Nov 30, 2022  
2022-2023 Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Catalog

Occupational Therapy Assistant, A.A.S.


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Degree: Associate in Applied Science
HEGIS Code: 5210
Curriculum Code: 665.OTA
Campus Location: North

Health Sciences Division

Pre-Admission Recommendations: 80% HS Avg., 2.80 GPA within 5 years of prospective admission for undergraduate college students, placement test, waiver or completion of developmental English and math courses.  See admission requirements listed below.
Recommended High School Courses and/or Experiences: HS Biology, HS Psychology, HS Anatomy & Physiology, HS Math-Algebra, Geometry, Statistics & Probability, HS Physics, HS English & Writing Courses, Volunteer experience in health care settings.
Career Opportunities/Further Education: Career Opportunities include employment in medical based settings such as inpatient and outpatient rehab, long-term care and home health; early intervention and school-based settings; day treatement and transitional programs for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities; psychosocial rehabilitation/mental health; public health and community wellness and prevention programs; activities program director; care coordinator and other human service positions; as well as work in academia.  Further education opportunties exist through continuing education for practice as well as within higher education.  This degree prepares our graduates to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in occupational therapy and other related programs.  SUNY Erie OTA has articulation agreements with several OT schools, where our graduates can earn occupational therapy degrees at the master’s level and become occupational therapists.  

 

Program Description

There have been dramatic shifts in U.S. population as a result of an increased average life span. This phenomenon, along with advances in science, technology, wellness, and medicine has brought occupational therapy into the forefront of the healthcare field.  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected employment of occupational therapists to increase by 17% and of occupational therapy assistants to increase by 34% between 2020 and 2030.  United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports a 2020 mean annual income of $63,420 for occupational therapy assistants.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant curriculum prepares entry-level occupational therapy assistants to work in community and institutional health care programs, providing direct and consultative occupational therapy services to individuals, groups, communities, and larger populations.  Our graduates are also employable in other health and human service related positions.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant curriculum combines Occupational Therapy Assistant and general education courses with selected laboratory experiences.  Program courses cover theory and application of theory, development across the lifespan (birth to death), wellness/prevention, therapeutic use of self, pediatric/adult/and older adult patient/client treatment as well as community and population services in physical disabilities and mental health, research, evidence-based practice, technology and documentation.  The Occupational-Therapy specific classes are complemented with general studies coursework in anatomy, physiology, psychology, sociology, and English composition.  Although the Occupational Therapy Assistant curriculum is designed to be completed in two academic years, students may take a longer time to fulfill their degree requirements, depending on individual circumstances.

In the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, students receive instruction in theory and develop practical skills relating to occupational therapy through classroom, laboratory and fieldwork settings. Through second-year coursework, students participate in fieldwork practice settings to include general physical medicine and psychiatric centers, developmental disabilities, schools, nursing homes and community agencies. In these experiences, students work with and teach individual patients/clients or larger groups, communities, or even entire populations methods for engagement in self-care, work, play/leisure, education, social skills, rest/sleep, and home/community living skills.

Technical Ability Standards do exist for the OTA Program and they are a reality of the profession.  However, due to the diversity of occupational therapy practice areas, OTA Education lends itself toward attracting students of diverse abilities.  The SUNY Erie OTA Program is committed to the notion of dis-ABILITY as diversity.  Provided a student has the capacity to successfully navigate the program, graduate, and pass their certification exam, it is our goal to provide reasonable accommodations to facilitate every student’s success.  Please read, “Special Admission Requirements/Pre-requisites:  Technical Ability Standards,” as listed below for more information. 

 

Mission of SUNY Erie Community College

SUNY Erie meets the needs of a diverse student body and contributes to regional economic vitality by providing high-quality, flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs committed to student success.

Mission of SUNY Erie Community College Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

SUNY Erie Occupational Therapy Assistant Program embraces diversity and is student-focused with a commitment to student success by providing high-quality education that fosters professionalism, a passion for occupational therapy, and life-long learning.  We serve our students, the Occupational Therapy profession, and the community by graduating highly qualified occupational therapy assistants who meet the dynamic health care, human service, wellness, habilitation and rehabilitation employment demand in Western New York.  We prepare students to work in traditional and non-traditional/emerging areas of practice, to provide client-centered occupation-based interventions, and to use scientific evidence to guide decision making in ongoing practice.

