The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program provides the student with a comprehensive learning experience that will enable him or her to acquire the competencies required of an Occupational Therapy Assistant. The student is exposed to a variety of clinical experiences in occupational therapy practice at many local facilities, including those at AdventHealth. The program can be completed in two calendar years and leads to an Associate of Science degree.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Student Handbook Supplement contains the program policies. By accepting enrollment as an occupational therapy assistant student, each applicant agrees to abide by the policies as outlined in the Supplement.
All students must present:
- Proof of health insurance before entering the clinical environment and must maintain this insurance for the duration of the program.
- Yearly verification of tuberculosis screening. If the test is positive, refer to the Communicable Disease Policy in the Student Handbook for additional information.
- Updated immunization records including hepatitis B, MMR and Tetanus-Diphtheria.
- Verification of varicella vaccination or show immunity (titer).
- Evidence of physical examination within three months prior to beginning the program.
- Verification of current certification in professional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from the American Heart Association, including infant, child, and adult CPR.
- Evidence of a successfully completed FIT test prior to the professional program deadline.
All students must have a background check. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and various state licensing agencies require disclosure of all felony convictions. The results of this background check may impact eligibility for certification and licensure. Eligibility should be determined in advance of beginning an educational program. Felony convictions may be resolved by the NBCOT’s Qualifications Review Committee. Mental health intervention may also affect the individual’s ability to obtain state licensure. For further information, see the Occupational Therapy Assistant Student Handbook Supplement.
Mental and Physical Requirements for Applicants
Applicants seeking admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program must be able, with or without reasonable accommodation, to:
- Visually observe and assess a patient, discriminate color and depth, read and accurately complete reports, and visualize diagnostic/monitoring equipment in dimmed light.
- Auditorily monitor and assess patient health needs, monitor various equipment and background sounds, and communicate by telephone.
- Verbally communicate in a clear and concise manner.
- Communicate sufficiently to interact with others in appropriate professional verbal and written form.
- Read and interpret relevant medical data from patient charts, reports, and orders.
- Safely lift and transfer patients to accomplish bed/chair/stretcher transfer with assistance or assistive devices.
- Safely push a gurney or wheelchair.
- Stand or sit for an extended period of time.
- Demonstrate sufficient manual dexterity necessary to perform activities specific to this program.
- Possess sufficient critical thinking skills to think clearly and act professionally, safely, and accurately in stressful situations.
- Professionally interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
In addition to the above listed criteria, the following requirements are specific to the OTA Program, though examples may not be all-inclusive:
- Possess manual dexterity sufficient to fabricate and modify splints and adaptive equipment, perform range-of-motion exercises/activities, position another person, and perform components of sensory, motor, and Activities of Daily Living (ADL) assessments.
- Possess the ability to lift 15 pounds independently and place objects of this weight at various levels including floor level and overhead.
- Possess the ability to work in clinical environments which involve exposure to persons with physical and mental disabilities, such as pain, grief, death, stress, communicable diseases, blood and body fluids, and toxic substances.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Admissions Committee makes the final decision regarding an applicant’s acceptance to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. A successful applicant for admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program must meet the general requirements for admission to AdventHealth University (AHU) and will be evaluated, based on the following criteria:
- Submit the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Application once admitted to the University. The application can be accessed at http://my.ahu.edu.
- Have a minimum high school unweighted GPA of 2.70 (on a 4.00 scale)1 or achieve a minimum admission GPA of 2.70 in at least 12 credits of previous college work. GPAs presented to the admissions committee for each applicant will be a cumulative record of all college-level work.
- Have a minimum ACT standard composite score of 19 or a combined2 SAT score of 910 (rSAT: 990). Applicants with 24 or more credits from a regionally accredited college are exempt from taking the ACT or SAT.
- A student may repeat only two cognate courses one time each due to failure of the course (below a grade of “C”) to remain eligible to enroll in the OTA program. Courses retaken with passing grades in each attempt will not be counted against the applicant. Failed courses that fall outside the Transfer of Credit time limits will be counted against the applicant; however, the applicant is eligible to explain the reason for the repeated courses in an appeal process. To be eligible for admission to the OTA program, the student must not violate the cognate repeat rule:
- If a student has received lower than a grade of “C” twice on the same cognate course.
- If a student has received lower than a grade of “C” on three different cognate courses.
This will include classes taken at other institutions prior to attending AdventHealth University. This policy does not have a time limit and will apply to all courses previously taken.
- Submit recommendations on AHU Recommendation Forms. If an applicant to an undergraduate program has completed at least one trimester at AdventHealth University (AHU) before being admitted to a program, one of the recommendations must come from any AHU faculty member, adjunct professor, tutoring coordinator, chaplain, or academic coach/advisor. Special recommendation forms for this requirement are available in the Office of Enrollment Services.
