Yes. While all tuition and fees related to general education coursework are consistent with current community college policies, there is an additional cost for the professional year courses. Since it costs more to deliver the professional year of the program, additional fees related to support and technology services are assigned to the 48 credit hours taken in the professional year of the program. In addition, students can anticipate additional costs related to immunizations, specialty certifications, lab supplies and screening procedures. An estimated cost sheet is included in the OTA Application packet.
The difference is that a student cannot be a COTA until they complete the program and pass their certification exam. One cannot practice in the State of Missouri as an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) unless they pass the NBCOT Certification exam and attain State Licensure. Once a graduate of an accredited program passes the certification exam they are referred to as a COTA, and once this status is attained COTA’s are eligible to apply for permanent licensure in the State of Missouri.
Offers of acceptance to the MHPC OTA Program are made as conditional offers. The conditions include satisfactory completion of a negative alcohol, drug, and/or controlled substance test. Students who refuse to authorize and pay for testing or who tests positive for drugs, alcohol, or controlled substances will not receive a final offer of admission, or will not be allowed to continue in the OTA program.
Even with successful coursework completion students may be prohibited from sitting for the NBCOT Certification Exam if they have a felony conviction. It is recommended that prospective students who do not have a clean criminal background contact NBCOT directly to inquire as to whether the conviction would prohibit sitting for the certification exam (www.nbcot.org) as well as the professional registration/licensing agency in the state which they wish to practice. In addition, any conviction, felony or misdemeanor, may prohibit students from placement in fieldwork sites. While the program will work with the student in attempts to find a suitable fieldwork placement, ultimately a student would not be able to graduate from the program if a willing fieldwork location cannot be identified.
More information regarding the profession of occupational therapy can be found by visiting the American Occupational Therapy Association website at www.aota.org. – Ask About OT or OTA Education For further information about studying to become an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant, send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. – Ask an OT or OTA Student To ask questions of an OT or OTA student, send inquiries to AskAStudent@aota.org. Allow up to 1 week for a response. – Live Chat! If you are a prospective student, join a live video and chat session. Information can be found at: http://www.aota.org/Students/Prospective.aspx
Unprofessional behavior or poor academic performance can result in dismissal from the professional program. Academic performance standards require students to maintain a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher and individual course grades may not fall below a ‘C’ in order to progress through the program. Because the program is sequential students will not be allowed to progress to the next semester without successfully completing the preceding semester requirements. Students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or greater for professional coursework in order to graduate from the program.
The MHPC OTA Program is currently probationally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Following successful completion of coursework and passing of the national certification exam, graduates of the MHPC OTA Program will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). A felony conviction may affect a student’s ability to secure a clinical fieldwork rotation and/or graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Exam or attain State Licensure. For more information about the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam please visit the NBCOT website at www.nbcot.org.
Accreditation is a review by experts of the quality of higher education institutions and their programs. As a student, you should care about accreditation because it assures that a minimum level of quality has been met in an educational program. In order to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), one must graduate from an accredited program. State licensing may also be required to practice as a COTA and the state licensing depends on the results of the NBCOT exam. To further understand the importance of choosing an accredited program, please view this video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zBdyBNwwmo. For more information regarding the accreditation process, please contact the American Occupational Therapy Association: ACOTE c/o Accreditation Department American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200 North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929 Phone: 301-652-2682 TDD: 800-377-8555 email@example.com www.acoteonline.org
No. While the general education requirements can be completed on a part-time basis, once enrolled in the professional year students must complete all courses in the order in which they are offered on a full-time basis. It is NOT recommended that students work during the professional year as the curriculum and time demands are stringent. Students should anticipate a Monday through Friday schedule running from 8 am to 5 pm. In addition to coursework, students will be required to attend labs running full days on Wednesdays and clinical fieldwork rotations with a time commitment of up to 10 hours a week during the fall and spring semesters. Fieldwork rotations during fall and spring semesters generally are scheduled on Tuesdays and Fridays, but they can vary depending on the clinical site placement and may require time commitments in the evenings and/or weekends. Students complete full-time clinical fieldwork rotations (40+ hours per week) during the summer semester. The Professional Year does not run on a traditional academic cycle. Classes will begin in August and will run through the end of the summer Semester. Completion of professional year coursework takes one full calendar year.
While you may contact the MHPC OTA Program office directly, they will not be able to answer specific questions regarding general education requirements or transfer of credit as these decisions are made at the community college level and should be directed to the admissions or registrar offices of those community colleges. The MHPC OTA Program office is the primary point of contact for OTA application questions and once students are accepted into the professional year of the OTA Program.
In order to gain more information regarding the professional year of the program one can visit the MHPC website at http://mhpc.sfccmo.edu This website will provide a general overview of the Consortium as well as information specific to both the OTA and PTA Programs. A student handbook for the OTA Program is available in PDF format for very specific information regarding student expectations and program specific policies.
Yes. Every week or potentially every other week, a designated MHPC OTA instructor travels to the campuses in Union, Sedalia, and Columbia to conduct lab activities. An MHPC OTA Faculty member is assigned to each campus. Therefore, while the instructors may rotate traveling in order to have an opportunity to interact with all students at all campuses, each campus will have a dedicated faculty member assigned to the on-site lab, to those on-site students and who conducts the majority of on-site labs. In addition to face to face interaction in the lab setting, students will have opportunities to set up one-on-one advising sessions with their dedicated faculty member.
