Feb 06, 2023  
Academic Program Manuals 2021-2022 
Academic Program Manuals 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Policies & Procedures

Welcome to the Indian Hills Community College Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program. The OTA program is seven terms (21 Months) in length. Upon successful completion of the program, the student will be awarded an Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) Degree.

Indian Hill Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, member of the North Central Association and the State of Iowa’s Department of Education. The Occupational Therapy Assistant program has been granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association, located at: 4720 Montgomery Lane Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o is ACOTA is: (301) 652-AOTA. Website: 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).Website: www.nbcot.org.  After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).

***Please note: A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or obtain a state license. An Early Determination process by NBCOT is available to assess eligibility for examination and practice. For more information regarding this process, please login to  www.nbcot.org,  click the student tab, click the tab Early Determination; under character review, access the Certification Exam Handbook and review page eight and nine. You may also contact NBCOT directly at 301-990-7979.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is part of the Health Sciences Division. This division is led by the Executive Director of Career and Workforce Development and the Associate Dean of Health Sciences. The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is led by a Program Director, who oversees the OTA instructor/OTA Fieldwork coordinator.

The OTA Program Policy Manual is to serve as a guide for all students enrolled in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. It is a supplement to the Indian Hills Community College Student Handbook and College Catalog. Consequently all policies and regulations from the handbook and catalog are to be observed in addition to those outlined in the following pages.

We welcome you and want you to know we are here to assist you in every way possible. It is a privilege to have each of you in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Mission & Philosophy


The Occupational Therapy Assistant program, as an integral part of the Indian Hills Community College encompasses both the mission and philosophy of the college “to change lives” of our students by offering a learning environment supporting the student as an occupational human being. This learning environment is diverse and dynamic, helping each individual to engage and interact in a place fostering acceptance, inclusion, and accessibility. We promote integrity in our personal and professional lives, grow relationships and develop teamwork through collaboration throughout the curriculum in the classroom, on fieldwork, and in the community.


The philosophy of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Indian Hills Community College is consistent with the beliefs of the College and the published philosophy of the American Occupational Therapy Association. The Occupational Therapy Assistant philosophy acknowledges changing lives by inspiring learning, diversity, social enrichment, and regional economic advancement” as specified in the mission of Indian Hill Community College.

The OTA philosophy acknowledges that “occupations are activities that bring meaning to daily lives” and that “all individuals have an innate need and right to engage in meaningful occupations throughout their lives.” (AOTA.2017). Philosophical base of OT. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71 (Sup,2), 711241005. The OTA philosophy also expresses program beliefs that the “focus an outcome of occupational therapy are clients’ engagement in meaningful occupations that support their participation in life situations” and “occupations as both a means and an end in therapy. (AOTA. (2017).The engagement in the occupation is a goal in students’ lives as they pursue a career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant.

The OTA program is committed to the belief that “occupations occur within diverse social, physical, culture, person, temporal, or virtual contexts” (AOTA. (2017). Philosophical base of occupational therapy. AJOT, 71 (Supp2). 711241004. The OTA faculty believes students are an active participant in occupational performance.

IHCC supports students as they adapt and adjust to the increasing demands of the profession as well the ever changing health care environment that is “fundamental to health promotion and wellness, remediation or restoration, health maintenance, disease and injury prevention, and compensation and adaptation.” (AOTA. (2107). Philosophical base of occupational therapy. AJOT, 71(Supp2). 7112410045.

Non-Discrimination Statement

To view the full Non-Discrimination Statement, please visit the College Catalog & Student Handbook or the college website.


Curriculum Design

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Indian Hills Community College will prepare students with clinical and practice skills to succeed in occupational therapy through arts, science, and professional education. The purpose of this program is provide graduates with the behaviors, skills, and ethics to succeed. Curricular threads are dispersed throughout each level of the program. They are introduced and reinforced throughout the terms to highlight important knowledge and skills.  The curriculum is designed to provide the graduate with the following competencies:

  • Demonstrate growth in personal and professional behaviors through on-going self-assessment and personal development plans which promote integrity, relationships, teamwork, and investigate lifelong 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 OT services at entry level competency under the supervision of an occupational therapist.
  • Recognize importance of and demonstrate ability to effective 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, and accessibility).
  • Demonstrate the values, attitudes, and behaviors congruent with OT 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.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively and accurately use technology in hybrid courses such as Trends in OTA and Principles of OT, to meet the demands of the workforce and better serve the community.  

Major curricular threads embedded throughout the program curriculum. Examples include the following:

  • Learning professional behaviors in the classroom with the establishment of a “Template for Excellence” creating an environment for civility for all that can be carried into the work place
  • Exposure to a variety of healthcare professionals in the classroom, in fieldwork, in professional organizations, and in the community. Examples include collaborative case studies and projects with OTD students at a university, student involvement in advisory board, student organization leadership opportunities and club activities, Iowa OT Association Executive Board participation and fieldwork opportunities in traditional and non-traditional settings.
  • Experiential learning in the classroom, lab, fieldwork, and in service to develop competency, use of occupations throughout the lifespan in diverse environments. Multiple readings, labs, and discussions throughout all the courses all work toward competency. Students are exposed to the Entrepreneur/Small Business department at the college and to therapist in emerging practices to support regional economic development. These include hippotherapy, low vision, service dog training, driving, assistive technology, and pressure mapping.
  • Understand and embrace OT philosophy, standards, and ethics through study and practical applications, and exercises in coursework, lab, and on fieldwork. Students are exposed to AOTA resources discussing workplace and fieldwork ethics.
  • Understanding and applying clinical reasoning throughout coursework and in fieldwork

This curriculum design supports both IHCC and the ACOTA mission statements.

Adult learners bring life experience, motivation and a readiness to learn to the classroom. They tend to be self-directing, may be motivated by extrinsic forces (i.e. need a job/career), and are generally task oriented [Imel, 1994 (Knowles, 1980)]. Students should be involved designing and directing their learning in ways that are meaningful to them. Adult learners bring multiple perspectives to the classroom; diverse backgrounds, learning styles, experiences, and aspirations.

In the first class in Trends in OT, students are asked to fill out a Learning Style Questionnaire to identify their particular style or styles. In addition, students are involved in an exercise where their particular learning style is not available to them to develop an understanding of what their clients may face. Students are also provided with general “how to study” references, test taking strategies, and college services available to them in order to be successful utilizing their learning styles.

