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  Dec 14, 2017
 
 
    
2016-2017 South University Academic Catalog Version II [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy Assistant (AS)


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The occupational therapy assistant works under the supervision of the Occupational Therapist to help individuals regain or accommodate to decreased range of motion, muscle strength, coordination, perception and activities of daily living, which includes dressing, eating, toileting, hygiene and home management.

The Associate of Applied Science and the Associate of Science degree in the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) degree program is dedicated to providing educational opportunities of the intellectual, social and professional development of a diverse student population. Through its carefully balanced and sequenced curricular design over eight quarters, the Occupational Therapy Assistant program is designed to prepare qualified graduates to seek entry-level employment as occupational therapy practitioners. The program prepares students with knowledge and skills for competent entry-level practice in a variety of contexts for an ever-changing world. The Occupational Therapy Assistant program further seeks to lead the profession and community through its contributions in educational leadership, community and professional service, lifelong learning, and scholarship

Program Goals (program threads in parentheses)

The OTA program goals address student competency in the following areas:

  1. Prepare occupational therapy assistants who appreciate and adapt to diverse and alternative cultures, settings, systems, processes, and ideas. (adaptation thread)
  2. Foster student skill in accessing relevant literature and information, using research-based evidence to make informed decisions in occupational therapy practice. (information literacy thread)
  3. Cultivate student skill in effective critical thinking, problem-solving, and clinical reasoning with clients across the lifespan in diverse practice settings. (critical thinking thread)
  4. Foster development of student’s communication skills to promote effective, appropriate interaction with all stakeholders. (professionalism thread)
  5. Instill in the student the values, attitudes and behaviors consistent with the occupational therapy profession’s philosophy, standards and ethics. (professionalism thread)
  6. Provide the student with opportunities to acquire skills in advocacy for the profession of occupational therapy to other professionals, service providers, consumers, third-party payers, regulatory bodies, professional associations and the public. (professionalism thread)
  7. Provide the student with a challenging curriculum that that is designed to prepare graduates to deliver occupational therapy assistant services with entry-level competency under the supervision of an occupational therapist in a variety of practice settings. (professionalism and critical thinking threads)
  8. Impart to the student a passion for lifelong professional development to meet changing societal needs. (lifelong learning thread)
  9. Provide ongoing opportunities for stakeholders in the OTA program to have input into the development and evaluation of the OTA program to ensure the program remains true to its mission and philosophy. (information literacy thread)

Admission Requirements for the Professional Phase

Students intending to enter the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program will be admitted to South University as candidates for the OTA program. Only after completing prerequisite coursework and achieving the requirements outlined below will students be admitted into the professional phase of the OTA program. Students may transfer prerequisite courses into the program before entering the professional phase if approved by the OTA Program Director and the Registrar. Transfer credit will not be accepted for courses with an OTA prefix in the South University OTA Professional Phase Curriculum.

Note: This does not apply to South University OTA students (in good standing) transferring between campuses.


Requirements for admission into the OTA Program include the following:

  1. Completion of the OTA Application, available from OTA faculty (or, on some campuses, the Receptionist)
  2. Copies of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, including South University
  3. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.85 on all prerequisite courses, which does not guarantee admission into the OTA Program
  4. Completion of prerequisites courses, passing each course with a minimum grade of C
  5. Understand that a felony conviction may affect ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure
  6. Completion of a minimum of 24 hours of observation or volunteering in at least two occupational therapy practice areas, as documented on the approved form
  7. Completion of the Self-Assessment Inventory
  8. Signed the Acknowledgement of Risk and Release of Liability Form
  9. Signed the Student Medical Insurance Verification Form and provided a copy of the front and back of student’s medical insurance card
  10. Students must have initiated and/or completed a background check submitted through Castle Branch; The fee to the company is the responsibility of the student
  11. Students must have initiated and/or completed a drug test, submitted through Castle Branch; The fee to the company is the responsibility of the student.
  12. Students must have initiated and/or completed all required immunizations, submitting all original lab results and exams through Castle Branch. All fees are the responsibility of the student.
  13. Provided documented proof of a physical exam. All fees are the responsibility of the student.
  14. Completion of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers or have arranged for certification before the application deadline
  15. Completed all requirements for Financial Aid (as applicable)
  16. Notify the OTA program if there are changes to student’s name, address, phone or email
  17. Notify the OTA program, when selected, of student’s decision to attend or not

Ranking of applicants for the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

Ranking applicants for admission into the Occupational Therapy Assistant program will be done during the second quarter of coursework in general education requirements based on coursework taken in the first quarter. Ranking will be done comprised of the following five elements, listed in descending order of importance:

  • Self-Assessment Inventory
  • Cumulative GPA for prerequisites (i.e., UVC1000 Strategies for Success, AHS1001 Medical Terminology, PSY1001 General Psychology, ENG1100 Composition I, BIO1011 and BIO1012 Anatomy and Physiology Lecture and Lab, ENG1200 Composition II, MAT1001 College Algebra I or MAT1005 College Algebra II)
  • ENG1100 English Composition I
  • PSY1001 General Psychology
  • AHS1001 Medical Terminology

Equal weight will be assigned to the cumulative GPA for prerequisite courses, English Composition I and General Psychology.

Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant: 114 Credits


Offered at South University, Columbia; South University, Tampa; and South University, West Palm Beach

Area I Core Curriculum: 30 Credits


Area II Professional Curriculum: 84 Credits


6th Quarter


7th Quarter


8th Quarter


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