Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Curriculum Guide
- Updated 12/06/2018
The information contained within this curriculum guide is the official Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Policies and Procedures effective for the academic year 2019 - 2020. It is the student’s responsibility to keep updated on any program changes.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is designed to provide a quality educational experience that will train prospective professionals in the art and science of promoting and maintaining the holistic health and wellness of people, organizations, and populations through engagement in occupation. Graduates will be able to perform/engage as entry level professionals under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist (OT). Graduates will develop skills necessary for employment as Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, thereby meeting the students' individual needs and the expressed health-care needs of the local and extended communities served by the Colleges. The program strives to fill a growing need for professionals able to contribute to all facets of occupational therapy, from community-based programs to client-centered intervention. The program promotes the value and professional importance of life-long learning.
- basic background in natural sciences, mathematics, communication, and behavioral sciences undergirds the specialized course work. Specialized course work prepares students for the certification examination they will take to become Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA). Employment may be in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, clinics, and other health care facilities, as well as within pediatric, community, or educational settings.
Because faculty spends the majority of their time teaching, the preferred method of contact is via email.
- Pam Smithy, MS, OTR/L
- Program Coordinator
- Email: email@example.com
- Office: Health Sciences Hall, room 489
- Phone: 502.213.2342
- Lindsey Lawrence, BGS, COTA/L, ROH
- Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office: Health Sciences Hall, room 458
- Phone: 502.213.2214
- Advising Center - Downtown Campus
- Email: email@example.com
- Program Web Site:
- College Web Site:
- Mailing Address:
Occupational Therapy Assistant Program/Allied Health Division
Jefferson Community and Technical College
109 E. Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202
Admission Policies and Procedures:
A. College Admission
- The student must first apply to the college. This can be done on-line or in-person on the first floor of the Jefferson Educational Center. Admission to the College does not imply admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. An Admissions Application may be found on the college website.
B. Program Admission
- The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is a Selective Admissions Program which means not every student in the applicant pool may be accepted. Admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is competitive and enrollment in the program is limited because of available faculty, financial, and/or clinical resources at the college or health care facilities. Application deadline is October 1 each year. OTA Program Application packets must be submitted with the following forms: OTA Program Application form, transcripts of all post-secondary education, ACT or SAT score card, and observation hours. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Application Packets are submitted to the OTA Program Director. Student selection is made by the President of the College or the President’s designee after considering the recommendations of the Selective Admissions Committee.
- Students are selected each November for admission into the program and start in January (spring semester).
- The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program admits twenty (20) students each Spring semester.
- Students will be notified via U.S. Mail and/or email to their Jefferson Community and Technical College address by November 15th regarding their admission status.
The occupational therapy assistant, under the supervision of a professional occupational therapist, works to promote and maintain the holistic health of individuals in the community. The program strives to fill a growing need for professionals able to contribute to all facets of occupational therapy from assessment to treatment termination. Therefore, in order to work successfully with clients, all applicants should possess sufficient performance skills in the areas of:
- sensory functions including visual acuity, such as observation skills necessary for administering client care and reading equipment gauges and settings used in treatments;
- sensory functions including auditory perception to receive verbal communication and to execute client care through the use of monitoring devices;
- strength and gross and fine motor coordination and motor praxis skills to respond promptly and to implement client care skills, such as the manipulation of equipment, and positioning and lifting clients;
- communication and social skills (speech, reading, writing) to interact with the individuals and to communicate their needs promptly and effectively, as may be necessary in the client’s interest; and
- intellectual, cognitive, and emotional functions to implement the plan of care.
Minimum Requirements Established by the Senate Rules for admission into the Applicant Pool:
Students must be in a position to complete all pre-requisite courses that are required except Heritage/Humanities by the end of the Fall semester for the Spring admission.
Admission to the OTA Program is conditional, pending successful completion, with a “C” or better grade, in each pre-requisite course.
Students must complete all courses in the Key GPA category by the admission deadline (Oct. 1st). See page 4 for Key GPA requirements.
Application Process and Deadlines:
Students must first apply to Jefferson, and then submit a separate OTA Program application. Applications are only available at pre-admission conferences. It is mandatory that all applicants attend an OTA pre-admission conference. (If you have attended a pre-admission conference before but were not selected for the program, or opted not to enter the program that year, you must attend another pre-admission conference to re-apply). Conference dates can be found on the last page of this guide.
Individual academic advising is available immediately after each conference; however, students are encouraged to contact any OTA Program faculty member to schedule an appointment for academic advising. Faculty offices are located on the Downtown Campus in of the Health Science Hall Building.
Students are strongly encouraged to read through this curriculum guide and visit our
departmental web site prior to meeting with an advisor. Students requiring developmental
coursework should contact the Advising Center for academic advising. Students may
contact the Downtown Campus Advising Center, located on the 2nd floor of the Library,
by calling 502.213.2277.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the following credentials are submitted:
- Office of Admissions:
- Application to the college
- Official high school transcript or passing GED report
- ACT score report
- Official transcripts of all previous college work
- OTA Program Coordinator (no later than October 1st prior to next admission date):
- Official or unofficial transcripts of all post-secondary education, if applicable. (Official or unofficial transcripts of all college work completed after October 1st but prior to December 31st must be submitted to the OTA Program Coordinator no later than January 2nd)
- Copy of ACT score report
- Completed OTA Program Application Form (this form is obtained and completed at a preadmission conference).
