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Academic Catalog '15-'16 | Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Faculty

Description

Trinity offers an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Associate of Applied Science degree. This degree educates students to work under the supervision and in cooperation with an occupational therapist (OT) to help people across the lifespan engage in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities called occupations.

This major prepares you to work in various settings that include hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, sub-acute facilities, psychiatric and community based programs, schools, nursing homes, private practice and other emerging practice areas.

Students enrolled in Trinity's A.A.S. in OTA program have the option of enrolling in a baccalaureate program in one of three major areas in The School of Professional Studies:  human relations, psychology, or health science. Students can earn a dual degree in 128 credits, the same number required for any Trinity baccalaureate degree.

Degree Requirements

Students complete 25 credits of pre-requisite courses before applying to the OTA program. These can be taken at Trinity in either the College of Arts and Sciences or the School of Professional Studies, or credits can be transferred. Students then complete 45 credits of OTA-specific courses, which blend online and on-campus learning.

Requirements for the Degree:
The requirements to graduate from Trinity with an Associate of Applied Science degree (A.A.S.) in health professional programs include the successful completion of the following:

  • Successful completion of all program pre-requisite courses (25 credits) in either the College of Arts and Sciences or School of Professional Studies. (see pre-requisites below)
  • Completion of the major program’s course of study (45 credits) including fieldwork experiences in the School of Nursing. (see major course requirements below)
  • All OTA-designated courses completed at Trinity with a grade of "C" or better.
  • Completion of all credits with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5
  • For students matriculating after Fall 2002, 45 of the final 70 credits, excluding credits for experiential learning, and all OTA-designated courses must be completed at Trinity.
    • All specific course work required for a major program of study in the respective health care program
    • Completion of all fieldwork requirements

Prerequisite Courses (25 credits)

BIOL 121 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BIOL 122 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
ENGL 107 College Composition
HPNU 120 Medical Terminology
MATH 108 Finite Mathematics
PSYC 101 Introductory Psychology
PSYC 231 Child Psychology
SOCY 100 Introduction to Sociology

Major Course Requirements (45 credits)

Semester 1 (12 credits)
OTA 100 Introduction to Occupational Therapy
OTA 120 Functional Movement and Occupational Performance
OTA 124 Pathology for the OT Practitioner
OTA 130 Analysis and Performance of Occupations Across the Lifespan

Semester 2 (12 credits)
OTA 104 Professional Issues in OT/ Critical Thinking I
OTA 140 Occupational Performance I
OTA 236 Interventions and Tools in Behavioral Health and Psychosocial Rehabilitation
OTA 238 Intervention & Tools in Pediatrics

Semester 3 (12 credits)
OTA 204 Professional Issues in OT/ Critical Thinking II
OTA 206 Management of OT
OTA 228 Technology and Design to Maximize Occupational Performance
OTA 237 Interventions and Tools in Physical Rehabilitation
OTA 240 Occupational Performance II

Semester 4 (9 credits, full-time fieldwork)
OTA 291 Level II Fieldwork I
OTA 292 Level II Fieldwork II
OTA 294 NBCOT Preparation Course

Dual Degree (A.A.S.to B.A.)

Students enrolled in Trinity's A.A.S. in OTA program have the option of enrolling in a baccalaureate program in one of three major areas in The School of Professional Studies:  human relations, psychology, or health science.  Students can earn a dual degree in 128 credits, the same number required for any Trinity baccalaureate degree.  OTA majors interested in earning a degree in OTA and continue on to finish a baccalaureate degree should meet with their academic advisor to set up a curriculum plan.

Please click to view the major requirements for each degree program offered on the dual degree track:

Program Policies

Questions from non-Trinity students regarding the application process and acceptance criteria should be directed to the Admissions Office. Questions from a current Trinity student regarding the application process and acceptance criteria should be directed to the student’s undergraduate advisor in either the College of Arts and Sciences or School of Professional Studies.

Required Documentation: 
Prior to enrolling in any OTA fieldwork course, students are required to present documentation of the following:

  • Current immunization or titers for: DPT; MMR; Hepatitis B (3 doses); Tetanus; Influenza (annual); TB (annual)
  • National criminal background check
  • Current major medical health insurance
  • American Heart Association CPR Certification

Additional Expenses:
As part of the professional behavior and professionalism in Fieldwork I and II, as well as community learning experiences, students in the OTA program should expect to incur the following additional expenses beyond tuition and fees:

  • OTA polo shirt
  • Name badge
  • Goniometer
  • Local travel and transportation
  • Books
  • Health insurance
  • Criminal background check

Advanced Placement:
Credits earned through AP examinations can only fulfill pre-requisite requirements for the OTA major.

CLEP Policy: 
Credits earned through CLEP examinations can only fulfill pre-requisite requirements for the OTA major.

Grades in Pre-requisite and Major Courses:
Students are required to earn a grade of "C" (2.0) or better in all courses counted to fulfill requirements for the major.

Pass/No Pass:
No course fulfilling major requirements in the OTA program may be taken Pass/No Pass.

Transfer Credits: 
Transfer credit for pre-requisite courses will be awarded after appropriate program review and approval.