In the first two terms, the curriculum explores the definition, domain and process of occupational therapy, the sciences of the human body and mind that support occupational performances, and the art of communication components. The students appreciate others experiences and aspirations through sharing of the journey to the OTA program. They are provided with suggestions of strategies to promote learning and can engage in “extra” activities to enrich their knowledge (i.e. YouTube videos: explanation of OT).

An outcome of these terms is the use of a collaborative teaching model involving learners as partners (Imel, 1994 (Knowles, 1980). Pratt (Imel, 1994 (Pratt1980) suggests that learners may need both direction and support. This process in the learning environment can also mirror the future collaborative process that occurs between therapist and consumer when the OTA implements the occupational therapy process. Researchers report persuasive evidence that students learn best when they are actively involved in the process [Gokhale, 1995 (Davis, 1993; Johnson & Johnson, 1986)]. Collaborative learning gives students an opportunity to engage in discussion, take responsibility for their own learning, and thus become critical thinkers.

Vygotsky’s theories stress the fundamental role of social interaction in the development of cognition and the belief that community plays a central role in the process of “making meaning” (Vygotsky, 1978). “Collaborative learning has its main feature a structure that allows for student talk: students are supposed to talk to each other….and it is in this talking that much of the learning occurs.” [(Smith & MacGregor, 1992 (Golub, 1988)]   Adult learners engage in collaborative learning are provided the opportunity to not simply take in new information or ideas. They actively work together to explain and use new information, ideas, or skills. Collaborative classrooms motivate students by getting them actively engaged in a purposeful activity. Although Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development principle relates to the difference between what a child can achieve independently and what a child can achieve with guidance and encouragement of others, he views interaction with peers as an effective way of developing skills and strategies.  Group members should have different levels of ability so more advance peers can help less advanced group members operate within their zone of proximal development

In these first two terms and throughout the OTA program, adult learners are provided with the opportunity to both learn and teach using a collaborative approach to studying. The concept of collaborative learning refers to an instruction method in which students at various performance levels work together in small groups toward a common goal. The instructor’s role is to serve as a facilitator for learning. The students are responsible for each other’s learning as well as their own. This instructional method will transfer to the students’ fieldwork sites where they will further experience the collaborative method when working with clients as part of rehabilitation, community- based habilitative, educational, or any other service delivery team structure.  An example of understanding learning styles occurs in an assignment in Trends in OT.  Students work together to discover what happens when the learning style of an individual is ineffective when disease, injury, or disability occurs. Students are given opportunity to identify client centered interventions in Illness and Preventive contexts, addressing types of learning styles.

In the Terms III, IV, and V the courses examine and practice a “client centered” activity analysis. The courses (Pediatric Practice for the OTA, Adult Physical Disability Practice of the OT, and Psychosocial Practice of the OTA) examine the client throughout the lifespan in different environmental contexts (traditional and nontraditional settings. and the impact of disease, illness, or injury. Students work together in labs to complete tasks using case scenarios.

 “Education not only happens in the classroom setting.” (Dewey, 1916) Experiential learning is infused throughout the curriculum. Gaining knowledge through “doing” and “making meaning” are essential to “being” and “becoming” occupational therapy assistants. The placement of OTA Level I fieldworks (Level IA, Level IB, and Level IC) throughout the term, one day a week,  allows students to learn in the classroom, practice in the lab, and then experience and explore in the fieldwork setting. Students return to the classroom after fieldwork that same week to reflect, share experiences, and ask questions.

In the final two terms, Level IIA and Level IIB fieldwork occurs to allow practice of principles from the classroom. Wrapped around these two fieldwork experiences are the final classroom experiences of Professional Issues In OT and Clinical Reasoning which begin the transition of student to practitioner with topics regarding certification, licensure, job securement, reexamination of ethical principles, and continual application of clinical reasoning secured in evidence based practice.

Faculty are encouraged to increase their understanding of learning styles, curriculum development, and technologic aids to the classroom by their study of materials and attendance at learning opportunities provided by the college and other educational programs.

The Curriculum Design content and program’s beliefs about learning clearly demonstrate the rationale for courses offered, sequencing of courses, and evaluation strategies.

As described above, the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is organized so the learner follows a developmental progression. The curriculum design is grounded in the combined theories of the occupational therapy profession and education development. The educational theories of Lev Vygotsky, collaborative learning and the adult learner are threaded throughout the curriculum in conjunction with developmental theory. The theoretical bases support one another when applied to the development of health professionals who must sequentially build general and professional knowledge, and subsequently master the skills required in the context of professional practice.

Faculty review core course syllabi and course schedule to ensure alignment to curriculum.

The program spans seven academic terms culminating with 16 weeks of full-time fieldwork experience.

OTA 106-Trends in OTA and OTA 121-Principles of OT are offered only in a hybrid format.  

Program Curriculum

To view the full program curriculum, please visit the College Catalog & Student Handbook.

Core Course Descriptions

To view the course descriptions, please click on the links below. (must be updated for each program) 

  • Occupational Therapy Assistant:
    • OTA 106 - Trends in OTA
    • OTA 121 - Principles of OT
    • OTA 131 - Pediatric Practice for the OTA
    • OTA 141 - Therapeutic Media in OT
    • OTA 151 - Adult Physical Disability Practice for the OTA
    • OTA 161 - Traditional and Emerging Practice in OT
    • OTA 171 - Psychosocial Practice for the OTA
    • OTA 210 - Professional Issues in OT
    • OTA 212 - Functional Kinesiology
    • OTA 220 - Clinical Reasoning for OTA
    • OTA 801 - OTA Level IA Fieldwork
    • OTA 811 - OTA Level IB Fieldwork
    • OTA 821 - OTA Level IC Fieldwork
    • OTA 831 - OTA Level IIA Fieldwork
    • OTA 841 - OTA Level IIB Fieldwork

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Facilities

Lecture and laboratory sessions will be held on the Indian Hills Community College’s Ottumwa campus. All classes are scheduled Monday through Thursday usually between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:30 pm. General education classes may be taken at the Centerville campus or IHCC service centers during the day or evening. Open laboratory time may be set by the instructor to meet curriculum requirements and student needs. Open lab times are made available when IHCC classes are in session. Off-campus field trips or lab experiences may include visits to other OT schools, and OT/healthcare related sites within reasonable distance from the school. These field trips may occur on Fridays and it will be the student’s responsibility to provide their own transportation for these opportunities.