- Written documentation of completion of ten required observation, volunteer and/or experience hours at two different types of occupational therapy settings. (The ten hours must be split evenly between the two settings- 5 hours in each)
Selection Process and Deadlines:
After the qualified applicant pool has been established, students will earn points based upon six categories, the maximum number of earned points possible being 100. The top 20 candidates determined from the established point system will be selected for the OTA Program. (In case of a tie for the 20th position, preference will be given to applicants from underserved areas or underrepresented populations of Kentucky).
Points are earned in these six categories:
- TOTAL GPA
- (Based on all collegiate level work a student elects to be counted; excludes Developmental
- GPA of 3.75 – 4.0 = 15 points
- GPA of 3.50 – 3.74 = 12.5 points
- GPA of 3.25 – 3.49 = 10 points
- GPA of 3.0 – 3.24 = 7.5 points
- GPA of 2.5 – 2.99 = 5 points
- GPA of 2.0 – 2.49 = 2.5 points
- GPA below 2.0 = 0 points
- (maximum 15 points)
- (Based on all collegiate level work a student elects to be counted; excludes Developmental courses):*
- KEY GPA
- Based on cumulative GPA of Psychology, both Anatomy/Physiology, both English and Communications:
- Must be completed by Oct. 1st!
- GPA of 3.75 – 4.0 = 60 points
- GPA of 3.50 – 3.74 = 50 points
- GPA of 3.25 – 3.49 = 40 points
- GPA of 3.0 – 3.24 = 30 points
- GPA of 2.5 – 2.99 = 20 points
- GPA of 2.0 – 2.49 = 10 points
- GPA below 2.0 = 0 points
- (maximum 60 points)
- *If a GPA at another institution is excluded from Category 1, then it is automatically excluded from Category 2.
- ACT SCORE:
- Composite scores for ACT results issued prior to 10-28-89 will be adjusted two points higher.
- Points are awarded at the rate of 1 point per each composite ACT point, e.g.,
- ACT composite score of 19 = 1 point,
- ACT composite score of 20 = 2 points,
- ACT composite score of 21 = 3 points
- (Maximum 15 points)
- OBSERVATION, VOLUNTEER AND/OR WORK EXPERIENCE
- 10 hours must be spent in 2 different types of occupational therapy settings.
- 5 hours in each site
- 10 hours or more = 5 points (required)
- Documented evidence must be in the form of a letter from an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant with whom the applicant completed the observation with.
- HIGHEST ACADEMIC DEGREE previously earned:
- Associate = 1 point
- Bachelor = 3 points
- Master = 4 points
- KENTUCKY RESIDENT
- 1 point
TOTAL NUMBER OF POINTS POSSIBLE=100
Preference may be given to applicants who are veterans, active duty personnel, their spouses and also displaced workers who qualify under the Trade Adjustment Act.
Post Admission Requirements and Deadlines:
Upon admission to the OTA Program, students will receive the OTA Student Handbook: Policy and Procedure Manual. Some post admission requirements and/or expectations include:
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Certification (1 and 2-person adult, child and infant)
- Results of TB Skin Test (often offered free to health care employees)
- Documented immunity to measles, mumps and rubella or vaccination against (MMR – often offered free to health care employees)
- Verification of tetanus vaccination
- Verification of PPD (Tuberculosis Test), Oral Polio vaccine
- Vaccination against Hepatitis B (offered free to health care employees – otherwise can cost up to $200). There is a Hepatitis B decline form available.
- Criminal Background Check/Drug Testing
Criminal Background Checks and Drug Testing:
All Allied Health majors with a clinical component within their major must submit to a criminal background check and drug screening. This is to ensure a safe clinical environment for both students and the public and to meet the contractual requirements of area healthcare facilities. Situations in which a student does not have a satisfactory background check or drug test, will be reviewed by the Dean of Allied Health on a case-by-case basis. Convictions involving the following crimes may serve to disqualify a person from participating in required clinical learning experiences:
- any felony, whether listed below or not
- crimes involving drugs, including but not limited to unlawful possession or distribution
- crimes of physical violence to include any type of abuse (child, spousal, or of the elderly), abduction such as kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, robbery, sexual crimes, possession of a restricted fire arm or any related weapons offenses, assault and battery or
- conviction of a misdemeanor related to abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Drug screening may be required of a student at any time throughout the course of study if there is reasonable suspicion on the part of the program faculty that the student may be using a controlled substance not prescribed by a health care provider. Positive findings on a drug screen or refusal to submit to a requested drug screen will result in immediate administrative withdrawal of the student from the program.
Each student will be given the designated facility and time once they are accepted into the program. The cost of background checks and drug testing is the responsibility of each student.
