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Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant

Minor in Health Services Administration (HSA)

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant (BSOTA) Program is a​n entry level, ​120 credit-hour degree program with a minor in Health Services Administration (HSA), which trains and qualifies graduates to work in the occupational therapy field. This is the first program in Florida for a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant (BSOTA) to obtain Candidacy status from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). It is also the only OTA program in the United States that has a minor in Health Services Administration (HSA). 

The Program admits two cohorts every year: one in the fall and a second one in the spring. As students complete the foundational courses, they need to decide which cohort will best fit their educational goals and timelines. 

Careers in Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy practitioners help people participate in meaningful activities and enjoy life to its fullest. As an occupational therapy assistant (OTA), you will make a difference in the lives of people of all ages. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities participate in school and social situations, helping people recover from injuries to regain skills, and providing support to older adults that experience physical and cognitive changes. 

The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published that the job outlook for occupational therapy practitioners will continue to improve steadily. It is expected that jobs for occupational therapy practitioners will increase by 27% or more by 2029.

Under the supervision of an occupational therapist (OT), occupational therapy assistants (OTA) contribute with the evaluation, implementation of treatment, and documentation of progress towards treatment goals of individuals who are experiencing difficulties engaging in their daily activities due to emotional, developmental, and/or physical disabilities. Occupations (meaningful and purposeful activities) are used as a means of preventing, reducing or overcoming physical, social, and emotional disabilities. The OTA modifies and adapts the environment, and/or occupations to maximize independent functioning for clients of all ages and diverse cultural backgrounds. The Webber graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant will be prepared to assist with the managerial aspects of the OT practice and assume leadership roles within the profession. 

For more information about occupational therapy, go to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) website.

Printable Admission Packet

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant - Admission Packet
Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant - Curriculum

Curriculum

The Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant (BSOTA) Program is a four-year entry-level program with a total of 120-credit-hours:

  • Pre-Requisite courses: 34 credits
  • OTA & HSA courses: 86 credits
Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant - Estimated Costs

Estimated Costs

Webber International University makes every effort to keep costs at a minimum while maintaining a high level of instruction and adequate facilities.

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant - Candidates

Candidates

The Program admits two classes every year: one in the fall and a second one in the spring. Qualified candidates will be able to apply to the BSOTA program after July 2021. The first cohort of students will start in Fall 2022.

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant - Admission Criteria

Admission Criteria

Candidates are required to complete specific criteria prior to applying to the BSOTA program. 

Online Application

The BSOTA program application is located at the Occupational Therapy Assistants Centralized Application Services (OTACAS) website. The application cycle opens late July and closes beginning of June of each year.

Step 1: Students need to create an OTACAS account at www.otacas.org. Minimal fee required.

Step 2: Once the OTACAS account is created, students can log in and complete the information and required forms.

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant - Online Application

Here are the next steps...

Acceptance Process

Qualified candidates will receive an invitation to attend a face-to-face interview. The BSOTA program will notify accepted candidates by email after the interview process is completed.

Transfer Credits
The acceptance and evaluation of credit for transfer is based on various factors, including: the level, content, quality, comparability, and degree program relevance of the proposed transfer credits; the institution’s accreditation; and assessment of course equivalency through evaluation of the transcript. Transfer credits are accepted from Regionally Accredited Institutions for appropriate courses which will pertain to the declared degree at Webber International University (Webber).

Application Deadlines
The Program operates on a rolling admission plan and will accept applications on a first-come-first-qualified basis. Documents received after June 1 may not be acceptable for any given fall term. Documents received after October 31 may not be acceptable for any given spring term.

Cohorts
When all 24 seats for any given class are assigned, the remaining applicants will be placed on the roster for the next cohort available and will receive notification of her/his admission status.

After Acceptance

Once the student receives notification of acceptance into the BSOTA Program, the student is required to complete the following requirements by a designated date. These requirements need to be updated by the students every year.

Immunization and communicable disease screenings·

  • Two-Step Tuberculosis PPD·
  • Tetanus vaccination or booster within the last 5 years·
  • MMR vaccine (Measles/Mumps/Rubella) or an MMR titer·
  • Varicella titer·
  • Hepatitis B vaccination (optional but recommended).
  • Flu shots (optional but recommended – some fieldwork sites may require if affiliating during flu season)·
  • Any immunization recommended by the fieldwork site.

Physical Examination
Cannot be older than one year. Required annually.

Drug Screening test (12 panel)
This test must be within 30 days PRIOR to the starting date in the program. Screening tests not complying with this guideline will not be accepted and your admission into the program will be rescinded. The BSOTA program will require students to complete additional drug screening test as needed during the course of the program.

CPR
Before fieldwork and as indicated by BSOTA program.

Background Check
Before fieldwork and as indicated by BSOTA program. Be aware that a background check containing misdemeanor and/or felony conviction(s) related to violence or abuse are grounds for rescinding your admission into the program.

AIDS/HIV
Before fieldwork and as indicated by BSOTA program.

Finger printing
Before fieldwork and as indicated by BSOTA program.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant with a minor in Health Services Administration, students must meet the following requirements:

GPA
Complete all the requirements of the didactic (106 credits), and the fieldwork components (14 credits) of the curriculum with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

Time Frame
All didactic coursework, fieldwork and Baccalaureate project must be completed within a period of 5 years.

