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 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. 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.
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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),
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
AOTA’s phone number is (301) 652-6611
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 2017- 2019 the OTA department graduated a total of 29 students and had a total of 26 graduates sit for the National Certification Examination. Of these candidates, 92% passed the exam. See secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.
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||Number of Exam Candidates
||Number of Exam Candidates Who Passed
*Due to the COVID pandemic, fieldwork was delayed during the 2019-2020 academic year and 5 additional students graduated and passed the exam in 2021. Students fieldwork remained delayed in 2021 and will be eligible in 2022 to take their exam.
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
- The application deadline for FALL 2022 has been extended, applications will be accepted until the program is full.
- All applications for consideration for acceptance into the program should be received by the Admissions Office no later than March 31 of the application year. 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 C 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 Statistics MAT 115 (grade of C or higher) (*new*effective fall 2020 applicants)
- 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)
- 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)
- Completion of Basic Research RCH 100 (with grade of C or better) OR
- Waiving of this requirement by the department chair with evidence of a college background (Bachelor’s degree or higher)
- Earn passing score on challenge exam
- NOTE: Students who have not completed, but are registered for RCH-100 in Spring Flex II, will be considered for a conditional acceptance for Fall 2022.
- Completion of General Psychology PSY 101 (grade of C or better ) OR
- Earn passing score on challenge exam OR submit AP credit
- Scores around 450 on each (verbal and math) sections of the SAT1. Priority will be given to applicants meeting the SAT score requirement, however lower scores will be considered.
- 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
- In order to strengthen your application, it is strongly recommended you submit this document along with all other requirements.
- Select one of the following two options:
- Paper Checklist (click here to download/print, can be mailed or emailed to Admissions Office) OR
- Electronic (E-FORM) Checklist (to be completed and submitted online)
- STCC students (currently enrolled) click here for the electronic/online checklist
- Potential students (not currently enrolled at STCC) click here for the electronic/online checklist
- Course work with designated time frames must be current within 7 years from the start of the program. (fall of application year)
- Mid-semester grades for spring prerequisite and required course will be considered. Students requesting consideration for coursework being performed outside of STCC must submit mid-term grade reports to the Admissions Office with their application. The letter must be on the official collegel letterhead. An email from the individual course professor will be accepted if it is received directly from the professor’s college email address. ALL correspondence should be emailed to email@example.com
- 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.
- It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all OFFICIAL transcripts are updated upon completion of courses AND all non-STCC college academic records are included with their application at the time of filing.
- Upon review of application materials and scoring using the departmental rubric, students will be ranked by score and then accepted into the program accordingly. If there are additional qualified student in the applicant pool, students will be notified and placed on a wait list. If a seat in the program becomes available, student will be accepted based on ranking and notified.
- Applicants who have completed the following college-level courses will be given priority consideration in the admission process:
- College level Anatomy & Physiology 2 (current within 7 years)
- English Comp 1
- Introduction to Sociology
- Lifespan Human Growth and Development.
- Patient Care & Safety (HSC 150/150L)
- English Literature or Technical Report Writing
- 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
If a student leaves a health program for any reason, and intends to re-enter the following academic year into the semester in which they left, the student must follow the readmission process as outlined in the School of Health & Patient Simulation Readmission Policy.
Click here to see full policy and procedures.
The student seeking readmission to a health program must submit a Letter of Intent to Return, to the Dean of Health & Patient Simulation Office (Building 20/Room 320) and to the Program Director, by November 16 for consideration for return in the spring semester, and by February 1 for consideration for return in the fall semester. These dates may change from year to year.
If a student intends to return to a health program after one full academic year has passed, the student must apply as a new applicant through the college admissions website https://www.stcc.edu/apply/.
All students must follow the readmission policy and guidelines of their specific department/program.
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 and Wellness Center by July 1 for students being admitted in the Fall semester and no later than two (2) weeks prior to the start of the program for students being admitted in the Spring semester of the admission year. The Health and Wellness Center is located in Building 19 Room 177 (413-755-4230). For additional information and required forms please visit the Health and Wellness Center 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.
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.
Programmatic Technical Standards: Technical Standards reflect performance abilities and essential skills that a student must demonstrate in order to successfully complete the requirements of a specified program. These Standards must be satisfied by all students in all aspects of the program, with or without reasonable accommodations, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including in the classroom, laboratories, and externship. If you are an individual with a documented disability who seeks reasonable accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability Services at (413) 755-4785 or stop by Building 19, Room 141 as soon as practicable for information concerning the College’s accommodation process. Additional information can also be found on the Office of Disability Service’s website: https://www.stcc.edu/resources/academic-support/ods/. Please note that Program Technical Standard forms found in your admission acceptance packet must be submitted to the Health and Wellness Center by July 1. The Health and Wellness Center is located in Building 19, Room 177 and can be reached at (413) 755-4230.
Drug Screening:The School of Health & Patient Simulation is committed to providing high quality education and 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 including alcohol, marijuana, and cannabis-derived products. Students enrolling in Health Professions programs are required to undergo and pass a drug screening analysis in order to be eligible for placement in a clinical facility. STCC student program fees cover the cost of this screening. Additional scheduled and random drug and/or alcohol screenings may be required depending upon clinical facility and/or program guidelines.
Students who are notified of a negative-dilute result will submit to an observed urine drug test within 24 hours of the previous test (or soonest appointment made available to STCC Health Compliance by the testing agency) in order to confirm the negative or positive finding status of the drug screening. If a student continues to receive a negative-dilute or inconclusive drug screening result, the subsequent drug test will be of the hair collection method until a conclusive negative or positive result is confirmed.
Students with a positive drug screening may challenge the results by filing a written appeal to the College’s Director of Health Compliance within five (5) business days of notification of the test results. An appeal by a student who claims that the positive test was due to a prescription drug and was unable to clarify this matter with the medical review officer (MRO) from the drug testing lab shall include evidence from a health care provider of the type of prescription, dates of permissible use and dosage amounts. Students may be responsible to pay for additional drug screening conducted as part of an appeal. Students excluded from a program due to a positive screening, failure to submit appeal, denied appeal, or refusal to submit to a screening may re-apply for re-entry into a program after one year. Requests for re-admission will be considered on a case by case basis and in accordance with the program criteria.
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, practical examinations and clinical experiences. 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, hybrid, or distance 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: 68
- OTA-212 must be completed within 20 months of the didactic coursework.