Occupational Therapy Assistant

The Occupational Therapy Assistant A.A.S. Degree program is for students who want to help people of all ages to regain, develop, or master everyday living skills for independent, productive, and satisfying lives. This two-year course of study includes academic and fieldwork training to prepare students for a career in Occupational Therapy. Students are trained to work under the supervision of a Registered Occupational Therapist, implementing intervention plans to enable participation in life activities for people of diverse ages, cultures, and abilities.

Learning to interact with healthcare providers and OT clients in a professional and meaningful manner is also emphasized. Program graduates will be eligible to sit for the national board exam for certification through the National Board of Certification for Occupational Therapy.

Fall 2014 OTA Program Applicants

 
UPDATE May 13, 2014—Fall 2014 OTA Program Interview Letters: The OTA program is finished reviewing files for all those who interviewed for Fall 2014. Letters will be mailed May 21 and interviewees can expect to receive notification of their status with the program after this date.

 
UPDATE March 12, 2014: All applications have been reviewed and decisions have been made for interviews. This year close to 200 students applied to the Program. Interview selection for the first round was completed in February and those students have their interview information. The OTA Program is in the process of preparing letters to approximately 160 students regarding interview status for the remaining two interviews. Letters will be mailed no later than Friday, March 21, 2014. If a student has not received a letter by Friday, March 28, 2014, please call 615-353-3708.

 
UPDATE March 4, 2014: Due to the weather related cancellation of the interview scheduled for March 3, 2014, the OTA Program Interview calendar has been revised.

  • Interviews scheduled for March 3, 2014, have been rescheduled for Monday, March 24, 2014, 3:00–5:00 PM. We are in the process of notifying all students affected by this change.
  • An interview has been added on Monday, April 7, 2014, 3:00–5:00 PM.
  • The interview for Monday, April 21, 2014, 3:00–5:00 PM, remains as scheduled.
  • Selections are still in process for the April 7 and April 21 interviews.

A post will be made here once the selection process is complete and all students notified regarding interview status.

 
Update—February 24, 2014: 2014 Program Applicants

The OTA Program has selected, and we are in the process of notifying, students for the first round of interviews, scheduled for March 3.

Selections for the remaining two interviews have not yet been made. When those selections are finalized we will make that notation here.

Students not selected for an interview will get a letter notifying them of their status.

Thank you.

 
February 4, 2014: A message from the Director for Fall 2014 OTA Program Applicants

Dear 2014 OTA Program Applicants,

Thank you so much for submitting your applications in a timely manner. We are now in the process of reviewing all files and selecting students for interviews. As outlined in the application packet, all students will receive notification regarding interview status. We do not yet have a date as to when those notifications will be mailed out, but we will put that information here, on this website.

Many students are calling in to check to see if their application file is complete. Due to the number of applications received, and the fact that we are in process of reviewing all files, it is not possible for our office to review and notify individual students regarding file completion. Hopefully you followed the instructions included in the application packet and held your application until all material could be gathered and submitted at the same time. If you submitted information separately (like transcripts), contact the school of origin to see if they sent the files. If we have a question about your file, we will contact you.

If you followed the application checklist, and submitted everything according to that checklist, you should be fine.

Our focus now is file review. Answering individual questions about individual files takes time away from that file review. Please understand that when we say we cannot provide information about your individual file it is because we are busy reviewing all files.

Remember that all students will get a letter about their interview status. Again, those letters will come out as soon as all files have been reviewed and interview selections made. We will post on this website when interview letters are mailed.

Thank you for your understanding.

Donna Whitehouse, MHA, OTR
Program Director
Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
Nashville State Community College
120 White Bridge Road
Nashville, TN 37209

 

Program Requirements

  • All students are required to maintain personal health insurance while enrolled in the OTA Program. Proof of health insurance required.
  • All students are required to hold and maintain CPR certification while enrolled in the OTA Program. Proof of CPR certification required.
  • Students admitted into the OTA Program will be required to have a recent health physical and be current in all vaccines and immunizations. Proof required.
  • Health insurance, CPR certification, health physical, vaccinations and immunizations are not required for Program application.
  • The Program requires that students be proficient in the use of a computer. Students should be prepared to access and submit documents through Desire2Learn, use PowerPoint and be proficient with email. The Program utilizes an online testing format. Students should have access to a personal computer, and/or identify alternative computer resources, such as the computer labs at NSCC.

