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Occupational Therapy Assistant - Admission Criteria

Professional Licensure

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).  Most states require licensure to practice and students must apply for licensure following passage of the NBCOT certification examination.  Please note that a felony conviction may affect a student’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. 

Accreditation Information

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.  ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301.652.AOTA and Web address is www.acoteonline.org.

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx

Graduation Year Students Entering/Total Students Graduating Graduation Rate
2020 13/10 77%
2021 15/14 93%
2022 14/13 93%

 

Admission Criteria-
The program has a limited enrollment and a selective admissions process including three phases. Classes are admitted in the fall of each year.  Applications and supporting documents listed in Phase I below must be completed and submitted by March 1 of the year the student wishes to apply to the program. If all slots have not been filled after the above deadline, there may be extensions to the deadline. Please check with the Admissions Office about the status of the program.

PHASE I- To be completed by March 1.

a. High school GPA of 2.8 or higher within the past 10 years

b. High school GPA of 2.2-2.79 within the past 10 years: student will be eligible for admission after successful completion of ENG 111 and the corresponding corequisite. This is a required corequisite for the program.

c. High school GPA of below 2.2 within the past 10 years: student will be eligible for admission after completion of required transition English and math courses.

d. High school graduation prior to the past 10 years: student will be eligible for Phase II of the selective admission process after successful completion of the RISE placement test or the required transition English and math courses.

  1. If you are not currently enrolled at SCC complete an application to the college.  Designate Occupational Therapy Assistant AAS Degree (A45500) as the program of interest.  If you are a current student, see Admissions to complete a change of major form if you wish to apply to the OTA program.  
  2. Graduate from high school or have earned a high school equivalency diploma (GED). May apply to the program during senior year of high school if enrolled in college classes.  
  3. Request official transcripts from high school and all college/universities attended be mailed to the Admissions office. (1-800-447-4091) or 828-339-4219.  Request an unofficial copy be sent to you at home if you would like a copy.
  4. Achieve a minimum of 2.5 GPA with 10 or more credits from college or high school (GPA will be determined from the most recent institution where at least 10 credit hours have been completed. Students are encouraged to take the following: BIO 168, BIO 169, ENG 111, ENG 114, PSY 150, PSy 241 PSY 281 and HUM 115
  5. Demonstrate college-readiness in both English and Math based on the RISE Placement Test policy. College-readiness can be demonstrated in one of the following ways:
    1. An unweighted high school GPA of 2.8 or higher from a United States high school. Applicants with an unweighted GPA of 2.20-2.79 will be eligible for admission after successful completion of ENG-111, a college-level math course and the corresponding corequisite support courses. 
    2. Successful completion of the RISE Placement Test (English and Math). Applicants must achieve a passing score on both tiers of the English test and the first two tiers of the Math test. 
    3. Successful completion of Transition English and Transition Math courses with a grade of at least “P2”. Applicants who earned a grade of “P1” in transition classes will be eligible for admission after successful completion of ENG-111, a college-level math course and the corresponding corequisite support courses. 
    4. Completion of college-level English and Math courses with a grade of “C” or higher at SCC or another regionally accredited institution. 
    5. Satisfactory scores on the SAT or ACT. (See the Testing section for more details.) 
    6. Satisfactory scores on a high school equivalency diploma (GED or HiSET) taken in 2014 or later that place the student into ENG-111 and a college-level math class without a required corequisite support course. Applicants whose scores require that they take corequisite support courses will be eligible for admission after successful completion of ENG-111, a college-level math course and the corresponding corequisite support courses.
  6. Have access to a computer that is up to date with current web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla FireFox. Have consistent access to a word processing application like Microsoft Office 2013. If you have any questions regarding your online access to our college services, review the online learning technical requirements or contact the IT helpdesk at 828.339.4409.
  7. Take the ATI-TEAS Version 7 Exam. Applicants may take the exam twice per academic year (August 1-July 31). There must be a minimum of 30 days between exams. Exam scores are valid for three years from the date of the exam. The previous version of the exam (ATI-TEAS Version 6) is acceptable as long as it was completed within three years prior to the program deadline. Refer to the Testing section for more information.
  8. Attend an OTA Program Information Session. Contact Anna Walls at a_walls@southwesterncc.edu for dates.
  9. Applicants must be able to meet all Essential Functions required to complete the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program and become employable.  These essential functions are provided to help students assess the appropriateness of this career individually.  A prospective student with a disability that is concerned that the disability may impact his or her ability to perform one or more of these skills, provide patient care, or participate in other job activities, is encouraged to contact our Student Disability Services Coordinator at 828-339-4243. For more information on essential functions of the Occupational Therapy Assistant: occupationalinfo.org
  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving:  Critical thinking and problem-solving ability sufficient for clinical judgment.
  • Interpersonal Skills:  Ability to interact with individuals, families, and groups successfully from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds.
  • Communication:  Communication skills sufficient for acceptable written, verbal and non-verbal skills to communicate with individuals, families, and groups.
  • Mobility and Strength:  Physical mobility and strength sufficient to move through the clinical setting, to move patients and equipment, to use ones’ body for treatment without the use of equipment, and to insure patient safety during treatment. Motor Skills:  Gross and fine motor abilities/coordination to provide safe and effective treatment.
  • Hearing:  Auditory acuity sufficient to monitor and treat patients and to monitor safety warning signals on equipment.
  • Visual Acuity:  Visual acuity sufficient to monitor and treat patients and to monitor safety warning signals on equipment.     
  • Tactile Skills:  Tactile skills sufficient to monitor and treat patients and to perform measurements.  
  • Emotional: Must possess emotional stability sufficient to maintain composure in stressful situations.  

