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Degree Overview

Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant

South University 2018 Graduation

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at South University Columbia prepares qualified students to become occupational therapy practitioners. The program prepares students with knowledge and skills for competent entry-level practice in a variety of contexts for an ever-changing world. Occupational Therapy (OT) is a profession that promotes the health and well-being of people across their lifespan and aims to 'treat the whole person' to help individuals perform meaningful and purposeful daily activities. Occupational therapy assistants work with people of all ages who have physical, psychological, or developmental conditions to help them gain or regain skills lost due to injury or illness to regain or accommodate the loss of motion, strength, coordination, sensation, perception, cognition, or balance. The Occupational Therapy Assistant program further seeks to lead the profession and community through its contributions in educational leadership, community and professional service, learning, and scholarship.

Admission Requirements

Please see the South University academic catalog for program specific admissions requirements.

Career Outlook

Areas of practice for OTA's include pediatrics, mental health, physical disabilities, and geriatrics, working with people who have cancer, cardiopulmonary, metabolic, musculoskeletal, neurologic, neuromuscular, orthopedic, sensory conditions, and more.

Practice settings include but are not limited to acute care hospitals, rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, public and private school systems, and private practice.

Certification

Requirements

If you are interested in pursuing a career as an occupational therapy assistant, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and an associate’s degree from an accredited program offering the occupational therapy assistant curriculum. Individuals graduating from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at South University will graduate with an Associate of Science degree.

Once all academic and fieldwork requirements are completed, students apply to take a national certification exam that is administered online by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Program performance data on the NBCOT certification examination is available for public viewing by state and program level: https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.

Upon successful completion of this exam, individuals may use the designation COTA following their name. NBCOT re-certifies occupational therapy practitioners every three years and has set continuing education requirements as part of that process.

The practice of occupational therapy is regulated in all 50 states; different states have various types of regulation that range from licensure, the strongest form of regulation, to title protection or trademark law, the weakest form of regulation.

Be sure to contact the licensing department in your intended state of practice to obtain the appropriate information specific to you.

The Web site address for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) is http://www.nbcot.org/.

Columbia OTA Performance Data on NBCOT Certification Exam

Program performance data on the NBCOT certification examination is available for public viewing by state and program level: https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.

 

Course Requirements

Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant: 109 Credits

Offered at South University, Columbia; South University, Tampa; and South University, West Palm Beach

Area I Core Curriculum: 43 Credits
1st Quarter
AHS1001 Medical Terminology, 4 Credit Hours
ENG1100 Composition I, 4 Credit Hours
PSY1001 General Psychology, 4 Credit Hours
MAT1001 College Algebra I, 4 Credit Hours

OR

MAT1005 College Algebra II, 4 Credit Hours

Note: Students will only be required to take UVC1000 Strategies for Success if they are required to take ENG0099 and/or MAT0099.

2nd Quarter
BIO1011 Anatomy and Physiology I, 4 Credit Hours

(must be taken concurrently with BIO1012 Anatomy and Physiology I Lab)

BIO1012 Anatomy and Physiology I Lab, 2 Credit Hours
ENG1200 Composition II, 4 Credit Hours
PSY2022 Human Growth and Development, 4 Credit Hours
3rd Quarter
BIO1013 Anatomy and Physiology II, 4 Credit Hours

(must be taken concurrently with BIO1014 Anatomy and Physiology II Lab)