On Campus

At Indian Hills Community College the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff is always a priority. Safety and the prevention of accidents are the responsibility of faculty, staff and students. Everyone on campus is encouraged to use all available resources and information, as well as common sense decisions, to help foster a safe environment. Refer to the college catalog, student handbook, and appropriate signage posted throughout the campus for policies and procedures regarding safety on campus. If an accident or injury occurs, while on the Indian Hills Community College campus, it will be immediately reported to a member of the staff or faculty. Emergency care will be provided on campus until emergency medical services arrive. Students are required to attend CPR and First Aid courses or provide proof of current certification. Students are encouraged to input Security phone number and Emergency Alert on electronic devices for easy access.

Open laboratory time is available for OTA students to practice learned skills. It is suggested that students contact an OTA instructor to determine if the lab is available at the time they want to practice. First aid kit and emergency numbers are posted in the laboratory in case an urgent situation arises. Safety checks of equipment is made by faculty; standard and specific diagnostic/treatment precautions are instructed and may have check-off competencies completed. Students are to report any safety hazards to faculty.

Off Campus

While attending clinical and off – campus laboratory activities health and safety policies and procedures of the facility will be observed. If an accident or injury occurs during a clinical experience the procedure described in the OTA Student Fieldwork Manual under the heading “Clinical Experience Incidents” will be followed. If an accident or injury occurs during an off – campus laboratory experience, it will immediately be reported to the instructor and the staff at the facility so the appropriate procedures can be followed.

Clinical Experience

The purpose of clinical experience is to allow the student to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom to a hands-on patient care situation.  The clinical is designed to provide students learning experiences with patients, coordination with other health care providers, utilization of support staff and time management. Each student will be supervised by a licensed Occupational Therapist, licensed Occupational Therapy Assistant or other qualified health care professional, at a facility affiliated with the OTA program. Students are expected to abide by the hours and policies of the assigned clinical facility. Level II field work must be completed within 12 months of clinical didactic portion of the program.

Clinical experiences are scheduled as follows:

Fieldwork Weeks Hours
Level IA One day each week for 10 weeks 60
Level IB One day each week for 10 weeks 60
Level IC One day each week for 10 weeks 60
Level IIA Five days a week for 8 weeks 320
Level IIB Five days a week for 8 weeks 320
Total 46 Weeks 820 Hours

Required Healthcare Training Courses

Students in the Health Sciences Division are required to complete the following courses:

  • Dependent Adult and Child Abuse
  • HIPAA Training
  • Blood-borne pathogens training
  • CPR: American Heart Association BLS for infant, child and adult
  • First Aid


Indian Hills Community College maintains professional liability coverage for students in the Health Sciences Division. This coverage includes the Occupational Therapy Assistant students.


Clinical education is an essential learning experience and as such the sites are chosen to meet the student’s need for a comprehensive education. Although we have many contracts with sites, there are some limitations in fieldwork availability in the immediate area due to demographics and staffing issues. Final determination rests with Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. A student cannot complete two Level II fieldwork at same site unless working in two different service areas.

*****Clinical affiliations are available within traveling distance of Ottumwa. However, a student may be required to drive approximately one hour each way from “home base” to complete affiliations.

A student may be scheduled at a requested site if it provides an appropriate learning experience and is available at the requested time. Students are required to provide transportation to and from clinical sites and may be asked to drive between facilities if the therapist assigned to them travels between buildings.

Clinical affiliations will not be scheduled in occupational therapy departments in which the student is currently employed. The student may not be under clinical supervision of a family member or close friend.


Students are not to be substituted for paid staff during any clinical assignments.

Health Insurance

Students are encouraged to maintain their own personal health care coverage, at their own costs. While clinical education sites will make emergency medical care available to students, the student is responsible for the costs. Students may be required by some clinical facilities to have proof of health insurance prior to beginning a clinical affiliation. 


All incidents that are inconsistent with routine care or the patient’s plan of care must be reported to the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator immediately. If a medical emergency occurs the policies of the facility will be followed. The condition of the involved person(s) will be evaluated and the necessary emergency care will be provided. A written report describing the incident should be completed according to facility policy. In addition, the AFWC is to be notified of the incident by the student. The AFWC will complete the IHCC “Safety and Loss Control” form and forward the document to the Health Sciences Department Chair. 

Criminal Background Check

A felony conviction may have impact on graduation eligibility for certification and credentialing. An Early Determination process is in place with NBCOT. Please see program director for additional information.

Students in the Health Sciences division are required to complete a dependent adult and child abuse course as well as CPR and First Aid training. This will be completed during first term. Certificates from other entities will not be accepted.

You need to complete the Criminal and Dependent Adult/Child abuse background check prior to the last day to drop of the first term of the program or the student will not be allowed to participate in core classes. The cost of the required checks is the responsibility of the student/applicant.

Criteria used to determine whether a student is ineligible to participate in an Indian Hills Community College Health Sciences Program:

At Any Time
  • Refusal to participate in the background check or evaluation process.
  • Iowa DHS record check evaluation determines the student is not eligible to participate in the clinical portion of the course and/or to work in a health care facility.
  • A felony conviction.
  • A felony, serious misdemeanor or aggravated misdemeanor conviction in which the probationary period has not been completed.
  • A serious misdemeanor or aggravated misdemeanor conviction in which the probationary period has not been completed.
  • A criminal conviction, or any kind, related to past employment, and/or a healthcare system or organization.
  • Inclusion on the child, dependent adult and/or sexual abuse registry.
The Past 5 Years
  • A criminal conviction of any kind related to illegal distribution or theft of drugs.
The Past 2 Years
  • A serious or aggravated misdemeanor conviction of theft or a pattern of theft convictions.
The Past 1 Year
  • A criminal conviction related to the possession of drugs, paraphernalia, and/or illegal substances.
Any of the criteria listed below may disqualify you from enrollment in IHCC;s Health Sciences program based on factors such as job/program relatedness, patterns, timeframes and/or completion of sentence.
  • Recent criminal conviction(s) or charges of any type.
  • A misdemeanor conviction involving domestic abuse with injury, violence, or sexual misconduct.
  • A pattern of criminal convictions or charges
  • 2 or more OWI convictions
While enrolled in any Health Sciences program at IHCC, it is expected that students report all child abuse, dependent adult abuse, and/or criminal activity, in which they are involved, to IHCC within forty-eight (48) hours of the incident. Failure to do so could result in criminal charges per Iowa Code and removal from the program.

Drug Screening

All Health Science students will be required to have a drug screen prior to the clinical experience. The student portfolio (on the CastleBranch website) will contain the drug screen results.  Those results will be available to both the student and program administrator. 

