Occupational Therapy Assistant

Program Description:

Occupational Therapy is a skilled profession which enables people of any social circumstance, age, ability, injury and/or disease to engage in meaningful life activities-the OCCUPATIONS of life (MeOTA, 2010). Occupational Therapy practitioners (Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants) use therapeutic strategies to promote participation in life roles and improve life situations at home, school, workplace, community, and other settings.  Occupational Therapy practitioners promote health and wellness to those who are at risk for developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, activity limitation, or participation restriction.

OTA Program

This two-year program prepares students to become entry-level practitioners in the Occupational Therapy profession. The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA/COTA) provides comprehensive OT services under the supervision of an occupational therapist (OT/OTR). OTA’s are valued members of any thriving professional team. In KVCC’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program you will learn how to help others to “unlock their potential”.  You will learn how to be  facilitator of positive change.

  • KVCC has the only OTA program in the State of Maine. Students graduate with an AAS (associates in applied science) degree in occupational therapy assistant.
  • KVCC’s 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 its Web address is www.acoteonline.org

  • Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.
  • The OTA program maximizes student learning by providing: excellent foundational OT information, “just right” educational challenges, learning opportunities for growth within a supportive environment, and academic and fieldwork experiences to support development in creative problem solving and critical thinking.
  •  The OTA program is challenging and prepares the graduate for 21st century OTA practice.  Learning is a balance of lecture and and “hands on”.

More Information

Mission & Program Goals

MISSION:

This two-year program prepares students to become entry-level practitioners in the Occupational Therapy profession. The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA/COTA) provides comprehensive OT services under the supervision of an occupational therapist (OT/OTR). OTA’s are valued members of the health care team. They assist people of all ages and walks of life to maximize engagement and participation in desired and expected daily life activities through the use of occupations. KVCC has the only OTA program in the State of Maine. Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.  Occupational Therapy Assistants must attain and maintain their own license in Maine.

PROGRAM GOALS:

Educational Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, a graduate is expected to:

  1. Successfully pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.
  2. Demonstrate the use of professional values consistent with the American Occupational Therapy Association Core Values and Ethics Statements, that allow them to function ethically and responsibly by demonstrating tolerance and respect for diversity of culture, age, gender, and ability.
  3. Demonstrate effective communication with clients, families, supervisors, and other members of their work environment using cultural competence.
  4. Employ critical thinking, logic, critical analysis, problem solving, and creativity within their scope of professional practice.
  5. Participate in lifelong learning and professional competency activities as they relate to occupational therapy practice and professional choices.
  6. Demonstrate entry level competence as an Occupational Therapy assistant.

 

Curriculum Goals

The OTA program at KVCC provides students with technical knowledge and skills and promotes the facilitation of professionalism in order that graduates may be competent OT professionals. These outcomes will be evidenced as graduates:

  1. Enter the Occupational Therapy profession prepared to work competently at entry level of practice.
  2. Are eligible for certification by the NBCOT.
  3. Are eligible for licensure by the State of Maine and/or chosen state of practice.
  4. Incorporate values and attitudes congruent with the profession’s standards and ethics into practice.
  5. Provide occupational therapy services with necessary supervision in collaboration with occupational therapists and members of the health care community.
  6. Implement a variety of effective communication skills when interacting with peers, clients, family members, and other health care providers.
  7. Utilize individual creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills in all OT transactions and interventions.
  8. Employ meaningful, culturally relevant, age suitable occupation as the focus of practice.
  9. Articulate and promote awareness and understanding of the profession of Occupational Therapy and the Occupational Therapy Assistant’s role within the profession to individuals with varied knowledge of the profession.
  10. Assume responsibility for continued learning and skills development in Occupational Therapy practice to maintain service competency & currency with best practice.
  11. Participate in the evaluation, planning, and implementation and outcome satisfaction under the supervision of an OT.
  12. Participate in a systematic, ongoing evaluation of the OTA program to ensure quality of education.
  13. Promote health, wellbeing, and participation in life through engagement in occupation for all people who have or are at risk of developing an illness, disability, condition or restriction in occupational performance.

Admission Checklist

Graduation Requirements

FIRST SEMESTER CREDIT HOURS
OTS101 Introduction to Occupational Therapy & Human Occupation 7
BIO213 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
ENG101 College Composition 3
PSY101 Introduction to Psychology 3
SECOND SEMESTER CREDIT HOURS
OTS103 Functional Kinesiology 3
OTS104 Interpersonal Skills for the Practicing Allied Health Professional 1
OTS122 Occupational Therapy with Children and Youth 4
BIO214 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
PSY215 Developmental Psychology 3
Humanities Elective 3
SUMMER SESSION (Five Weeks) CREDIT HOURS
OTS105 OTA Fieldwork Education I 2
OTS107 Assistive Technology and OT Practice 1
OTS109 Group Process 1
COM104 Introduction to Communication 3
THIRD SEMESTER CREDIT HOURS
OTS201 Practice Environments Seminar 2
OTS210 Occupational Therapy for Adults with Physical Disabilities 4
OTS216 Occupational Therapy with Special Populations 2
OTS222 Psychosocial Aspects of Occupational Therapy across the Life Span 5
SOC101 Introduction to Sociology 3
FOURTH SEMESTER CREDIT HOURS
OTS206 OTA Fieldwork Education II-A 6
OTS208 OTA Fieldwork Education II-B 6
Total Credits for AAS 70

 

Students must complete 70 credits and achieve a minimum grade of “C” in all courses to graduate from the OTA program.

