For Spring 2020 Cohort:
Applications for the program will OPEN:  July 12, 2019
Completed Applications will be DUE:  November 1, 2019 for early admission, December 13, 2019 for Late Admissions for any remaining seats.

RVCC is the only New Jersey community college offering an Occupational Therapy Assistant program

Train for A Rewarding In-Demand Career

Do you enjoy helping people of all ages? Do you want to make a difference in the lives of individuals who face challenges due to injury, disability or illness?

Consider a career in the fast-growing occupation of Occupational Therapy Assistant. Starting in the Spring 2018, Raritan Valley Community College became the only community college in New Jersey to offer the Associate of Applied Science Degree Program in Occupational Therapy Assistant. The program combines classroom instruction with clinical training in a community setting.

Occupational Therapy Assistants collaborate with occupational therapists to help people improve their functions so they can carry on daily life activities. They provide rehabilitative services to individuals with physical, emotional, mental or developmental impairments. From teaching a stroke victim to brush his teeth to helping a child in a wheelchair navigate a school hallway, Occupational Therapy Assistants help people of all ages handle daily tasks and regain their independence. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

As an Occupational Therapy Assistant you’ll perform therapy treatments on patients as prescribed by an occupational therapist. Occupational Therapy Assistants can be found working in a variety of setting including occupational therapy offices, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, out-patient facilities, schools, community-based health care centers, behavioral health programs and home health agencies.

Occupational Therapy Assistants are in high demand. Employment of occupational therapy assistants is projected to grow nationwide by 43 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increased demand is in response to the health needs of the aging baby-boom generation and a growing elderly population.

For more information, contact Beau Younker, beau.younker@raritanval.edu

FIRST YEAR - SPRING SEMESTER

ENGL 111
English Composition 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): Grade of A in ENGL 050 Introduction to College Reading and Composition I or ENGL 060 Introduction to College Reading and Composition II, grade of B in ENGL 050 or ENGL 060 with corequisite of ENGL 070 English Composition I Workshop, or appropriate score on placement test.

English Composition I is the first in a two-course composition sequence. The central purposes of English Composition I are to develop critical reading and thinking skills and to write thesis-driven, text-based essays. The course takes a process-oriented approach to writing that incorporates prewriting, drafting, reviewing, and revising. Students in English Composition I learn basic research skills and apply them to at least one text-based research essay.

BIOL 124
Human Anatomy & Physiology I 4 Credits

General Education Course: Science (lab)
Prerequisite(s): Two years of college preparatory laboratory science or equivalent.

This course is an in-depth study of the structure and function of the human body.  The course content highlights the chemical, cellular and tissue levels of organization, and the anatomy and physiology of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems.  In the laboratory students will examine models and preserved specimens, and conduct physiological as well as computer simulated experiments.  Students that successfully complete this course will be able to identify relevant anatomical structures and integrate this knowledge with a physiological understanding of the systems covered in this course.  Completion of Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BIOL 125) may be required for transfer of credits.  The Honors Option is available for this course.

PSYC 103
Introduction to Psychology 3 Credits

General Education Course: Social Science
Prerequisite(s): Placement into ENGL 111 English Composition I with ENGL 070 English Composition I Workshop , or higher.

Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.  Psychology studies the interaction among biological, social, and personal influences that describe, explain, predict, and control behavior.  This course presents a broad survey of basic concepts, theories, and research in the field of psychology. Topics include research methods, development, neuroscience, learning and cognition, personality theories, psychological disorders, and therapy.

OTAH 101
Introduction to Occupational Therapy 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): MATH 020 Elementary Algebra or passing score on ACCUPLACER Math placement test.
Corequisite(s): BIOL 124 Human Anatomy & Physiology I , ENGL 111 English Composition I , PSYC 103 Introduction to Psychology ,OTAH 102 OTA Stages of Human Development .

This course provides the basic foundation critical to OT practice by providing the general history of the OT profession, development of the basic tenets and paradigms of OT, and an understanding of the OT conceptual practice models. This course will introduce the student to various areas of OT practice as well as the scope of practice necessary as a foundation course for the succeeding OTA courses.

OTAH 102
Stages of Human Development 2 Credits

Prerequisite(s): MATH 020 Elementary Algebra or passing score on ACCUPLACER math test.
Corequisite(s): BIOL 124 Human Anatomy & Physiology I , ENGL 111 English Composition I , PSYC 103 Introduction to Psychology , OTAH 101 Introduction to Occupational Therapy.