- Write an essay explaining his or her interest in becoming an occupational therapy assistant and the reason for selecting a faith-based institution. The essay must be proctored and hand-written. It must include correct spelling and grammar, be completed in two hours, and be one to two pages in length. For proctoring instructions, call the Center for Academic Achievement at 407-303-7747 x 110-6413. Topics for the essay will be related to the field of occupational therapy, the student’s aptitude toward the field, and what it means to attend a faith-based university. Questions to answer will be chosen at random by the essay proctor. Essays will be reviewed, based on content, spelling, grammar, and organization.
- Although volunteer or observation hours in an occupational therapy clinic are not mandatory prior to admission, prospective students are strongly encouraged to spend as much time as possible observing, volunteering, or working in multiple occupational therapy settings in order to gain knowledge of the profession. Applicants with this experience have shown enhanced performance in writing their essay.
If invited, applicant will be required to attend (a face to face) interview on the AHU campus.
Admission into all professional programs is competitive. Each program has a maximum number of students that can be admitted each year. Students meeting the admission requirements for a given program qualify to be considered for admission to that program. However, due to the competitive nature of each program’s admission process, meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Students may be given preferential consideration for admission to degree and certificate programs when they have successfully completed 12 college-level hours at AHU.
Each applicant accepted to an on-campus professional program is expected to pay a nonrefundable deposit of $200 to reserve his or her place in the program. The applicant’s acceptance letter will contain a deposit amount and deadline, indicating when the deposit must be received by the University. Once the student enrolls in the program, this deposit will be applied toward the student’s account. Students who have paid the deposit, but decide not to enroll in the program, will forfeit the deposit. If that student is admitted to the same program at a later date, he or she will be required to pay the full deposit amount again. If an applicant is admitted to a program with prerequisites in progress and becomes ineligible for admission due to his or her grades, a full refund will be provided. A professional program deposit is not transferable to another department.
1Applicants who do not meet the high school GPA requirement must complete a minimum of 12 trimester hours of credit in required non-OTA courses, including English and math, and achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.70 (on a 4.00 scale).
2SAT combined score of Critical Reading and Math.
Students may progress in the program when they:
- Earn a minimum grade of “C” (2.00) in each OTA course.
- Earn a minimum grade of “C” (2.00) in each of the following cognate courses: Anatomy & Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology II , General Psychology , Developmental Psychology , English Composition I and English Composition II , Concepts of Pathophysiology and Medical Terminology .
- Successfully repeat courses in which a minimum grade of “C” (2.00) was not achieved. No more than two courses may be repeated, and only one of these may be an OTA course.
- Present annual verification of tuberculosis screening. If test is positive, refer to the Communicable Disease Policy in the Student Handbook for additional information. Have updated immunizations including hepatitis B. Verify current certification in professional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from the American Heart Association, including infant, child, and adult CPR.
Any student who has less than a 2.00 GPA following the first year of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program will be given one additional trimester to make improvements. After that time he or she will be subject to dismissal from the OTA Program.
Students who do not progress with their class cannot be assured of placement in their choice of subsequent classes. Readmission is, in part, subject to available space. Students will be readmitted under current program policies.
Students are considered for readmission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program when they meet admission requirements and:
- Submit a Reapplication Form to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Department Chair no later than May 1 for re-entry in the Fall trimester; October 1 for re-entry in the Spring trimester; and March 1 for re-entry in the Summer trimester.
- Have a cumulative GPA of 2.70.
- Present annual verification of tuberculosis screening. If test is positive, refer to the Communicable Disease Policy in the Student Handbook for additional information. Have updated immunizations, including hepatitis B, a current physical, and proof of health insurance. Verify current certification in professional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from the American Heart Association, including infant, child, and adult CPR.
- Meet specified requirements as outlined by the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program regarding the individual student.
- Repeat no more than two required courses. No more than one may be an OTA course.
- Readmission is subject to available classroom and clinical space.
If a lapse of time greater than two years occurs in a student’s program of study, prior OTA credits will not be accepted unless the student can validate OTA knowledge through written examination and clinical performance.
AdventHealth University (AHU) will consider students for graduation and conferral of an Associate of Science degree in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program when they have met the general University requirements for graduation and accomplish the following:
- Complete the prescribed course of study (79 Credit Hours) for the OTA Program.
- Achieve a minimum overall GPA of 2.00. (Students must achieve a minimum grade of “C” (2.00) in all cognate and OTA courses.)
- Complete a minimum of 50 hours of credit in residence at AHU.
- Complete the service-learning requirement. Please refer to your Program Handbook for more information.
Level I and II Fieldwork: Students are exposed to a variety of clients across the human life span and to a variety of practice settings (minimum of six). These experiences are designed to promote clinical reasoning, demonstrate the values and beliefs that guide ethical practice, and develop professionalism and competence. Most fieldwork sites are located within a 60-mile radius of the AHU campus.
Level II Fieldwork: (OCTH 231 and OCTH 232) must be completed within 18 months following completion of academic coursework. Completion of degree requirements shall not exceed four years (see Time Limits in the Admission Information section).
Students who withdraw or drop a Level II Fieldwork course (OCTH 231 or OCTH 232) must reapply to the OTA program in order to be considered for readmission.
Reliable Transportation: Students are responsible for their own transportation to fieldwork and field trip sites.