAS and then they want not only that one, but another full essay as well. WTHeck! I hate that. Anyway, please come back with the response they give you because I would like to know as well. Good luck!
Haha I'm right there with you. So after finally adding them to my application under the documents they require it says the essay requirements and reads (this is in addition to your personal statement). I just spent all evening trying to make my story reflect me without repeating my personal statement. If that makes sense.
 
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Hey guys! I'm a first year at JCHS in their MSOT program! They were not on OTCAS last year when I applied, but we only wrote one essay last year! I would suggest calling admissions and asking if you need 2 essays or if 1 will work! Hope that's helpful!


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OTApp0117

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Mar 10, 2017
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@AspiringOT'17 That's a great idea. I applied last year as well, but only had to submit one essay since they were not on OTCAS. I'm applying again this year as well. Let us know what they say, because it definitely will be a more stressful process if we have to submit two essays.
 

MadMenOT

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Feb 27, 2017
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Pre-Occupational Therapy
I sent an email to general admissions at JCHS and at least learned it is indeed two separate essays for their application. The questions I asked and reply from the director of admissions are below:

The program seems to have shifted this current admission cycle to the OTCAS application. The JCHS webpage describes a 1000-word essay to be written with a personal story, however a personal statement is also required by OTCAS that is sent to every program of the applicant. Can you clarify the contents of JCHS's separate personal essay? Is it meant to complement OTCAS's personal statement or may content overlap?

Reply:
Below are the requirements for the Jefferson College’s OT application personal essay:
Completion of an essay, no longer than 1000 words, describing your personal story. Please use APA style, double spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font. I am not sure what the requirements are for the OTCAS, but there are 2 separate essays.

If anyone has a more precise answer from their OT faculty, please share!
 
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OTD21

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Aug 13, 2017
80
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Pre-Occupational Therapy
I sent an email to general admissions at JCHS and at least learned it is indeed two separate essays for their application. The questions I asked and reply from the director of admissions are below:

The program seems to have shifted this current admission cycle to the OTCAS application. The JCHS webpage describes a 1000-word essay to be written with a personal story, however a personal statement is also required by OTCAS that is sent to every program of the applicant. Can you clarify the contents of JCHS's separate personal essay? Is it meant to complement OTCAS's personal statement or may content overlap?

Reply:
Below are the requirements for the Jefferson College’s OT application personal essay:
Completion of an essay, no longer than 1000 words, describing your personal story. Please use APA style, double spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font. I am not sure what the requirements are for the OTCAS, but there are 2 separate essays.

If anyone has a more precise answer from their OT faculty, please share!
I received the same response from them. I decided to write my personal story and submitted my application a few weeks ago. I recently received a letter via mail that my application is considered complete and being reviewed.
 
Jul 25, 2017
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Applying to Jefferson too, they don't require GRE scores and additional transcripts sent separately from OTCAS, right?
 

MadMenOT

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Feb 27, 2017
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Pre-Occupational Therapy
I received the same response from them. I decided to write my personal story and submitted my application a few weeks ago. I recently received a letter via mail that my application is considered complete and being reviewed.
Did you mean you wrote the second personal essay in addition to the OTCAS personal statement?
 

OTDme91

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Mar 24, 2017
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Does anyone know when they begin sending acceptance letters? I just applied the first week of September but I'm just anxious to hear something back from the schools I applied to.
 
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OTD21

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Aug 13, 2017
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Pre-Occupational Therapy
Did you mean you wrote the second personal essay in addition to the OTCAS personal statement?
Yes. in the OTCAS application they have a box that instructs you to upload your personal story (in addition to the topic OTCAS asks).
 
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mjb2017

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Sep 17, 2017
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Somewhere on their website I found that the personal story "Should include a discussion of your personal contact with the world of health and human services (volunteer work, family health, personal experience with injury or disease) and the process that you used in deciding to pursue a career in OT". This is also on a page that indicates their GRE code (which they no longer require) so I don't know how accurate these directions are.
I recently emailed the OT Director and he said that the personal statement and story are expected to be similar, but they want the personal statement to tell them more of you and what you hope to bring to the profession as an OT.
 
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Oct 15, 2017
44
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Pre-Occupational Therapy
Can anyone give advice on how they made the "personal story" different then their "personal statement"? I am very confused on what it is that they are looking for and any time I try to email or call they just respond with the prompt. Thanks!
 