This course focuses on the study of human development from birth through senescence, including the acquisition of controlled movement patterns in infancy, general principles of stability, mobility, and equilibrium as they influence posture and movement, and the neurological processes involved in the acquisition of motor control and motor learning.  Also discussed will be the outcomes of early nervous system injury/impairment and the quality of movement deficits throughout one’s development.  Upon completion of this course the OTA student will be expected to demonstrate an efficient understanding of the aforementioned typical and atypical patterns of development, including neuromotor organization and development and postural control, as well as the specific chronological development of fine motor, gross motor, visual-motor, sensory-motor, graphomotor, and oral-motor skills.  A combination of instructional tools, group discussions, student presentations, reflection, and case studies will be used as teaching tools.

FIRST YEAR - FALL SEMESTER

BIOL 125
Human Anatomy & Physiology II 4 Credits

General Education Course: Science (lab)Prerequisite(s): BIOL 124 - Human Anatomy & Physiology I.

This course is an in-depth study of the structures and functions of the general and special senses and the endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems.  In the laboratory students will examine models and preserved specimens, and conduct physiological as well as computer simulated experiments.  Students that successfully complete this course will be able to identify relevant anatomical structures and integrate this knowledge with a physiological understanding of the systems covered in this course.  The Honors Option is available for this course.

OTAH 120
Pediatric/Adolescent OTA 5 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OTAH 101 Introduction to Occupational Therapy , OTAH 102 OTA Stages of Human Development .
Corequisite(s): BIOL 125 Human Anatomy & Physiology II , OTAH 121 Pediatrics/Adolescent Fieldwork I , OTAH 122 Pediatric/Adolescent Clinical Conditions for the OTA .

This course focuses on the study of pediatric and adolescent occupational therapy.  Interventional approaches, strategies, and techniques for treating a wide variety of clients with a multitude of diagnoses and conditions will be studied in depth.  Also addressed will be the ability to include analysis and synthesis of underlying performance skills and patterns, contexts and environments, activity demands, and client factors as they contribute to occupational performance and selection of intervention within occupational therapy service delivery process.  Upon completion of this course it is expected that the OTA student will be able to guide their intervention, from the initial session up until client discharge, with appropriate treatment, using relevant and current research and trends, and applying information learned in their other coursework to their treatment plans.  A combination of instructional tools, group discussions, student presentations, simulation, practice/repetition, reflection, and case studies will be used as teaching tools.

OTAH 121
Pediatric/Adolescent Fieldwork I 1 Credit

Prerequisite(s): OTAH 101 Introduction to Occupational Therapy , OTAH 102 OTA Stages of Human Development .
Corequisite(s): BIOL 125 Human Anatomy & Physiology II , OTAH 120 Pediatric/Adolescent OTA , OTAH 122 Pediatric/Adolescent Clinical Conditions for the OTA .

This course provides introductory-level clinical training opportunities.  Emphasis is on observational and basic interactional skills in a setting with a culturally diverse pediatric and adolescent client population.  Upon completion of this course it is expected that the OTA student will be able to use observational and interactional skills to relate effectively with clients under the guidance and direction of fieldwork supervisors.

OTAH 122
Pediatric/Adolescent Clinical Conditions for the OTA 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OTAH 101 Introduction to Occupational Therapy , OTAH 102 OTA Stages of Human Development .
Corequisite(s): BIOL 125 Human Anatomy & Physiology II , OTAH 120 Pediatric/Adolescent OTA , OTAH 121 Pediatrics/Adolescent Fieldwork I.

This course focuses on the clinical conditions, including the various illnesses, diseases, diagnoses, and afflictions, specifically found in the pediatric and adolescent population.  An example of some of the clinical conditions that will be explored and dissected include, but are not limited to, Cerebral Palsy (CP), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Spina Bifida, Muscular Dystrophy, Meninigitis, Rett Syndrome, Prater-Willie Syndrome, CHARGE Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Angelman Syndrome, Hydrocephalus, Microcephalus, Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia, Sensory Processing Dysfunction (SPD), and Autism Spectrum Disorders.  General fine and gross motor, and speech and language delays will also be covered as they pertain to the pediatric and adolescent population.  Upon completion of this course the OTA student will be expected to demonstrate an efficient understanding of the etiology, manifestation, types, methods of diagnosis, treatment, and expected outcome/prognosis for each clinical condition.  Students will also be expected to demonstrate a grasp of the role of OT, and more specifically that of the OTA, in the treatment of the various clinical conditions.  A combination of instructional tools, group discussions, student presentations, reflection, and case studies will be used as teaching tools.