Criminal Background Checks
Prospective students will be required to provide a copy of a background check and drug screening. NSCC does not use the background check or drug screening as criteria for admission to the program. Background checks and drug screenings are required by clinical sites as a condition of participation. Students are required to participate in a variety of clinical experiences to successfully complete the program. For questions regarding the background check, please call 615-353-3708.

 

What is Occupational Therapy?

Skills for the job of Living

Young or old, we all have a job to do – the job of living. Learning, growing, playing, working managing our homes, and caring for our families and ourselves are among the “occupations” of life.

Sometimes physical, emotional, or other challenges prevent people from participating fully in the job of living. Stroke, injury, depression, and developmental disabilities, for example, can make it difficult for people to do everyday tasks or be as active and as independent as they’d like.

Occupational Therapy – a vibrant, growing profession – makes it possible for people to regain independence and to enjoy life to its fullest. By choosing a career in Occupational Therapy, you will make a difference. You will improve the lives of children, young people, and adults alike.

About Occupational Therapy Assistant Practitioners

An Occupational Therapy Assistant works, under the direction of an Occupational Therapist, in hospitals, schools systems, nursing homes, psychiatric programs, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics and in the community. Occupational Therapy Assistants have been trained to use “occupations” or activities of daily life to help people of all ages participate in their activities of choice to their fullest potential.

Becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant

The NSCC OTA Program is a two-year course of study. This includes three academic semesters and one semester of full-time internships. Given the necessary skills and knowledge required to become an OTA, applicants must be prepared to make a strong commitment to both academic coursework and internship training. The OTA must be prepared to work with persons of varied ages, cultures and abilities. OTA students will be challenged in both personal and professional ways as they prepare to become Occupational Therapy Assistants. It is important that all applicants recognize the commitment required if accepted into this program and to this profession.

Facts about Occupational Therapy

Nearly one third of people employed in the profession of Occupational Therapy work with children helping them master the "occupations" of childhood-learning, playing and growing. Handwriting problems are a leading reason schoolchildren are referred to Occupational Therapists.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calls Occupational Therapy one of today's fastest growing careers pointing to growing numbers of older adults and young children who need Occupational Therapy services.

Nationwide, there are 324 college or university-based educational programs for Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants.

Occupational Therapists have at least a four-year bachelor's degree and many have masters or doctorate degrees. Occupational Therapy Assistants typically have a two-year associates degree. Beginning in 2007, Occupational Therapists must have at least a master's degree.

Approximately 117,000 Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants are licensed to practice in all states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Florida alone has over 6,000 licensed Occupational Therapy practitioners.

Occupational Therapy services are delivered in a variety of settings such as schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, and mental health clinics.

Conditions benefiting from Occupational Therapy include:

Alzheimer's disease
Amputation
Arthritis
Attention deficit & hyperactivity disorders
Autism
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Cerebral Palsy
Chronic pain
Conditions related to aging
Delayed development
Fibromyalgia
Hand injuries
Hip fracture/ replacement
Learning disabilities
Low vision
Mental retardation
Mood disorders
Musculoskeletal trauma
Parkinson's disease
Repetitive motion disorders
Schizophrenia
Stroke
Substance abuse
Sensory dysfunction
Spinal cord injury
Traumatic brain injury

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) was founded in 1917. The historic roots of Occupational Therapy lay in the movement to reform mental health care at the turn of the 20 th century, when it was shown that patients who engaged in "purposeful occupations" such as crafts and practical work experienced a more successful recovery.

The Fund To Promote Awareness of Occupational Therapy was created by AOTA in 2002 as part of a long-term strategy to raise awareness of Occupational Therapy. The Fund is a charitable organization committed to ongoing resource development to support targeted outreach, education, research and professional development opportunities that will increase the public's understanding and utilization of Occupational Therapy services.

 

Employment

Certification Exam

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination For The Occupational Therapy Assistant administered by the National Board For Certification In Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). 

