Occupational Therapy Assistant (A.S.)

Program Director: Betsy McDaniel, COTA/L

The Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program at Middle Georgia State University requires a minimum of two years of study. Occupational Therapy Assistant courses are offered sequentially beginning in the Fall semester. Students must complete BIOL 2251K (Anatomy and Physiology I) and an additional 8 credit hours of the required core courses prior to acceptance into the OTA Program.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program prepares graduates to provide entry-level OT services under the supervision of an occupational therapist. These services include the use of occupation based activities to develop, maintain, or restore function for individuals whose daily occupations are impaired due to physical or psychosocial disabilities, developmental deficits, the aging process, poverty, or sociocultural differences.

Accreditation Statement 
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Middle Georgia State University received initial accreditation in December 1996 from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. The program was most recently re-accredited for a 10 year period in April 2012. Graduates of the program will receive an Associate of Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant and are eligible to take the national certification examination for the Occupational Therapy Assistant, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®), located at One Bank Street, Suite  300, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, (301) 990-7979. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states require COTAs to obtain a license in order to practice occupational therapy. However, the ability to receive a state license in Georgia is based on passing the (NBCOT®) certification examination. PLEASE NOTE: felony conviction may affect a student’s ability to complete Level II Fieldwork or a graduate’s ability to sit for the (NBCOT®) Certification Exam and attain state licensure. All students will be required to complete a background check upon admission to the OTA Program. If you have been convicted of a felony, you will be required to complete the Early Determination Review process with NBCOT® to determine eligibility to take the National Certification Exam and provide the OTA Program with documentation from NBCOT® indicating that you will be eligible to take the certification exam once all other eligibility requirements are met. Failure to provide the OTA Program with this documentation prior to the mid-term date in the first semester of the OTA Program will result in immediate dismissal from the OTA Program. For more information on the Early Determination Review process, please see the NBCOT® website.

 

Estimated Expenses 
OTA Program costs, in addition to regular MGA fees, are approximate and include:

OTACAS Application Fee $25

Student Uniforms and Accessories (2 years) $ 250.00 
Textbooks - OTA Courses (2 years) $1,300.00 
Fieldwork Travel and Lodging $2,000.00 (varies by location)
Field Trip Travel up to $ 300.00 
Criminal Background Check up to $ 200.00 yearly 
Professional Liability Insurance $ 16.00 yearly
Drug Screen – approximately $100 yearly
AOTA membership $ 100.00 yearly
American Heart Association CPR certification up to $ 90.00 
Pinning ceremony expenses up to $ 50.00 in final year
Lab fees associated with OTA courses with labs - vary according to semester 
Physical - $50.00
TB Test – approximately $30
Immunizations - $710 max (if no immunizations prior to enrollment)
Specific OTA supplies and/or equipment - $60.00
Software - $10.00
Certification Exam after graduation - $550.00
Travel to clinical/fieldwork and field trip sites may be extensive. OTA fieldwork sites are throughout the state of Georgia and students need to be aware that they may have to travel or relocate in order to complete fieldwork requirements. Travel expenses, including living arrangements  are the responsibility of the student. Some students may be required to complete additional drug screens or other tests and/or vaccinations as required by their fieldwork sites and will be responsible for any associated fees. All expenses are approximate and subject to change without prior notice. 

General Requirements and Procedures for Admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

1. Admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is competitive and limited. To be considered for admission to the program, applicants must first: (a) be admitted to the University in “good academic standing” with a minimum cumulative academic GPA of 2.75, or (b) be enrolled in the University in “good academic standing” with a minimum cumulative academic GPA of 2.75 in the core curriculum courses required in the OTA Program.
2. Students must complete BIOL 2251K (Anatomy and Physiology I) and an additional 8 credit hours of the required core courses with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. Students must earn a letter grade of “C” or better in all requires courses. Students with Academic Renewal must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours before the AR-GPA is considered. 
3. Once students have met the requirements above, students must complete the OTA Program application through OTACAS on the OTA Program website. 
4. Using all available data, including the OTA Program application, cumulative GPA, and letters of reference, the Admissions Committee for the OTA Program will evaluate all applicants who meet the admission criteria and select the best qualified applicants for admission. The OTA Program has a maximum enrollment of 30 students per cohort and admits one cohort each fall semester. 
5. Applicants who are accepted for admission into the program but who do not enter the program the semester they applied for must reapply in order to be considered for admission to a future class.
6. Applicants who are not accepted to the program may apply again for the following year if they so choose. 
7. Students who enter the program must have a Criminal Background Check and Urine Drug Screen performed by a company approved by the OTA Program. Clinical agencies will review Criminal Background Check and Urine Drug Screen results and if a student is not allowed to attend a clinical fieldwork assignment due to these results will not be able to attend fieldwork experiences and therefore will be dismissed from the OTA Program. Random criminal background checks and/or urine drug screens may be required while in the OTA Program. This testing, if required, will be at the student’s expense. 

