Ms. Ave Mitta, MS, OTR/L
The mission of the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program at Radford University Carilion is to prepare within a scholarly environment, ethical, knowledgeable, competent, and caring occupational therapy assistants who value lifelong learning, patient/client advocacy, and evidence-based practice as an instrument and testament of the profession.
To fulfill its mission, the OTA program strives to produce graduates who
- demonstrate adherence to the professions’ code of ethics as established by AOTA.
- demonstrate competency in the technical skills necessary to perform entry- level OTA intervention
- demonstrate interaction that reflects respect for others’ cultural backgrounds and behaviors.
- communicate effectively through use of technology.
- Articulate the importance of scholarly activities and demonstrate basic skills required in scholarly activities
- advocate for occupational therapy services and for clients who receive services.
- serve their communities and the profession.
- identify the benefits of interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration.
Based on AOTA’s 2015 Salary & Workforce Survey (AOTA, 2015)
- 85% of graduates receive their first job offer less than 3 months after graduation.
- 6% of the OT workforce is employed in hospitals and long-term care/skilled nursing facilities with 67% of OTAs employed in these two settings.
- OTAs surveyed earned an annual mean salary of $48,000 per year.
(American Occupational Therapy Association. (2015). Surveying the profession: The 2015 AOTA salary & workforce survey. OT Practice 20(11), 7–11.)
- University Admission Requirements
- Applicants are encouraged to use the College’s Early Action plan and submit their applications by November 15. This program offers limited spaces which may fill quickly.
- GPA of 2.5 or higher.
- Following review of the application for admission and grade point average, selected applicants will be invited for an on-campus interview and essay to determine the final selection of members of the class. Once invited to participate in the interview process, applicants must submit the following no later than January 5:
- Documentation of attendance at an on-campus or online information session. The online OTA information session may be found on the Radford Univeristy Carilion OTA web page.
- A portfolio supporting the applicant’s admission to the program should be submitted in paper format, but not in a hard binder. The portfolio should document the applicant’s experience, achievements, and growth. Any items that applicants consider to be representative of their efforts and achievements will be accepted including personal statements. Common portfolio items may include but are not limited to: resume, healthcare exposure (identify profession; setting; paid, unpaid, or as a patient; number of hours), community service including estimated number of hours, leadership experience, examples of performance excellence, sample works, honors, awards, special projects, and letters of recommendation.
Student educational experiences within the OTA program are guided by standards established by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and occupational therapy practice guidelines established by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The OTA program faculty is committed to providing students with a broad and challenging educational experience that prepares them for entry-level practice as Occupational Therapy Assistants.
The OTA program is a very intensive program that requires discipline, commitment, and personal responsibility in order to achieve academic success. All OTA students receive information regarding program expectations for appropriate personal presentation (dressing, grooming, and language/communication) and professional behavior. The OTA program asks each of its students to consider the impact of personal choices and decisions on peers, faculty, fieldwork contacts, the community at large, and future client-therapist relationships. Thoughtful consideration of others is the foundation of professional behavior.
Program Specific Competencies
Each OTA course has specific competencies that reflect the program curriculum design. Competencies are categorized in one of the following three skill areas:
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, occupational therapy assistant students must be, with reasonable accommodations, physically and mentally capable of performing minimal standards to meet program objectives in all learning environments, i.e. classroom, laboratory, fieldwork, and community experiences. Any student who may require accommodations should schedule an appointment with the Title IX and Disability Services Counselor. The Minimum Performance Standards for admission and progression include:
- Attend and successfully pass all occupational therapy assistant, general education, and supporting courses, and maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0.
- Attend and successfully pass all Level I and Level II fieldwork experiences.
- Comprehend and use the English language, both verbally and in writing, in a way that is understandable and adheres to English rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence and paragraph composition and that reflects an understanding of complex and technical information.
- Communicate by completing written assignments in standard organized English in a timely manner.
- Use professional terminology correctly and accurately interpret its meaning to others.
- Demonstrate clinically appropriate judgment, flexibility, problem solving, and reasoning skills to achieve the learning objectives and fulfill responsibilities of the academic program and fieldwork sites.
- Attend to, prioritize, and complete multiple task responsibilities in an effective, accurate, and timely manner.
- Apply effective and therapeutic teaching, dyadic, and group skills to complete the learning objectives and responsibilities of the academic program and the fieldwork sites.
- Demonstrate accurate, comprehensive documentation skills that adhere to agency, funding, and occupational therapy guidelines.
- Demonstrate sensorimotor skills, mobility, and general endurance necessary to effectively and safely complete the learning tasks, contribute to the occupational therapy evaluation process, and implement intervention techniques in the academic and fieldwork environments.
- Navigate to and around the learning environments associated with the academic and fieldwork components of the program.
- Demonstrate personal, consumer, and environmental safety precautions.
- Work independently and collaboratively to achieve the learning objectives and responsibilities of the academic program and fieldwork sites.
- Demonstrate effective and adequate coping skills regarding the learning processes, fieldwork experiences, supervisory relations, interpersonal interactions, and professional and personal responsibilities associated with an intensive educational program, in a timely and professional manner.
- Abide by the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, and policies and procedures of the College, the Program, and previously stated learning environments.
- Respect and demonstrate sensitivity to the contributions and cultural diversity of peers, faculty, supervisors, other professionals, clients, their significant others, and the public.
- Participate appropriately and effectively in the assessment and direction of one’s own learning processes and needs.
- Modify one’s own behavior/performance in response to feedback from instructors, fieldwork educators, and peers to achieve the learning objectives and the responsibilities of the program and fieldwork sites.
Fieldwork and Working Conditions
- Exposure to contagious diseases, body fluids, and cleaning materials.
- Patient care environments, office environments, and patients’ homes.
- Out-of-doors in all weather conditions as required to complete learning objectives and activities.
To graduate from the Radford University Carilion OTA Program, the student must successfully complete the following
- OTA Program Plan of Study (1st year must be completed prior to 2nd year, with 2nd year beginning with the summer session). Special circumstances that may create deviation from the course sequence must be approved by the Program Director for continuation.
- All Radford University graduation requirements.
- Community Service Project/Volunteer experience – one per academic year
- Continuing education experience – one per academic year
- Competency math test – one final examination – a pre-examination will be administered during the first semester of the program to determine need for remediation
Occupational Therapy Assistant, A.A.S - Radford University Carilion Campus