Core Values

Student-Focused - Service to students is the primary reason for SUNY Erie’s existence. The student is at the center of all SUNY SUNY Erie programs and services.

Accessibility - SUNY Erie serves the needs and wants of all students, including those not having educational opportunity elsewhere. Access means inclusion by overcoming financial, location, physical, language or other impediments.

Academic Excellence - We expect academic rigor in all curricula and from all students. We believe that quality teaching with comprehensive support results in positive learning outcomes and student achievement.

Openness and Respect - A broad range of cultures, attitudes, and viewpoints creates an environment of respect, caring, and trust. Everyone, no matter their limitations, should be recognized for their intrinsic dignity and unique capabilities.

Commitment to Our Students - In a context of respect, caring, and trust, we seek to guide students in the holistic learning process to become competent and caring entry-level occupational therapy assistant practitioners who demonstrate the clinical and interpersonal skills, knowledge, cultural sensitivity, experience, maturity, and values necessary for success in the dynamic healthcare, human service, wellness, habilitation and rehabilitation demands in Western New York.  We are also committed to equipping students to be lifelong learners by teaching them the skills to be self-learners and providing them with the resources and access to quality, relevant continuing education and higher education transfer opportunities.

Commitment to Our Profession - With integrity and accountability, we are committed to providing a high-quality, multifaceted, state-of-the-art curriculum and learning resources that reflect current, applied, and emerging areas of occupational therapy practice, and exceeding the standards of our profession’s accrediting body. We are also committed to playing a visible and active role in our regional occupational therapy professional community.

Commitment to Our Community - Through our relationships with employers, fieldwork affiliates, and the community-at-large, we are committed to serving our community by promoting occupational therapy as an important contributor to health, function and well-being, and by graduating highly qualified occupational therapy assistants who will meet the dynamic health care, human service, wellness, habilitation, and rehabilitation employment demands in Western New York.

Program Philosophy

Our Program Philosophy embraces the overarching values of occupational therapy and occupational therapy education.  We emphasize volition, client driven services, the power of occupation to be a healing agent with therapeutic benefits for health and wellness, adaptation to empower the individual, and the significance of optimal independence for quality of life.  We recognize that education is an ongoing process and our educational philosophy embraces academic and experiential learning to help shape the students’ professional identity and prepare them to work collaboratively with clients and other professionals.

Occupational Therapy Philosophy

Volition and Client Driven Services

Humans, intrinsically motivated by personal values and aspirations, and extrinsically directed by environmental demands, inherently engage in a variety of occupations. Occupational Therapy practitioners place value on the volition of individuals we work with. Therefore, volition must be encouraged and supported through therapeutic relationship with an emphasis on patient/client choice and involvement, and respect for the values, culture and beliefs of patients/clients.

The Power of Occupation

Occupations are “Activities…of everyday life, named, organized and given value and meaning by individuals and a culture” (Law, Polatajko, Baptiste and Townsend, 1997). Occupations occur across the lifespan, resulting in societal participation.  Through self-selected occupations that are relevant, meaningful and therapeutic, humans have the capacity to influence their physical and mental health, as well as their social, physical, cultural, temporal, and virtual environments. Mary Reily, an early leader in the occupational therapy profession, reflects the values of the profession in a simple yet profound statement:  “Man, through the use of his hands, as they are energized by mind and will, can influence the state of his own health” (1962).

In occupational therapy, we use occupations which have intrinsic and extrinsic value as both a therapeutic medium, and the desired result of therapy.  Occupations that have immediate and long-term therapeutic benefits address the needs of the people, families, communities, and populations that we serve (AOTA, 2017).

Adaptation and Enablement

At times, throughout the lifespan, individuals may be unable to engage in their life roles and occupations.  When barriers occur, occupational therapy practitioners may adapt a task, the way the task is performed, or the environment to enable engagement in occupational roles and societal participation (AOTA, 2014).  

Occupational Therapy Education Philosophy

It is our program’s belief that learning is a dynamic process that develops over time, promoting cognitive and affective maturation.