The process will be as follows

  • The student will be provided with information on setting up their account for the Castle Branch portal during the mandatory program orientation
  • The student will place an order and pay for the drug screen on the portal. 
  • The student is responsible for the drug testing fee, which is included in your one time payment when you set up Castle Branch. 
  • Castle Branch accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, debit, electronic check or money order.
  • The confirmation of payment will be issued to the student. 
  • The confirmation form will be printed as proof to the program administrator.
  • The program administrator will then issue the Forensic Drug Testing Custody and Control Form.
  • You may contact Castle Branch during normal business hours for assistance at 888 723-4263

How should students schedule their drug test?

  • Call the Ottumwa Regional Health Center Occupational Health at 641-684-2466 to set up a drug testing appointment.
  • Take the Forensic Drug Testing Custody and Control Form to the appointment at Ottumwa Regional Health Center Laboratory.  
  • Results will be submitted to the Castle Branch Certified Background database from the lab testing site. 
  • The student will receive an email to check their account for further information. 

Who gets the results?

  • The test result will first be reported to the Medical Review Officer (MRO) associated with Castle Branch for review and interpretation. 
  • The MRO will then report a confirmed positive test result to the student. 
  • The MRO will attempt to call the student two times from this phone number 800-526-9341. The hours of the follow up phone call will be between 8-5 EST. 
  • Any questions regarding the results of any drug or alcohol test may be directed to the MRO.

Negative Results

  • Negative Test Result: notice will be posted on the Castle Branch student account of passing the initial drug or alcohol test.

Positive Results

  • Positive Test Result/Failed Test:  The MRO will confirm any proof of the student prescriptions, and make any necessary updates to the positive test result.
  • Right to Secondary Confirmatory Test:  A student with a confirmed positive test result may ask for a second confirmatory test using ONLY the results from the first test sample from another approved laboratory within seven days of the IHCC mailing of the positive test results to the student. 
  • The confirmatory test will be conducted on a portion of the sample collected at the same time as the sample that produced the positive test result.
  • The student is responsible for the cost of second confirmatory test.
  • The sample of collection test will be split in the presence of the individual student to allow for the confirmatory testing of any initial positive test result.
  • During the confirmatory process, students may be suspended from the clinical and/or classroom experience.

Confirmed Positive Results

  • Students with any confirmed positive results will be withdrawn from the program.

Legal Medication/Drugs Notification

  • A student must notify the clinical supervisor or program director whenever they are using a prescription or over-the-counter drug, which may affect safety or work-performance.
  • In making this determination, the student is responsible for consulting with their licensed healthcare professional and reviewing any warning on the label to determine if any medication or drug would adversely affect the student’s ability to safely perform essential functions of the clinical or classroom experience. 
  • If the student is deemed by a Medical Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathy, Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner to be safe during the clinical or classroom experience, a “release to attend clinical/classroom document” is required to be signed and kept in the student’s file at IHCC. 
  • The student who does not fully disclose this information will be subject to possible disciplinary action which may lead to dismissal from the program.

Prescription medications that do not impair performance may be brought to the clinical site and should be taken as prescribed.  All prescription drugs must be kept in the pharmacy dispensed container.

Testing due to reasonable suspicion

  • Once a student is enrolled in the program, if there is a reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol use, the Program Director will have the right to approve an additional drug or alcohol test at the student’s expense.  The clinical site also has the right to request a drug/alcohol test at the student’s expense.

Reasonable suspicion may include, but is not limited to

  • student behavior or conduct including physical manifestations
  • evidence that the involved student has caused or contributed to a clinical or classroom related accident
  • objective signs that the involved student may have used drugs or alcohol (i.e., slurred speech, staggering gait, odor of alcohol), or reports from others of a clinical “accident”, slurred speech, etc. 

When a program director, faculty member or clinical instructor has suspicion of alcohol or drug use during the clinical experience, the following steps will be taken

  • Remove student from the patient care area or assigned work area and notify the clinical instructor and the Program Director.
  • Consult with another faculty, clinical instructor, or employee for verification of suspicions in a confidential manner.
  • Upon verification by a second person, inform the student that they are relieved from duty and that there is a need “for cause” drug/alcohol screening.
  • If the student admits to alcohol and/or drug use, the student must undergo urine drug testing
  • Pending the resolution of any testing, the student will be suspended from clinical and/or classroom sites
  • A student subsequently found to have positive test results will be removed from the program.
  • All incidents involving “reasonable suspicion” drug testing in the clinical setting will be handled with strict confidentiality
  • Costs for “reasonable suspicion” drug testing are the student’s responsibility.

Transportation of student after reasonable suspicion

  • An unimpaired person (such as a family member or friend) or taxi cab must transport the student to nearing testing facility.  A release form must be signed by the person transporting the student and provided to the Clinical Supervisor/Program Director.  If a taxi is transporting the student, the person observing the student enter the taxi may sign the release form and provide to the Clinical Supervisor/Program Director. 
  • If the nearest testing facility is at the clinical site, student should be sent for testing and then an unimpaired individual or taxi cab should take the student home.  If a taxi is transporting the student, the person observing the student enter the taxi may sign the release form.
  • While awaiting transport, the student should not be allowed to leave the supervisor’s presence or ingest any substances.
  • If the student insists on driving, either clinic supervisor or Program Director will notify law enforcement.
  • Pending the resolution of any testing, the student will be suspended from clinical and field sites.  
  • A student subsequently found to have positive test results will be removed from the program.

If the student refuses “reasonable suspicion” testing

  • Have an unimpaired individual or taxi take the student home
  • Document the following in writing:
    • Student behavior
    • Actions taken
    • Written statement of person verifying behaviors
    • Student’s response
  • Contact the Clinical Supervisor/Program Director as soon as possible and deliver written documentation to the Clinical Supervisor/Program Director within 3 days of the incident.
  • Students who refuse reasonable suspicion testing will be removed from the program.

If a facility other than the approved testing site at Ottumwa Regional Health Center performs drug/alcohol testing

  • The student is obligated to notify the Program Director of any request by a clinical site for additional testing due to reasonable suspicion. 
  • If tested by a clinical site, the student shall provide the Program Director with a copy of any test results. 
  • Failure to promptly notify the Program Director shall be ground for dismissal from the program. 
  • The student is responsible for any expense incurred with testing.

If a student voluntarily discloses a drug or alcohol problem

  • If a student voluntarily discloses that they have an alcohol/drug problem and requests assistance, they are then referred to IHCC Student Health. 
  • Students may be temporarily suspended from the program and/or clinical experience until such time as they have completed drug/alcohol treatment and are considered safe to return to both the classroom and clinical site by a Medical Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathy, Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner.