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MadMenOT

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Feb 27, 2017
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Can anyone give advice on how they made the "personal story" different then their "personal statement"? I am very confused on what it is that they are looking for and any time I try to email or call they just respond with the prompt. Thanks!
This was my reply from the Director of OT Graduate Programs at JCHS, responding to my questions about additional details for their prompt and if the content between the two essays (JCHS and OTCAS) can overlap:

"yes, the information may overlap - this is our first year for the on-line application and I was not aware of their essay requirement. Interested in why you want to be an OT and what you expect to be doing when you become one"
 
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Oct 15, 2017
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did anyone submit the same essay for both? I just don't know how to change it where it is a good second version of my personal statement :/
 

MadMenOT

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Feb 27, 2017
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did anyone submit the same essay for both? I just don't know how to change it where it is a good second version of my personal statement :/
I did not submit the same essay for both. Instead, I took a couple experiences I mentioned in my OTCAS statement and went into more detail about them in my JCHS essay. It was tricky, but maybe you can write something similar?
 
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mjb2017

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Sep 17, 2017
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did anyone submit the same essay for both? I just don't know how to change it where it is a good second version of my personal statement :/
They read both the statement and story so don't submit the same document for both! I basically did the same thing as what MadMenOT said.
 
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AellaOT

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Jan 26, 2017
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I applied to Jefferson last year! I am attending another school but hope this helps:

I heard that I got an interview around early-mid January.
Interviewed at Jefferson (02/03)
Waitlisted (sent via mail)- (03/04)
Accepted off waitlist-Jefferson (03/09)
 
Nov 13, 2017
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I applied to Jefferson last year! I am attending another school but hope this helps:

I heard that I got an interview around early-mid January.
Interviewed at Jefferson (02/03)
Waitlisted (sent via mail)- (03/04)
Accepted off waitlist-Jefferson (03/09)
When did you submit your application?
 
Jan 3, 2018
10
9
I applied to Jefferson last year! I am attending another school but hope this helps:

I heard that I got an interview around early-mid January.
Interviewed at Jefferson (02/03)
Waitlisted (sent via mail)- (03/04)
Accepted off waitlist-Jefferson (03/09)
Hi! I have an interview with jchs in a little over 2 weeks! In the email I got they mentioned a group interview, and I was just wondering if you could give me any insight into it. Like is it a real group interview where all aplicant answer questions in front on one another? Or are there individual interviews and group activities. Thank you!!
 
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Oct 15, 2017
44
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Hi! I have an interview with jchs in a little over 2 weeks! In the email I got they mentioned a group interview, and I was just wondering if you could give me any insight into it. Like is it a real group interview where all aplicant answer questions in front on one another? Or are there individual interviews and group activities. Thank you!!
When did you get an email?!
 

AellaOT

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Jan 26, 2017
43
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Pre-Occupational Therapy
Hi! I have an interview with jchs in a little over 2 weeks! In the email I got they mentioned a group interview, and I was just wondering if you could give me any insight into it. Like is it a real group interview where all aplicant answer questions in front on one another? Or are there individual interviews and group activities. Thank you!!
Hey! So there were individual interviews, a group activity, a tour with current students and a writing portion. For the group session, they had us in groups of 4 and we had to work together to create this structure so we had to use a lot of communication. On the tour, it was really nice to listen to the students hear what they like about the program and also talk with some faculty. I was really nervous about the writing but they gave us 3 prompts to choose from so it wasn't too bad. Kinda felt like the SAT or GRE writing sections. I really do think it is a great program! It was kinda a long day. Please let me know if you have any questions!
 
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I received an email from Sarah on Friday, Feb. 2nd that said the department had more applicants than they expected, but they were still reviewing applications. Does anyone know if they are still filling slots for this Friday's (2/9) interview date? Or if they may have to add another?
 

mjb2017

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Sep 17, 2017
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AspiringOT'17 I was wondering if you (or anyone else in JCHS's OT program) could answer a couple questions for me before I decide if I will put down my deposit. I think I liked another program better at which I recently interviewed, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something at Jefferson!

1. What would you say the focus of the program is? A lot of people say different programs have more of hands-on approach or is more focused on theory or research.
2. How involved is the OT program in the community? They talked about SOTA being fairly involved when I was there for my interview, but I didn't know if the program itself was involved in other ways.
3. Do you wish that the OT program had more contact with the PT students?
4. Do you think the lack of knowledge of what's going to happen with the merger is negatively affecting the professors in any way?
5. In trying to get information about my interview it seemed that the school had some issues with communication. Is that the case with the department/ school in general?
6. What made you choose Jefferson? What would you say is the best part of the program/unique thing that other programs may not have?

