UB occupational therapy grads pass national boards with flying colors

Release Date: March 22, 2017

Janice Tona, occupational therapy program director and clinical assistant professor of rehabilitation science, University at Buffalo.

“This is the largest class we’ve had to date, so a 100 percent passing rate is great to see.”
Janice Tona, occupational therapy program director and clinical assistant professor of rehabilitation science
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The results are in and, for the first time in at least the past five years, 100 percent of the University at Buffalo students who took the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) exam within a year of graduation passed the test.

Fifty-two UB occupational therapy graduates took the exam in 2016. The graduates are from the five-year combined BS/MS program in occupational therapy in the School of Public Health and Health Professions.

“This is the largest class we’ve had to date, so a 100 percent passing rate is great to see,” said Janice Tona, occupational therapy program director and clinical assistant professor of rehabilitation science.

“Our curriculum is broad and strong, and we have experienced, dedicated faculty. But the bulk of the credit goes to our hard-working students, as they take individual responsibility for preparing for this exam,” Tona said.

Tona also attributed the recent success to a professional review course that has been offered each of the past few years by the UB Student Occupational Therapy Association in collaboration with the school’s Department of Rehabilitation Science. By hosting the course, UB students are able to attend the review session at a reduced rate.

Test-takers have four hours to complete the computer-based exam, which includes three clinical simulation test items that are case-based situations the students must solve, in addition to 170 four- and three-option single response multiple choice items.

The exam addresses OT practice for all ages, from preterm infants through senescence and includes working with individuals who have difficulty engaging in daily occupations including work, play, leisure, self-care and sleep to promote health, wellness and functioning.

Programs must achieve a minimum pass rate of 80 percent in order to maintain their accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. UB’s occupational therapy program has consistently surpassed that threshold. In recent years, the program’s NBCOT pass rate has been 98 percent (in 2015) and 94 percent (2014).

“UB OT alumni are making a difference across the country and are helping people to live life to the fullest, and we are honored to be part of their preparation,” Tona said, noting that UB’s occupational therapy program is more than 60 years old.

To view schools’ passing rates, visit the NBCOT website at https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.

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