Program Outcomes

National Board of Certification (NBCOT) Pass Rates: https://secure.nbcot.org/DATA/SCHOOLSTATS.ASPXhttps://www.nbcot.org/en/Educators/Home#SchoolPerformance

 

Kennebec Valley Community College
Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
Graduation Rates

Class of Number of Students Entering OTA Program Number of Students Graduating Graduation Rate
2017 21 18 85.7%
2018 19 16 84.2%
2019 19 14 73.6%
3-year total 59 48 81.3%

 

Additional OTA Information & Resources

Applicants to the OTA program should be aware that a criminal background check and Department of Education fingerprinting  is required while they are enrolled in the program, or as a condition of employment in the field.  Felony convictions may affect a candidate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT National Certification Exam, obtain State OTA licensure and complete academic coursework (Level I and II fieldwork requirements and service learning).

For students to successfully complete the OTA program, they must be capable of performing the essential skills of the OTA student at KVCC, including professional and critical thinking skills with or without reasonable accommodations.

Students who have been accepted into the Occupational Therapy Assistant program must:

  1. Agree to work with an outside agency to collect, document, and track required personal healthcare information (immunization status, BLS/CPR, healthcare background checks, etc.) as required by the OTA program. Each student is responsible for the cost of this service. Students are required to meet the OTA program’s deadlines for developing and maintaining a current personal healthcare information portfolio.
  2. Have professional liability insurance and healthcare insurance.
  3. Have internet access for email, online/blackboard enhanced coursework and/or discussion.
  4. Purchase required books and a KVCC/OTAS identification pin.
  5. Be capable of performing the essential skills and functions of the OTA student at KVCC with or without reasonable accommodations.

All OTA students must assume personal responsibility for attaining and maintaining the necessary immunizations, background check/fingerprinting and transportation and/or other living costs to and from statewide fieldwork education sites.

GRADUATE INFORMATION

Upon completing the OTA program, graduates:

  • are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam (NBCOT• ®) {National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150 301-990-7979, FAX 301-869-8492 www.nbcot.org}
  • are required to be licensed to work in the State of Maine. {Board of OT Practice, Office of Licensing and Registration, 35 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333; 207-624-8603; www.maine.gov} (A felony conviction may restrict an individual from obtaining certification and/or licensure.)

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Graduates can work many populations:

Children and youth • Education • Health and Wellness • Mental Health • Productive Aging • Rehabilitation, Disability and Participation • Work and industry

TRADITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES include:

  • Hospitals
  • Inpatient & Outpatient Mental Health Facilities
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Schools
  • Adults with Developmental Disabilities Programs
  • Child Development Programs
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Community Home Health Agencies
  • Brain Injury Rehabilitation

NON-TRADITIONAL AND EMERGING PRACTICE NICHES include:

Accessibility & Home Modification • Employment supports •Ergonomics & Workplace Health • Older Driver Assessment • Alzheimer’s disease and caregiver training • Low-vision rehabilitation • End of Life care • Assisted Living and Aging in Place •Technology and Assistive-device Assessment and intervention • Health and wellness coaching • Community mental health partnerships • Obesity • Independent Living Skills/Community Reintegration

Fieldwork

Level I Fieldwork (FWI)

“The goal of Level I fieldwork is to introduce students to the fieldwork experience, to apply knowledge to practice, and to develop understanding of the needs of clients”. (ACOTE, 2011 Standards)

  • Level I FW at KVCC OTA consists of 3 one-week experiences in a variety of settings. It is primarily observation with limited participation. Level I Fieldwork occurs during the summer session between the first and second years. Level I Fieldwork is a 2-credit course and is imbedded in the 5 week intensive summer semester with OTS 107 and OTS 109. Students must successfully complete all semester 1 and semester 2 coursework and must register for this summer course prior to its commencement.

Level II Fieldwork (FWII)

“The goal of Level II fieldwork is to develop competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapy assistants. Level II fieldwork must be integral to the program’s curriculum design and must include an in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services to clients, focusing on the application of purposeful and meaningful occupation. It is recommended that the student be exposed to a variety of clients across the life span and to a variety of settings”. (ACOTE, 2011 Standards)

  • FWII consists of a minimum of 16 weeks’ full-time (2 separate eight-week fieldwork experiences) during the spring semester of the second year. The Level II Fieldwork experiences are in two different settings. It is not customary to have a Level I and Level II experience at the same site.

*All OTA students must complete 16 weeks of Level II Fieldwork within 18 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program. Fieldwork Level II is only offered spring semester.

Level I and II Fieldwork Resources

https://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Fieldwork/LevelI.aspx

Site Specific Objectives

https://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Fieldwork/SiteObj.aspx

Student Supervision

https://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Fieldwork/StuSuprvsn.aspx

Fieldwork Educator Certificate workshop

https://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Fieldwork/Workshop.aspx

AOTA Answers to your Fieldwork Questions

https://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Fieldwork/Answers.aspx

For specific questions regarding OTA fieldwork at KVCC, please contact John Krasnavage, OTA Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at jkrasnavage@kvcc.me.edu.

Contact

Julie Larouche, OTD, OTR/L
OTA Program Director
(207) 453-5023
jlarouche@kvcc.me.edu

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