Cognitive maturation is the “development of an internal process by which learners select ways of attending, learning, remembering, or thinking to develop creative problem solving and thinking” (Gagne 1992). Learning develops within a hierarchy from general information acquisition to concept formation and finally to problem solving; our students learn cognitive strategies through developing solutions to problems, learning new attitudes and being exposed to role models. By basing the complex upon the simple and the abstract upon the concrete, we promote problem solving and critical thinking throughout our curriculum. 

Both pedagogy and andragogy need to be considered as we have a diverse student body and there are many concepts that are universally supported regardless the age of the learner.

Students have the potential to discover meaning and connect that meaning to their career and their lives. Students bring with them a set of acquired attitudes and behaviors that impact their motivation for learning. We believe that as students learn, attitudes and behaviors can change and grow. Behavioral development occurs as students receive and respond to new information and ideas, value certain ideas, organize new values into existing value schemas, and act consistently with internalized values (Krathwohl’s affective taxonomy, 1964).

We believe cognitive maturation and behavioral development of students to be equally important, occurring on a continuum throughout the program, each increased and enhanced as students become more confident through learning to apply specific skills through practice, feedback, and self-reflection (Carnegie Melon University, 2018).

In addition, occupational therapy faculty maintain core values and principles of the profession, including beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy/confidentiality, fairness/equality, honesty, respect/dignity, duty/care, and sound judgement (AOTA, 2015).

Accreditation

The 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, Maryland 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-AOTA. Website for ACOTE: www.acoteonline.org.  Website for AOTA:  www.aota.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). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination and attain state licensure.

Licensure Compliance Statement

New York State prides itself in the high quality of its licensed and certified professionals. For the protection of its citizens, each license and certificate has requirements that individuals must meet in order to be licensed or certified in New York State. SUNY’s academic programs leading to licensure or certification are carefully designed to meet and exceed these state requirements. This is a role SUNY plays in protecting the public. Other states frequently have their own requirements, so if your goal is to practice in another state, the following disclosure statement will help you check to see what that state requires.

In keeping with U.S. Federal Regulations, §668.43 (2019 Rule), and in compliance with the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) Manual version 19.2, SUNY ERIE Community College OTA Program provides the following disclosure statement related to the educational requirements for professional licensure and certification:

SUNY Erie’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is an ACOTE accredited occupational therapy assistant educational program. The Program also meets the educational requirements by the Board of Regents in New York State to award an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) with a major in occupational therapy assistant.

ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs satisfy the states’ educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, please refer to the AOTA State Licensure webpage:  https://acoteonline.org/about/

Graduation/Certification/Licensure

  • An Associate in Applied Science degree is granted to each student who successfully completes all coursework and all fieldwork. The student must also demonstrate proficiency in algebra with a minimum placement test score of 40 for the Algebra Test or be waived from placement testing.
  • New York State licensure is required for employment in New York State. Upon graduation from the program, an individual is eligible to apply to take the NBCOT OTA Certification Exam and to apply for licensure.  All states in the U.S. require state licensure. Separate applications for state licensure must be filed within that state.  Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination and attain state licensure.
  • New York State DOES require passing of the National Certification Exam (NBCOT) for employment in New York State. A final, official transcript indicating confirmation for an Associate in Applied Science degree (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant must be submitted to NBCOT as part of the application process for the national certification exam.
  • Retention Data and Results of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Exam:

Admit/Graduation

Year

Number of Program Graduates for this given graduation year

Graduation Rate for this given admit year**

Number of New Graduate test takers for this given graduation year

Number of New Graduate test takers who passed the exam for this given graduation year

Percentage of New Graduate test takers who passed the exam for this given graduation year

2014

12

59.10%

(13 graduates/22 admits)

12

12

100%

2015

17

70.83%

(17 graduates/24 admits)

16

16

100%

2016 14

79.17%

(19 graduates/24 admits)

11 11 100%
2017 17

71.4%

(15 graduates/21 admits)

19 18 95%
2018 15

TBD*

(X graduates/23 admits)

15 15 100%
2019 17

TBD*

(X graduates/19 admits)

17 17 100%
2020 12***

TBD*

(X graduates/22 admits)

3*** 3*** 100%
2021 16

TBD*

(X graduates/15 admits)

18 18 100%

Total/

Average

T=120

A=70.13%

T=111

T=110

A=99.38%

 

*TBD=To be determined

**Graduation Rate includes both 2 and 3 year track students.

***Number impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, suspended fieldwork placement and delayed graduation secondary to the global pandemic.

