The occupational therapist assistant helps individuals gain skills needed to become independent in daily living activities under the direction of and in collaboration with the occupational therapist. Students learn the therapeutic use of self-care, work, and play/leisure activities to maximize independent function, enhance development, prevent disability, and maintain health. The ultimate goal is to improve an individual’s quality of life and ability to perform daily activities.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program consists of a foundation of liberal arts and sciences courses (approximately half of the University Core Curriculum) and 49 hours of occupational therapy assistant courses. Students take the University Core Curriculum classes and then enroll in Occupational Therapy Assistant program coursework to complete the 43-credit-hour didactic component and the six-credit-hour clinical component. In addition to classroom and laboratory hours, this degree includes 16 40-hour weeks of integrated practicum experiences. Full-time students can complete the Associate of Science Degree with a major in Occupational Therapy Assistant in five semesters and one summer. Graduates of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program are encouraged to continue their studies for a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Services.
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 4720 Montgomery Lane, PO Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220, phone: 301/652-2682. Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the Certification Examination for the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant® administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will carry the title Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).
The prospective student must be admitted to USI before completing a separate application to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Admission to the University and completion of all Core classes does not guarantee the student admission to the OTA program. Enrollment in the OTA program is limited and subject to a selection process. Student applicants also must show capability of fulfilling clinical practice requirements, eligibility for occupational therapy practitioner credentialing, and evidence of satisfactory health status. Note: A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s eligibility to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state practice credentials; contact the department for further information. For the most current admission information, call the department at 812/465-1140, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Web site, health. usi.edu/acadprog/ota/index.htm.