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Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 3:15pm
Dobbs Ferry Campus

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) has released its latest findings on pass rates for Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) programs, and Mercy College has clocked in at an impressive 91 percent pass rate.

“This is wonderful news, especially with an accreditation self-study and site visit coming up in the next few months,” said Dr. Joan Toglia, Professor and Dean of the School of Health and Natural Sciences. “It’s quite a dramatic improvement compared to two years ago, and it beautifully demonstrates the hard work and dedication that have gone into the OTA program to achieve Mercy’s goals for student success.”

Two years ago, the OTA program was hit by a confluence of events that adversely affected its pass rate. Beginning with certain regulatory changes in the way New York State qualified OTA students and calculated pass rates, Mercy’s pass rate appeared to be languishing at 60 percent. This led to a glut of students re-taking the licensing exam, causing further havoc to the algorithm.

Under the leadership of Cristina Dumitrescu, Assistant Professor and OTA Program Director, and Sharon Sedlak, Assistant Professor and clinical fieldwork education director, the program underwent a period of revamping. No efforts were spared as the two faculty members conducted weekly review sessions, met individually with students as needed, and re-examined methodologies in both the classroom and the lab. Utilizing a practice testing program called ExamSoft, students were able to gain familiarity with the online testing program, leading to better performance on tests. Additional case study reviews and hands-on learning activities, such as more open lab sessions and even a medical mission to Antigua, helped to boost student confidence and enhance their clinical judgment, according to Professor Dumitrescu.

Their efforts paid off. Within one year the pass rate had risen to 80 percent, climbing another 11 percentage points by the end of 2018, and today the OTA program and students are thriving. “We’re extremely proud of our OTA faculty and students, who have worked incredibly hard to raise their pass rate,” Dr. Toglia said. “This is a wonderful outcome for the program and for Mercy College.”

Mercy OTA program dramatically improves its pass rate, says national certification board












Mercy OTA program dramatically improves its pass rate, says national certification board












Mercy OTA program dramatically improves its pass rate, says national certification board