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Programs of Study

Associate of Applied Science

Health Technology
Major: Occupational Therapy Assistant


SWCC and Virginia Highlands Community College (Additional accredited site)

Length: Twenty-two month, Five semester program

Purpose: To prepare selected students to qualify as contributing members of the health care team who will care for patients under the supervision of a Registered Occupational Therapist. The goals of the occupational therapy team are to develop, restore, or maintain adaptive skills in individuals whose abilities to cope with daily living are threatened or impaired by disease, injury, developmental disability, or social disadvantage.

Accreditation: The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Southwest Virginia Community College with additional accredited site at Virginia Highlands Community College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200. Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and it’s web address is www.acoteonline.org.

Occupational Objectives: Employment opportunities include positions in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, clinics, day care centers, long-term care facilities, schools, sheltered workshops, homebound programs and community agencies.

Program Format: The OTA program educational experiences consists of on-site lecture, distance lecture to remote campus sites via the compressed video network, hands-on laboratory, computer web-based instruction through BlackBoard, and a variety of clinical experiences. Students are required to complete a computer course and need to have skills necessary to navigate the internet for researching projects and assignments and utilizing the BlackBoard components for classes (i.e., online testing, online resources, grades, and discussions).

Admission Requirements: In addition to the general requirements for admission to the College, consideration for a position in this program requires the following:

  1. Graduation from high school or satisfactory completion of the GED.
  2. The completion of one unit each of biology (with laboratory) and chemistry (with laboratory) with no grade below a “C” prior to January 15 application deadline (deficiencies can be made up through developmental studies or college courses).
  3. High school seniors who have not completed the full sequence of the prerequisite courses must be enrolled in the second semester of these courses and have earned a grade of “C” or above for the first semester to be considered for program admission. Grades in these courses must reflect a minimum of “C.”
  4. All high school courses and/or college work must reflect an overall grade average of “C” (2.5 GPA) or higher.
  5. The completion of the Virginia Placement Tests (VPT) with demonstrated readiness for ENG 111 and proficiency in MTE 1-6.
      • Satisfactory completion of ENG 111 with grade of “C” or above will meet the ENG pre-requisite
      • Scores  of 520 or above for SAT math and 22 for ACT math or College Math courses number 151 or above with at least a “C” grade or better will meet the Math pre-requisite
      • The completion of the HOBET test
  6. Any prescribed developmental studies courses, must be successfully completed before the January 15 application deadline.
  7. Eight (8) hours of observation in an occupational therapy setting should be documented by the OT personnel denoting and date (s’) and time (s).

Students planning to transfer to senior institutions should inform their advisors and should consider coursework that can be used for transfer.
When enrollments must be limited for any curriculum, priority shall be given to all qualified applicants who are residents of the political subdivisions (Buchanan, Dickenson [partial], Russell, or Tazewell counties), supporting the College and to Virginia residents not having access to a given program at their local community college, provided such students apply for admission to the program prior to registration or by a deadline established by the College. In addition, residents of localities with the College have clinical-site or other agreements may receive equal consideration for admission. To be considered as a Virginia resident, an applicant must be domiciled within Virginia 12 months prior to January 15. Applicants moving out-of-state between January 15 and the first day of classes will lose their preferred status and any offer of admission to the program will be withdrawn. Out-of-region applicants who are Virginia residents will be considered for program openings available April 1 and out-of-state applicants for openings available May 1.
Students accepted into the program are required to submit a certificate reflecting a successful physical examination, signed by a licensed physician. The physical examination must be completed after receiving notification of acceptance to the program and prior to beginning classes. Immunizations must be current and include Hepatitis B and MMR. Proof of Tuberculin skin test (PPD) and CPR certification must be shown on admission to the program and kept current throughout the program.

Criminal Background Checks/Drug Testing:

Background checks for criminal history and sex offender crimes against minors are required for admission to the OTA program. Students with convictions may be prohibited from clinical practice and may not complete the program. Clinical agencies may require drug testing prior to placement of students for clinical rotations. Students with positive drug test results may be prohibited from clinical practice and may not complete the program. Cost for criminal background checks and drug testing will be the responsibility of the student.

Program Requirements:

Academic Requirements: : The student is required to complete a sequence of courses and learning experiences. Students must achieve a grade of “C” or better in all program courses. Any student receiving a grade of “D” in any of the program courses will be placed on Program Probation. That course shall be remediated once, with a written contract containing the requirements of the remediation. Please note: Students may be required to wait at least one academic year before they will have an opportunity to remediate the course. Students on program probation status will only be allowed to remediate the course if there is an open position in the class and they have approval of the program director. Dismissal from the program shall result if: 1) the student does not meet the requirements of the probationary contract; 2) the student receives a final grade of less than “C” in any program courses either during or after the period of the Program Probation; or 3) earning more than one “D” in a semester on program courses or a final grade of “F” in any coursework after admittance to the program will result in dismissal from the program. Remediated courses must be completed with a final grade of “C” or better.

Clinical and Behavioral Requirements:

Selected and supervised learning experiences are required by this program and will be accomplished at selected health care facilities. Because there are limited clinical sites within the area, students may be required to travel to other areas to complete clinical training. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation, uniforms, and living expenses during fieldwork experiences. In the fifth semester, there will be 40 hours per week of clinical time (Level II fieldwork) in two eight week segments, so students must plan their schedules accordingly. Program faculty will observe and evaluate the student. If in the judgment of the program faculty the student does not exhibit those behaviors required of the occupational therapy assistant, the student may be asked to withdraw from the program.

NOTE: All OTA students must complete Level II Fieldwork within 18 months following completion of academic preparation.
NOTE: A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Course NumberCourse TitleLecture HoursLab HoursCourse Credits
First Semester
BIO 141Human Anatomy & Physiology I334
ENG 111College Composition I303
HLT 143Medical Terminology303
OCT 100Intro. to Occupational Therapy303
PSY 230Development Psychology303
SDV 104Study Skills OR101
SDV 108College Survival Skills
TOTAL16317
Second Semester
BIO 142Human Anatomy & Physiology II334
OCT 201Occupational Therapy with Psychosocial Dysfunction303
OCT 195Topics in OT for Physical Dysfunction202
OCT 205Therapeutic Media132
NAS 195Topics in Upper Extremity Anatomy & Kinesiology101
Elective**Humanities/Fine Arts303
ITE 115*Computers and Information Systems303
TOTAL16618
Summer Semester
OCT 190Coord. Practice in OT I (Level I)051
OCT 207Therapeutic Skills233
OCT 220Occupational Therapy for the Adult202
TOTAL486
Third Semester
OCT 210Assistive Tech. in OT202
OCT 202Occupational Therapy with Physical Disabilities334
OCT 203Occupational Therapy with Developmental Disabilities334
OCT 208OT Service Mgmt. & Delivery303
OCT 190Coord. Pract. in OT II-Level I Fieldwork051
TOTAL111114
Fourth Semester
OCT 290Coord. Pract. In OT III-Level II Fieldwork0406
OCT 290Coord. Pract. In OT Iv-Level II Fieldwork0406
OCT 298Seminar and Project in OTA101
TOTAL18013

Total Credits for the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program    68

* AST 232 or ITE 100 may substitute for ITE 115.
**Humanities/Fine Arts electives:  Art appreciation, Music appreciation, foreign languages, literature, Philosophy, Religion.

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