The only program of its kind in the U.S., the OT House offers occupational therapy students the opportunity to live together in a supportive academic and social environment, and to get involved in community volunteer work. The OT House is located within Centennial Apartments in close proximity to USC’s University Park Campus and easy shuttle service to the Health Sciences Campus. Additionally, the Center for Occupation and Lifestyle Redesign®, located just two blocks away, is a convenient place for residents to organize meetings and study groups.
Benefits of Residence
More than one-third of entering occupational therapy students have elected to live at OT House in the last several years. Occupational therapy students benefit from having an OT student Resident Advisor (RA) who plans social activities, as well as acts as a liaison with the Division. A faculty or staff member from the Division also lives in Centennial and participates in the academic and social events.
A Tradition of Service
Residents have a tradition of community service. Every week students in the Occupational Therapy House participate in ENGAGE, a program that works with at-risk adolescents by giving them an opportunity to participate in diverse activities. The sessions begin with dinner and then lead to an activity. In the past, activities have included arts and crafts, PowerPoint presentations, theater games, yoga, cooking, science experiments, and many others. Using an occupational therapy approach, residents are given an opportunity to mentor youth and develop activities to lead through the various sessions.
Other examples of ENGAGE activities include volunteer programs at a nearby shelter for homeless women, a blood drive, and murals in the neighborhoods around the University Park and Health Sciences campuses. For these efforts, OT House has received the Phoenix Award for innovation in residential life, as well as the Student Organization Volunteerism Award and recognition from Saturn automotive company for excellence in teamwork. This commitment to the community has also garnered national attention and University recognition. OT Week magazine published two national articles profiling OT House, and additional coverage has appeared in USC Health Magazine.
OT House has a recently upgraded and fully accessible unit, designed using both ADA and Universal Design guidelines.
For Further Information
Students considering residency at OT House can call toll-free at (866) 385-4250. Additional resources include the USC Housing website or the “Living at USC” brochure that is sent to applicants upon admission to the University.