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.

Website for NBCOT:  www.nbcot.org

Website for NYSED-Office of the Professions regarding licensure/authorization/permit to practice:  http://www.op.nysed.gov/

New York State prides itself in the high quality of its licensed and certified professionals.  For the protection of its citizens, each license and certificate has requirements that individuals must meet in order to be licensed or certified in New York State.  SUNY’s academic programs leading to licensure or certification are carefully designed to meet and exceed these State requirements. This is a role SUNY plays in protecting the public.  Other states frequently have their own requirements, so if your goal is to practice in another state, the following disclosure statement will help you check to see what that state requires.

In keeping with U.S. Federal Regulations, §668.43 (2019 Rule), and in compliance with the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) Manual version 19.2, SUNY ERIE Community College OTA Program provides the following disclosure statement related to the educational requirements for professional licensure and certification:

SUNY Erie’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is an ACOTE accredited occupational therapy assistant educational program.  The Program also meets the educational requirements by the Board of Regents in New York State to award an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) with a major in occupational therapy assistant.

ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs satisfy the states’ educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Students graduating from an ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational program are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, please refer to the AOTA State Licensure webpage: https://acoteonline.org/about/

Special Admission Requirements/Prerequisites

“Technical Ability Standards”

  1. “Technical ability standards” for the Erie Community College Occupational Therapy Assistant Student are essential functions or abilities required to meet the physical and intellectual demands of an OTA student while participating in the program.  Technical ability standards can be met with or without reasonable accommodations.  Students must demonstrate good physical endurance and good health. Sufficient physical strength is required for lifting and moving the human patient in a clinical setting.  Additional required skills for a clinical setting include: visual observation of patients and clients in treatment sessions; manipulation and handling of therapy equipment; and ability to demonstrate cognitive skills relative to problem solving, clinical reasoning and handling stress.  If you have any concerns that you might not meet these standards, please contact the OTA Department to set up an appointment for advisement.  Additionally, as a student of the SUNY Erie OTA Program, students must conduct themselves in a professional manner adhering to the American Occupational Therapy Association Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, client rights, and confidentiality.  Note that a felony conviction may prevent a student from completing our academic program through fieldwork, a degree requirement, required for degree completion.
  • Introduction of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of SUNY Erie Community College’s services, programs or activities or be subjected to discrimination by SUNY Erie.  The term “qualified individual with a disability” means an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or for participation in programs or activities.  Students must be able to perform the essential functions of the program in order to meet certain minimum academic and technical standards.   
  • Essential Functions as needed for typical program success:

CAPABILITY CATEGORY

SPECIFIC SKILL OR ABILITY

Motor Capability

Move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces.

Transfer patients who may require physical assistance.

Guard and assist patients with ambulation.

Perform exercise techniques, including applying resistance during exercise.  Therapeutically handle patients.

Lift and carry up to 50 pounds, and exert up to 100 pounds force for push/pull.

Squat, crawl, bend/stoop, reach above shoulder level, kneel, use standing balance, and climb stairs.

Use hands repetitively; use manual dexterity.  Ability to use fine skilled movements such as finger dexterity and eye-hand coordination, for effective tool use, dressing, personal hygiene, grooming, cooking, and communicating.

Adjust, apply, and clean therapeutic equipment.

Perform CPR.

Travel to and from academic and clinical sites.

Be able to, in the average clinical day, sit 1-2 hours, stand 6-7 hours, travel 1-3 hours.

Sensory Capability

Coordinate verbal and manual instruction.

Assess a patient from a distance that allows visual observation of patient posture, response to treatment, and interpretation/assessment of the environment.

Respond to a timer, alarm, or cries for help.

Monitor vital signs.

Possess auditory, visual, and tactile abilities sufficient to assess patient status and perform treatment (including seeing skin color changes, seeing facial expressions and non-verbal communication, hearing heart/lung sounds, and feeling for muscle contractions/to discriminate hot vs. cold/to fabricate splints).

Possess the ability to effectively attend to multiple features of a task, personal interaction, and/or group to include ability to selectively focus and attend to key features, use divided and alternating attention between two or more features in a quick and safe manner.

