Occupational therapy practitioners help clients across the life span reach functional goals related to play, work, education and self care. The roles and skills which underlie these goals are in essence one’s occupation and occupational tools. For example, a certified occupational therapy assistant may help an individual who has had a stroke re-learn to dress him/herself, or may help a child with cerebral palsy learn to operate a computer with adapted equipment. Occupational therapy serves those with psychosocial as well as physical health problems in a variety of settings such as hospitals and clinics, rehabilitation facilities, long-term care facilities, extended care facilities, sheltered workshops, schools, camps, private homes and community centers.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is 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. AOTA’s phone number is (301) 652-AOTA. Information regarding accreditation can be found at www.acoteonline.org. For certification, graduates of the program will be able to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapy Assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.
The Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant will be able to provide direct service to the client under the supervision of the Registered Occupational Therapist. The level of supervision is dependent on the specific service provided and the competency of the occupational therapy assistant.
The occupational therapy assistant curriculum is competency-based. It prepares the graduate to participate in a comprehensive care plan for the client. A three-fold program is utilized: prevention, remediation, and compensation for occupational life tasks and activities lost to illness, injury or delay. The student must complete one semester in supervised practice, Level II fieldwork, which will require travel and related expenses. It must be completed within 20 months of the didactic coursework.
Clinical rotations are an integral part of the occupational therapy assistant program curriculum. The clinical component is based on contracts negotiated with area health care and educational facilities. It should be noted that all students may not have clinical placements confirmed prior to graduation. Some students may need to attend clinical during the evening, weekend or summer. Please note some clinical affiliates require drug testing and further background investigation at additional cost to the student.
Upon successful completion of the requirements, the degree of Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant will be awarded.
Accreditation and Program Outcomes
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is accredited by the:
Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA),
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200,
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449.
AOTA’s phone number is (301) 652-AOTA.
Information regarding accreditation can be found at www.acoteonline.org.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) department uses Level II student fieldwork performance evaluations, student evaluations of the fieldwork experience, employer and graduate surveys, faculty evaluations, student opinion surveys, and aggregate information from the National Certification Examination to assess the effectiveness of the program. For calendar years 2015 - 2017 the OTA department graduated a total of 22 students and had a total of 21 graduates sit for the National Certification Examination. Of these candidates, 86% passed the exam. See secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.
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At the completion of the program graduates will:
- Demonstrate effective critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to provide entry-level occupational therapy services.
- Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills with clients, families and other team members.
- Promote health, wellness, and prevention in the community.
- Adhere to ethical, legal, and safe occupational therapy practice.
- Demonstrate appropriate professional behavior.
- Manage the delivery of occupational therapy services.
- Advance the effectiveness of the profession of occupational therapy through research and continued professional development.
Applying to this Program
- All applications and supporting documents should be sent to, and received by, the Admissions Office no later than March 31 of the application year for consideration for acceptance into the program. Applicants who send materials to locations other than the Admissions Office will not be considered for admission.
- Fall start only, day program only
- This is a competitive program with rigorous standards, therefore only students with all application requirements met will be considered.. Student application and documents will be scored on a rubric based on the admission pre-requisites as noted below:
- Proof of High School transcript, GED or HISET
- Completion of 4 years of high school English (grade of B or higher) ; OR
- Placement examination score at ENG-101 level: OR
- Successful completion of ENG-101 (grade of B or higher)
- Successful completion of high school Algebra 2(grade of C+ or higher); OR
- Successful completion of Algebra 2 MAT-097 or college level (100 or higher) math course (grade of C+ or higher): OR
- Placement examination score at MAT-101 or higher AND
- Completion of a college level (100 or higher) math course( a grade of C+ or higher) Statistics preferred
- Completion of high school level Biology with a lab (grade of C+ or higher, within 7 years); OR
- Completion of college level Biology with a lab (such as BIO-101 , BIO-201 ) (grade of C+ or higher, within 7 years)
- Completion of high school level Chemistry with a lab (grade of C+ or higher, within 7 years); OR
- Completion of college level Chemistry with a lab (such as CHM-101 , CHM-111 ) (grade of C+ or higher, within 7 years)
- Anatomy and Physiology 1
- Completion of college level Anatomy and Physiology 1 (BIO-231 ) with a lab (BIO-231L )(grade of C or higher, within 7 years)
- Scores around 450 on each (verbal and math) sections of the SAT1.
- Candidates can waive the SAT criteria if they can document a 3.0 or higher QPA in 15 college credits, including English Comp (with all grades C+ or higher)
- Short Essay
- Discuss why you would be an effective Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant that includes related work or life experiences. Submit to Admissions Office with your application by stated deadline.
- Admission Checklist (click here to download/print)
- In order to strengthen your application, it is strongly recommended you submit this document along with all other requirements.
- Course work with designated time frames must be current within 7 years from the start of the program. Courses over 7 years will need to be repeated.
- Applicants submitting mid-term grades for prerequisite coursework will be considered after review of completed applications
- Conditional acceptances will be given for applicants who have incomplete courses in the spring semester. The condition will state what final grade must be earned to gain full acceptance. Students not meeting stated conditions will not be granted admission to the program.
- Programmatic Technical Standards: Students with disabilities must be able to meet the technical standards of the program with reasonable accommodations as defined by the ADA.
- Applicants who have completed the following college-level courses will be given priority consideration in the admission process:
- Anatomy & Physiology 2,
- English Comp 1 & 2
- General Psychology
- Introduction to Sociology
- Lifespan Human Growth and Development.
- Students currently enrolled AND/OR who have completed 12 credits of liberal arts/general education and science courses at STCC.