State Licensure

Tennessee requires licensure to practice as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. All applicants for Tennessee licensure must pass the NBCOT certification examination, in addition to other requirements. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the nbcot certification examination or attain state licensure.

If students have questions or concerns regarding criminal history and employment eligibility, please contact NBCOT at (301) 990-7979 and the Tennessee Board of Occupational Therapy at (615) 532-3202 or (800) 778-4123.

Employment and Occupational Therapy Assistant Practitioners

An Occupational Therapy Assistant works under the direction of an Occupational Therapist in hospitals, schools systems, nursing homes, psychiatric programs, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics and in the community. Occupational Therapy Assistants have been trained to use “occupations” or activities of daily life to help people of all ages participate in their activities of choice to their fullest potential.

NSCC Career Services Office

The Career Services Office provides career and employment information and services to students and graduates. Placement assistance is available to graduates and currently enrolled students seeking full- or part-time work.

Program Curriculum

Catalog Program Description
Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)

Catalog Course Descriptions
Occupational Therapy Assistant Courses

College Catalog
NSCC Catalog

 

Program Accreditation

ACOTE

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

The NSCC Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is accredited by: ACOTE
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200 • Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
Phone: 301-652-2682 • Fax: 301-652-7711 • TDD: 800-377-8555
Email: accred@aota.org • Website: www.aota.org
Direct link to information about for the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education:
www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Accreditation.aspx

Historical NBCOT Exam Pass Rate Information

 

Historical NBCOT Pass Rates

All students graduating from the Nashville State Occupational Therapy Assistant Program are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Certification Exam. Proof of successful completion of this exam is required for a license to practice as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in the state of Tennessee.

For access to student pass rates from schools across the country, including NSCC OTA students, click here.

Please note that  this information is sorted by calendar year. This means that the data reflects any student who took the exam within one year of graduation, but not the year they graduated. Example: If a student completed the NSCC OTA Program in 2012, but did not take the exam until 2013, their exam score information would be reflected in 2013 data, not 2012.

For access to NSCC OTA student pass rate information, please click here (PDF).

Please note that this information is sorted by academic year, or by graduating class. This means that the data reflects all students from a given graduating class who took the exam within one year of graduation. Example: If a student completed the NSCC OTA Program in 2012, but did not take the exam until 2013, their exam score information would be reflected in 2012, not 2013.

Program Faculty

Donna Whitehouse, MHA, OTR, Associate Professor/Program Coordinator, 615-353-3382
Donna WhitehouseMs. Whitehouse is the Program Director for the NSCC OTA Program. She is an Assistant Professor, and teaches courses in Occupational Therapy History, Management and Administration skills as well as courses in Challenges to Mental Health and Interventions for Mental Health. Ms Whitehouse joined NSCC in 2002, following several years on faculty at the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University in St. Louis. Her interests are in administration, program development, and Aging in Place.

Education
Bachelor of Science Occupational Therapy, University of Tennessee at Memphis, 1990
Master of Health Administration, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1996
Occupational Therapist, Registered, NBCOT; Current Tennessee license


Diane Gaffney, MBA, OTR, FAOTA, Instructor, 615-353-3383
Diane GaffneyMs. Gaffney joined the OTA faculty in 2011. Ms. Gaffney has over thirty years of practice as an Occupational Therapist. She brings to NSCC a wealth of knowledge through in a broad spectrum of her OT practice experience which includes, but is not limited to: pediatrics, adults, management and active involvement in both state and national OT associations. Ms. Gaffney teaches courses in Human Development, Human Movement, Challenges to Physical Health, Interventions and Treatment for Adults and Geriatrics.

Education
Bachelor of Science, Western Michigan University, 1970
Master of Business Administration, Tennessee State University, 1991
NBCOT Certification as Occupational Therapist, Registered
Tennessee Certification in Therapeutic Electrical and Thermal Modalities, 2001


Jenn Myers, BS, COTA, Instructor, 615-353-3582
Jenn MyersMs. Myers is an alumnae of the Nashville State OTA program. She joined the faculty in 2011 as the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and, in addition to her fieldwork responsibilities, teaches courses in Occupations, Documentation and Group Dynamics. Ms. Myers practice experience was focused primarily in the geriatric population.

