Occupational Therapy Assistant

Krystal Hannouz, COTA/L, M.Ed, Coordinator 
Phone: (419) 995-8259
Email: hannouz.k@rhodesstate.edu
Office: TL 105E

Occupational Therapy is an evidence-based, science-driven profession that helps others increase participation and independence in everyday life activities (occupations) in all of their environments (home, work, school, community, etc.).  Occupational therapists (OTs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) help people of all ages through therapeutic use of activities. Under the supervision of an OT, an OTA will develop and provide therapeutic strategies that will help their clients gain the physical, cognitive, psychological and developmental skills necessary for everyday life. They also provide adaptive equipment or techniques to carry out life tasks as needed; educate clients, families, and caregivers; and address prevention.   The OTA works with a team of other professionals in a variety of settings including but not limited to: hospitals, school systems, community mental health centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, and private practice.

Our program provides state-of-the-art equipment and technology, inter-professional learning opportunities, and extensive clinical experiences for students to be job ready upon graduation.     

Credentialing Required After Graduation

After successfully completing this accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, the graduate is eligible to take 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 COTA.

One Bank Street
Suite 300
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(301) 990-7979
email:  info@nbcot.org

In addition, all states require licensure to practice; however, Ohio and most other state licenses are based on passing of the NBCOT Certification Exam. After achieving licensure, the individual will be a COTA/L.

Mission Statement

The Rhodes State OTA Program prepares students to be competent, professional occupational therapy assistants.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion, the student will be able to:

  1. Exhibit therapeutic use of self as part of the therapeutic process with individuals and groups, demonstrating an appreciation of the uniqueness of every individual.
  2. Demonstrate entry-level competency as a generalist in areas where occupational therapy is practiced using effective clinical reasoning, gathering and sharing data, developing, implementing and modifying interventions, and conducting activity analysis.
  3. Communicate effectively with clients, through documentation, and in intra and interprofessional collaborations with other health care team members. 
  4. Demonstrate professional behaviors and attitudes and behave in a manner that respects the dignity of others. 

Notice to Prospective or Current Occupational Therapy Assistant Students

You are at risk if you have been convicted of a prior felony and/or some misdemeanors. You may not be able to participate in clinical education experiences at some hospitals or other clinical sites, therefore preventing you from completing the program. A felony conviction may affect your ability to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapy Assistant (NBCOT exam) or attain state licensure. Because health care employers routinely perform background checks on prospective employees, a criminal record may also prevent you from obtaining employment.

Technical Standards
See here for details.

Tech Prep Partner
See here for details.

“C” grade policy

  • A minimum 2.0 GPA is required for graduation.
  • A grade of “C” or higher must be achieved in all courses carrying the specific program prefix such as DHY, EMS, MAT, NSG, OTA, PNS, PTA, RAD, RES and SRG.
  • All programs and certificates require a grade of “C” (2.0) or better in required science courses and in required basic/related health science (BHS) courses as well as in selected general education and basic/related science courses (see program requirements).

All of the following required coursework needs to have been completed within five years of matriculation into a Health Sciences program or certificate.

BIO 1000Basic Human Structure and Function3
BIO 1110Anatomy and Physiology I (The age requirement may be waived by the Program Chair or Coordinator if the applicant is currently working in a healthcare field. )4
BIO 1120Anatomy and Physiology II (The age requirement may be waived by the Program Chair or Coordinator if the applicant is currently working in a healthcare field. )4
BIO 1400Microbiology4
BHS 1390Medical Terminology2
BHS 2110Growth and Development: Lifespan2
CHM 1120Introductory Organic and Biochemistry4
DTN 1220Principles of Nutrition2
NSG 1721Pharmacology for Nursing2

Note in addition to courses required for all Health Division Programs,  the OTA program requires a "C" or better in PSY 1730, Abnormal Psychology

Criminal Background Checks and Drug Screening

To meet the expanding requirements of our clinical affiliates, both a criminal background check and a drug screen will be mandatory prior to clinical experiences for most students within the Division of Health Sciences and Public Service. Some program exceptions may apply. You are at risk if you have been convicted of a prior felony and/or some misdemeanors. Students with certain felony, misdemeanor, or drug-related convictions will be ineligible for admission into clinical experiences. A criminal record may also prevent you from obtaining a license or certificate in your chosen healthcare profession or to obtain employment post-graduation. Students admitted to a program containing off-campus clinical/practicum experiences will be required to submit to drug screening. Positive drug screenings may result in dismissal from all clinical courses. Any student who refuses/fails to cooperate or complete any required drug screening will be considered “positive” and dismissed from the clinical component of their program. All students requiring drug screening may be subject to random drug screens and for cause during the program.

Recommended High School Coursework

Students are encouraged to complete college prep classes in high school. Although not required, the courses provide a better understanding of college-level work. Recommended college prep courses include:
English: 4 units
Math: 4 units
Natural Science: 3 units
Social Science: 3 units

Health Insurance

The Division of Health Sciences and Public Service is committed to protecting students, faculty, and patients from infectious diseases during clinical practice and taking every reasonable precaution to provide a safe educational and work environment. All new students entering the health-related programs will be informed of the risks of blood-borne and other infectious diseases. Students with a high risk of infectious diseases should be aware of their own health status and risk of exposure to other students, employees, or patients involved in the clinical environment. All students are required to provide their own health insurance coverage for the duration of their program and be able to provide proof of insurance if requested.