Jefferson Community and Technical College is a public, comprehensive, postsecondary institution accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the associate degree. 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,
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
- Web site: http://www.acoteonline.org
- AOTA's phone number: 301.652.AOTA or 301.652.2682.
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 licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.
The Associate of Applied Science Degree is awarded upon successful completion of this program and the graduate is eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Certification Examination for Occupational Therapy Assistants. Students should be aware that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification exam or attain state licensure. Further information can be found at: http://www.nbcot.org/
Specific questions concerning financial assistance should be directed to the Downtown Campus Financial Aid Office located on the 4th floor of the Jefferson Education Center or by calling 502.213.2137.
- Tuition – This information may be found in the college catalog or on-line at the college’s website.
- Liability insurance coverage via the College ($20.00 per year)
- Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening ($80)
- Fieldwork transportation and expenses (varies by placement site)
- Appropriate attire to be worn during Fieldwork
- Books, supplies, and projects for the academic year, excluding Fieldwork expenses is approximately $900.00. This excludes the cost of tuition.
- Incoming Freshmen
- Students must take FYE 105: First Year Experience/Achieving Academic Success.
- Students transferring college course work into Jefferson Community and Technical College are exempt from this requirement.
- Developmental Course Work
- Students needing developmental math courses cannot take collegiate math and/or science courses until they successfully complete their development courses.
- Students needing developmental English or Reading can only take a computer class until they successfully complete their developmental courses.
- Placement/Assessment Testing
- The ACT and Compass math scores are only good for two (2) years and the English scores are only good for five (5) years.
- If they are older, you must be Compass tested again for that section.
- A transcript evaluation is available for any student desiring to transfer credit into
Jefferson Community and Technical College from other accredited institutions of higher
- Formal transcript evaluation occurs upon the official receipt of transcripts by the Registrar and concurrent with the admissions process.
- However, for advising purposes, the Program can provide the student an informal assessment of status relative to the general education requirements specific to the OTA Program.
- Students may request such evaluation by contacting Program Faculty and/or bringing a copy of the transcript(s) to be evaluated to the pre-admission conference.
Sample Curriculum & Course Sequence
Prerequisites (these courses may be taken on a part-time basis) Courses in BOLD must be taken prior to admission into the OTA Program
|Semester 1||Course number and name||Credits|
|ENG 101 - Writing I||3|
|BIO 137 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I||4|
|SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology||3|
|Math Requirement: MAT 150 College Algebra OR MAT 110 Applied Mathematics||3|
|PSY 110 - General Psychology||3|
|Semester 1 Total:||16|
|Semester 2||Course number and name||Credits|
|Communication Requirement: COM 181 - Basic Public Speaking OR COM 252 - Introduction to Interpersonal Communication||3|
|PSY 223 - Developmental Psychology||3|
|BIO 139 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II||4|
|ENG 102 - Writing II||3|
|Semester 2 Total:||16|
- Note: Computer Literacy Requirement must be satisfied prior to admission to the OTA Program. Refer to the KCTCS Catalog for further information.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT CURRICULUM:
The following courses are taken after the student is admitted to the OTA program:
|Semester||Course number and name||Credits|
|Spring||OTA 101 - Introduction to Occupational Therapy||3|
|OTA 116 - Media Principles and Procedures I||2|
|OTA 126 - Level IA Fieldwork||1|
|OTA 136 - Physical Dysfunction||4|
|OTA 146 - Occupational Therapy in Mental Health||3|
|Spring Semester Total credits:||13|
|Fall||OTA 206 - Community Practice||2|
|OTA 216 - Media Principles and Procedures II||2|
|OTA 226 - Level IB Fieldwork||1|
|OTA 236 - Professional Transitions and Management||2|
|OTA 246 - Pediatric issues in Occupational Therapy||3|
|OTA 256 - Elder Issues in Occupational Therapy||2|
|Fall Semester Total credits:||12|
|Spring||OTA 267- Level IIA Fieldwork||5|
|OTA 277- Level II B Fieldwork||5|
|Recommended additional technical course: OTA 286 - Clinical Seminar||2|
|Spring Semester Total credits:||10-12|
- Required OTA Credit Hours: 35
- Required General Education Credit hours: 32
- Total Credits: 67
- Successful completion of the OTA program includes earning a “C” or better grade in each OTA course.
Jefferson Community and Technical College OTA Program Policy:
Fieldwork must be completed within 18 months of completion of academic portion of program. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, marital status, sex or handicap in employment, educational programs or activities as set forth in Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
According to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) law, it is a student’s personal decision to disclose a disability. If students choose to disclose a disability, by college policy, they will be directed to the Disability Resource Center. By law, all reasonable accommodations will be made. Students with disabilities who require accommodations (academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids or services) for this program must contact the Access*Ability Resource Center (ARC) office in Chestnut Hall, room 319 on the downtown campus. The ARC telephone number is 502.213.2375. Please DO NOT request accommodations directly from the professor or instructor.