SECOND YEAR - SPRING SEMESTER

COMM 110
Interpersonal Communication 3 Credits

General Education Course: Communication

This course is a survey of concepts, principles, theories, and practices of Interpersonal Communication. Students will participate in small-group and large-group experimental learning simulations that reinforce theory and practice of effective Interpersonal Communication. Emphasis is on self-awareness as the key to awareness of others. Topics covered include listening, self-esteem, self-disclosure, interpersonal dynamics, and assertiveness training. Students who complete this course will become more effective and confident in their relationships with family, friends, colleagues, significant others, and strangers.

FITN 201
Kinesiology 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): BIOL 124 - Human Anatomy & Physiology I.

Kinesiology is the study of human movement, including the study of muscles, bones and joints as they are involved in the science of movement.  The physiological and mechanical principles are addressed to enhance the understanding of the structures discussed.  Emphasis will be placed on learning how movement is analyzed along with the underlying principles so that the    student can see how improvements can be made in human performance.

SOCI 101
Introduction to Sociology 3 Credits

General Education Course: Social Science
Prerequisite(s): Placement into ENGL 111 English Composition I with ENGL 070 English Composition I Workshop , or higher.

Introduction to Sociology is a systematic investigation of the basic concepts and principles of sociology with emphasis on culture, social relationships, groups, institutions and social structure.

OTAH 200
Psychosocial OTA 5 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OTAH 120 Pediatric/Adolescent OTA , OTAH 121 Pediatrics/Adolescent Fieldwork I , OTAH 122 Pediatric/Adolescent Clinical Conditions for the OTA .
Corequisite(s): COMM 110 Interpersonal Communication , FITN 201 Kinesiology , SOCI 101 Introduction to Sociology , OTAH 221 Psychosocial Fieldwork I .

This course focuses on the role of the occupational therapy assistant and the collaboration of a registered occupational therapist and other healthcare professionals as it relates to the assessment and treatment of psychosocial dysfunction on areas of occupation, health and wellness.  Students examine psychological frames of reference, mental health conditions and diagnoses, planning and facilitating interventional and therapeutic approaches to promote occupational performance.  Also addressed and explored will be knowledge of pharmacological treatment, contraindications, group dynamics and processes, as well as trends in occupational therapy and mental health practice. Upon completion of this course, it is expected that the OTA student will be able to use occupational therapy based assessments, appropriate group or individual interventions and treatments to address diverse populations that experience disruption in their social, emotional and interactional lives.  A combination of instructional tools, group discussions, student presentations, simulation, practice/repetition, reflection, and case studies will be used as teaching tools.

OTAH 221
Psychosocial Fieldwork I 1 Credit

Prerequisite(s): OTAH 120 Pediatric/Adolescent OTA , OTAH 121 Pediatrics/Adolescent Fieldwork I , OTAH 122 Pediatric/Adolescent Clinical Conditions for the OTA .
Corequisite(s): COMM 110 Interpersonal Communication , FITN 201 Kinesiology , SOCI 101 Introduction to Sociology , OTAH 200 Psychosocial OTA .

Level I Fieldwork in Psychosocial OTA is the second among the primary clinical experiences as the student progresses through the lifespan curriculum. The students will have the opportunity to observe and interact off-campus with the psychosocial population under the supervision of an OTA or OT clinician. The focus of this fieldwork experience allows the student to use observational and interactional skills to relate theoretical and scientific principles learned in the didactic portion of the academic program.  Students observe psychosocial dysfunction as it impacts an individual’s occupational performance and participation.  The student will have the opportunity to gather information regarding the client’s personal and medical history to realize the importance in developing an occupational profile.  This will assist in determining client centered groups that are meaningful and occupationally based. This clinical experience will also provide the student the ability to observe therapeutic use of self and allow the student to exercise their professional communication and interpersonal skills through their interactions with clients, supervisors and other members of the psychiatric team. Specific assignments and objectives will be given to the students to serve as a guide during this clinical experience.

SECOND YEAR - FALL SEMESTER

OTAH 250
Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab OTA 5 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OTAH 200 Psychosocial OTA , OTAH 221 Psychosocial Fieldwork I .
Corequisite(s): OTAH 251 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Fieldwork I , OTAH 252 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Clinical Conditions for the OTA , OTAH 270 OTA Management and Ethics.

