OTA Grads Achieve 100-Percent Pass Rate on Certification Exam

Published 05.31.2000

Student News

All 23 Class of 1999 graduates in the Occupational Therapy Assistant major at Pennsylvania College of Technology who took the national certification exam in March have passed, marking the 11th consecutive time that students in the associate's-degree program registered a 100-percent pass rate.

The test, which was administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, was newly formatted − and more difficult − this year, said Barbara J. Natell, director of the Occupational Assistant Therapy program and an associate professor in Penn College's School of Health Sciences.

"The scores are calibrated against 14 domains, which divide questions into the knowledge and practice skills required of the entry-level OTA practitioner," Natell said. "Our graduates scored higher than the national averages in each domain. The average passing rate nationally was 80.72 percent, so our 100-percent record is really something to be proud of."

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home-health agencies, community mental-health centers and inpatient psychiatric units, vocational rehabilitation programs, sheltered workshops, drug and alcohol programs, prison systems, adult day-care centers, schools for handicapped children and the mentally retarded and public school systems.