Occupational therapy assistant
The profession of occupational therapy provides services to individuals whose lives have been disrupted by accident or illness, birth defects, developmental problems, social or psychological problems. Occupational therapy personnel work in hospitals, schools, workshops, mental health centers, clinics and home-health agencies.
Occupational therapy assistants work under the supervision of the registered occupational therapist, helping patients achieve maximum independence in activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living, work, leisure and play, education and social participation.
Assistants help therapists evaluate patients to determine patient and family needs. Once treatment goals are set, the assistants may be responsible for implementing therapy by using selected activities. Assistants may also instruct patients in the use of specially-designed devices to allow people with physical disabilities to dress or feed themselves, take care of their homes or return to work.
Prospective students in the occupational therapy assistant technology program must have one year of high school biology or one semester of college anatomy and physiology.
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, states licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.
Requirements for admission to the OTA program:
- complete the College admissions process
- submit health program application to Registration Office
- preferred minimum GPA 3.0 for college (or high school within the last five years)
- Biology 101 requirement with a B or better, or high school biology with a B or better within five years of graduation
The occupational therapy assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200 Bethesda, MD 20814-3449 • 301-652-2682, www.acoteonline.org. 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). Information on the examination performance of Stark State graduates, as well as those from all other accredited programs, can be located at https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.
Program learning outcomes
- Function as a generalist as an occupational therapy assistant in a variety of traditional and nontraditional areas of practice, and utilize evidence-based practice to inform clinical decision-making and support critical thinking.
- Demonstrate an investment in ongoing intrapersonal growth and development in an effort to successfully utilize therapeutic-use-of-self in adapting to the needs and behaviors of all clients.
- Demonstrate knowledge of, and commitment to, the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) Code of Ethics, Core Values, and Principles & Standards of Conduct, and the State of Ohio’s Laws and Rules Regulating the Practice of Occupational Therapy.
- Demonstrate the ability to advance the profession through engagement in professional organizations, political advocacy, research, and general marketing initiatives.