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    Occupational Therapy Assistant

    Degree Information

    The occupational therapy assistant (OTA) works under the supervision of an occupational therapist with a diverse population of people in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, mental health facilities, schools, and the community.

    Guided by the occupational therapist’s plan of care, occupational therapy assistants are responsible for providing direct occupational therapy intervention with clients to develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living. Intervention is client-centered and occupation-based, meaning clients play a primary active role in therapy sessions and sessions are designed around the client’s valued daily activities, also known as occupations.

    A student considering entering the field of OTA should demonstrate good communication skills, have the ability to form good relationships with a variety of individuals; have a creative and adaptable approach to work; demonstrate patience, compassion, and empathy; and enjoy a physically active job.

    The program is a two-year program that combines both traditional classroom-based education and fieldwork experiences in preparation for the student to enter the profession as an entry-level, generalist, occupational therapy assistant. The student will graduate with an associate of science degree.

    Notice of Accreditation Status

    The occupational therapy assistant program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status 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 its Web address is www.acoteonline.org.

    The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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 or attain state licensure.

    ACOTE Disclosure of Risk Involved Applying to a Non-Accredited Program

    OTA Program Mission

    The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program strives to prepare students in becoming generalist occupational therapy assistants who value life-long learning, seek evidence to support their practical and clinical decisions, and place their clients at the center of their practice. As a result of completing the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, these future Occupational Therapy Practitioners will be equipped to work with the supervision of Occupational Therapists in a variety of settings, with a diversity of people, populations, and communities. Confident in their entry-level skills they will make a positive impact on the health, well-being, and quality of life of their clients by increasing their ability to participate as fully as possible in their preferred and needful daily activities, also known as occupations.

    OTA Program Objectives

    The OTA program’s objectives are consistent with curriculum content and expectations as set forth by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)

    Lackawanna College’s OTA Program is designed to prepare graduates who:

    • Apply theoretical and conceptual knowledge while incorporating evidence-based techniques to occupational therapy intervention.
    • Interact with clients, the clients’ family members or caregivers, colleagues, and the public in a manner that reflects an appreciation of the worth of an individual, the appropriate response to cultural differences, and an understanding of the psychological and social effects of illness and injury.
    • Demonstrate appropriate and effective written, oral, and non-verbal communication with clients, the clients’ family or caregivers, colleagues, and the public.
    • Recognize their own strengths and limitations, interpret for others their scope and function, and understand the need for continued lifelong education and growth.
    • Always demonstrate a commitment to safe, ethical, and legal practice.
    • Understand basic concepts of healthcare and the mechanics of providing healthcare services.
    • Achieve the status of an entry level, generalist Occupational Therapy Assistant
    OTA Program Goals
    • The program will look to accept 20 highly qualified and capable students each spring term who will represent Lackawanna College, the OTA program, and the Occupational Therapy Assistant profession to the best of their capabilities.
    • Students and graduates will demonstrate professional, legal, and ethical behavior in all academic and clinical settings.
    • Students and graduates will correctly apply theoretical and conceptual knowledge related to practice as an Occupational Therapy Assistant.
    • Students and graduates will be skilled at gathering information from clients through the method of interviewing to better inform the occupational therapist of pertinent data during the evaluation and treatment processes. They will also competently perform interventions with clients under the supervision of occupational therapists.
    • One hundred percent of the College’s OTA program graduates will be successful in obtaining full-time employment related to the physical therapy field within six months of graduation.
    • The program will provide adequate resources needed to support the student – including resources related to financial aid assistance, faculty advising, mentoring, counseling, tutoring, along with adequate equipment, classroom and laboratory space, clinical facility, faculty, and technology to enhance the student’s learning.
    • The program will enhance the practice of occupational therapy in our community by providing opportunities for educational, professional, and personal growth.
    • The program will look to have a retention rate of 75 percent or higher for each academic semester per individual cohort of accepted students.
    • The program will look to graduate 20 highly qualified and capable students who will represent Lackawanna College and the OTA program.
    OTA Admissions Process and Criteria

    The following items are required in order for an applicant to be considered for admission into the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Lackawanna College.

    1. Lackawanna College Application (may be completed online or via mail)

    2. Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Application (PDF)

    3. Proof of 20 observation hours total, in at least 2 different settings providing occupational therapy services (PDF)

    Please complete these tasks and/or include these items among your application materials prior to sending them to the following address:

    Lackawanna College – Admissions Department
    Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
    501 Vine Street
    Scranton, PA 18509

    Download the OTA Observation Form (PDF)

    4. Three references are also required for application to the occupational therapy assistant program at Lackawanna College.

    References are to be sent by the reference to the following address:

    Lackawanna College – Admissions Department
    Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
    501 Vine Street
    Scranton, PA 18509

    Download our Professional Reference Form (PDF)

    5. Finally, applicants whose materials are satisfactory will be invited for an interview with the OTA program director and/or the academic fieldwork coordinator. Applicants will be required to complete a writing prompt related to OT during the interview. Applicants will have thirty (30) minutes to complete the writing prompt. Prompt will be scored using a grading rubric.

    Note:  Submitting application materials does not guarantee an interview invitation.  An interview invitation does not guarantee acceptance into the OTA Program. Further, each applicant’s materials, interview, and writing prompt will be assessed using a scoring rubric designed to objectively determine an applicant’s fitness for the OTA program.

    This program is offered exclusively at the Scranton campus.