About Brenau Occupational Therapy


Message from the Director

Director of the School of Occupational Therapy Nicolaas van den Heever poses for a photo. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Nicolaas van den Heever, director of the School of Occupational Therapy (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

The Brenau University School of Occupational Therapy (SOT) is dedicated to educating students to become occupational therapists that can meet the healthcare demands of the 21st century. The SOT community of learning is dynamic and vibrant. The entry-level masters’ program is held in high regard in national and international communities. Brenau maintains above standard national certification exam (NBCOT) pass rates. Graduates are sought by employers for their firm grounding in theory, practice and appreciation for the research to support professional practice. Additionally, a post professional doctorate program (OTD) is offered for occupational therapists who want to gain advanced skills for leadership, program development, research, and management.


What are the career opportunities?

There has never been a better time to consider occupational therapy as a career. If you are a serious student who enjoys the behavioral and biological sciences as well as arts and humanities you may be a great fit for the profession. If you are interested in using this knowledge to help your clients live life to the fullest, then occupational therapy might be for you! Since the 1980′s, occupational therapy has been consistently ranked as one of the top ten fastest growing professions in the United States by the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as numerous other career-rating publications.

This trend is expected to continue because occupational therapy is an effective intervention for people of all ages with complex health issues and disabilities which interfere with engaging in occupations or activities of daily life. Individuals with autism, dementia, head injury, mental illness, orthopedic conditions and other neurological or chronic diseases or developmental problems can benefit from occupational therapy services to fully participate in their life activities. As well, occupational therapists provide services to persons without health conditions in order to prevent disability or injury or with older adults aging in their homes and communities.


What do occupational therapists do and where do they work?

Occupational therapists help individuals and groups with physical, mental or developmental problems which interfere with everyday life. We do this by providing customized therapy to help individuals do the daily activities needed for self-care, work, play and being part of society. This can range from helping a child with cerebral palsy learn to feed herself to helping an adult with a hand injury return to work or an older adult who is depressed and frail live safely at home and participate in the community. Sometimes the focus is on helping someone gain abilities by doing actual tasks which are arranged into manageable parts until the person gains competence and control. Sometimes it involves making the performance setting more supportive by use of assistive technology or educating others who engage with the person. Occupational therapists work with people of all ages across a wide variety of settings, including medical settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers and outpatient clinics. They also work in schools, as well as community agencies, private practices and a variety of worker settings.


Can I find employment abroad?

Occupational therapy is welcomed as a vital partner in influencing the future of our society’s most important institutions —the family, health care, education and public policy. Occupational therapy is established in many countries around the world and outreach opportunities abound internationally for therapists who seek them. Global health needs and issues will continue to require the contributions of occupational therapy’s unique understanding and approach to human occupation—the activities that we as humans do every day, and how we construct meaning about them in our lives.


Tell me about the OT students and faculty.

Brenau University is very proud of our students, our faculty and the support we receive from our colleagues in the field, all of whom make up our unique community of learning. We work together so that our graduates can excel in occupational therapy practice, inquiry and advocacy. Our students come from diverse backgrounds, arriving from all over the United States and around the world. They are drawn by the quality of our program, our faculty and the personal attention and friendly atmosphere of our campus. Our students are hard-working, compassionate and eager to make a difference in people’s lives. They are pleased to join a cohort of others who share the same values and passion for the profession.

The Brenau SOT faculty includes prominent occupational therapists who are authors of major text books, publications and other professional resources. They are leaders in state and national professional organizations and several have received outstanding recognition for their teaching and professional service. Most are active clinicians, bringing clinic-to-classroom experience to student learning. Faculty members not only instruct, they guide thesis research and become lifelong mentors to our alumni.


Will I receive both ‘hands-on’ learning and classroom education?

Practical laboratory experiences, as well as clinical fieldwork are vital components of the Brenau programs. Students have excellent fieldwork opportunities each semester in medical, rehabilitative, educational and community settings. Faculty members and our guide these learning experiences, helping students apply knowledge gained from classes for direct application to clients. We have over 440 fieldwork sites throughout Georgia, the Southeast and across the U.S.

Take a few minutes to explore the opportunities that abound at Brenau. You will find it’s an excellent place to prepare you to become an occupational therapist or to advance your occupational therapy career. Occupational therapy is a vital and rewarding profession. Consider joining our community of learning.


Dr. Nicolaas van den Heever

Associate Professor
Director, School of Occupational Therapy




The Brenau School of Occupational Therapy entry-level master’s degree programs at the Gainesville and North Atlanta/Norcross campuses are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449.
ACOTE’s telephone number c/o of AOTA is (301) 652 AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org.


Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
(Phone) 800.729.2682 members, 301.652.6611



Professional Certification

To be a practicing occupational therapist, graduates must take and pass the certification exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.  After successfully completing the exam the graduate is certified as an Occupational Therapist, Registered. Most states require additional licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

NBCOT and State Licensing Boards have the right to refuse to grant occupational therapy certification and/or license to any individuals regardless of their educational credentials under circumstances of:

  • Falsification of application.
  • Conviction of a felony or crime of moral turpitude.
  • Other moral and legal violations specified in relevant state laws.

To view NBCOT Exam Results follow the attached link provided by NBCOT https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.


National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
(Phone) 301.990.7979
(Fax) 301.869.8492

MSOT Program Outcomes

Each academic year, the Brenau Norcross Day program track graduates in August and the Gainesville Day and Norcross Weekend program tracks graduate in December.


MSOT Graduation Year Student
2015 126/114 90%
2016 89/76 85%
2017 98/82 84%
Total 313/272 87%
General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100