Mission

The OTA program strives to educate students to be competent, ethical and committed occupational therapy practitioners who promote health and well-being of all people as they engage in everyday activities called occupations. Through dynamic classroom, clinical and community experiences, OTA students graduate prepared to meet the ever-changing occupational needs of society and address social justice and occupational justice issues locally and globally.

Vision

Within Trinity’s founding traditions, we envision the OTA program as a center where the occupational therapy assistant and the occupational therapist can study the process of adaptation and its effect on occupational performance as it relates to the person’s search for meaning and fulfillment as occupational-beings.

Philosophy

The OTA program’s philosophy reflects occupational therapy's fundamental ideals in that it is based on the profession’s belief that humans are complex beings who are continuously engaged in their environment. Learning is an active and social process where learners learn to discover principles, concepts and facts through interactions with each other and with the environment they live in.

Occupational Therapy Program Philosophy

The Philosophical Base of Occupational Therapy (AOTA, 1979, 1955) provides the foundation for our philosophy of humans and how they learn. The organizing philosophical framework of the OTA curriculum is derived from the belief that engagement in occupations can influence the health and well-being of individuals and populations. Through engagement or doing, we survive: we find meaning and find balance in our lives. Successful engagement in occupations requires constant mastery of occupations and the ability to adapt (Schultz, 2009). This interaction between the person, the environment and the occupation influences health and well-being. Adolph Meyer’s philosophy of occupational therapy summarizes the Trinity OTA perspective of occupation as it relates to health and well-being:

Our conception of man is that of an organism that maintains and balances itself in the world of reality and actuality by being in active life and active use, i.e. using and living and acting its time in harmony with its own nature and the nature about it. It is the use that we make of ourselves that gives the ultimate stamp to every organ. (Meyer, 1922)

The OTA program's philosophy is guided by two major areas. These areas are (1) occupation and the process of occupational adaptation and (2) the professional curriculum and learning-teaching style.

Our Fundamental Beliefs about Human Beings

Humans are complex beings that are constantly interacting with the physical, social, temporal, cultural, psychological, spiritual and virtual environment through their actions. We are active beings who have the ability to adapt, modify and affect the quality of our life by engaging in the things we want and need to do called occupations. These occupations are the actions that support survival, provide self-actualization and help us find occupational balance (AOTA, 2007). However, when a person is faced with an occupational challenge because of impairment, disability or a stressful event, the innate process of human adaptation may become impaired (Schultz, 1992; Schultz & Schkade, 1992). Through occupational therapy intervention, the occupational therapy practitioner’s “therapeutic use of self,” management of the environment and use of “occupations as tools” promote the client’s ability to adapt to life’s challenges for successful occupational performance.

Our View of Learning

Learning is an active and social process in which learners learn to discover principles, concepts and facts through interactions with each other and with the environment in which they live (Brown, 1989; Ackerman, 1996). Trinity acknowledges learners are unique individuals with unique needs and diverse backgrounds while being complex and multidimensional. Using a constructivist viewpoint to guide the learning process, we see that the responsibility for learning resides with the learner; motivation for learning strongly depends on the learner’s confidence in his or her potential to learn (Prawat & Floden, 1994); and instructors are facilitators that create guidelines and set the stage within the environment for learning. The learning experience is shaped by the instructor’s as well as by the learners’ values; culture and background are shared and respected (Ernest, 1991; Prawat et al., 1994). The faculty of Trinity Washington University’s OTA program demonstrate support for students to become effective and critical thinkers through the “beyond the comfort zone” academic challenge (Vygotsky, 1978) that will also translate into critical thinking and reasoning skills in the OT practice setting through use of activities as interventions.

Accreditation

The occupational therapy assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (A.C.O.T.E.) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (A.O.T.A.), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. A.C.O.T.E.’s telephone number, c/o A.O.T.A., is (301) 652-AOTA, and its web address is 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 (N.B.C.O.T.). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (C.O.T.A.). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the N.B.C.O.T. Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the N.B.C.O.T. certification examination or to attain state licensure.

Course Descriptions

BIOL 121 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
BIOL 122 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
ENGL 107 College Composition
HPNU 120 Medical Terminology
MATH 108 Finite Mathematics
OTA 100 Introduction to Occupational Therapy
OTA 104 Professional Issues in OT/ Critical Thinking I
OTA 120 Functional Movement and Occupational Performance
OTA 124 Pathology for the OT Practitioner
OTA 130 Analysis and Performance of Occupations Across the Lifespan
OTA 140 Occupational Performance I
OTA 204 Professional Issues in OT/ Critical Thinking II
OTA 206 Management of OT
OTA 228 Technology and Design to Maximize Occupational Performance
OTA 236 Interventions and Tools in Behavioral Health and Psychosocial Rehabilitation
OTA 237 Interventions and Tools in Physical Rehabilitation
OTA 238 Intervention & Tools in Pediatrics
OTA 240 Occupational Performance II
OTA 291 Level II Fieldwork I
OTA 292 Level II Fieldwork II
OTA 294 NBCOT Preparation Course
PSYC 101 Introductory Psychology
PSYC 231 Child Psychology
SOCY 100 Introduction to Sociology


Trinity reserves the right to change, without prior notice, any policy or procedure, tuition or fee, curricular requirements, or any other information found on this web site or in its printed materials.

Questions may be directed to the Office of Academic Affairs at academicaffairs@trinitydc.edu.

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