Communication Ability

Communicate effectively in English with patients, families, and other health care providers, both in person and through documentation (including explaining treatment procedures, teaching patients and families, documenting in charts).

Effectively adapt communication for intended audience.

Interact, and establish rapport with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.

Assume the role of a health care team member.

Function effectively under supervision and effectively communicate with supervisor.

Problem Solving/Critical Thinking Ability

Function effectively under stress.

Respond appropriately to emergencies.

Adhere to infection control procedures.

Demonstrate problem-solving skills in patient care (including reasoning, prioritizing, and synthesizing data or information).

Use sound judgement and safety precautions.

Address problems or questions to the appropriate person at the appropriate time.

Organize and prioritize job tasks, materials, and schedule.

Follow policies and procedures required by clinical and academic settings.

Social-Emotional Capability and Professionalism

Possess the ability to use effective work ethic skills to include attendance, punctuality, positive work attitude, respect, cooperation, teamwork, professional manners, productivity appropriate to course and job role requirements and to work with persons of diverse backgrounds.

Computer/Technological/Information Literacy

Possess the ability to use basic computer (word processing/PowerPoint/Excel), electronic communication and on-line course skills on a regular basis.

Possess the ability to access, evaluate, and use a variety of information resources such as library services, electronic catalogs, and databases in an efficient, ethical, and legal manner.

  • SUNY Erie OTA seeks to create an inclusive learning environment.  If there are aspects of the curriculum that result in barriers to a student’s inclusion, such a student would be strongly encouraged and invited to notify the Department Head.  Our program mission involves serving our students which means making course materials accessible and fostering student success.  Students taking classes in the Occupational Therapy Department at SUNY Erie Community College who are considering requesting reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments are encouraged to contact Students Access Center at 716-851-1487.
  • The need for adaptations within the typical OTA program as determined by essential functions may preclude specific OT practice areas for fieldwork placement.  For example, an individual who cannot lift and carry up to 50 pounds or exert up to 100 pounds of push/pull force would not be best suited for a traditional clinic-based adult physical disabilities fieldwork placement.  For another example, an individual who does not possess the sensory-motor skills to fabricate an arm/hand splint would not be eligible for fieldwork placement in hand therapy/orthotics.  Due to the diverse practice areas of occupational therapy, placement may be possible other practice areas, such as mental health settings or emerging practice areas.

Other Relevant Admission Requirements/Prerequisites

In addition to the requirements of the SUNY Erie Admissions Department which include an application indicating OTA as the program of choice for the semester of interest, transcripts, and Placement Testing or waiver, OTA applicants must also meet special admission requirements.  All applicants are encouraged to contact the Admissions Department to check the status of their application and verify receipt of all required documents (transcripts, proof of virtual shadow hours, letters of recommendation).  All intended majors are encouraged to make sure that they communicate with the Admissions Department to add an OTA Program focus or interest.

  • Applicants should have an 80 percent or above high school average within five years of prospective admission for applicants without any college credit.  Should an individual only have high school GPA information older than 5 years, they need to establish an undergraduate college GPA with at least some of the OTA general education courses.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 is required for all undergraduate colleges attended within five years of prospective admission.  Should an individual only have undergraduate college GPA information older than 5 years, overall undergraduate college GPA will be considered.
  • Applicants will comply with the college’s math and English competency requirement, as well as complete developmental coursework prior to admission into the program.
    • Applicants must either surpass the MT 006 level in math placement testing or be waived from math placement testing based on data (high school average of math courses [75+], GED score of 450 or higher, TASC math score of 500 or higher).  If not successful, applicant must complete and pass MT 006.  Any math developmental course must be successfully completed with a minimum passing grade of “C.” 
    • Applicants must pass the SUNY Erie English Placement Test at the EN 100 level or above unless waived from taking the test.  Any English developmental course must be successfully completed with a minimum passing grade of “C.”  
  • Complete virtual shadowing as made available to applicants and submit the required proof of virtual shadowing document as part of your application process, as a document upload.  Reach out to OTA@ecc.edu with any questions about this requirement.
  • Secure two letters of recommendation for admission into the SUNY Erie Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, from past or current teachers, volunteer coordinators, employers/work supervisors, spiritual leaders, coaches, or mentors.  Ensure that both letters of recommendation are dated and have included a signature, as well as contact information including name, phone number, and e-mail address.  Ensure that both letters of recommendation include a description of your relationship with the provider of the letter.  Ensure that both letters speak well to your strength of character, basic professionalism, and personal ethics.  Submit both letters of recommendation by uploading them as part of your application process.  Reach out to OTA@ecc.edu with any questions about this requirement.
  • It is strongly recommended that interested students meet with a Health Sciences Admission Counselor to support their application process and help determine viability for applying to the program.  Students with an OTA focus, or interest, should meet with OTA Department Head for advisement and for consideration of transfer credit.  Acceptance into General Studies does not guarantee future entrance into the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program.
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is housed at North Campus and admits students in the Fall Semester only. Application deadline is February 15. All pieces of the application packet must be submitted by the deadline of February 15 (online application, high school and all college transcripts, proof of virtual shadowing, and letters of recommendation as specified above).

