Accreditation awarded to West Coast University’s Occupational Therapy Program

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Achieving the maximum seven years of accreditation ‘confirms the program meets the education standards.’

LOS ANGELES, January 21, 2015 — Nearly 100 students in West Coast University’s inaugural master’s degree in Occupational Therapy class received an early holiday gift when they learned in December that the program received the maximum seven years of accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

With nearly 400 Occupational Therapy programs being offered nationwide, the accreditation status is an important milestone for the program and for the students who made the choice to attend West Coast University, said Dr. Nicolaas van den Heever, the founding dean and director of the Occupational Therapy Program.

“It confirms that the program meets the education standards of the programmatic accreditors,” Dr. van den Heever said. “As a new school in the area, this puts us in the ring with all the other schools that have accreditation history behind them.”

The program, which was launched in September of 2013 at West Coast University’s Los Angeles campus, was found to have no deficiencies in any of the 188 ACOTE Standards when it was awarded accreditation.

Program graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. After successfully passing this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered.

The mission of West Coast University’s Occupational Therapy program is to develop caring and competent entry-level generalists who are lifelong learners and who can develop into advocates and leaders for the Occupational Therapy profession in diverse local and global communities.

Through a student-centric and interprofessional curriculum, the students will be prepared to be reflective practitioners by applying principles of evidence-based practice, research, and critical thinking to facilitate the well-being of consumers through engagement in valued occupations and as it relates to health promotion, prevention, and wellness.

“As Occupational Therapists, we help people live their life to the fullest,” Dr. van den Heever said. “Here at WCU, we prepare our students to meet that challenge."

About West Coast University

Founded in 1909, West Coast University is a private institution focused on health care education. WCU offers both undergraduate and graduate health sciences degrees. WCU campuses are located in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties in California, as well as Dallas, Texas and Miami, Florida. Through our commitment to academic excellence, fostering of a student-centric culture, and investment in advanced campus facilities, WCU strives to stay on the leading edge of the health care industry, preparing graduates for a career they love and one that meets the needs of the community. WCU is institutionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission ( and the University’s occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. For more information, visit

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Tony Dodero