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Associate in Occupational Therapy

Ready to make a difference in the lives of those experiencing functional challenges? IWU’s Global Associate of Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program can help you gain your entry-level foundation of skill and knowledge in occupational therapy. Foundational Phase courses (Non-OTA courses) may be transferred in or earned online. The Professional Phase courses (OTA courses) are seated and can be completed in 14 months. Your associate degree serves to support people to complete the things they need and want to do in their daily activities working in a variety of healthcare and community settings.

Why Pursue My Degree as an Occupational Therapy Assistant at IWU?

With an associate program that balances class theory with hands-on, clinical experiences, IWU has aimed for the highest caliber of higher education experience for more than a century—and online education for more than a quarter century. When you begin, we will lock in your tuition rate, so you won’t have to worry about price increases as you study. Today, we are proud to offer the support you need to have a meaningful impact on better functional ability and overall well-being for others—through faculty who bring a practitioner-centered approach to your learning and curriculum aligned to industry standards and best practices. Our Christian faculty teach from the same biblical worldview valued on our campus, so that students can implement these principles in a fulfilling career.

What Will I Learn in an Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree?

This AS program prepares a student as an Occupational Therapy Assistant to deliver occupational therapy services under the supervision of and in partnership with the Occupational Therapist to those with diminished functional ability in everyday tasks. Coursework covers basic OT theory, along with functional anatomy/kinesiology, enhanced by clinical and fieldwork experiences. Courses will help you prepare for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Certification Exam for Occupational Therapy Assistants and pursue practice as a licensed professional.

Want to further your education?

Following graduation and successful passing of the NBCOT exam, working OTA graduates of the IWU OTA program have the opportunity to advance their education through the online Bachelor of Health Science in Health Sciences program. After completing a bachelor’s degree, graduates who meet the criteria, may apply to the IWU Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree program.

 Information Sessions

When Second Thursday of each month at 5:00 p.m.
Where Indiana Wesleyan University Greenwood Education Center
1500 Windhorst Way, Greenwood, Indiana (I-65 and Main Street)
RSVP

View OTA Faculty

What Makes IWU Different?

Education Pioneer

IWU has provided on-campus education for more than 100 years.

Rooted in Christ

Faith-integrated curriculum and a commitment to changing the world.

Superior Support

Center for Student Success for counseling, tutoring, and more!

What You Will Study in This Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree Program

Upon completion of the IWU Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • Christ-like Character: view self as a reflective occupational being with need for balance in personal health/wellness/spiritual character, creativity, and professional knowledge and skills that lead to therapeutic use of self with diverse clients/populations/communities.
  • Engagement in Intraprofessional/Interprofessional Collaborative Evidence-Based Practice: through critical thinking and collaboration, demonstrate clinical reasoning and carry out scientific evidence-based client centered interventions that enable performance and engagement in meaningful occupations supporting health, well-being, and participation in life.
  • Commitment to Serving as an “Agent of Change” in the community: recognize, meet, and advocate for the diverse occupational needs of clients/populations in their communities there-by demonstrating servant leadership, contributing to meeting changing world needs and promoting health, well-being, inclusion, and quality of life.
  • Professional Commitment: communicate effectively and ethically; demonstrate scholarship preparing for life-long learning in current and emerging practice areas; demonstrate support for professional organizations; and actively advocate for individual clients, organizations, and population needs.

...

Courses

Course # Course Name Modality Credits
PHE190 Medical Terminology Online 3
ENG140 College Writing Online 3
PSY 150 General Psychology Online 3
ENG141 Research Writing Online 3
COM115 Introduction to Human Communication Online 3
PSY250 Developmental Psychology Online 3
BIB120 Bible as Literature Online 3
PSY366 Psychology of Abnormal Behavior Online 3
MAT112 General Statistics Online 3
Students must take series BIO130 and BIO131(online) OR BIO111/111L and BIO112/111L (seated) or equivalent
BIO130 Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab for Health Sciences Online 4
BIO131 Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab for Health Sciences Online 4
- OR -
BIO111/111L Anatomy Physiology I (offered in person with anatomage table) Campus 4
BIO112/112L Anatomy Physiology II (offered in person with anatomage table) Campus 4
Term 1 - Fall
Course# Course Name Modality Credits
OTA110 Foundations of OT I: Balance of Personal Performance and Well-being and Professional Responsibilities Campus 2
OTA240 Functional Anatomy/Kinesiology Campus 4
OTA250 OT theory and Concepts Campus 3
Term 2 - Winter
OTA120 Foundations of OT II: Models, Theories, Evidence Based Practice, Intraprofessional/Interprofessional Communication Campus 2
OTA260 Clinical Reasoning/Occupational Performance I: Pediatrics/Adolescents Campus 3
OTA270 Clinical Reasoning/Occupational Performance II: Mental Health Conditions Campus 3
OTA300 Fieldwork IA: Community/Emerging Practice Skills Collaboration Campus 1
Term 3 - Spring
OTA310 Clinical Reasoning/Occupational Performance III: Orthopedic and Non-neurological Conditions Campus 4
OTA320 Clinical Reasoning/Occupational Performance IV: Neurological Conditions Campus 3
OTA350 Clinical Reasoning and Competency/Occupational Performance V: Life Satisfaction and Aging (Competencies/OTKE) Campus 3
Term 4 - Summer
OTA330 Fieldwork IB/Therapeutic Interventions/Clinical Applications Campus 1
OTA340 Health Systems Management, Servant Leadership, Scholarship and Professionalism Campus 3
OTA360 Fieldwork Level IIA 8 full weeks July/Aug Campus 2
Term 5 - Fall
OTA365 Fieldwork Level IIB 8 weeks Sept-Nov (Floating start/end dates, must complete 8 full weeks) *Return for 3 day Graduate Seminar: preparation for taking NBCOT exam, Fieldwork educator preparation/certificate. December Graduation Commencement Campus 6
Total OTA Credits - 40
Total Credits to Graduate - 75
After Graduation
Potential Careers

