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Program Coordinator: Annette Looney, Southwest Virginia Community College, 276-964-7643, Annette.Looney@sw.edu
Length: Twenty-two months, (five semesters)
Offered in cooperation with Southwest Virginia Community College. Students admitted into the program will enroll with Southwest Virginia Community College. The degree awarded by Southwest Virginia Community College. Southwest Virginia Community College will have the final authority on program requirements.
Purpose: To prepare selected students to qualify as contributing members of the health care team who will care for patients under the supervision of a Registered Occupational Therapist. The goals of the occupational therapy team are to develop, restore, or maintain adaptive skills in individuals whose abilities to cope with daily living are threatened or impaired by disease, injury, developmental disability, or social disadvantage.
Accreditation: The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Southwest Virginia Community College with additional accredited site at Virginia Highlands Community College 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. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.
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 license is usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.
Occupational Objectives: Employment opportunities include positions in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, clinics, day care centers, long-term care facilities, schools, sheltered workshops, homebound programs and community agencies.
Program Format: The OTA program educational experiences consists of on-site lecture, distance lecture to remote campus sites via the compressed video network, hands-on laboratory, computer web-based instruction through BlackBoard, and a variety of clinical experiences. Students are required to complete a computer course and need to have skills necessary to navigate the internet for researching projects and assignments and utilizing the BlackBoard components for classes (i.e., online testing, online resources, grades, and discussions).
Admission Requirements: In addition to the general requirements for admission to the College, consideration for a position in this program requires the following:
Students planning to transfer to senior institutions should inform their advisors and should consider coursework that can be used for transfer.
When enrollments must be limited for any curriculum, priority shall be given to all qualified applicants who are residents of the political subdivisions (Buchanan, Dickenson [partial], Russell, or Tazewell counties), supporting the College and to Virginia residents not having access to a given program at their local community college, provided such students apply for admission to the program prior to registration or by a deadline established by the College. In addition, residents of localities with the College have clinical-site or other agreements may receive equal consideration for admission. To be considered as a Virginia resident, an applicant must be domiciled within Virginia 12 months prior to January 15. Applicants moving out-of-state between January 15 and the first day of classes will lose their preferred status and any offer of admission to the program will be withdrawn. Out-of-region applicants who are Virginia residents will be considered for program openings available April 1 and out-of-state applicants for openings available May 1.
Students accepted into the program are required to submit a certificate reflecting a successful physical examination, signed by a licensed physician. The physical examination must be completed after receiving notification of acceptance to the program and prior to beginning classes. Immunizations must be current and include Hepatitis B and MMR. Proof of Tuberculin skin test (PPD) and CPR certification must be shown on admission to the program and kept current throughout the program.
Criminal Background Checks/Drug Testing: Background checks for criminal history and sex offender crimes against minors are required for entrance into some clinical agencies. Students with convictions may be prohibited from clinical practice and may not complete the program. Clinical agencies may require drug testing prior to placement of students for clinical rotations. Students with positive drug test results may be prohibited from clinical practice and may not complete the program. Cost for criminal background checks and drug testing will be the responsibility of the student.
Academic Requirements: The student is required to complete a sequence of courses and learning experiences. Students must achieve a grade of “C” or better in all program courses. Any student receiving a grade of “D” in any of the program courses will be placed on Program Probation. That course shall be remediated once, with a written contract containing the requirements of the remediation. Please note: Students may be required to wait at least one academic year before they will have an opportunity to remediate the course. Students on program probation status will only be allowed to remediate the course if there is an open position in the class. Dismissal from the program shall result if: 1) the student does not meet the requirements of the probationary contract; 2) the student receives a final grade of less than “C” in any program courses either during or after the period of the Program Probation; or 3) earning more than one “D” in a semester on program courses or a final grade of “F” in any coursework after admittance to the program will result in dismissal from the program. Remediated courses must be completed with a final grade of “C” or better.
Clinical and Behavioral Requirements:
Selected and supervised learning experiences are required by this program and will be accomplished at selected health care facilities. Because there are limited clinical sites within the area, students may be required to travel to other areas to complete clinical training. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation, uniforms, and living expenses during fieldwork experiences. In the fifth semester, there will be 40 hours per week of clinical time (Level II fieldwork) in two eight week segments, so students must plan their schedules accordingly. Program faculty will observe and evaluate the student. If in the judgment of the program faculty the student does not exhibit those behaviors required of the occupational therapy assistant, the student may be asked to withdraw from the program.
NOTE: All OTA students must complete Level II Fieldwork within 18 months following completion of academic preparation.
NOTE: A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
Human Anatomy & Physiology I
College Composition I
Intro. to Occupational Therapy
SDV 104 or
Study Skills OR
College Survival Skills
Human Anatomy & Physiology II
Occupational Therapy with Psychosocial Dysfunction
Topics in OT for Physical Dysfunction
Topics in Upper Extremity Anatomy & Kinesiology
Computers and Information Systems
Coord. Practice in OT I (Level I)
Occupational Therapy for the Adult
Assistive Tech. in OT
Occupational Therapy with Physical Disabilities
Occupational Therapy with Developmental Disabilities
OT Service Mgmt. & Delivery
Coord. Pract. in OT II-Level I Fieldwork
Coord. Pract. In OT III-Level II Fieldwork
Coord. Pract. In OT Iv-Level II Fieldwork
Seminar and Project in OTA
Total Credits for the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program 68
* Students who wish to pursue a Baccalaureate degree are advised to take both ENG 111-112, ENG 101 may be substituted for ENG 111, but is not a transferable course.
** AST 232 or ITE 100 may substitute for ITE 102.
***A list of suggested classes may be obtained from advisor or program director.
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