Minor Students

  • Any minor student under the age of 18 must abide by the drug and alcohol testing policy. 
  • A parent or legal guardian of a student under the age of 18 must sign an acknowledgment of receipt of a copy of this policy. 
  • Those students who are minors under the age of 18 must obtain notarized parental/legal guardian consent on Section II of the Drug/Alcohol Test Release & Consent For Minors.
  • Lack of consent for testing will disqualify the minor from continued clinical participation and participation in the Program.

Providing False Information

  • Any student who provides false information when completing paperwork required for a drug test or when responding to required questions for an alcohol or drug screen test will be removed from the Program. 
  • Any student who dilutes, contaminates, tampers with, alters or interferes in any way with the collection of a specimen for testing purposes will removed from the program.


  • The costs of alcohol or drug rehabilitation, treatment and counseling will be the responsibility of the student.
  • Costs of drug/alcohol testing are the responsibility of the student

 See waivers in Appendices

Classroom and Clinical Attendance Policy

Prospective employers consider attendance records a good indicator of future employee behavior and typically inquire about the attendance records of the student/graduate. The faculty and clinical instructors consider attendance important because learning rarely takes place if a student is absent, regardless of the reason. Therefore, to satisfactorily complete the performance expectations of the occupational therapy assistant program, the following policies must be adhered to:


  • Students are expected to be in attendance for all classes. Do not schedule extended vacations, routine doctor appointments, etc. during scheduled class time- use published school breaks as a guide.
  • If a student is unable to attend, they are to report their absence each day by 7:15 am, stating their name and the reason for missing that day. The student will notify an IHCC OTA instructor at the phone number provided at the beginning of each course.
  • The student must initiate the classroom assignment make-up process.
    • Students will NOT be allowed to make-up classroom work, including exams unless the instructor has been notified regarding the absence.
    • The instructor and the student will arrange a schedule for completion of make-up work.
    • Points will be deducted for assignments turned in late. See specific course syllabus.
  • Children may not attend class with the parent.
  • Students must have a completed physical to participate in any OTA Lab courses.
  • Cell phones will be turned off and put away during class unless you have permission from instructor to have on vibrate or are using in a class assignment.


  • Students are expected to be present for all clinical experiences.
  • The clinical instructor at the assigned facility should be notified by student regarding an absence at least an hour before start time.
  • The student should also report the absence to the IHCC AFWC at the phone number provided at the beginning of each course or at (641) 684-4244 or 1-800-726-2585 X4244 or through the web services course web page.
  • Clinical attendance will be documented in the student’s record.
  • If a student does not report for clinical as scheduled, the clinical instructor and the OTA faculty will counsel the student and provide documentation for the student’s file. Changes in the clinical schedule, including make-up days must be coordinated and approved by the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and/or Clinical Education and or OTA faculty member.
  • Students will be allowed eight hours of clinical absence during the 21 months of the program.
  • Students failing to comply with attendance requirements above may be recommended for dismissal from the program.
  • A release from a physician will be required to return to clinical following three or more consecutive days of absence due to illness/injury.
  • Children may not attend clinical with the parent.
  • Before leaving the clinical site, the student must report to the clinical instructor. 

Leave of Absence Policy

Students wishing to take a leave of absence from the OTA program must submit a written request to the OTA Program Director. A leave of absence may be granted for emergencies including: hospitalization, birth of a child, or death in the student’s immediate family. A leave of absence may be granted if:

  • The student has demonstrated the ability to meet the performance expectations of the program.
  • The student and faculty are able to develop a curricular plan that assures the students’ progression through the program.
  • The student must be able to meet course requirements no later than six weeks following the date the leave of absence is granted, following the “Incomplete Grades” policy, as described in the college catalog.

Dress Code

Students in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program represent the school and the profession of Occupational Therapy. It is imperative that certain standards be met and a dress code followed. During class periods, students may use their own judgment in attire, but it must conform to the codes of decency. While in the laboratory students will be expected to have appropriate lab attire to expose the area being studied. This may include shorts and t-shirts. Occupational Therapy Assistant students need to abide a dress code while on clinical. You will be notified by AFWC regarding specific dress code when assigned a fieldwork location. General guidelines are:

Clinical Dress Code

  • Students may be required to wear a white clinical lab coat over their street clothes or a specific “uniform”. This requirement will be determined by the supervisor at the assigned clinical site.
  • The student will wear clothing consistent with the clinic’s expectations.
  • Clothes will be clean, neatly pressed and free of odor.
  • No perfume or after shave lotion.
  • Students will be clean, free of body odor and have well-trimmed fingernails.
  • Hair color and makeup will be conservative in nature.
  • Long hair will be pulled back. Beards and mustaches will be neatly trimmed.
  • Jewelry will be kept to a minimum and consistent with the clinic’s expectations.
  • Appropriate undergarments will be worn.
  • Name tags denoting “Student OTA” status will be worn.
  • Shoes will be practical walking shoes that are closed-toe, have closed back and have non-slip soles. Socks must be worn. Athletic shoes may only be worn if approved by the clinical site.

Any student who chooses to disregard the dress code will be verbally warned once and the second infraction will warrant a written warning. A third infraction will result in suspension from the clinical site on that same day until a conference is held with the OTA Program Director or Academic Fieldwork Coordinator.

Physical Examination

It is required that each student have a physical examination prior to starting the program to assure that the student is physically able to participate in the activities required of a student in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Each student will have a physical performed by a licensed qualified personnel limited to one of the following: physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner. In addition, documentation and/or results of the following immunizations and tests are required: MMR or Rubella Titer; Two – Step Mantoux Skin Test for Tuberculosis; Tetanus/Diphtheria Booster; Hepatitis B, (optional) Varicella. Students who do not have a completed physical will not be allowed to participate in the OTA Lab activities or fieldwork experiences. The Indian Hills physical form must be used and can be found on the IHCC website. Health information will be stored in the student portfolio on the CastleBranch website. The CastleBranch portfolio will contain the following categories of health information:

  • Physical Exam
  • Flu Shot
  • Chicken Pox/Varicella
  • MMR
  • TDap
  • Hepatitis B
  • TB Test

Policy on Medical Conditions

In the event of the onset of a medical condition while enrolled as an OTA student, the student is advised to discuss the physical demands of the field experience (lifting, bending, carrying, standing on one’s feet, etc.) with their physician in order to ensure participation in the field experience will not be of concern during said condition. If a student is unable to perform certain tasks in class or fieldwork, a physician’s note is required to excuse the student from the activity. All students must provide a doctor’s release to return to class and fieldwork experiences when they have recovered from their condition. Examples of conditions causing students to be absent for a period of time may include surgery, extended illness, pregnancy, injury. Students are encouraged to discuss medical conditions with the Program Director.