Education
Associate of Applied Science, Nashville State Community College, 2009
Bachelor of Arts, Columbia College of Chicago, 2000
Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant

 

Program Resources

OT in Yahoo Finance - 10 Careers Boosted by Healthcare Reform

OT in the Forbes Top 5 Recession Proof Jobs Listing

 

AOTA
American Occupational Therapy Association

 

TOTA
Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association

 

NBCOT
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy

 

Current Students

OTA Fieldwork Manual

  1. Chapter I ~ Introduction
    1. Introduction (PDF)
    2. Mission Statement (PDF)
    3. General Program Objectives (PDF)
    4. Philosophy and Purpose of the Program (PDF)
    5. Curriculum Design (PDF)
    6. Fieldwork within the Curriculum (PDF)
    7. Level I and Level II Fieldwork Placement Policy (PDF)
    8. Special Consideration Requests (PDF)
    9. Fieldwork Cancellations (PDF)
    10. Fieldwork Sites and Supervisors (PDF)
    11. Academic Fieldwork Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities (PDF)
    12. Student Responsibilities During Fieldwork (PDF)
  2. Chapter II ~ Level I Fieldwork
    1. Level I Fieldwork Objectives (PDF)
    2. General NSCC OTA Program Level I Fieldwork Purpose (PDF)
    3. Level I Fieldwork (PDF)
    4. Level I Fieldwork Grading Policies (PDF)
    5. Level I Fieldwork Site Evaluation (PDF)
    6. Student Evaluation of Fieldwork Site (PDF)
  3. Chapter III ~ Level II Fieldwork
    1. Level II Fieldwork (PDF)
    2. Level II Fieldwork Supervision (PDF)
    3. Level II Fieldwork Grading Policies (PDF)
    4. Level II Fieldwork Site Evaluation (PDF)
    5. Professional Behaviors Expectations (PDF)
    6. Level II Fieldwork Termination (PDF)
    7. Tips for a Successful Fieldwork Experience (PDF)
  4. Chapter IV ~ Additional Resources
    1. ADA Statement (PDF)
    2. Student Complaints (PDF)
    3. Student Grievance Procedure (PDF)
  5. Chapter V ~ Appendix
    1. Curriculum Course Sequence (PDF)
    2. Curriculum Course Sequence 2 (PDF)
    3. Course Descriptions (PDF)
    4. Level I Objectives (PDF)
    5. Level I Fieldwork Site Evaluation (PDF)
    6. Level I Fieldwork Site Evaluation 2 (PDF)
    7. Student Evaluation of Level I Fieldwork (PDF)
    8. Level II Fieldwork Objectives (PDF)
    9. Student Evaluation of Level II Fieldwork (PDF)
    10. What Happens If… (PDF)

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OTA Fieldwork Resources

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News

OT 3rd in Top Healthcare Jobs

April 24, 2014 -

Business Insider
Read article (PDF)

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Events

Nashville State events and workshops

July 09, 2014 -

What’s happening at Nashville State? Check out the event calendar for workshops, student life events and important dates.

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Contact Information

Annette Starrett, Program Secretary
Phone: 615-353-3708

Donna Whitehouse, Program Coordinator
Phone: 615-353-3382

Campus Directory

Advising Sheet

AAS Degree Advising Sheet
Occupational Therapy Assistant

Catalog and Class Schedule

See NSCC Catalog for program requirements, recommended schedules, course descriptions and syllabi.

See Class Schedule for course availability.

Isaiah, Occupational Therapy Assistant

I feel very confident about my education. My professors have real world experience to help me understand how to apply what I'm learning. I have no doubt that I will be ready for my career.

Isaiah, Occupational Therapy Assistant

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College is not only for people who made straight A's in high school. If you really want to better yourself, Nashville State will help you.

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When I began college, my goal was to reach my full potential as a human being. Nashville State has advanced my knowledge, critical thinking skills, and self accountability.

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Nashville State's costs can't be beat. At a much lower cost than at universities, Nashville State is the wise choice for students looking to save money on their college education.

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I was very anxious about enrolling after being out of school for so long. The Clarksville staff did everything possible to help me acclimate to the requirements of college.

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