  • Meeting program admission requirements does NOT guarantee acceptance into the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. Viablity of candidates is assessed through admissions artifacts.  Admission is based on the academic qualifications, critical thinking skills and soft skills of the student (academic transcript, virtual shadowing response, letters of recommendation). Admission is also based on space availability.

  • If an applicant is not selected for admission, they must submit another application packet for the following admission term to be reconsidered. Applicants re-applying must submit proof of virtual shadowing, and letters of recommendation for each time that they apply to the Program. Proof of shadowing hours questions are subject to change annually and the updated document must be used by applicants.

  • SUNY Erie OTA does not have a waiting list. If an accepted applicant declines their seat, the Department will contact the next most qualified candidate based on rubric scores, provided their are other existing viable candidates.

Department Notes

  • Level II Fieldwork students, enrolled in the last semester of OTA Program, are not permitted to officially withdraw if they fail a fieldwork placement. The failing grade will be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the OTA Department.
  • The student must maintain a minimum grade of a “C+” in all OT lecture and lab courses as well as the OT 141 fieldwork course, a “P” in fieldwork courses OT 160/OT 239/OT 251, as well as a ”C“ in all general education courses required for the degree. A grade of “C“  is not passing in OT courses and a grade of “C-” is not passing in general education courses required for degree completion.  General education courses may only be re-taken once within the OTA Program.  Program applicants should aim only to re-take a general education course once within a 5 year period for evidence of viability within program.  Students are limited to one OT course re-take for a maximum of only one OT course, while in Program, depending on the intial grade received and professional/ethical conduct.
  • General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, lecture and lab, must have been taken in the last five years. Introduction to Sociology and College Composition (English Writing) may have been taken in the last ten years with a student earning either an A or a B. Students must acquire computer literacy skills prior to enrolling in OT 101, either through life skills or as a remedial course. Expiration of credit is a reality, as retention of knowledge is an issue. However, expiration-of-credit exceptions for English, general psychology, and sociology do exist in the event of continuing competency established by supplemental coursework in these fields of study.

  • The curriculum is designed in a sequence of courses to be completed in a specific manner. Refer to course descriptions for sequence of courses and prerequisites. Both 2 year and 3 year course sequences are available.
  • Each student will receive The OTA Student Manual upon admission into the Program. This manual is updated annually. A signature acknowledging receipt and understanding of requirements and responsibilities is required by the first day of OTA classes, each year.
  • Students are required to attend OTA orientation (first year students) and OTA re-orientation (second and any third year students).  Orientation and re-orientation are housed in the OTA Department and take place in the spring or summer months.
  • Each student is responsible for providing transportation to off-campus community agencies utilized for applied learning, clinical or fieldwork activities.
  • A physical exam and current immunization report are required annually within the Program. Immunization against Hepatitis B is required.  Flu vaccination and documentation as proof are required annually.  Two-part PPD testing and related documentation are required annually.  A COVID-19 vaccine and boosters are requirements for fieldwork participation and applied learning experiences.
  • Because of the nature of the profession, deviation from professional/ethical conduct may adversely affect patient/client well-being. Therefore, the Department reserves the right to immediately remove a student from didactic, laboratory, or clinical/fieldwork coursework and/or dismiss that student from the program if the Department has determined the student has displayed inappropriate behavior or acted in an unprofessional manner. Appropriate professional conduct and Department policies relative to fieldwork are outlined in the OTA Student Manual.
  • Additional fee requirements may include professional membership fees (AOTA and NYSOTA are required), OTKE Exam, fingerprinting/background check for Fieldwork, NBCOT Exam Prep Course, NBCOT Certification Exam and others; students are responsible for all required/applicable costs associated with Fieldwork experience requirements.