Please Note:  In order to participate in clinical education experiences at health care facilities, students will be required to submit proof of immunizations, annual TB test, results of a criminal background check and annual drug screen at their expense. 

The OTA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Graduates of the OTA program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant, which is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of the NBCOT certification exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice. Licensure generally requires initial certification by the NBCOT. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification and obtain state licensure. Any student who has concerns about their ability to sit for the NBCOT exam may complete the process for an Early Determination Review with NBCOT.

ACOTE
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929

301.652.6611 ext. 2914 | www.acoteonline.org 

PHASE II 
All of the above program admissions requirements must complete and received by the admissions office by March 1.  After March 1 our admissions office will send the OTA faculty all information on applicants who completed the above criteria. Applicants will be chosen based on the following criteria.
 

Criteria Points Description
GPAx5 20 2.5=12.5  4.0=20
TEAS 5  
Attend Information Session 5 Information sessions are held in the spring and fall.
Health related certificates 1 Must be from an accredited program. Examples: CNA, EMS, Massage Therapy. Credentials must be presented to obtain the point. Documentation must be presented.
Previous degree 1 Verified through transcript
Total  50  

 

PHASE III
Twenty selected applicants will be notified by the Admission Office of provisional acceptance into the program.  The applicants must sign and return the Acknowledgment of Acceptance form to the Admissions office as soon as possible within the identified timeline.  Any student whose acknowledgment is not returned in a timely manner may forfeit the seat in the program.

Those individuals, who are notified of acceptance status, will be provided with SCC health forms to be completed by the appropriate medical personnel.  The completed medical forms must indicate that the candidate is capable of meeting the essential functions for the program.  All conditionally accepted candidates must return the health forms at a scheduled orientation session during the summer.  Students will also be provided with information on the following at orientation:  Registering with Certified Background and submitting required personal information, immunization records, drug test to be accessed by clinical fieldwork sites.  Students will be provided with information on CPR certification and professional liability insurance.   

Notes:

  1. Applicants are responsible for submitting all the necessary records to the admissions office.
  2. Applications must be updated annually by applicants who were not accepted the previous year.
  3. Applicants may take non-occupational therapy assistant, general education and related coursework prior to being accepted into the program.
  4. All students admitted into the OTA program will be required to submit to a criminal background check and drug testing each academic year. The results of these tests could affect the student’s ability to progress in the program. Additional testing may be required by facilities in which the students are completing fieldwork education.
  5. All students completing a health science program may be required, by an external testing agency, to submit to a criminal background check and/or drug test prior to a state or national licensing/ certification board approving the graduation to sit for the licensure /certification exams.
  6. All Students are required to complete clinical fieldwork education.  Many of these sites may require the student to relocate or travel extensively for this part of the program. All expenses are the student’s responsibility.

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