Oct 30, 2010
32
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Non-Student
Hello!

I am currently looking into Occupational Therapy as a possible career choice and was wondering about the pre-requisites schools want you to have. Does anyone know if it is a big factor in the decision process whether you take them at a community college versus a university? Or even online such as for the Psych pre-requisites? I'm hoping to start taking classes this spring and want to make sure I do it right! So anything you guys can tell me about what schools care about in terms of where I take the classes would be great! Thanks!
 
Sep 22, 2010
7
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Rehab Sci Student
I think the main factor that is looked at as far as the prereqs is grades. The better your grades, of course, the better your chances. Most programs require at least a 3.0 overall average to be considered. I really wouldn't worry about where I took the classes as long as I felt I was getting a quality education. One thing you might want to start looking into now is OT observation/volunteering hours. Most programs have these as a prerequisite and having more of them is often an advantage.
 
OP
S
Oct 30, 2010
32
1
Status
Non-Student
Thanks for the info! I was was hoping to take them at a community college to save me money but was so worried they would look down on that. As for the grade average you mentioned, they look more at your pre-requisite grades right? My GPA when I finished my bachelors was 2.99 :( Is that going to hurt me alot do you think?

Yea, i've been thinking about the OT observation/volunteering hours and how I was going to go about that. My goal is to get at least a hundred hours! I just need to figure out a time that I can be available between having a job and classes in the spring. o_O
 
Aug 25, 2010
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I also thought about how "they" will look at community college vs 4-year but I took my chances. I took/am still taking almost all of my prerequisites at a community college. I think just Statistics was at my 4-year. I'll let ya know in a few months how that worked out for me :)
 
Oct 5, 2010
324
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I would say it depends on which prereqs you're talking about. Any science prereqs should be the same courses a major in the field would take - the same ones med schools accept. Many community colleges seem to offer less-in depth courses... science courses which are accepted for, say, the RN program, instead of more comprehensive courses. (Not to knock RN programs.) I have compared syllabi from community colleges and from 4-year universities, and many courses are not the same. When in doubt, I would pick a 4-year university. The grade is also not ultimately what matters - as with anything else, it's known that it's usually harder to get a good grade in a 4-year university than a community college. One CC A&P syllabus I looked at had weekly quizzes (as do we) but they were administered online, and you could take each one up to FIVE times, and keep your highest score. The questions would be shuffled and you may or may not hit upon the same questions each time.

Also, keep in mind it's not just about getting into the program. The programs want you to actually have a certain body of knowledge when you start. The prereqs may seem like hoops through which you need to jump, but you'll be doing yourself a disservice if you don't get the best education you can when meeting those prereqs. Community colleges can be a really good choice for non-college graduates who, for one reason or another, can't immediately enter a 4-year college program. But, I don't think they're usually a good choice for people like us if we have any other option and we really want the best education.

I was making this choice, too, b/c I could save a little money and have a much shorter commute if I took the classes at a CC. I'm soooo glad I ended up taking them at the Harvard Extension School instead. Although I have no doubt there are people getting into OT programs with CC credits, I think you shortchange yourself if you drop ANY amount of money on a subpar educational experience.
 
Feb 1, 2010
75
3
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Rehab Sci Student
Hi! I'm an occupational therapy student. I agree with Blusuit. While I took many of my classes at a university, I took three out of five science classes I needed at a community college, including anatomy and physiology. The first year of my program is heavily concentrated in the sciences (gross anatomy, a more advanced physiology class, kinesiology, pathology, neuroscience....) and I can tell you first-hand that taking pre-reqs at the community college did not cause me to struggle in any of these classes later on. In fact, I think I got a better foundational education at the community college because it was a smaller environment than the large lecture halls at the university. As far as the financial commitment goes, my opinion is that it is never wise to get yourself into more debt than you need to be in, but that's just me.

Good luck to you!
 
Oct 5, 2010
324
1
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Hi! I'm an occupational therapy student. I agree with Blusuit. While I took many of my classes at a university, I took three out of five science classes I needed at a community college, including anatomy and physiology. The first year of my program is heavily concentrated in the sciences (gross anatomy, a more advanced physiology class, kinesiology, pathology, neuroscience....) and I can tell you first-hand that taking pre-reqs at the community college did not cause me to struggle in any of these classes later on. In fact, I think I got a better foundational education at the community college because it was a smaller environment than the large lecture halls at the university. As far as the financial commitment goes, my opinion is that it is never wise to get yourself into more debt than you need to be in, but that's just me.

Good luck to you!
You make a good point. I've noticed, though, many OT masters programs do not include gross anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, etc.. Those programs expect you to have gotten that information prior to joining the program. In those cases, the prereqs are all you're going to have for education in those areas, rather than them merely acting as stepping stones to more in-depth work. I'm in that boat right now, and I think of the prereqs I'm taking as being, in a way, part of my masters education. In that case, I think it makes sense to get the highest quality prereqs I can.

I'm in a class of 224 people - by far the largest class I have ever taken. (I went to a small liberal arts college for undergrad.) I sit in front and in that way feel like the class is very small... I can also e-mail the prof and she responds almost immediately, and she has office hours. We also have small labs - 20 or fewer people in each - so the size of the lecture has not been a problem for me.
 
Feb 1, 2010
75
3
Status
Rehab Sci Student
Lizzo76, just out of curiosity, which programs require more than basic science classes for admission (besides Boston requiring gross anatomy)? I can't honestly say I researched a wide range of programs while I was applying; I had my heart set on a specific school and fortunately, I was admitted there.

I do know that all OT programs have to meet certain accreditation standards set by AOTA, and this includes science classes that are generally not taught at the undergraduate level, but incorporated into the OT curriculum. For your basic Bio 1, Bio 2, Chem, and Physics, a community college is just fine as long as your grades are decent. Many of my classmates went this route and are doing great.

That being said, it is possible to succeed in larger classes. I took a bio class with about 550 people in it :eek: ... but I have to admit I'm loving the fact that my professional classes are so small now that I'm in OT school. You are very fortunate to have a supportive professor.
I wish everybody who is in the application process at the moment luck!
 
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