Fieldwork/ Projects
Students must complete all Level II Fieldwork and the Baccalaureate project within 18 months following completion of core courses.

Professional Behavior
Demonstrate professional behaviors considered acceptable by faculty and fieldwork supervisors and in accordance with regulations of Webber International University and the Bachelor OTA Program.

National Certification & State Licensure

Graduates of the Webber BSOTA program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapy Assistant(COTA), administered by the National Board Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®).

A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the national certification exam and attain state licensure.

Students with a history of felonies and who are considering entering an occupational therapy educational program can have their background reviewed by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) prior to actually applying to the program by requesting an Early Determination Review at www.nbcot.org/Students/Services. The fee for this review is $225.

For more information, NBCOT can be contacted at(301) 990-7979 or at www.nbcot.org.

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.
12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150

After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may also affect a graduate’s ability to attain state licensure. Contact your state’s licensure occupational therapy board for more details.

Disclosure

The Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Webber International University was granted with CANDIDACY STATUS by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), during its meeting held on December 4-6, 2020. ACOTE is located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA, and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org.

The BSOTA Program may now admit students by August 2022 and may proceed to the Pre-accreditation Review step of the accreditation process. The Program must have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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 graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, the State of Florida requires licensure to practice. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

FAQ

Q: What is the difference between an occupational therapy assistant and an occupational therapist?

By law, an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) must work under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist (OT). The OT will be the individual who leads the intervention process and is the occupational therapy practitioner most likely to evaluate, write treatment reports, create goals for intervention, and make final recommendations for discharge. The OTA and OT both work directly with patients to achieve their therapeutic goals. An effective OT/OTA team collaborates to provide the most effective treatment possible. An OTA will need to utilize clinical reasoning skills under the supervision of the OT to decide what methods will best help a client meet their OT goals.

Q: I am interested in the BSOTA program, but I am unsure if I should enroll because the program is not yet fully accredited. What should I do?

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) has mandated that the entry-level degree for the occupational therapy assistant will move to the baccalaureate level by July 1, 2027. This means that all OTA programs in the United States will also be in the process of accreditation to meet this mandate.

It can be uncomfortable thinking about pursuing education in a program that is not yet accredited, however the accreditation process is designed to support the university, faculty and students of the new program. Although Webber International University faculty, staff and administration cannot guarantee that we will achieve ACOTE accreditation, we have every confidence that the BSOTA program will achieve full accreditation before the first cohort of students graduate. Webber already passed step 1 of the accreditation process and were granted Candidacy status in December 2020 and is now seeking Preaccreditation status.

If you are interested in the BSOTA program you can do the following things to gain further information to aid your decision:
a) familiarize yourself with the process of accreditation by reading the information included on the BSOTA webpage .
b) discuss with your admissions counselor and/or program directors regarding any of your concerns
c) refer to BSOTA schedule of courses and admissions information

Q: Is it possible to continue my education and become an occupational therapist after finishing the BSOTA program? What other options do I have for graduate education?

As a graduate of the Webber BSOTA program, you will have earned a 4-year Bachelor of Science Degree and will be eligible for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) certification exam. You will then be able to practice occupational therapy as an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA). While there is no requirement to get any other degree in OTA beyond the bachelor’s degree (ACOTE Mandate of 2027) to practice, there are a number of options for students wishing to continue their education.

Students wishing to become registered occupational therapists, may wish to apply to enter a full-time entry-level Masters or Doctorate (combined master and doctorate) program in occupational therapy. They may do this immediately after graduating from the OTA program or at some point later in their career. Students can also decide to pursue their entry-level Master’s or Doctorate degree in OT through a weekend program or hybrid program that allows them to work full time while going to school. Webber BSOTA graduates, can decide to finish a bachelor in Health Services Administration (HSA) as they will graduate with a minor in HSA. After graduating and successfully passing the national board certification examination, graduates often decide to work on obtaining certifications in specialized practice areas. Some of the certifications available are:

CarFit, Physical Agent Modalities (CPAM), Assistive Technology Professional (ATP), Seating and Mobility Specialist (ATP/SMS), Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP), Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS), Certified Stroke Rehabilitation Specialist (CSRS), Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT and CLT-LANA), Certified Health Coach (CHC), Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP)

Q: I already have a Bachelor's degree in another field but I am interested in occupational therapy. Does it make sense for me to get my bachelors in OTA?

Students with Bachelor’s degrees in related fields such as psychology and kinesiology, sometimes want to pursue a degree in occupational therapy. For any Occupational Therapy program (OT or OTA), students need to meet an admission criterion and complete a list of pre-requisite courses. You will need to contact the school that you wish to attend for their specific requirements.

Students that have bachelors in related areas, do not need to complete an OTA degree before applying to become an OT. Students just need to complete the pre-requisite courses and any other admission criteria to an entry-level Master’ or Doctorate program. Some students decide to complete an OTA degree first and work in the field prior to deciding if they will like to pursue graduate school to become OTs. This decision is a personal one based on factors such as time, cost, location, compensation, and other issues. It is important that anyone weighing these options gather information from both OT & OTA degree programs so they can make the decision that best meets their needs.