Thanks so much to anyone who can answer some or all of these questions!
 
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sngot

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Jan 31, 2015
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AspiringOT'17 I was wondering if you (or anyone else in JCHS's OT program) could answer a couple questions for me before I decide if I will put down my deposit. I think I liked another program better at which I recently interviewed, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something at Jefferson!

1. What would you say the focus of the program is? A lot of people say different programs have more of hands-on approach or is more focused on theory or research.
2. How involved is the OT program in the community? They talked about SOTA being fairly involved when I was there for my interview, but I didn't know if the program itself was involved in other ways.
3. Do you wish that the OT program had more contact with the PT students?
4. Do you think the lack of knowledge of what's going to happen with the merger is negatively affecting the professors in any way?
5. In trying to get information about my interview it seemed that the school had some issues with communication. Is that the case with the department/ school in general?
6. What made you choose Jefferson? What would you say is the best part of the program/unique thing that other programs may not have?

Thanks so much to anyone who can answer some or all of these questions!
I graduated from JCHS a couple years ago.

1. The focus of the program is to prepare you to be a true general practitioner. A generalist/ board taker has to be able to perform in the realms of mental health, pediatric, and physical dysfunction. The program does include research but I would not consider that as a "focus". I think community-based practice may be the answer you are looking for. The curriculum wants you to understand what different clients need and examine both areas with and without OT. For places without an OT, they always have us justify why OT is needed or not. There is an entrepreneur course where each of us develop our own business model from the ground up.

2. The OT program allows opportunity for enrichment but only for those who take advantage of them. They always want to grow but won't sacrifice quality of education. During my time, various students took advantage of international fieldwork in other countries, MDA camp, Burn camp, and participated in conferences. They always ask the participants to see inquire if the the experience is worthwhile. The student him or herself have to be driven because these are not required. One of the fieldwork is specifically community-based.

3. I don't think interaction with PT matters. Collaboration and understanding other discipline is crucial to quality care but it is important to have a foundation in OT's own scope of practice first. JCHS doesn't have a PT program but does have a PTA program. Curriculum are specific so classes don't cross over. There are moments when there are interdisciplinary collaboration but again it is not a focus.

4. I cannot speak of behalf of the merger but I have respect and am very fond of each professor at the institution.

5. Admission is separate from the department itself. I have always been able to take advantage of the OT professor's open door policy. Even after graduating, I am in contact with my professors. They make time for me even with the time differences.

6. JCHS was the place I was most comfortable during the interview process. I actual had a good time and felt that it was the best match. JCHS has a lot of resources as a small private college (2 year, 4 year, and graduate programs) but many don't take advantage of the resources they have- workshops, library resources, writing specialists...
 
Mar 20, 2018
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I received an email from Sarah on Friday, Feb. 2nd that said the department had more applicants than they expected, but they were still reviewing applications. Does anyone know if they are still filling slots for this Friday's (2/9) interview date? Or if they may have to add another?
Hi, I also received this email! I replied telling her I was still very interested, but still no reply on admission decision :(
 
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Feb 7, 2018
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I got an email today asking if I was still interested in being considered and they still have a few openings! They will know more about the openings by the end of this week.
 
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KnightOT

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I received that same email but haven’t heard anything new since...
 
Feb 6, 2018
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I emailed Sarah this morning asking if she could provide me an update on the admissions process.
 
Feb 7, 2018
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I got an email Monday inviting me for an online video interview. Has anyone else heard from them?
 
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OTApp0117

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Mar 10, 2017
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That's awesome! I got a phone call a month or more ago asking if I was still interested and still wanted my application to be considered. They didn't give any other information about the status of the program or whether the class was close to full.
 
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Feb 7, 2018
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I declined my interview. Hopefully you guys will hear something this week! Btw, the email went to my spam folder, so check there! I researched and found out Jefferson College is merging with Radford, but I think the program will stay at Jefferson.
 
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Mar 20, 2018
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I declined my interview. Hopefully you guys will hear something this week! Btw, the email went to my spam folder, so check there! I researched and found out Jefferson College is merging with Radford, but I think the program will stay at Jefferson.
Thank you, Best of luck!
 
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