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Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
Western New Mexico University offers a two year program leading to an Associate of Science Degree, with an Occupational Therapy Assistant major. The program is fully accredited with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Students who complete the program are eligible to take the National Certification exam for Occupational Therapy Assistants. Certification is conferred upon successful completion of the NBCOT exam. Most states require licensure in order to practice. State licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT exam.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program at WNMU is a limited enrollment program. Twenty five students will be admitted annually. All students interested in applying for admission should also apply to WNMU, as specified in the University catalog.
*Arrange for transcripts from high school and other colleges to be sent as soon as possible. You may apply on-line for both WNMU and the OTA program at www.wnmu.edu. You may also write, call, or e-mail the OTA program at: Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, WNMU, Box 680, Silver City NM 88062; phone 575.538.6442; e-mail email@example.com.
*The OTA program begins only in the fall of each year and 25 students are admitted. Applications to the OTA program are accepted until May 15th. After that, applications are accepted on a space-available basis. Student selection will usually be made by the first full week in June. The applicant is responsible for confirming that the department receives all necessary application materials.
*Students accepted into the program must have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher from high school or college work, and University placement testing scores that place the student in English 101 or better (or completion of English 101 with a “C” or higher). Final student selection into the OTA program is based on a point system addressing grade point averages, health care or related experience, writing samples, and references.
*Students accepted into the program will complete all coursework with a grade of “C” or higher, and will maintain a GPA of 2.7 or higher in the OTA curriculum throughout the program.
*Students will maintain professional behavior, honor the AOTA code of ethics, and abide by program and university policy. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program.
*Occupational Therapy Assistant courses may be taken by students admitted into the program or with special permission from the department chair. Interested students may enroll in supporting coursework at any time.
Admission with Advanced Standing
This option is available only to those students who have either previously been accepted to an OTA program at another institution, or have completed much of the coursework toward the OTA degree at another institution. Proof of admission or course completion is required, as well as a letter of reference from the director of that program. Students who were admitted to the WNMU program but were unable to attend at that time will also qualify for advanced standing. Coursework related to the OTA classes will be reviewed on an individual basis by the faculty. The faculty, the department chair, and the Admissions Office must approve determination of transfer credits. The student will be required to complete the same program application process as a new student.
Students wishing to transfer to the OTA program must be admitted to the University and submit official transcripts from the school they attended to the Admissions Office. Any student wishing to transfer to WNMU should review the academic regulations regarding transfer credit after a review of transcripts. All transfer information is due by the May 15th deadline for application material. Courses completed more than five years prior to entering the OTA program may or may not be counted towards the degree requirements, depending on individual review. Students wishing to challenge any course decision must follow the procedures outlined in the University catalog.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at: 4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s phone # is c/o AOTA @ 301.652.AOTA. Graduates of the program will be able to sit for the national certification exam 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). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are often based on results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.
ASSOCIATE OF SCIENCE IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT: (79 credit hours)
Prerequisites: High School Biology and Algebra or equivalent with a grade of “C” or higher, completed within the past five years. High School Chemistry is strongly recommended.
Supporting Course Requirements
Total credit hours 23
Occupational Therapy Core Requirements
Total credit hours 43
Students must obtain a TB test, immunizations, and a background check and must complete a course in CPR prior to assignment of field-work experiences. In addition, students must have basic computer skills such as word processing, spreadsheets, and simple data base management.
In addition to two years of classroom training, students must complete two full time clinical experiences (Fieldwork Level II; OTA 270/272 6 credit hours each). Each clinical experience will continue for eight weeks. These clinical experiences are unpaid and will require temporary relocation. All students are required to complete these clinical experiences within 18 months following the classroom courses. All coursework must be completed within five years.