NOTE: If you have been convicted of a felony, you will be required to complete the Early Determination Review process with NBCOT® to determine eligibility to take the National Certification Exam and provide the OTA Program with documentation from NBCOT® indicating that you will be eligible to take the certification exam once all other eligibility requirements are met. Failure to provide the OTA Program with this documentation prior to the mid-term date in the first semester of the OTA Program will result in immediate dismissal from the OTA Program. For more information on the Early Determination Review process, please see the NBCOT® website.
8. Students enrolled in OTA courses are required to have health insurance that meets minimum standards as mandated by the University System of Georgia. Students who are covered by an acceptable policy held by a parent, spouse, company, or organization may request a waiver. Individual or Association Policies will not be considered for a waiver. Students who do not have health insurance sufficient to meet these standards may purchase health insurance through MGA. Students enrolled in OTA courses with a fieldwork component are required to have professional liability insurance coverage in the amount of $1M single/$3M aggregate which is offered through MGA. Students will note this fee on their account when enrolled in those courses (approximately $16). 
9. Essential Competencies Policy: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures the qualified applicant with a disability has the opportunity to pursue program admission at public institutions. To determine whether an individual is a qualified applicant for programs or services, the ADA states that applicants must meet essential competency requirements. Essential competencies include critical thinking, communication, interpersonal skills, mobility, visual, hearing, and tactile abilities. The ability to observe, collect data and treat a patient independently, while ensuring patient safety at all times is expected of all OTA students at Middle Georgia State University. The inability to comply with these essential competencies at any point in the program will result in dismissal from the program. Students experiencing a change in health status may be required to resubmit health forms. A list of essential competencies and explanations is available at the OTA home page at https://www.mga.edu/health-natural-sciences/rehabilitation-science/occupational-therapy-assistant/documents.php. 
10. A student who has had two unsuccessful attempts in any health science program will be ineligible for admission to the OTA program.
11. Students who are dismissed from the OTA Program for any reason including academic deficiencies will not be considered for readmission. 
12. Applicants who are accepted for admission to the OTA Program must provide a physical examination report and other health requirements as adopted by the Department of Rehabilitation Science. Information on completing these requirements will be provided each year during or before the OTA Program Orientation prior to the start of the fall semester. Enrolled OTA students must enroll in the student professional liability insurance offered by the University. A valid American Heart CPR certification card is mandatory throughout the student’s program of study. 



Academic Progression Standards for Occupational Therapy Assistant Students 

Once admitted to the OTA Program, students must meet the following requirements in order to complete the program:


1. A grade of C or better is required in all OTA program-related courses and core courses.
2. Passing grades of 75% in each individual section of the course (lecture, laboratory, and Level I fieldwork) as well as the professional behavior assessment are required to pass the courses.  Other course-specific competencies may be required to pass the course.  Students who do not pass the professional behavior assessment or any other portion of the course will receive a maximum grade of D for the course. 
3. Students will receive “0” points for any portion of an assignment that is not completed.
4. Late assignments will receive a 10% deduction PER DAY, beginning immediately after the actual time which the assignment was due.  (Example: if a paper is due at 9:00am, and it is submitted at 10:00am, it will receive a 10% deduction.) 
5. Students must pass all practical exams in OTA courses. Students will have only two attempts to pass each practical exam. Failure of the second attempt will result in failure of the course.  Students who fail a practical examination prior to midterm will be required to withdraw from the course but will also sign an academic agreement stating that they understand they have failed the course and will be dismissed from the program if they fail their second attempt of that course or any other OTA course (including Level II Fieldwork) or the Pre-Fieldwork Practical.
6. Students can have only one failure of any OTA course, including Level II fieldwork courses.  More than one failure will result in dismissal from the OTA program.  Continuation in the OTA program after failure of even one OTA course is at the discretion of the OTA faculty.  The student must be eligible to return to the OTA program and to MGA.
7. Academic progression policy 
a. Some OTA courses and some general education courses are sequential.  Students cannot enroll in an OTA course unless they have completed the required prerequisite OTA and general education courses with a grade of C or better.  Students must complete BIOL 2251K (Anatomy and Physiology I) prior to enrolling in OCTA 1211. Students must enroll in PSYC 1101 prior to taking OCTA 1421. Students must successfully complete PSYC 1101 no later than freshman spring semester.
b. Students must pass OCTA 1410 in the freshman spring semester with a grade of “C” or better.  Failure of or dropping this course will result in dismissal from the OTA program.
c. Students must complete all OTA core classes prior to Fall sophomore semester.
d. Students must complete the OTA program including Level II Fieldwork within a three calendar year span of time.  For example, students who begin the OTA program in fall 2022 must complete the entire program by December 2025.
e. Students must pass all Level II Fieldwork courses within 12 months of completion of academic preparation in order to graduate from the program or by December of the third year, whichever occurs first.  Students who fail a level II Fieldwork course must retake the course the next semester that the course is available.  Students who are failing may request to withdraw from Level II fieldwork courses one time only. NOTE: Each Level II fieldwork course is considered a course in the OTA Program, therefor failure of a Level II FW course counts as failure of a course. If a student has already failed one OTA course, failure of any level II FW course will result in dismissal from the OTA Program. Students who have already failed an OTA course may not choose to withdraw from a Level II FW course because this will exceed the 3 year maximum time frame for completing the OTA Program.
f. Students must complete all academic requirements and all OTA core courses prior to attending level II fieldwork. It is the student’s ultimate responsibility to ensure that all required core classes for the OTA degree are completed prior to the start of Level II Fieldwork. (Limited exceptions may be considered on a case by case basis.)
g. Students may not take any additional courses while on Level II fieldwork. This includes courses to complete an additional degree other than OTA. This policy has been put in place to protect the student’s ability to be successful on Level II fieldwork. 
8. The grading system for all OTA courses is: A=90-100, B=80-89.99, C=75-79.99, D=60-74.99, F=below 60. Grades will not be rounded up.
9. Midterm grades will be issued each semester. The OTA program will issue either an “S” indicating satisfactory progress or a “U” indicating unsatisfactory progress in the course.
10. Students who fail out of the OTA program will not be eligible to reenter the OTA program.
11. Students who fail OCTA 1300 will be dismissed from the OTA Program and may not be eligible for readmission.  Students who drop OCTA 1300 and/or OCTA 1211 for personal reasons will need to reapply to the OTA Program.  Readmission is at the discretion of the OTA faculty.
12. Students who fail OCTA 1211, but pass OCTA 1300, in their first freshman fall semester, will be allowed to progress to the spring semester and will take OCTA 1410. Upon passing that course students will return the next fall to retake OCTA 1211 and then will progress to take OCTA 1421 and OCTA 1422 the following spring.
13. Students must provide proof of membership in AOTA by September 30 th each year. Students must maintain active AOTA membership until they graduate from the OTA program.
14. Students must provide proof of membership in GOTA by September 30 th each year.  Students must maintain active GOTA membership until they graduate from the OTA program.
15. During the final semester before Level II Fieldwork, students will be given a Pre-fieldwork Clinical Skills Assessment that will evaluate essential, safe, clinical practice skills.  Results will be mailed to Level II Fieldwork sites with the student’s permission.  Students must receive a minimum score of 75% on each section of the assessment.  Students will have 1 retake attempt.  Failure on the 2 nd attempt will result in failure of OCTA 2230 and delay of Level II fieldwork.
16. Students who fail the second attempt of the Pre-Fieldwork Clinical Skills Assessment will be required to attend scheduled labs in OCTA 1422 (Physical Practice for the OTA) in the spring semester.  Students will be given the lab schedule by the first week of January. Students who fail to attend the scheduled lab dates will be dismissed from the OTA Program. Upon successful completion of the lab dates the student will be re-enrolled in OCTA 2230 for the following fall and will be required to complete the Pre-Fieldwork Clinical Skills assessment successfully, with one failure allowed. Students who do not pass 75% of each section on the final attempt of the Pre-Fieldwork Clinical Skills Assessment will be dismissed from the OTA Program and will not be readmitted.
17. Students who fail OCTA 2110, 2230, 2224, or 2323 (and it is their first failure in the OTA Program) will be required to successfully complete the Pre-Fieldwork Clinical Skills Assessment as a stand-alone practical examination in addition to all other required coursework, to ensure that the student is adequately prepared and safe to treat clients in a clinical setting on Level II Fieldwork. Students will be required to attend scheduled labs in OCTA 1422 (Physical Practice for the OTA) in the spring semester.  Students will be given the lab schedule by the first week of January. Students who fail to attend the scheduled lab dates will be dismissed from the OTA Program. Students who complete the required labs will be assigned a time to complete the Pre-Fieldwork Clinical Skills assessment, with one failure allowed. Students who do not pass 75% of each section on the final attempt of the Pre-Fieldwork Clinical Skills Assessment will be dismissed from the OTA Program and will not be readmitted. (Note: regardless of which class the student is enrolled in that semester, failure of the Pre-Fieldwork Clinical Skills Assessment will result in dismissal from the program because students will not be able to meet the 3-year maximum time-limit on completing the OTA Program. Every attempt will be made to schedule students in this situation prior to midterm so that a withdrawal from the course will be possible.)
18. All students are required to sign and submit the OTA Core Academic Requirements, OTA Student Handbook Verification, and all other signed statements included at the end of the OTA Student Handbook by the end of the drop/add period.  Failure to do so will result in a lower professional behavior grade and may hinder the OTA program’s ability to place students on fieldwork, which will result in failure of the course and possible dismissal from the OTA program.
19. First year students must turn in all required clinical documentation as directed to the Fieldwork Coordinator or OTA Administrative Assistant by November 15th.  Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the OTA program. 
20. Second year students must turn in all required clinical documentation as directed to the Fieldwork Coordinator or OTA Administrative Assistant by October 10 th. Failure to do so will result in the student being dropped from any OTA practice classes in which they are enrolled, which will result in dismissal from the OTA program.
21. All students are required to communicate weekly with the AFWC via D2L unless otherwise instructed. Failure to communicate each week may result in failure of the Level II FW course.