Professional Conduct

In a classroom and clinical situation students must conduct themselves in a professional manner. In the clinical setting the Fieldwork Performance Evaluation will be used to assess professional conduct and in the classroom the Professional Development Assessment form will be utilized. Inappropriate conduct will result in a conference with the Clinical Educator and if deemed necessary the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and/or Program Director. Behavior deemed unprofessional may lead to dismissal from the program.

Social Media Policy

Social Media is a dynamic platform for interaction through words, images, audio and video.  Examples of these sites include, but are not limited to:  Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and many more. The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Indian Hills Community College respects the rights of its faculty and students to use social media outlets as a means of self -expression.  However, posts made on social media sites may become viral at any time or may be available on public platforms potentially permanently; even when they have been deleted from the website to which they were originally posted.  Social media sites have the potential to reflect both negatively and positively on any user’s future and their future employment.  Students and faculty at IHCC have both ethical and legal obligations with any social media communications.  Thus, IHCC has adopted this social media policy for its faculty and students.  It is the expectation of the college that its content will be adhered to.

The intent of the policy is not to restrict the flow of communication, but to provide guidance for professional, ethical and legal interactions for all of the participants.  The following, are examples of students conduct that in any form of social media are considered unprofessional and may result in disciplinary action and or dismissal from the program.   

  • Posting or discussing confidential patient/family information or photographs.  IHCC considers confidentiality of our patients and families to be of the utmost importance.  Any direct or indirect disclosure of patient or family information is subject to disciplinary action/termination.
  • Posting or discussing information about IHCC, IHCC Services, clients, employees, or anyone associated with the college.
  • Posting or discussing defamatory or false information about IHCC, college services, clients, vendors, employees or anyone associated with the college that is disparaging in nature.
  • Harassing of discriminatory postings of any discussions concerning anyone associated with IHCC.   Students are expressly prohibited from using any social media platform to harass, bully or intimidate other students, faculty or anyone associated with the college.  This would include the following: Derogatory comments with regard to race, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, political beliefs, Veteran status, etc.  This includes any and all other protected class or status information recognized by federal, state and local laws.
  • Sexually suggestive, humiliating or demeaning comments.
  • Threats to intimidate of physically harm an employee, student, of anyone associated or affiliated with the college.
  • Speaking or posting in any way on behalf of the college without explicit permission of the President of the College.
  • Posting work related pictures of college employees, students of anyone associated with the college without that persons’ permission.
  • Students are not allowed to access social media sites during any class or clinical without the express permission of the classroom or clinical instructor.  Students doing this for any non-school related purposes will be subject to disciplinary action/termination.
  • Additionally, students who identify themselves in any social media platform as an IHCC student must recognize and adhere to the following additional guidelines.  Others may view you as a representative of the college.  Because of this distinct possibility, students who choose to identify themselves in this manner are required, as a condition of their enrollment, to observe some additional guidelines when referring to the college, college employees, faculty, its’ programs and activities.  Students who identify themselves as an IHCC student must be respectful of all social media platforms and communications that make reference to IHCC, its employees, faculty or anyone associated with IHCC.  Any obscenities, profanity, vulgar language or images are prohibited.
  • Any discussions referencing conduct that is prohibited by the college or college policies is prohibited.

Any failure on the part of the student to comply with these guidelines for social media conduct will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the college.

Re-Entry Policy

Students may be re-admitted to the OTA program following withdrawal or suspension following the re-entry procedure outlined below. If more than one academic year has passed since the students has been in the OTA program, the student will be required to re-apply and complete competency check offs for each core OTA course already successfully completed. If the student does not demonstrate competence, they may be required to repeat the course from which the competency was failed. Students who have not completed the program within three years of admission, will demonstrate meeting current admission requirements for the year in which they are re-applying and will be required to complete all core OTA courses previously taken. Students may not re-enter the program if class size will surpass published ratio for class/lab.

If a student fails a core OTA course during the first term of the OTA program, they will be dismissed from the program and may re-apply to the program the following year. Students will be admitted based on grade point average and test scores (ACT or AUCCUPLACER).

Students re-admitted to the OTA program have only one opportunity to reinstate and complete the program. Any subsequent core OTA course failures will result in dismissal from the program and the student will not be accepted for re-entry into the OTA program. 

For students who have been re-admitted to the program, subsequent re-admission for any personal/medical leaves will be considered on an individual basis.

If a student fails two or more core OTA courses that are held concurrently in the same term, the student may be re-admitted following the re-entry policy, and repeat the courses failed within that term.

Re-Entry Procedure

  • To be considered for re-entry, a student must submit a written request to the OTA Program Director within six months of withdrawal or suspension, stating the term and year in which they wish to return.
    • Following withdrawal or suspension, any student who plans to continue general education coursework at Indian Hills will need to complete a change of major form for re-entry with the Program Director.
    • Following withdrawal or suspension, a student who does not plan to continue general education coursework at Indian Hills will need to complete a new application prior to re-entering the OTA program.
  • Students must meet current OTA program entrance criteria.
  • Students must meet program curriculum requirements for the academic year in which they are re-instated.
  • Students will follow the OTA program policies and procedures in place the year of the re-instatement.
  • Continuing students will be given priority over re-entering students to ensure adequate space in the class.

Transfer Credit Policy

The college catalog outlines the policy for acceptance of credit for courses taken at another institution. Transfer of courses in the core OTA curriculum will be considered on an individual basis. To be considered for transfer credit, the student must have achieved the minimum grade as outlined by the college’s transfer credit policy.

Bloodborne Pathogens & HIV Policy

Students may be participating in activities within the Health Sciences programs, which have potential for exposure to infectious diseases including but not limited to: Hepatitis B and HIV. Health sciences students must take all necessary precautions to minimize the risk of exposure. Students who fail to comply with the blood borne pathogen and HIV policy may be asked to withdraw from the OTA program.

In the event of a significant exposure (i.e. on occupational incident involving eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, non-intact skill, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious material, including saliva), the student must report the incident immediately to the instructor or clinical supervisor. The AFWC or Program Director will file a safety/loss report form describing the incident. The completed form will be submitted to the Dean of Health Sciences.

