Jun 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy Assistant, A.S.


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Program Description

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.

Policies

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.
  • Verification of tuberculosis screening. If the test is positive, refer to the Communicable Disease Policy in the Student Handbook for more 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.

Admission

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 will be evaluated, based on the following criteria:

  1. Submit an application through OTACAS and pay associated fees.
  2. Submit transcripts from each regionally accredited institution attended to OTACAS. High school transcripts will be required if less than 24 college-level credits have been earned from a regionally accredited college or university.

  3. List any courses taken by College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP), and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam on your OTACAS application.

  4. 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. GPA calculation for applicants who plan to apply to a program that utilizes a Centralized Application System will include all grades. Grade forgiveness will not apply.

  5. For general studies and program admission for the 2023-2024 academic year, AHU will be test-optional and not require submission of ACT or SAT scores. However, AHU strongly encourages applicants who have ACT and/or SAT scores to submit them during the application process, as this will expedite course placement and enhance academic advising. Submit ACT or SAT scores through OTACAS. 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.

  6. 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:

Violation Examples:

  1. If a student has received lower than a grade of “C” twice on the same cognate course.

  2. 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.

  1. Submit a minimum of two references through OTACAS.

  2. Submit a personal statement through OTCAS. Your personal statement must be 500-750 words. Be sure to use proper spelling, punctuation and grammar. The essay should address each of the following questions: What are some of the characteristics that would make a good occupational therapy assistant, and how do you feel that you show them? In what ways do you feel that you exhibit the qualities of a Christian professional that the university is looking for in its occupational therapy assistant graduates?

  3. 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.

Information for applicants with foreign education:

  1. All foreign institutions attended require course-by-course WES transcript evaluations.
  2. Applicants for whom English is not their primary language or have graduated from a non-English speaking school must demonstrate English proficiency in one or the following ways:

Course Options:

  • Successful completion of college-level English Composition I from an English-speaking regionally accredited college with a minimum grade of “C”, or

  • Graduation from an English-speaking high school and successful completion of two semesters of Senior high school English, English ESOL, or AP Language & Composition with a minimum grade of “C”; or

  • For Early Acceptance students, from an English-speaking high school, successful completion of two semesters of Junior year high school English, English ESOL, or AP Language & Composition with a minimum grade of “C”.

Testing Options: Submit TOEFL scores through OTACAS.

  • Successful completion of the English I CLEP exam; or
  • A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL exam; or

  • A minimum score of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL exam; or

  • A minimum score of 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL exam; or

  • A minimum score of 19 on the English portion of the ACT.

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.

Reapplication Process

Applicants who are not admitted to the Associate’s in Occupational Therapy program during a specific admission cycle may reapply to the program for the next admission cycle as long as they have successfully met the minimum admission requirements. Reapplicants are expected to meet the published admission deadlines by submitting the following additional information to the Office of Admissions.

  1. Contact the OTA Program Department Director to discuss if reapplying to the program is possible.
  2. Submit an application through OTACAS and pay associated fees.

  3. Submit updated official transcripts from any accredited institutions attended since the original application was submitted in OTACAS.

Progression

Students may progress in the program when they:

  1. Earn a minimum grade of “C” (2.00) in each OTA course.
  2. 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 and Concepts of Pathophysiology.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Readmission

Students are considered for readmission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program when they meet admission requirements and:

  1. 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.
  2. Have a cumulative GPA of 2.70.
  3. Verification of tuberculosis screening. If test is positive, refer to the Communicable Disease Policy in the Student Handbook for more 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.
  4. Meet specified requirements as outlined by the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program regarding the individual student.
  5. Repeat no more than two required courses. No more than one may be an OTA course.
  6. 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.

Completion

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:

  1. Complete the prescribed course of study (76 Credit Hours) for the OTA Program.
  2. Achieve a minimum overall GPA of 2.00. (Students must achieve a minimum grade of “C” (2.00) in all cognate and OTA courses.)
  3. Complete a minimum of 50 hours of credit in residence at AHU.
  4. Complete the service-learning requirement. Please refer to your Program Handbook for more information.

Fieldwork 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.

Curriculum


Total OTA Cognate Requirements: 23 Credit Hours


Total OTA General Education Requirements: 9 Credit Hours


Total OTA Major Requirements: 44 Credit Hours


Suggested Program


Students who successfully follow the sequence below will have met all requirements for graduation from the OTA Program. Individual programs may vary. Taking courses out of sequence may prevent a student from progressing in the OTA Program and graduating. Students should contact the OTA Program for advisement and assistance in planning their individual program of study.   

Trimester Total: 14 Credit Hours


Trimester Total: 16 Credit Hours


Trimester Total: 13 Credit Hours


Trimester Total: 13 Credit Hours


Trimester Total: 11 Credit Hours


Trimester Total: 9 Credit Hours


1 This Level II Fieldwork must be completed within 18 months following completion of academic preparation.

OTA Courses


Many OTA courses include lecture and lab components. Total clock hours of lecture time are based on 55 minutes of classroom instruction per credit hour per 14 weeks (one trimester). Total clock hours of lab time are based on two to three hours of lab instruction per credit hour per 14 weeks. Practicum courses are based on four to five hours of clinical instruction/experience per credit hour per 14 weeks. Supervised Clinical Practice courses are based on 80 hours of clinical instruction/experience per credit hour per eight weeks. Lecture/lab courses and the corresponding practicum courses must both be satisfactorily completed in order to progress in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program.

Total Program Credit Hours: 76


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