OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT PROGRAM
Department Chair: Cassel
Assistant Professor: Cassel, Leonard
Western New Mexico University offers a two year program leading to an Associate of Science Degree with a major in Occupational Therapy Assistant. Students who complete the program are eligible to take the National Certification exam for Occupational Therapy Assistants. Certification is conferred upon successful completion of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Most states require licensure in order to practice. State licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT examination. The program is fully accredited with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program at WNMU is a limited enrollment program. No more than 20 students will be admitted annually. All students interested in applying for admission must first for admission to WNMU as specified in the University catalog. Students may then apply to the Department of Occupational Therapy Program.
1) Application to the University must be made.
2) Students interested in entering the OTA program should apply for admission to the University and arrange for transcripts from high school and other colleges to be sent as soon as possible. Official transcripts must be in the admissions office by April 15th and copies of all transcripts should accompany the application for the OTA program.
3) Obtain the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program application by calling, writing, or e-mailing the department at: OTA Program, WNMU, Watts Hall, Silver City, NM 88062, phone: (505) 574-5170, e-mail email@example.com
4) Applications to the OTA program are accepted until April 15th of each year for fall semester enrollment.Students may enter the program only in the fall of each year. Every effort will be made for student selection to be completed by the first full week in June of each year.
5) All applicants to the OTA program must have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher from high school or for college course work and University placement testing scores that place student in ENGL 101 or better or completion of ENGL 101 with a "C" or better. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all documents are received in the OT department no later than the April 15th deadline.
6) Selection of students for the OTA program is based on a number of factors including grade point averages, health care or related experience, number of supporting courses completed, writing samples and references.
7) Occupational Therapy Assistant courses cannot be taken by students other than those who have been admitted to the program. Interested students can enroll in supporting courses at any time.
8) Final student selection to the OTA program is based on a point system addressing the factors listed above in #5.
9) Students accepted to the OTA program must complete all OTA coursework with a grade of C or higher, and must maintain a GPA of 2.7 or higher in all OTA curriculum GPA throughout the program.
10) Students must maintain professional behavior, honor the AOTA code of ethics, and abide by departmental and university policy. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program.
Occupational Therapy Assistant Curriculum
PREREQUISITES: High School Biology and Algebra or equivalent with grade C or higher
BIOL 254 Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 255 Anatomy & Physiology II
PSY 102 General Psychology
ENGL 102 Comp & Rhet II
ENGL 101 Comp & Rhet I
PSY 412 Psychopathology
OTA 155 Orientation to OTA
OTA 161 OT Fieldwork Level IB
OTA 156 OT Fieldwork Level IA
OTA 165 Principles of OTA
OTA 160 OT in Growth & Devel.
OTA 220 Therapeutic Media
COMM 110 Public Speaking
SOC 101 Sociology I
OTA 230 Functional Kinesiology
OTA 240 OT in Physical Dysfunction
OTA 222 OT Rehab Techniques
OTA 244 OT in Pediatrics
OTA 223 OT Fieldwork Level IC
OTA 255 OT Program Development
OTA 242 OT in Psychosocial Dys.
OTA 256 OT Fieldwork Level ID
WELL 465 Wellness of the Aging
OTA 270 Fieldwork Level IIA 6 Cr
OTA 272 Fieldwork Level IIB 6 Cr
Students must obtain PPD and complete a course in CPR prior to assignment of fieldwork experiences. In addition, students must have basic computer skills including using of word processing, spreadsheets, and simple database management.
In addition to two years of classroom training, students must complete two full time clinical experiences (Fieldwork Level II). Each clinical experience will continue for eight weeks. These clinical experiences are unpaid and will require temporary relocation. Students are assigned Level II Fieldwork. All students are required to complete these clinical experiences within 18 months following the classroom courses. All coursework must be completed within five years. Any OTA classes completed more than 5 years prior to completion of the program will need to be repeated
ADMISSION WITH ADVANCED STANDING
This option is available only to those students who have either previously been accepted to an OTA program at another institution, or have completed much of the coursework toward the OTA degree at another institution. Proof of admission or course completion is required as well as a letter of reference from the director of that program. Students who were admitted to the WNMU program, but were unable to attend at that time will also qualify for advanced standing. Course work related to the OTA classes will be reviewed on an individual basis by the faculty. Determination of transfer credits must be approved by the faculty, the department chair, and the Admissions Office. The student will be required to complete the same program application process as a new student.
Students wishing to transfer to the OTA program must be admitted to the University and submit official transcripts from the school they attended to the Admissions Office.
Transfer credit will be granted after a review of transcripts by the Admissions Office and the Department chairperson. All transfer information is due by the April 15th deadline for application material.
Any student wishing to transfer to WNMU should review the academic regulations regarding transfer credit in the University catalog.
Courses completed more than five years prior to entering the OTA program may or may not be counted towards the degree requirements depending on individual review. Students interested in challenging any course must follow the procedures outlined in the University catalog.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. AOTA’s phone number is (301) 652-AOTA. Graduates of the program will be able 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). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.