BIO1014 Anatomy and Physiology II Lab, 2 Credit Hours
OTA1001 Introduction to Occupational Therapy, 3 Credit Hours
SPC1026 Public Speaking, 4 Credit Hours
Area II Professional Curriculum: 84 Credits
4th Quarter
OTA1011 Medical Conditions, 3 Credit Hours
OTA1020 Occupational Analysis I, 4 Credit Hours
OTA1031 Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 5 Credit Hours
OTA1039 Level I Fieldwork in Mental Health, 1 Credit Hour
OTA1045 Professional Documentation, 1 Credit Hour
5th Quarter
OTA2020 Occupational Analysis II, 4 Credit Hours
OTA2031 Occupational Therapy for Children and Adolescents, 5 Credit Hours
OTA2039 Level I Fieldwork for Children and Adolescents, 1 Credit Hour
OTA2041 Movement for Human Occupation, 4 Credit Hours
6th Quarter
OTA2051 Occupational Therapy for Adults and the Elderly, 5 Credit Hours
OTA2060 Occupational Therapy Management, 4 Credit Hours
OTA2059 Level I Fieldwork for Adults and the Elderly, 1 Credit Hour
OTA2071 Community Practice, 2 Credit Hours
OTA2080 Professional Issues, 2 Credit Hours
7th Quarter
OTA2380 Level II Fieldwork A, 8 Credit Hours
OTA2385 Fieldwork Seminar A, 4 Credit Hours
8th Quarter
OTA2390 Level II Fieldwork B, 8 Credit Hours
OTA2395 Fieldwork Seminar B, 4 Credit Hours
RN to Master of Science in Nursing***
Area II Foundation Requirements: 14 Credits
BIO2070 Microbiology, 4 Credit Hours

(must be taken concurrently with BIO2071 or BIO2073)

BIO2071 Microbiology Lab, 2 Credit Hours

(online)

OR

BIO2073 Microbiology Laboratory, 2 Credit Hours

(campuses)

(required for BSN; RN to BSN students ONLY can take either)

CHM1010 General Chemistry, 4 Credit Hours
NTR2050 Nutrition, 4 Credit Hours
Clinical APEA Policy

Clinical (NP and NE) APEA Policy

This policy establishes guidelines and grading criteria for the use of the Advanced Practice Education Associates (APEA) products in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) programs.  This policy provides a framework for consistent usage and application of APEA products.

  1. APEA Testing

The APEA assessments are used as a component of formative and summative academic assessment in the MSN/PGC/FNP, AGPCNP and for NE (the 3P exam only) programs. The APEA online testing center provides documentation of completion of assigned proctored/non-proctored APEA exams. 

  1. The APEA 3P exam measures competency of the core criteria for advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology and advanced pharmacology. This exam evaluates clinical readiness prior to entering the practicum setting. A minimum score of ≥ 67 (minimum score may change based on exam psychometrics) is the goal. This exam is administered during week eight/nine of NSG6020 Advanced Health and Physical Assessment, in NSG6021 Pre-Clinical Evaluation. Students who do not achieve the minimum score will be enrolled in NSG6023 Nurse Practitioner Enhancement, a 4 credit, 10/11-week remediation course. A new 3P exam version will be administered in week 10/11. Students who are unsuccessful after two cumulative (2) attempts will be programmatically dismissed from the MSN nurse practitioner programs. The Grading Rubric is presented in Table 1.1 below.

Table 1.1  APEA 3P Grading Rubric

APEA 3P Exam Grading CriteriaLetter GradePoints/Percent of Grade
Score on APEA 3P is ≥67%P100 pts/100%
Score on APEA  3P of <67%F0 pts/100%
  1. The APEA Pre-Predictor exam measures competency in patient management: assessment, diagnosis, planning and intervention, pharmacotherapeutics, and evaluation The Pre-Predictor Exam identifies weaknesses in knowledge areas and testing domains for remediation in preparation for the APEA Post-Predictor exam. This exam is administered for MSN AGNP students in week two of NSG6340: Practicum III: Adult Health: Primary Care and for MSN FNP students in week two of NSG6440: Practicum IV: Family Health: Primary Care. A minimum score of ≥70% is the goal. The Pre-Predictor exam is 15% of the MSN FNP NSG6440 and MSN AGNP NSG6430 course grade. The Grading Rubric is presented in Table 1.2 below.