Applying for Re-Admission to this Program
Students who leave this health program before completing it may apply for re-admission. Students reapplying to the program must resubmit an application, all supporting documents and essay with updated official transcripts. Students will be eligible to receive up to a maximum of one re-admission. Click here for information about the re-admission policy and process.
Additional Requirements for Accepted Students
Deposit: If offered admission, a non-refundable $50.00 deposit will be required to secure your acceptance to this Program.
Mandatory Health Records: All required health records, immunizations, and physicals MUST be filed in the STCC Health Services office by July 1 of the admission year. The Health Office is located in the Building 20 Suite, room 320 (third floor center) (413-755-4230). For additional information and required forms please visit the Health Services website at http://www.stcc.edu/healthservices. The college/program reserves the right to rescind the admission status of any student not meeting, as well as not submitting, all post-admission requirements in a timely manner.
Background Check: College programs involving potentially unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly, including fieldwork (a clinical affiliation, internship, externship, or field placement) with a private or public healthcare provider or daycare provider, will be required to undergo state-wide and/or national criminal background checks, including but not limited to: Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sex Offender Record Information (SORI), Seven (7) year residential Search, and FBI Fingerprinting checks. The purpose of the background check is to ensure a safe and protective environment for all clients, particularly members of vulnerable populations.
Students choosing not to consent to the required background checks will be ineligible to participate in fieldwork involving vulnerable populations. Ineligibility to participate in fieldwork may affect a student’s ability to successfully complete the program.
Based upon the results of the background checks, a student may be deemed ineligible to participate in academic or clinical activities, which may impact a student’s ability to successfully complete program requirements. Background checks are reviewed by the College’s CORI Board. The CORI Board determines eligibility to participate in academic and/or clinical activities. Students have the right to appeal the determination of the CORI Board by filing a written appeal with the Vice President of Student and Multicultural Affairs within 10 business days of receiving the CORI Board’s determination.
Furthermore, please be advised that eligibility to participate in College academic and/or clinical activities following a background check does not guarantee eligibility to sit for a professional credentialing examination(s) or for employment upon program completion. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the certification or licensure board for a particular healthcare or other service profession to determine the standards that must be met for credentialing, licensing and/or employment in that field.
Drug Screening Policy for Clinical Placement: The School of Health & Patient Simulation is committed to high quality education and providing excellent clinical experiences to students in the health professions. Students are expected to perform at their highest functional level during all educational and clinical experiences in order to maximize the learning environment and ensure patient safety. Thus a student’s performance at all times must be free of any impairment caused by prescription or non-prescribed drugs or alcohol use. Students enrolling in Health Professions programs are required to undergo and pass a drug and/or alcohol screening analysis in order to be eligible for placement in a clinical facility. Students assigned to clinical education experiences at our contracted facilities may also be required to undergo and pass random drug screening analysis in order to remain at that clinical facility and in the program. Students who fail a screening, or refuse to submit to a screening within the designated time frame will be ineligible for clinical placement, which will affect their status in the program. Students with a positive drug test may challenge the results of the test within five (5) business days of notification of the drug test results. This challenge must be in writing and delivered to the college’s Director of Health Services. Students may re-apply for re-entry into a health program after one year. Requests for re-admission will be considered on a case by case basis.
Students who are notified of a negative-dilute result will submit to a random drug test within 24 hours of the previous test in order to confirm the negative status of the screening. Additional random testing may also be required under the guidelines listed in your program’s handbook. A student who claims that he/she tested positive due to a prescription drug and was unable to clarify this matter with the medical review officer (MRO) from the drug testing lab shall be required to provide evidence from a health care provider of the type of prescription, dates of permissible use and dosage amounts within five (5) business days of notification of the drug test results to the college’s Director of Health Services. Failure to complete this notification will result in the student being ineligible for clinical placement, which will affect their status in the program
Students who test positive for marijuana are unable to continue in a clinical placement, which will affect their status in the health program. A student who has a prescription for Medical Marijuana and tests positive for marijuana will also be ineligible to participate in clinical placement due to the federal restriction on the use of marijuana. While the use of Medical Marijuana is permitted in Massachusetts, marijuana remains classified as a controlled substance under federal law and its use, possession, and/or cultivation at educational institutions remains prohibited.
Programmatic Technical Standards: Technical Standards reflect performance abilities and essential skills that are necessary for a student to successfully complete the requirements of a specified program. Students with disabilities must be able to meet the technical standards of the program with reasonable accommodations as defined by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA.) See the link below. Program Technical Standard forms found in your admission acceptance packet must be submitted to the Office of Health Services by July 1. Health Services office is located in building 20, room 320 (413 755-4230)
Health Program Latex Policy
Program Requirements and Advancement
- Minimum Grade Requirement: Occupational Therapy Assistant students must achieve a minimum grade of “C” (73%) in all required courses. The student who is unable to meet this minimum requirements will be withdrawn from the program and must reapply with the Dean of the School of Health and Patient Simulation.
- Technology Requirements: All OTA courses in the curriculum are web-assisted or hybrid format. Accepted students must have access to a lap top or personal computer, with internet access, and must be able to print course materials and assignments.
- Certification: graduates of the program will be able to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapy Assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.
- Clinical rotations are an integral part of the occupational therapy assistant program curriculum. The clinical component is based on contracts negotiated with area health care and educational facilities. It should be noted that all students may not have clinical placements confirmed prior to graduation. Some students may need to attend clinical during the evening, weekend or summer.
- As noted all accepted students must undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information or other check. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. Please contact NBCOT at (301)990-7979 or see http://www.nbcot.org/for more information.
- Students must adhere to the strict attendance policy in lecture, lab and practicum in order to graduate.
Total (OCCP.AS) Curriculum Program Credits: 66
||Associate Professor and AFWC
||Assistant Professor/Clinic Coordinator