- Published on Friday, 30 November 2012 00:09
Thirty-one students in The University of Texas at El Paso’s Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program will have something extra to be thankful for this year.
The College of Health Sciences will surprise them with scholarships totalling $423,325 to ease their financial stress and help them focus on their graduate studies at noon Wednesday, Nov. 28 in Room 237 of UTEP’s Campbell Building, 1101 N. Campbell St. Members of the media are invited to attend.
The scholarships will be applied toward tuition and fees, books and program expenses and also pay for a review course for their certification exam and licensure exam fees. Funds also will be used to assist students with living expenses while they complete out-of-town clinical rotations.
“UTEP’s College of Health Sciences is committed to preparing the next generation of the health care workforce for our region and to providing opportunities to talented students to succeed in health professions education,” said College of Health Sciences Dean Kathleen Curtis, Ph.D. “Ultimately, the winners in this effort will be our underserved community members who will receive these much-needed occupational therapy services.”
Occupational therapist was ranked No. 10 in the list of Best Jobs of 2012 in U.S. News and World Report.
The scholarships are made possible by a one-year allocation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that the MOT program received in October through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) program.
The SDS program provides scholarships to students from low-income families or from communities with limited resources. These disadvantages often prevent students from succeeding in a health professions program.
The UTEP occupational therapy program was first established as a cooperative program with The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in 1991. Administrative control of the program transferred to UTEP in 1997. In 2005, the program moved from a bachelor’s level program to an entry-level master’s program, which can be completed in about two-and-a-half years. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
College officials estimate that 75 percent of the program’s graduates remain in the area. Fifty-two MOT students are currently enrolled.