Offered at Main Campus
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is a 21-month (seven-term) program that prepares the student to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA). The occupational therapy assistant works with, and under the supervision of an occupational therapist, to improve and support functional performance in daily activities. OTAs, within their scope of practice, assist with the process of client evaluation, goal setting, implementation of care and documentation of occupational therapy services. Upon completion of the program, the associate degree graduate will be educationally-prepared to provide service throughout the lifespan to individuals who have difficulties due to developmental, physical, cognitive and emotional impairments.
To apply, complete an IHCC application and submit high school transcripts or High School Equivalency Diploma scores and take one of the following: ACT, SAT, or ACCUPLACER test. Testing may be scheduled by calling the IHCC Testing Center at (641) 683-5142 or (800) 726-2585, ext. 5142. Following acceptance, applicants are required to complete a minimum of 10 hours of observation in more than one clinical site and a written paper about Occupational Therapy. Accepted students must attend the required mandatory orientations. This program may be entered only at the beginning of the Fall term. Students meeting all program and graduation requirements receive an Associate of Applied Science degree and are eligible to take the certification examination given by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) to become a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA). Licensure for occupational therapy assistants is required in most states, including Iowa.
Criminal background, drug screening, and dependent adult and child abuse record checks are required prior to the clinical courses.
This program 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 is (301) 652-AOTA and their website is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), www.nbcot.org. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; and 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.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate growth in personal & professional behaviors through ongoing self-assessment and personal development plans which promote integrity, relationships, teamwork, and investigate life-long learning.
- Demonstrate preparation to provide quality services in a variety of practice environments to promote regional economic advancement through traditional and innovative intervention for our communities.
- Demonstrate ability to deliver OTA services @ entry level competency under the supervision of an occupational therapist.
- Recognize importance of and demonstrate the ability to effectively use occupations identified by the client/group/population for intervention development, therapeutic interventions, health promotions and disease prevention in the client context (culture, inclusion, tradition, and acceptance).
- Evaluate positive and adverse effects on occupational performance throughout the lifespan, and demonstrates the ability to explore and use community resources to promote the occupational function of clients in least-restrictive environment (acceptance, inclusion, & accessibility).
- Demonstrate the values, attitudes, and behaviors congruent with occupational therapy profession’s philosophy, standards and ethics.
- Recognize the importance of evidence in professional practice, and consistently seeks to improve therapeutic skills through professional development activities (inspiring learning, academic excellence, and student success
- Appreciate and adapt to diverse and alternative cultures, processes, and ideas.
- Demonstrate intellectual growth in critical thinking.
Program Total: 80 Credits