  • 29% Projected employment growth in US, 2016-2026 *Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • $61,734 Median Market Salary in the US (2022) *Lightcast and Bureau of Labor Statistics


Work in Various Industries

  • Industry

Program Requirements

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is a Selective Admissions Program, which means not every student in the applicant pool may be accepted. Admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is competitive and enrollment in the program is limited because of available faculty, financial, and fieldwork resources.  Requirements for admission to the program include:

  • Attend an information session, which outlines the education, examination, and licensure process for successful completion of the OTA program and career development and attest to an understanding of professional responsibilities and essential functions, NBCOT exam requirements, licensing, and health insurance requirements.
  • Proof of high school graduation or GED certification. Official transcripts.
  • Official transcripts of all previous college work.
  • Submit letter of interest, resume, and two references.
  • Preference given for students who demonstrate a “C” or better in high school science courses and/or college-level science courses.
  • Preference given to students with other degrees.
  • Admission/Retention in the OTA Program is conditional, based on successful completion of all foundational coursework with a “B-“ or better grade in all courses (exception: BIO-111/BIO112 or equivalent, “C”) or transfer equivalent courses prior to entering the OTA professional phase of the program at the designated start date. Upon meeting these requirements, students will be fully admitted to the professional phase of the OTA program. Once in the professional phase of the program, students must complete all professional phase OTA designated courses with a “B-“ or better grade and maintain a 2.7 GPA or better to graduate.   
  • Interview and writing sample (arranged by invitation following receipt and review of all other application materials.
  • Upon establishment of the qualified applicant pool; the top 30 candidates will be determined from the established point system for selection into the OTA Program. Early enrollment is encouraged to secure your position in the program. 

Once enrolled in the foundational phase, prior to the professional phase of the program, students must attend an orientation prior to the start of the first term student is enrolled in and thereafter must meet one time per term with the OTA Program Director to review progression, must complete required observation/service learning hours, and must attend at least one Student Occupational Therapy Association meeting per term. Students who have completed the equivalent of all the courses in the foundational phase of the program, must demonstrate equivalent observation/service learning hours prior to admission into the professional phase of the program.

Conditional acceptance into Foundational Phase floating according to number of courses needed upon admission. Full acceptance occurs upon successful completion of Foundational Phase courses prior to start of Professional Phase that occurs each August term start.  

Program Requirements

The OTA program professional phase is lock-step. All courses are carefully planned to provide for foundational learning, then build on previous learning and provide for skill development in preparation for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam and to practice as a licensed practitioner. All OTA courses must be taken at Indiana Wesleyan University. All the professional phase courses must be successfully completed in the sequence prescribed by the program's requirements.  Failure to successfully complete a course will result in an administrative withdrawal from the program. Students who are unable to complete a course or who receive an unsatisfactory grade will be allowed to repeat that course with the next cohort provided the student follows through with a petition for re-enrollment process. Tuition and fees will be charged for repeating the course. OTA students will be academically dismissed upon receipt of a second unsatisfactory grade.

  • Students must earn a minimum grade of “B-” or “CR” in each course in the OTA program (exception: BIO-111/BIO-112, “C” or or BIO-130/BIO-131  or equivalent, “C” or higher).
  • Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.7.
  • Students who do not earn the required grade or maintain a 2.7 will be administratively withdrawn from the OTA program at the end of the term and will not be able to continue with the next term.
  • Students who have been administratively withdrawn may petition to re-enroll with the next cohort the following year and may be asked to audit courses to prepare for re-entry.
  • Students with two unsatisfactory grades in the professional phase of the program (including the same courses, repeated) will be academically dismissed from the program and ineligible to return.
Students must complete all graduation and fieldwork requirements in a timely manner. All Level II fieldwork must be completed within 18 months following satisfactory completion of the didactic portion of the program.