Program Competencies

Upon graduation with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Identify factors that support or hinder occupational performance by gathering relevant information utilizing available resources: EMR/HER, screenings and evaluations, clinical observations, team and family members.
  2. Establish service competency in assessment methods such as interviews, observation, assessment tools, and chart reviews within the context of the service delivery system.
  3. Develop client-centered and occupation-based goals in collaboration with the occupational therapist.
  4. Plan, select, and implement client-centered and occupation-based interventions effectively in collaboration with client(s), family/significant other, occupational therapist, and other service providers.
  5. Grade and adapt activities and/or the environment to support engagement in occupations.
  6. Utilize effective and appropriate verbal, nonverbal, and written communication with client(s), families, colleagues, and the public.
  7. Produce clear and accurate written documentation according to site requirements to include assessments, progress reports, and discharge summaries, attendance records, statistical reports, and for third party payment.
  8. Conduct oneself in a professional manner adhering to the American Occupational Therapy Association Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, client rights, and confidentiality.
  9. Maintain a therapeutic environment within a clinical setting to maintain order, prevent accidents, promote adherence to safety regulations of self and others.
  10. Develop appropriate professional behaviors related to self-responsibility, constructive feedback, work behaviors, time management, interpersonal skills, and cultural competence.
  11. Clearly communicate the values and beliefs of occupational therapy, the role of the occupational therapist, and the occupational therapy assistant to clients, families/significant others, and other service providers.
  12. Demonstrate evidence-based practice by making informed decisions based on published research and relevant informational sources.

Curriculum

Total Degree Credits: 66

 

Second Year, Spring Semester


Note:


Note:  The program is designed to be completed in two (2) years for full-time students.  The curriculum above is a recommended two-year course sequence.  Due to heavy curricular requirements, coursework can best be accommodated by completing the program in three (3) years.  Students may wish to fulfill some or all general education required coursework prior to admission into the Program.  Students should consult their academic adviser prior to registering.  The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is largely a day-time program, with occasional evening courses, based on adjunct faculty availability.

For students attending part time, the program can be completed within no more than four (4) years.

*Computer Literacy is required prior to admission in the OTA Program.  This can be through life experience or as a remedial course such as CS 101.  Each OTA Program applicant is responsible for assessing his or her own computer literacy based on the following information:

  • Students must demonstrate competency in computer use, including ability to use databases and search engines to access information, word processing for writing, and Power Point for presentations.  Students will be expected to navigate websites (SUNY Erie, AOTA, NBCOT, NYSED).  Students will be expected to efficiently use e-mail, attaching files as needed, and are expected to utilize their SUNY Erie e-mail account, checking it at least one time daily.  Students are expected to navigate a Learning Management System (LMS) for various OT courses.  Students will post to and utilize “Youtube”, “Yammer”, as well as “Facebook” (a closed group entitled, “SUNY Erie SOTA”).  Students will be expected to navigate learning apps used within the classroom.

 

*OTA Students must complete AED/CPR Certification for adults and children/infants prior to their Level 1B Fieldwork experience.  Their certification must have a hands on, lab component.  Students can do this by taking the SUNY Erie courses HT 201 or EG 009.  This requirement can also be met by attending a class at the American Red Cross or through the American Heart Association.  Proof of certification must be provided to the Department after course completion.  Upon admission into the Program, the Department will assess the need for a group, one day class housed in the Department.  AED/CPR Certification is good for two years.  If a student needs to repeat any OT courses, re-certification may be required. 

*OTA Students complete Mental Health First Aid Training and receive a certificate prior to graduation.

*Each Level II fieldwork is eight weeks in length and supervision by an OTR/L, COTA/L, or both is provided. Fieldwork must be completed within 20 months of the didactic coursework for the OTA program.

 

 

 

 

 

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