Occupational Therapy is a well‐recognized health profession that assists people of all ages to gain the skills needed to complete meaningful daily activities known as occupations, such as eating, dressing, completing homecare, working, playing, and participating in school, leisure or social activities. When an individual’s life is disrupted because of a developmental or learning disability, a physical injury or illness, aging and/or social and psychological challenges, an occupational therapy professional may help by teaching new skills, adapting or resolving barriers to independent functioning.
An occupational therapy assistant works under the supervision of an occupational therapist to assist in the evaluation process and they may collaborate with the occupational therapist and other health care professionals such as doctors, nurses, physical therapy professionals and social workers to develop a treatment plan. The occupational therapy assistant then implements the treatment plan as outlined by the occupational therapist.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is part of the Health Science Division with limited yearly enrollment. Applications must be completed by January of each year for admission to the program for the following Fall semester. You must contact the office of Health Science to schedule and attend an OTA program selection information session (OTAPSIS). Students may begin non‐OTAP courses any semester. Students in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average while in the OTAP program. A minimum grade of 77% is required in BIOL 2751 , BIOL 2752 , HLTH 1150 , PSYC 1010 , PSYC 2010 , PSYC 2050 , and all OTAP courses in order to meet prerequisite requirements.
The NCSC 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, Bethesda, MD 20814‐3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652‐AOTA. Graduates of the program will be eligible 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). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program publishes a student handbook that outlines specific program policies that are not explained in the general catalog. The specific policies as described in the handbook take precedence over any general policy outlined in the college catalog. A copy of the handbook is available for review in the OTA program director’s office. An acceptable health physical and verification of immunization are required. Some fieldwork sites may require an acceptable Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI&I) report and drug screening. The Associate of Applied Science is awarded upon completion of this program.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the program, graduates will:
- Have acquired an educational foundation in liberal arts and science, including a focus on issues related to diversity.
- Be educated as a generalist with a broad exposure to the delivery models and systems used in settings where occupational therapy is currently practiced and where it is emerging as a service.
- Have achieved entry‐level competence through a combination of academic and fieldwork education.
- Be prepared to articulate and apply occupational therapy principles and intervention tools to achieve expected outcomes as related to occupation.
- Be prepared to articulate and apply therapeutic use of occupations with individuals or groups for the purpose of participation in roles and situations in home, school, workplace, community, and other settings.
- Be able to apply occupational therapy interventions to address the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, and other aspects of performance in a variety of contexts and environments to support engagement in everyday life activities that affect health, well‐being and quality of life.
- Be prepared to be a lifelong learner and keep current with best practice.
- Demonstrate an understanding and abide by the code of ethics established for state licensure and those established by the American Occupational Therapy Association during academic and fieldwork education.
- Understand the distinct roles and responsibilities of the occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant in the supervisory process.
- Be prepared to effectively communicate and work inter-professionally with those who provide care for individuals and/or populations in order to clarify each member’s responsibility in executing components of an intervention plan.
- Be prepared to advocate as a professional for the occupational therapy services offered and for the recipients of those services