Follow-up evaluation will be required consistent with federal regulations. This may involve going to their personal physician or the emergency room. Students are responsible for the cost of their own medical care.

Hepatitis B Information

It is highly recommended that all students providing direct patient or child care in the Health Sciences Division receive an immunization against Hepatitis B. Although it is not required, it is highly recommended and is considered to be an extremely good investment. Students are particularly vulnerable to contamination and their hand washing skills generally are not yet developed. Although the incidence of the infection is relatively low, the outcome can be fatal. Since there is a vaccine available, all health care providers who are at risk are encouraged to become immunized.

Health care professionals are at an increased risk of contracting Hepatitis B infection. Hepatitis B is usually spread by contact with infected blood or blood products and the risk of acquiring Hepatitis B increases with the frequency of blood contact. Hepatitis B virus may be also found in other body fluids such as: urine, tears, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk. Hepatitis B infection can have severe consequences, including progressive liver damage and the possibility of developing hepatocellular carcinoma. Six to ten percent of the people who contract the virus become chronic carriers.

Vaccination is the only available means of protection against Hepatitis B. No currently available therapy has proven effective in eliminating the infection. This vaccine, prepared from recombinant yeast cultures, is free of association with human blood or blood products. Full immunization requires three doses of the vaccine over a six month period. Because of the long incubation period for Hepatitis B, it is possible for an unrecognized infection to be present at the time the vaccine is given, and in that case, the vaccine would not prevent the development of clinical hepatitis. You will need your physician’s approval or order prior to being immunized. They will provide you with information regarding the contraindications and side effects of the vaccine. Contact your physician for additional information.

As part of the curriculum, all students in Health Sciences programs will receive instruction regarding Hepatitis B and HIV prior to providing patient care. This instruction shall include be not be limited to:

  • Epidemiology
  • Method of transmission
  • Standard blood and body fluid precautions
  • Types of protective clothing and equipment
  • Work practices appropriate to the skills they will perform
  • Location of appropriate clothing and equipment
  • How to properly use, handle and dispose of contaminated articles
  • Action to be taken in the event of spills or personal exposure
  • Appropriate confidentiality and reporting requirements
  • Review of program policy related to refusal to care for specific patients.

Post Exposure Procedure for Health Sciences Students

If a student has been exposed to a contaminant parenterally (needle stick or cut) or superficially through a mucous membrane (eye or mouth) they are to follow the following procedure:

  • Immediately wash the affected area with the appropriate solution (soap & water or alcohol & water)
  • Seek appropriate medical attention through their personal physician (students are responsible for their own medical care). This may include baseline testing for HIV antibody at this time, followed by recommended series of testing. (Physicians may also inquire about the students’ status in regard to tetanus and hepatitis immunization at this time
  • Follow instructional (agency) policy regarding determining HIV and hepatitis status of patient (students are responsible for the costs to any testing).
  • Maintain confidentiality of patient
  • Seek appropriate counseling regarding risk of infection.

Guidelines for HIV Positive Health Care Providers

The Center for Disease Control has specific guidelines for health care workers which are revised periodically. They have been incorporated into these policies and are reviewed annually.

  • There shall be no routine serological testing or monitoring of students for Hepatitis B or HIV infection.
  • Barrier or standard blood and body fluid precautions are to be used routinely for all patients. These include:
    • The use of gloves when:
      • Cleaning rectal and genital areas
      • Carrying soiled linen
      • Bathing patients, if the student has a cut on the hand
      • Suctioning or irrigating, even if the orifice does not require sterile technique
      • There is, at any time, a possibility of spillage of blood or body fluid onto the student’s hands (i.e. accucheck, discontinuing and IV, IM’s, etc.), regardless of the presence of open lesions;
      • Emptying urine drainage bags, suction catheters, colostomy and ileostomy pouches
      • Providing mouth care
    • The use of masks, goggles or glasses and/or aprons when there is a possibility of fluids splashing onto the face or body and clothing.

Specific Guidelines for Known HIV Infected Health Sciences Students

  • HIV positive health occupations students who do not perform invasive procedures need not be restricted from work/clinical experiences unless they have other illnesses or signs and symptoms for which such restrictions would be warranted.
  • HIV positive health occupations students should wear gloves for direct contact with mucous membrane or non-intact skin of patients.
  • HIV positive health occupations students who have exudative lesions or weeping dermatitis should refrain from direct patient care and from handling patient care equipment and utensils.
  • Reasonable accommodations will be made within the curriculum to assist the HIV positive student to meet course/program objectives.
  • The policy of agencies utilized for clinical experiences will supersede college policy if they are more stringent.

Confidentiality will be maintained whenever possible, with only appropriate individuals being informed of the HIV status of a health sciences student.

 Provision of Care

Assignments are made in the clinical setting to enhance and/or reinforce student learning. It is the expectation that students will provide care for clients to whom they are assigned. In the event that a student refuses to care for an individual the following will occur:

  • In consultation with the student, the facility member will determine the reason for the refusal.
  • If the reason is determined to be valid the student will be reassigned.
  • If the reason is determined to be not valid the student will be counseled about unethical conduct and discriminating against a client regarding but not limited to the following: age, race, sex, economic status or illness of the patient or client.
  • If it is determined that the reason for refusal to care for a specific individual is as noted above, the student will be counseling to consider their future in health care. 
  • The Department Chair of Health Sciences shall be notified of any such occurrence and may meet with the student, along with the faculty member to discuss options, one of which may be withdrawal from the program.


In order to graduate, a student must receive a passing grade in all courses listed for that major and achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or above. This is equivalent to a “C” average.

Minimum satisfactory scholastic achievement is represented by a 2.0 grade point average each term of enrollment. Students who fall below this level will be placed on academic probation for the following term. Students who fail to achieve a 2.0 GPA during their probationary term may then be dismissed from the OTA program. Students not dismissed must have permission from the Health Sciences Executive Dean and from the IHCC Registrar to re-enroll for the next term. Very poor work in any term, however, may result in dismissal at the close of that term. Academic probation may affect financial aid. The student is encouraged to see a financial aid counselor for clarification of an individual situation.

Students who are unable to complete assigned work in a course may be given a grade of an “I” (Incomplete). Students much complete the assigned work as soon as possible (at the discretion of the OTA Instructor and/or OTA Program Director), but no later than six weeks into the following term. Grades for courses left with an “I” past the six week completion period will automatically convert to an “F”. Level II fieldwork must be completed within 12 months of clinical didactic program.

