What are the best CEUs for school-based OTs? That’s a good question! It can be tricky to find continuing education that is highly relevant to our practice. General occupational therapy CEU courses can be too broad, and the professional development school districts often provide is usually aimed at classroom teachers. So what’s a school-based OT who wants to grow in their work to do?
I’ve gathered some of the CEU courses that I’ve personally enjoyed over the years, as well as taken recommendations from other OTs in my Facebook group. And I really think what we came up with represents the best of the best CEUs for school-based OTs available right now!
Note: Some affiliate links are used in this article, but please don’t feel pressure to use them!
CEUs for School-Based OTs
Therapies in The Schools Conference
This is a cool opportunity to attend a conference where almost all of the sessions will be relevant to your work! This conference is aimed at OTs, PTs, and SLPs, but I’ve noticed that most of the sessions are run by OTs or very relevant to our work. In 2020, the conference went virtual and hosted talks on everything from Medicaid billing to creating motor labs/sensory pathways to effectively providing push-in services. You can stay up-to-date on future conference dates/offerings here.
OccupationalTherapy.com and Medbridge
For occupational therapists who love the convenience of online CEUs, OccupationalTherapy.com and Medbridge are both good options that actually have courses aimed at school-based OTs. As a travel therapist who moves around frequently, it can be tricky for me to commit to in-person CEUs, so I love the opportunity websites like this provide. Plus, paying one yearly subscription price for unlimited CEUs is a pretty great deal!
Curious about my favorite MedBridge courses? Check out this article.
Apply EBP is a wonderful organization that champions the use of evidence-based practice for pediatric therapists! Born from another great website, SeekFreaks, Apply EBP has a lot of options for online and in-person CEUs. While not all of the courses focus on school-based therapy, many do or are easily able to be incorporated into any pediatric work.
Learn Play Thrive
For any OT working with autistic students (identity-first language for the win!), Meg’s course The Learn Play Thrive Approach to Autism is the gold standard. This course is incredibly practical and I guarantee you’ll learn things that rock your world compared to what you learned in grad school! Meg is an excellent advocate and frequently collaborates with the adult autistic community to make sure her trainings are culturally appropriate and client-centered. And if you’d like to save 15%, you can use my code: DEVON15.
Ginny Paleg is a PT who is an expert on evidence-based intervention for children with cerebral palsy. She is a wonderful resource for anyone working with children of this profile and has a lot of experience with working within the school system. If you ever see a course by her, take it! Her Facebook Group can be a great spot to get connected with her.
The STAR Institute
The STAR Institute is an organization devoted to sensory processing. While much of their work focuses on more medical-based treatment, they do offer a School-Based Intensive for Occupational Therapy Practitioners! This is a great option for any OT who wants to learn more about sensory processing and our role in addressing it in the schools.
Size Matters Handwriting Program
SMHP is one of the most evidence-based handwriting curriculums out there, and it’s also the one I’ve personally seen the most success with! The core of the program posits that letter sizing is actually the most important factor in maintaining legibility. This program is what I recommend to all of the teachers and admins I work with. If you can get your school to adopt it as an official curriculum, you will definitely see a decrease in handwriting referrals!
Sarah Ward is arguably the biggest name in executive function treatment for therapists! A speech therapist by training, she offers practical and easily implementable strategies for addressing executive function. Any opportunity you have to learn from her is well worth it.
The OT School House Podcast
The OT School House is an excellent podcast that’s all about school-based occupational therapy! And if you’re already listening to the podcast, might as well get CEU credit, right? I think this is an especially great option for OTs who find themselves spending a lot of time in the car. To earn CEUs, all you have to do is listen to the podcast and then purchase and pass an accompanying quiz!
Therapy Advance Courses
Therapy Advance Courses is another great resource for school-based practitioners. Founded by a school-based OT and SLP, Kristina and Lauren noticed that there wasn’t an easy way for school-based practitioners to take post-graduate courses. In many states, taking post-graduate coursework moves you on up the salary schedule, so this can be a great way to knock out some CEUs as well as make more money! You can check out their current course offerings here.
AOTA CEUs for School-Based OTs
While you’re probably familiar with the AOTA conference, I wanted to highlight a slightly different continuing ed opportunity. Did you know that AOTA offers CEU credit for engaging with their articles and publications? For school-based OTs, I’d recommend their book, Best Practices for Occupational Therapy in Schools. Honestly, this is a great resource for school-based OT in general, but you can also earn CEU credits for reading the chapters and completing a short learning activity.
AOTA also periodically offers free CEU webinars to members. While they’re not always related to school-based OT, this is a good thing to check if you’re already paying for a membership!
The Dynamic School OT
And naturally, I’d recommend my signature course, The Dynamic School OT for any school-based OT who wants to become more effective, efficient, and confident! The course covers pretty much everything there is to know about working in the school system, from laws and regulations, to the evaluation process, to intervention, to assistive technology, to work-life balance, and even using teletherapy! And as a bonus, the course comes with over 40 downloadable extra resources like assessment templates, referral forms, data tracking measures, tools for recommending service minutes, and more. Whether you’re brand new to school-based practice or you’ve been doing it for a while, it’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to save time and become happier in their work.
This course is completely self-paced, virtual, and is offered seasonally. It’s also approved for 7 Contact Hours/0.7 CEU through AOTA. To see the full course learning objectives and current enrollment availability, click here.
I hope these options have jump-started your thinking on what you’d like your continuing education to look like over the next year! Making sure the CEUs you invest in are relevant and specific to your work is key to being a well-rounded school-based OT. I’m excited to see all of the resources that have popped up in this area in the last few years and I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Do you have any CEUs for school-based OTs you would recommend? I would love to hear about them! Comment below or send me an email at email@example.com.