Oct 20, 2020  
2015-16 Academic Catalog 
2015-16 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy Assistant - OCCP.AS

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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.

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 requirement will be withdrawn from the program and must reapply with the Dean of the School of Health and Patient Simulation. http://health.stcc.edu/

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.

Programmatic Technical Standard (PDF)

Upon successful completion of the requirements, the degree of Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant will be awarded.

Applying to this Program

Admission Standards and Criteria:

  • Four years of high school English, algebra 2, biology with lab and chemistry with lab, all with no grade lower than a “C+” (77%). Applicants who do not meet this criteria must take these courses at the college level. Science courses over five years old must be repeated at the college level.
  • Scores of 400 on each (verbal and math) sections of the SAT1 exam. Candidates can waive the SAT criteria if they can document a 2.3 or higher QPA in at least 15 college credits, including English Composition, and no grade lower than a C+.
  • Completion of a college level (100 level or higher) math course with a grade of “C” (73%) or higher.
  • Completion of BIO-231 /BIO 231L   with a grade of “C” (73%) or higher.
  • Candidates must submit a short essay discussing why they would be an effective Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant to the Admissions Office with their application.
  • Qualified applicants are required to attend an informal session with the Department Chair.
  • Applicants must demonstrate competencies for admission to college level English (ENG-101 ). Students failing to meet this criteria must complete developmental coursework with grades of “C+” (77%) or higher prior to acceptance to the program.
  • All anatomy and physiology courses over five years must be repeated.
  • Students must have a physical exam which states that they are physically fit for the program and subsequent clinical components.

All accepted students must undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information or other check. Depending on the findings, the student may not be allowed to continue in the program of study. For further information, please contact the Office of the Dean, School of Health and Patient Simulation. 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.

Applying for Re-Admission to this Program

Students who leave this health program before completing it may apply for re-admission.  Click here  for information about the re-admission policy and process.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Goals

At the completion of the program graduates will:

  1. Demonstrate effective critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to provide entry-level occupational therapy services.
  2. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills with clients, families and other team members.
  3. Promote health, wellness, and prevention in the community.
  4. Adhere to ethical, legal, and safe occupational therapy practice.
  5. Demonstrate appropriate professional behavior.
  6. Manage the delivery of occupational therapy services.
  7. Advance the effectiveness of the profession of occupational therapy through research and continued professional development.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Outcomes

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 2012 - 2014 the OTA department graduated a total of 25 students and had a total of 24 graduates sit for the National Certification Examination. Of these candidates, 87% passed the exam. See secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.

Year Number of Graduates Graduation Rate Number of Exam Candidates Number of Exam Candidates Who Passed Pass Rate
2012 9 75% 9 7 78%
2013 5 41.6% 6 5 83%
2014 11 91.1% 9 9 100%
2015 7 63.6% 7 7 100%

(OCCP.AS) Curriculum

Total: 17 credits

Total: 16 credits

Total: 9 credits

Total: 12 credits

Total: 12 credits

Total (OCCP.AS) Curriculum Program Credits: 66

Department Personnel

Name Title Office Phone Email
Marianne Joyce Faculty/Department Chair 20/302H 413-755-4881 mjoyce@stcc.edu
Cristy Wassung Assistant Professor and AFWC 20/302G 413-755-4891 clwassung@stcc.edu

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