To successfully complete the OTA program, a student must achieve a passing grade in all non-core pre-requisite courses, and a minimum of a grade “C” in the following courses: BIO175 Human Anatomy, BIO176 Human Anatomy Lab, BIO178 Human Physiology, BIO179 Human Physiology Lab. Students will first contact the course instructor regarding questions with individual course assignments and grades. Failure to pass the listed non-core courses with a “C” or better will result in the student not being eligible to continue in the core OTA curriculum sequence.

Students must pass all core OTA courses with a minimum of a “C” or a 78% to progress in the OTA program sequences. Students who fail to earn a “C” or better in a core OTA course will be required to repeat the course at its next offering, typically the following academic year. See the OTA re-entry policy. Core OTA courses include: OTA105, OTA121, OTA131, OTA141, OTA212, OTA801, OTA151, OTA161, OTA811, OTA 171, OTA821, OTA210, OTA831, OTA220 and OTA841.

Health Sciences grading is based upon the following percentage scale:

Percentage Scale Letter Grade Numerical Grade
100-93 A 4
92-85 B 3
84-78 C 2
77-75 D 1
74-0 F 0

You may compute your GPA at any time by following this example:

Course Credit Hours Numerical Grade Grade Points
Functional Kinesiology 3 A (4) 12
Pediatric Practice for the OTA 4 B (3) 12
OTA Clinical I 1 P 0
Therapeutic Media in OT 3 C (2) 6
Credit Hours = 11 Total Grade Points = 30

Total Grade Points divided by Credit Hours (excluding pass/fail) = Grade Point Average (GPA)

(30/10 = 3.0 GPA)


  • Written examinations will be given in each core course and laboratory practicals will be given in selected core courses.
  • Each instructor will determine the test schedule and content of the tests.
  • Each student must notify the course instructor prior to examination time if they are going to be absent.
  • The classroom assignment make-up process must be initiated by the student.
    • Students will NOT be allowed to make-up classroom work, including exams unless the instructor has been notified regarding the absence.
    • The instructor and the student will arrange a schedule for completion of make-up work.
  • All make-up testing will be done at the IHCC testing center located in Trustee Hall.
    • The instructor may determine that an alternate format test be given if a students is absent on the scheduled day of the exam.
  • Final examinations will be scheduled for each course.
  • Students must pass each OTA program core course laboratory practical with a 75% or above to pass the course. A student may repeat any component of laboratory skills practical only once. The instructor will determine which components of the practical are to be repeated. A student who requires a second attempt on lab practical exams may earn a maximum of 84% for the practical score. Failure to obtain a 75% on the second attempt will result in failure of the course.

Academic Misconduct Policy

To view the full Academic Misconduct Policy, please visit the College Catalog & Student Handbook.

Appeal of Final Grade Policy

To view the full Appeal of Final Grade Policy, please visit the College Catalog & Student Handbook.


OTA Instructors, the OTA Program Director, and Health Sciences Associate Dean are available for academic counseling. OT faculty will serve as individual advisors for students throughout the program. Further counseling is available to students through assigned counselors or by student choice. The Occupational Therapy Assistant program faculty has open office hours. Students are welcome at any time.

OTA faculty will review each OTA students’ progress at the end of each term and determine the need for academic counseling. Counseling will always be held confidential and conducted in a professional manner.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

To view the full Sexual Misconduct Policy, please visit the College Catalog & Student Handbook or the college website.

Placement Services

Placement services are available to assist students, graduates, and alumni in obtaining employment. Contacts with healthcare facilities are maintained to help individuals find employment. Every reasonable effort is made to assist the student in finding satisfactory job opportunities. Student, graduates and alumni may view job openings on the Indian Hills Community College website or the OTA opportunity Facebook page.

American Occupational Therapy Association

The AOTA is a national organization dedicated to the promotion of occupational therapy. Students are encouraged to join the AOTA and become active in its functions.

Information concerning the AOTA is available in the OTA program office, by phone at: (301) 652-AOTA, or by internet at: www.aota.org.

Definition and Utilization of the Occupational Therapy Assistant


The Occupational Therapy Assistant is a technically educated health care provider who collaborates with the Occupational Therapists to provide services to clients focusing on participation in selected activities to: restore, reinforce and enhance performance; facilitate learning of those skills and functions essential for adaptation and participation; diminish or correct pathology; and promote and maintain health and wellness. The Occupational Therapy Assistant is a graduate of an Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate Degree Program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)


The Occupational Therapist is directly responsible for the actions of the Occupational Therapy Assistant related to patient/client management. The Occupational Therapy Assistant may assist the Occupational Therapist with evaluation, goal setting, implementation of care and documentation, under the direction and at least general supervision of the supervising Occupational Therapists. The Occupational Therapy Assistant may modify an intervention in accordance with changes in patient/client status within the scope of the established plan of care.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant must work under the direction and at least general supervision of the Occupational Therapist. In all practice settings, the performance of selected interventions by the Occupational Therapist Assistant must be consistent with safe and legal Occupational Therapy practice, and shall be predicated on the following factors: complexity and acuity of the patient’s/client’s needs; proximity and accessibility to the Occupational Therapist; supervision available in the event of emergencies or critical events; and type of setting in which the service is provided.

When supervising the Occupational Therapy Assistant in any off site setting, the Occupational Therapy Assistant and the Occupational Therapist must follow the guidelines established by AOTA and by guidelines issued by federal and state licensure requirements. The following are links to up to date information.

http://www.aota.org/en/Advocacy-Policy/aspx.state-Policy/Licensure/State Regs.aspx.

Who to See

Occasionally you will encounter circumstances requiring assistance or guidance.  The following is a partial list of potential problems and who to see:

Problem Who to Contact
Difficulty/concern with a specific course
  • Instructor
Difficulty with course work in general or problems of a general nature
  • Program Director
  • Associate Dean
  • Executive Dean
  • SUCCESS Center
Concerns about clinical rotations
  • Clinical Coordinator
  • Program Director
  • Associate Dean
  • Executive Dean
Problems/concerns at clinical site
  • Clinical Instructor
  • Clinical Coordinator
  • Program Director
  • Associate Dean
  • Executive Dean
Information concerning policies and procedures
  • Program Director
  • Associate Dean
  • Executive Dean
Personal problems
  • Program Director
  • Instructor
  • Associate Dean
  • Executive Dean
Concerns about the program
  • Program Director
  • Associate Dean
  • Executive Dean