A new Orthotist and Prosthetist Assistant Studies (OPA) specialization is being offered within the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science (EXS) degree program in the Department of Human Movement Science at Oakland University, Rochester, MI. This is one of the first OPA programs to be launched in the U.S., and it is expected that this new program will serve as a model for others nationwide.
Combining a unique blend of disciplines (human movement, materials science, and engineering), the 26-credit-hour OPA specialization will prepare students with the skills needed to serve patients in many ways similar to other healthcare providers. A new 18-credit OPA minor is also available to students in any major across the university. This specialization is a professionally accredited field requiring post-graduate completion of a paid clinical residency. Candidates are eligible to sit for certification examination following the residency (several states also require licensure before allowing independent practice).
“The OPA program is a new program that offers the Health Science student a unique field blending patient care, rehabilitation, engineering elements of materials characteristics and biomechanical design, and so much more,” said Tamara Treanore, CO, founding director and special instructor of OPA.
Oakland University is currently pursuing national accreditation of the OPA specialization through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education.