 

Curriculum for the Occupational Therapy Assistant (ASOTA) Program

Note: The Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant Program fulfills general education requirement for a career associate degree.

Critical Reading and Writing (Credit: 6 hours)

ENGL 1101English Composition I

3 credits

ENGL 1102English Composition II

3 credits

Natural Sciences/Mathematics Elective (Credit: 3 hours)

Choose one of the following courses:

MATH 1001Quantitative Reasoning

3 credits

MATH 1111College Algebra

3 credits

MATH 1112Plane Trigonometry

3 credits

MATH 1113Precalculus Mathematics

3 credits

MATH 1113HHonors Precalculus

3 credits

MATH 1251Calculus I

4 credits

MATH 1401Elementary Statistics

3 credits

NOTE: Recommended course is MATH 1401 Elementary Statistics 

Humanities/Fine Arts Elective (Credit: 3 hours)

Literature Elective 3 credits

Social/Behavioral Sciences (Credit: 9 hours)

HIST 2111United States History to 1865

3 credits

OR

HIST 2112United States History since 1865

3 credits

OR

POLS 1101American Government

3 credits

 

PSYC 1101Introduction to Psychology

3 credits

PSYC 2103Introduction to Human Development

3 credits

NOTE: Students must satisfy the U.S. and Georgia history requirement with either the U.S. and Georgia History Exam or HIST 2111 or HIST 2112. Students must satisfy the U.S. and Georgia constitution requirement with either the U.S. and Georgia Constitution Exam or POLS 1101.

 

Major Field Courses (Credit: 51 hours)

OCTA 1211Analysis of Human Movement

2 credits

OCTA 1300Introduction to OTA

3 credits

OCTA 1410Therapeutic Media

4 credits

OCTA 1421Psychosocial Practice for the OTA

4 credits

OCTA 1422Physical Practice for the OTA

6 credits

OCTA 2110Adaptive Techniques for OTA

2 credits

OCTA 2230OTA Seminar

3 credits

OCTA 2224Innovative Practice for the OTA

2 credits

OCTA 2323Pediatric Practice for the OTA

5 credits

OCTA 2541Level II Fieldwork

6 credits

OCTA 2542Level II Fieldwork

6 credits

Total Hours: 72