This course focuses on the practice area of rehabilitation among the adult population and promotes the students’ ability to provide therapeutic interventions through practice in analyzing, grading, and adapting activities and the environment to promote independence in activities of daily living for individuals with varied abilities across the lifespan. Through the OT Framework, students will be able to select meaningful and therapeutic interventions to teach and train clients and their significant others. Students will be able to appreciate and apply different OT guiding principles and frames of reference in selecting therapeutic activities that fosters occupation based and client centered interventions that promote evidenced based practice. Students learn to follow standardized and non-standardized OT evaluation tools appropriate for the various clinical conditions arising from the different medical conditions among the adult and aging population.

OTAH 251
Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Fieldwork I 1 Credit

Prerequisite(s): OTAH 200 Psychosocial OTA , OTAH 221 Psychosocial Fieldwork I .
Corequisite(s): OTAH 250 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab OTA , OTAH 252 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Clinical Conditions for the OTA , OTAH 270 OTA Management and Ethics.

Level I Fieldwork in Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehabilitation is the third among the primary clinical experiences as the student progresses through the lifespan curriculum. The students will have the opportunity to observe and interact with the adult population under the supervision of an OTA or OT clinician. The focus of this fieldwork experience allows the student to develop their clinical skills by understanding how physical dysfunctions as well as psychosocial factors impact an individual’s occupational performance and participation. The student will have the opportunity to gather information regarding the client’s personal and medical history to realize the importance in developing an occupational profile in determining client centered activities that are meaningful and occupationally based. This clinical experience will also provide the student the ability to experience how rehabilitation as a business and the different styles and areas in management contribute to the daily operations of the rehabilitation working environment. This clinical opportunity will allow students to exercise their professional communication and interpersonal skills through their interactions with clients, supervisors and other members of the rehabilitation team. Specific assignments and objectives will be given to the students to serve as a guide during this clinical experience.

OTAH 252
Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Clinical Conditions for the OTA 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OTAH 200 Psychosocial OTA , OTAH 221 Psychosocial Fieldwork I .
Corequisite(s): OTAH 250 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab OTA , OTAH 251 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Fieldwork I , OTAH 270 OTA Management and Ethics.

This course focuses on clinical conditions in the adult/geriatric population as students analyze the potential effect on body functions and structure impacting on occupational performance and participation through the progression of aging. The course will utilize the OT Practice Framework (III) as a guideline to understanding the relationship between occupational areas of concern and practice and the conditions common to adults from various medical conditions, injury, trauma, and disability. Students will utilize case studies to guide understanding on the practice area of rehabilitation among the adult population particularly focusing on the precautions, contraindications, side effects, and other safety issues addressed by OT practitioners during treatment and intervention strategies. This course parallels the co-requisite OTA courses in developing therapeutic interventions through analyzing, grading, and adapting activities and the environment to promote independence in activities of daily living for individuals with varied abilities, across the lifespan, from the different medical conditions among the adult and aging population.

OTAH 270
OTA Management and Ethics 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OTAH 200 Psychosocial OTA , OTAH 221 Psychosocial Fieldwork I .
Corequisite(s): OTAH 250 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab OTA , OTAH 251 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Fieldwork I , OTAH 252 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Clinical Conditions for the OTA .

This course focuses on management and ethics in healthcare.  Discussed will be management principles in the American health care delivery system (including the roles of patients, third part insurance payers, and health care professionals), contemporary thinking about management skills and competencies (basically “how management gets done” in health care organizations), healthcare rules, laws, and regulations (including but not limited to HIPPA and IDEA), and common management and ethical dilemmas encountered in various public and private healthcare settings.  Upon completion of this course the OTA student will be expected to demonstrate an efficient understanding of management and organizational processes which help or hinder successful task completion, methods to improve interpersonal and diagnostic skills, and ways to develop an understanding of theoretical knowledge related to organizational design and behavior.

THIRD YEAR - REQUIRED FULL TIME FIELDWORK - SPRING SEMESTER

OTAH 271
OTA Fieldwork II A 5 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OTAH 250 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab OTA , OTAH 251 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Fieldwork I , OTAH 252 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Clinical Conditions for the OTA , OTAH 270 OTA Management and Ethics .
Corequisite(s): OTAH 275 OTA Professional Seminar.