 

Continuing Competency/Lifelong Learning

In order to assist the student to acquire the habit of lifelong learning; to understand the continuing competency process as required by most state licensure acts and NBCOT certification, and to provide for integration of learning and best prepare for practice; students are required to participate in a series of observation and service-learning activities in the community throughout their education experience.  This is an integral part of the course requirements. The students are required to participate in the following 18 hours (aligns with the required 18 hours of required continuing education for Indiana state OTA licensure) of observation/service-learning:

Hours:

Observation/Service-Learning:

Course Number:

Course:

2-4 hrs

Volunteerism SOTA/non-profit organization prior to start of OTA110

OTA110

Foundations of OT I: Balance of Performance & Well-Being and Professional Responsibilities

4 hrs

Observation/Interview of OT Practitioner prior to start of OTA110

OTA110

Foundations of OT I: Balance of Performance & Well-Being and Professional Responsibilities

4 hrs

Observation/Reflection of OT Practitioner

OTA 120

Foundations of OT II: Models, Theories, Evidenced Based Practice, and Intraprofessional/Interprofessional Communication

4 hrs

Observation/Service-Learning of adult day center/skilled nursing facility/behavioral center group process

OTA250

OT Theory and Concepts

4 hrs

Observation of OT Practitioner practicing in Pediatric Services/ Schools

OTA260

Clinical Reasoning/Occupational Performance Patterns I: Pediatric/Adolescence Conditions

18  hrs

 

 

 

Each course has specific course related assignments. For each learning experience the student is required to fill out and have the designated person from the site sign the form.  The form is placed in the student’s portfolio.   


Minimum Computer Requirements

Students are expected to possess a computer throughout the duration of their program. Student’s computers must be able to run a supported browser and handle additional plug-ins as identified by the Learning Management System (LMS) company. Students should be able to produce, send, and receive documents that are compatible within the two most recent offerings of Microsoft Office to complete most of the assignments. IWU will offer support to students on only these two offerings of office software. Computer and internet connection may need to be fast enough in some courses to watch streaming videos, participate in live meetings, upload large files, install software, and listen to audio lectures. In addition to these minimum expectations, participation in an IWU course or program may entail additional computing and/or technology requirements.

  • Completion of 75 semester hours
  • Minimum grade of "B-" or higher all courses.  Any course with a grade below "B-" must be repeated (exception: BIO-111/BIO-112 or BIO-130/BIO-131, "C" or higher).
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher
  • Successful completion of all Observation/Service Learning and Fieldwork assignments
  • Payment of all program tuition and fees is required to receive a diploma
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Accreditation

Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), www.hlcommission.org, 312-263-0456. Other accreditations and associations of Indiana Wesleyan University are available at www.indwes.edu/about/iwu-profile/accreditation.

*Effective 07-01-2023 through 06-30-2024

The associate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E, Bethesda, MD 20814. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-6611 and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program are 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). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy reports the certification exam outcomes for all occupational therapy assistant programs at the following link: https://www.nbcot.org/Educators-Folder/SchoolPerformance.

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) 
c/o Accreditation Department 
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) 
7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E, Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone number:  (301) 652-6611 
www.acoteonline.org

Following graduation and successful passing of the NBCOT exam, working OTA graduates of the IWU OTA program have the opportunity to advance their education through the online Bachelor of Health Science in Health Sciences program. After completing a bachelor’s degree, graduates who meet the criteria, may apply to the IWU Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree Program.

Graduation Year Students Graduated/Admitted Graduation Rate
December 2023 4/10 40%
December 2022 8/16 50%
December 2021 16/24 66%
Total 28/50 56%
Year Passing Exams/Taken Exams Passing Percentage
2021 3/3 100% Pass Rate
2022 12/13 92% Pass Rate
2023 8/8 100% Pass Rate
Overall 3-Year 23/24 95% Pass Rate

Tuition and Aid

Onsite Cost Estimate

(July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024)

Fall  Trimester Spring  Trimester Summer Trimester Academic Year Total Cost of Program
Tuition $5,005.00 $4,620.00 $4,620.00 $14,245.00 $28,875.00
Educational Resource Fee $60.00 $60.00 $180.00 $180.00 $302.28
Books and Supplies $72.00 $695.53 $794.59 $1,562.32 $2,500.00
Graduation Fee $100.00
Program Total $5,137.00 $5,375.53 $5,474.59 $15,987.32 $31,777.28

 

*Payment for each term is due by August 15th for Fall and by December 15th for Spring. Not all course textbooks are included in the costs listed above.

*The total credit hours and per-credit-hour costs listed above are effective for the required core program. Costs may change if you bring in transfer credits, withdraw from the program and restart in a future program at a later date.

*Published tuition and fees are subject to change.

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