Yes. In addition to asynchronous virtual learning environments such as Canvas, a large portion of coursework is taught via Interactive Television (ITV). Students will need to travel to the State Fair Campus in Sedalia, the East Central Campus in Union, the North Central Missouri College campus in Trenton, the Three Rivers College campus in Poplar Bluff, or the Moberly Area Community College campus in Columbia depending on which college the student is enrolled. In addition, North Central students will attend the weekly clinical lab sessions at the State Fair campus in Sedalia, and Three Rivers students will attend the weekly clinical lab sessions at the East Central campus in Union. ITV broadcasts generally originate from the Sedalia campus; therefore SFCC students may have an instructor in the room with them, while MACC, NCMC, TRC, and ECC students will generally be interacting in a distance format via ITV. In addition to travel related to didactic ITV coursework, ALL students enrolled in the MHPC OTA Program professional year coursework are required to travel to the Columbia campus 4 times a semester for centralized labs.
Yes. It is highly recommended that students enrolling in the MHPC OTA Program are comfortable with basic internet and web-based technologies such as e-mail, online database searching, and other word processing technologies. Most assignments in the curriculum are completed using a PC and submitted in an online format. Canvas is readily utilized in conveying course content. Students do NOT need to be familiar with Canvas or other e-technologies prior to entering the program, as tutorials and training will be provided. However, students will need to be comfortable utilizing these technologies after receiving the training provided. In addition, students will need access to a scanner in order to submit required paperwork and/or course assignments electronically.
No, you do not need a personal laptop for the program as you will have access to computer labs at your home campus. However, many current MHPC OTA students prefer to have a laptop with wireless access in order to review lectures and course material during class time when engaging in ITV courses.
No, you do not need access to a high speed internet connection in your home, however many assignments will require access to this technology. Students who do not have access in their home will have access on their home campus through computer labs. Current MHPC OTA students report that it is more convenient to have high speed access at home as they are not restricted by computer lab hours to complete assignments. MHPC OTA faculty is aware that some students will need to utilize on-campus computer labs to complete assignments and exams which are structured with these constraints in mind.
Upon arrival at the MHPC OTA Program office, the OTA application packets are converted to an anonymous format and reviewed by staff. Transcripts are requested from each community college where the applicant wishes to apply for program admission in order to calculate cumulative GPA and verify general education coursework completion. An average of 15 students per campus cohort will be admitted annually into the OTA Program. Screening scores based on the selection criteria and will be used to determine the ranking of applicants by campus cohort for program admission in each academic cycle. Each campus cohort will utilize the same selection criteria. News of official acceptance into the program will be communicated to candidates during the first week of June. Program admission is contingent on completion of any remaining general education courses and maintaining the minimum 2.5 GPA in the fall semester prior to classes beginning in August.
Yes. Application packets are updated on a yearly basis and the admission criteria or forms may change slightly. Therefore it is imperative that each student resubmit an updated packet. Last year’s observation may be utilized but students will earn more points by completing additional observation hours at distinctly different practice settings. Last year’s recommendation forms and essay may also be utilized. The OTA office has your previous application on file and will match your new items to your previous application materials.
Yes. You may count paid work experience as 8 hours of observation at your place of employment if the OT Practitioner with whom you have worked is comfortable signing off on the observation form. However, it is recommended that you complete additional observation hours in different practice settings and with different practitioners in order to expose yourself to multiple settings/companies and gain a better understanding of the OT profession. Be sure to list your work experience on the application page as additional points may be awarded for individuals who have volunteer or paid work experience in an occupational therapy setting.
Applications are assigned a screening score based on points earned in the following categories:
No. The MHPC OTA Program is very competitive and there are a limited number of seats per campus. Depending on the number of applications received for your campus, not everyone who meets the minimum requirements can be accepted. An average of 15 students per campus cohort will be admitted annually into the OTA Program.
It is suggested that you contact local facilities that employ occupational therapists and/or occupational therapy assistants (e.g., hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, or school systems). You can find these phone numbers in the Yellow Pages under Occupational Therapy or Rehabilitation. These requests are made quite frequently and you will find most facilities accommodating. Be prepared to discuss your reason for the request and your availability. It is recommended that you begin this process at least 6 months before the application is due as some facilities will not be able to accommodate your request on a short time frame. It is also recommended that your observe OT services in multiple settings to gain an understanding of the diversity of the profession.
The criteria below is also outlined in the OTA application packets, please note the technology requirement.
It is suggested that you contact community facilities that employ occupational therapists and/or occupational therapy assistants. Local agencies may include long-term care facilities, hospitals rehabilitation centers, or school systems. You can find contact information on the internet, white pages or in the Yellow Pages under Occupational Therapy or Rehabilitation. Most programs require observation and therefore these requests are made frequently. You will find most facilities accommodating as long as you allow for plenty of time to complete this requirement. Be prepared to discuss your reason for the request, your availability and do not demand a response on a short time frame.
Occupational therapy assistants may work in a variety of settings and with different client populations. Depending on your employer or the setting in which you work, your tasks may include:
An occupational therapy assistant:
The delivery of occupational therapy (OT) services should be a shared and collaborative process between occupational therapists (OTs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs). In order to do this, OT practitioners must be familiar with state practice acts, regulations and organizational policies. In general, the occupational therapist is responsible and accountable for overseeing service delivery. OTAs work under the supervision and in partnership with OTs. As per the Missouri State Practice Act and Medicare guidelines, OTAs must work under general supervision after the OT conducts the evaluation and establishes the plan of care. After the OT gives initial direction to the OTA, treatments can be carried out by the qualified assistant until the time of revision.
Occupational therapy focuses on enabling people to engage in meaningful daily life activities. The very word "occupation" - means an activity which "occupies" our time.