This is an off-Campus experience in a clinical setting and is designed to promote clinical reasoning and reflective practice. This course provides clinical experience under the direct supervision of an experienced and licensed Occupational Therapist Registered or Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant personnel in varied areas of practice.  It is designed to support ethical practice through transmission of the values and beliefs of the profession, to communicate and model professionalism as a developmental process and a career responsibility, and to expand knowledge and application of a repertoire of occupational therapy assessments and interventions related to human occupation and performance. Through the fieldwork experience, students learn to apply theoretical and scientific principles learned in the didactic portion of the academic program to address actual client needs and develop a professional identity as an occupational therapy practitioner within an interdisciplinary context. Students will use the occupational therapy process while developing and practicing the skills of an entry-level OTA in settings such as geriatrics, pediatrics and/or psychosocial.

OTAH 272
OTA Fieldwork II B 5 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OTAH 250 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab OTA , OTAH 251 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Fieldwork I , OTAH 252 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Clinical Conditions for the OTA OTAH 270 OTA Management and Ethics .
Corequisite(s): OTAH 275 OTA Professional Seminar .

This is an off-Campus experience in a clinical setting and is designed to promote clinical reasoning and reflective practice. This course provides clinical experience under the direct supervision of an experienced and licensed Occupational Therapist Registered or Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant personnel in varied areas of practice.  It is designed to support ethical practice through transmission of the values and beliefs of the profession, to communicate and model professionalism as a developmental process and a career responsibility, and to expand knowledge and application of a repertoire of occupational therapy assessments and interventions related to human occupation and performance. Through the fieldwork experience, students learn to apply theoretical and scientific principles learned in the didactic portion of the academic program to address actual client needs and develop a professional identity as an occupational therapy practitioner within an interdisciplinary context. Students will use the occupational therapy process while developing and practicing the skills of an entry-level OTA in settings such as geriatrics, pediatrics and/or psychosocial.

OTAH 275
OTA Professional Seminar 2 Credits

Prerequisite(s): OTAH 250 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab OTA , OTAH 251 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Fieldwork I , OTAH 252 Adult/Geriatric Physical Rehab Clinical Conditions for the OTA , OTAH 270 OTA Management and Ethics .
Corequisite(s): OTAH 271 OTA Fieldwork II A , OTAH 272 OTA Fieldwork II B .

This course is designed to assist the student in preparing for a career as an occupational therapy assistant by aiding in their transition to OTA practice. Students will evaluate their behaviors and skills obtained in prior OTA lecture and lab-based courses as they put them into practice in their Fieldwork II courses. All evaluations will be in relation to AOTA Standards of Practice.  Students will also be able to reflect on their experience in the clinic while collaborating with peers to gain greater insight on practice skills.  Students will become familiar with the process of applying for and preparing for the NBCOT COTA exam, including understanding the format and design of the test. The course will also focus on time management, along with resume writing and interviewing skills, and applying for state licensure.

TOTAL 67 CREDITS

A grade of “C” or better is required in all Science and OTAH courses.

NOTE: Enrollment in all OTAH courses is restricted to students formally admitted to the OTA program. All other courses are open and should be taken by students waiting for admission to the OTA program.

Upon successful completion of academic and fieldwork education, you will be awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree.  In order to practice as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you must graduate from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education [ACOTE] and successfully pass an exam administered by National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy [NBCOT]. The college has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy and students can now be admitted into the program, which will begin Spring 2018.  After review of a major self-study of the program by ACOTE, the college expects to be offered accreditation in April 2020, prior to student graduation in May 2020, so students can take the NBCOT exam in June 2020.  Students beginning the program in Spring 2018 must be aware that they are entering a program that is not accredited at that time but should be accredited by the time they graduate, allowing them to take the NBCOT exam to qualify to apply for state licensure to practice as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).

The occupational therapy/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, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA, is 301-652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.

The this certificate earns you 367 college credits. Link to application.

ACOTE Prospective Applicant Letter

Occupational Therapy Assistant Application Check List

Occupational Therapy Assistant Technical Standards

Outcome Data

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found at: https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx
Graduation Rate for Raritan Valley Community College OTA Program:

Graduation YearStudent entering/graduatingGraduation Rate
202020/In progressTBD
202116/In progressTBD
2022n/a

For more information, contact Beau Younker, beau.younker@raritanval.edu


Felony Conviction Statement

The conviction of a felony may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.  NBCOT offers an Early Determination Review to individuals who have been charged with or convicted of a felony.

Further information regarding this issue can be obtained from:
National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy
800 South Frederick Ave., Suite 200
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150.
(301) 990-7979