OTA Admission Requirements – Knoxville campus:
General admission to South College does not guarantee admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant – Associate of Science degree program. Applicants interested in this program are required to visit the college and meet individually with an admissions representative and program faculty to ascertain if their goals can be met by the College. Prospective students declaring Occupational Therapy Assistant as their major must be generally admitted to South College and meet the following requirements in order to be considered for full admission to the program:
- Complete the South College Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Application and Checklist
- Present documentation of a score of 19 or higher on the ACT Assessment examination (OR) Meet minimum score requirements required by the OTA program on all sections of the on the college entrance examination (OR) Present documentation of a 900 combined score or higher on the SAT I examination (OR) Have earned a transfer credit of 27 quarter/18 semester hours of college level courses with a cumulative grade point average with at least a 3.0 GPA or better (OR) Achieve a GPA of at least 3.0 for the program’s pre-requisite general education courses (MAT 1500, ENG 1200, BIO 1110, BIO 1120, ENG 1210, BIO 1130, BIO 1140, and AHS 1010)
- Attend a required information/advising session provided by the OTA faculty
- Submit proof of at least eight (8) observation hours in a minimum of two (2) different settings offering occupational therapy using the form provided by the OTA program.*
- Submit three (3) letters of reference utilizing the OTA program’s reference form. These reference forms will be scored and must average seventy-five percent (75%) or better.*
- Submit a written essay as outlined on the form provided by the OTA program.*
- Complete all required general education core courses and earn the minimum grade of “C” or higher.*
- Complete BIO 1110 Anatomy & Physiology I, BIO 1120 Anatomy & Physiology I Lab, BIO 1130 Anatomy & Physiology II, and BIO 1140 Anatomy & Physiology II Lab with at least a 2.50 grade point average. The necessary grades must be achieved on the first or second attempt (all postsecondary attempts counted) unless approved by department chair.*
- Complete OTA 1315 – Introduction to Occupational Therapy, OTA 1325 – Analysis of Human Occupations, and OTA 1335 – Applied Kinesiology. Students may take the first quarter of OTA classes a maximum of two times. Students must pass each of these OTA courses with a “C” or better on the first attempt. Students must pass each of these OTA courses with a “B” or better on the second attempt.*
- Meet essential functional standards pertinent to the responsibilities performed by the Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Be able to commit to full attendance and participation in a rigorous educational program which requires class attendance, significant out-of-class preparation time, and clinical education assignments off-campus.
*Each of these areas is used to rank applicants for full program admission. If minimum standards outlined above are met by more applying students than available seats for the cohort, these rankings determine program admission. Additional course work pertaining to the occupational therapy assistant program is considered. Students with the top 30 scores on the ranking system will be fully accepted into the program and advance to the occupational therapy assistant courses offered in quarter four (4).
Students in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at South College must complete clinical fieldwork experiences during the curriculum to successfully graduate and obtain the required licensure/certification credentials to work as occupational therapy assistants. To ensure patient safety and security, students must complete a criminal background check preceding full acceptance into the OTA program. An additional background check and/or drug test may be required prior to beginning clinical experiences in the program.
Note: Results from Criminal Background Check and Drug Tests may negatively affect an applicant’s acceptance into the OTA program and clinical facilities can deny participation in a clinical rotation. This may result in failure of a course and dismissal from the program. When participating in clinical experiences, South College OTA students will be held to the policies and procedures of the facility – including those related to drug testing.
Applicants of the OTA program MUST be aware of the following:
- A felony conviction may affect:
- placement in a clinical facility for education
- a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification examination
- a graduate’s ability to attain state licensure
- a graduate’s ability to attain future employment within the profession.
- Failure to produce proof of the following and the results in a timely manner will prevent completion of fieldwork courses and result in termination from the program:
- Negative TB test
- Hepatitis B vaccination or waiver
- Health release to participate in clinical internships. A physician’s certification that a student is in good general health.
- Other immunizations, such as MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
- A current CPR certification
- Criminal background check
- Negative Drug Screen
- Health Insurance or signed waive
Functional Standards for the Occupational Therapy Assistant
A candidate for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program must have abilities and skills in five categories: sensory, motor, cognitive, communication, and behavioral/social. Students must be able to perform the following essential functions in an independent manner, with or without reasonable accommodation. Considerations for students with documented disability will be given on an individual basis.
The following standards for cognitive, communication, and behavioral/social essential functions cannot be compromised:
- Cognitive: Candidates must demonstrate skills for measurement, calculations, reading charts and graphs, and scoring. Clinical reasoning, which is the critical skill required of an OT practitioner, is needed in order to make safe clinical judgments; evaluate relevancy of data and prioritize for clinical decision making; identify need for changes in clinical applications; problem solve creative solutions for specific manifestations of behavior, treatment applications, and environmental modifications; generalize theoretical principles to treatment applications; and integrate and apply theory to practice (i.e., identify needs, establish goals, select appropriate interventions, and evaluate outcomes)
- Communication: Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in both academic and fieldwork settings. They must show evidence of effective written and verbal communication skills – such as are needed to interact with instructors, supervisors and superiors, and patients – individually as well as within a group setting
- Behavioral/Social: Candidates must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the prompt completion of all academic and fieldwork responsibilities. The development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care team are essential. The role of the Occupational Therapy Assistant requires flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, interpersonal skills, concern for others, and the ability to function in the face of uncertainties and stress inherent in clinical practice.
NOTE: The physical requirements described below are required to participate in the full scope of Occupational Therapy Assistant education and practice. Limitations may require adaptations or modification in school and/or the workplace. Although these modifications/hardships may be made without major hardship or voids in the academic process, there may be more stringent requirements in selected fieldwork sites, or in the job market. These factors will enter into the student advisement process on an individual basis.
- Sensory: Candidates must have functional visual acuity and perception to handle occupational therapy media, lectures, and laboratory activities. Auditory reception is required to participate in lectures and laboratory activities and interpersonal exchanges with instructors, fieldwork supervisors, and clients. Tactile sensation must be functional for activities requiring direct manipulation, such as range of motion or transfer training
- Gross Motor and Fine Motor: Candidates must have environmental accessibility to participate in fieldwork experiences at clinical sites. Degrees of gross motor skills for running, jumping, balancing, reaching, lifting (up to 50 pounds), and bending for games and sensory integration equipment, manual muscle testing, range of motion, and transfers are required for laboratory and fieldwork experiences. Long periods of sitting, standing, or moving are qualities of work components that are expected during participation in full-time academic and fieldwork experiences. Manual dexterity and strength adequate to handle a variety of media and evaluative tools common in the profession is required
South College is an equal opportunity college open to any qualified individual without regard to race, religion, sex, age, color, national or ethnic origin, or disability. Pursuant to all applicable federal anti-discrimination laws and regulations, South College does not discriminate against any of the protected categories of individuals in the administration of policies, programs, or activities. This non-discriminatory policy includes admission policies, loan programs, employment practices, and all other college-administered programs.
South College does not discriminate on the bases of disability and is committed to full compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.