Table 1.2 APEA Pre-Predictor Grading Rubric

APEA Pre-Predictor Exam Grading CriteriaPoints/Percent of Grade
Score on APEA Pre-predictor Exam is > 70%100 pts/15%
Score on APEA Pre-predictor Exam of 65-69%75 pts/15%
Score on APEA Pre-predictor Exam of < 65%55 pts/15%

Note: Score ranges may change based on exam psychometrics

  1. The APEA Post-Predictor exam measures competency in patient management by testing knowledge areas and testing domains that include: assessment, diagnosis, planning and intervention, pharmacotherapeutics, and evaluation. The APEA Post-Predictor exam identifies weaknesses in knowledge areas and testing domains for remediation in preparation for the certification exam The APEA Post-Predictor exam considered a national standardized exam or exit exam. This exam is administered for MSN AGNP students in week eight/nine of NSG6340: Practicum III: Adult Health: Primary Care and for MSN FNP students in week eight/nine of NSG6440: Practicum IV: Family Health: Primary Care. A minimum score of ≥70% is the goal. The Post-Predictor exam is worth 40% of the final grade in MSN FNP ( NSG6440) and AGNP ( NSG6340). The Grading Rubric is presented in Table 1.3 below.

Table 1.3 APEA Post-Predictor Grading Rubric

APEA Post-Predictor Exam Grading CriteriaPoints/Percent of Grade
Score on APEA Post-predictor Exam is > 70%100 pts/40%
Score on APEA Post-predictor Exam of 65-69%75 pts/40%
Score on APEA Post-predictor Exam of < 65%55 pts/40%

Note: Score ranges may change based on exam psychometrics

  1. Remediation
    1. Individualized remediation provides an opportunity for students to review study and acquire additional knowledge. Remediation is intended to help students recover important information that was missed when taking the assessment.
    2. Remediation is required for all APEA assessments. Students must utilize their test results to complete remediation. Content areas with a score of ≤ 66 on the 3P exam and ≤ 69% on the pre and post predictor exams require remediation (minimum score may change based on exam psychometrics).
    3. Failure to comply with the APEA testing policy may result in a course failure.

Retesting is required for any student not achieving a minimum grade of ≥ 67% (minimum score may change based on exam psychometrics) on the APEA 3P exam. Retesting of the APEA 3P exam will take place during the final week of NSG6023. A different test version will be utilized for retesting.Students who achieve a minimum grade of ≥ 67% on the retest of the 3P exam will receive an 80% for the APEA grade. Students who are unsuccessful after two (2) attempts on the 3P exam will be programmatically dismissed from the MSN nurse practitioner programs.  Any retakes/retesting of the APEA 3P or APEA pre and post-predictor exams must be approved by the College of Nursing and Public Health Dean or their designee.

  1. Comprehensive APEA Program

Students have access to and are assigned the APEA resources to be used. Courses are listed in Table 3.1 and identifies APEA resources to be used in the corresponding courses.

Table 3.1 Courses with Corresponding APEA Resources

CourseResource
NSG5003 - Advanced Pathophysiology (FNP and AGPCNP)

Require Students Purchase APEA Resource: Clinical Guidelines in Primary Care.

Students are required to cite clinical guidelines resources in papers and presentations throughout the program as identified in the ACOs.

NSG6005 - Pharmacology (FNP and AGPCNP)

APEA Resource: Begin QBank Pharmacology 6 months' access.

Students must complete 50 Pharmacology QBank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week 10, students must complete a 75-question exam mode assessment with a required score of ≥ 80%. Students may repeat the exam to achieve the required 80%.

Students must complete all questions.

Course Percentage: 10%.

Suggest Students Purchase APEA Resource: Pharm in Flash cards from APEA.

NSG6001 - Advanced Nursing Practice I (FNP & AGPCNP) and practicum courses.

Suggest Students Purchase APEA Resource: APEA Guide to Coding.

Students are required to include ICD-10, E & M and CPT codes for all diagnoses, levels of care and procedures referenced in papers, presentations and clinical documentation (comprehensive and focused SOAP notes) throughout the program as identified in the ACOs.

NSG6020 - Advanced Health and Physical Assessment (FNP , AGNP & NE)

APEA Resource: Begin QBank Patient Assessment Questions with 6 months' access.

Students must complete 50 Assessment Q bank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week, 9 students will complete a 75 questions exam mode assessment with a required score of ≥ 80%.  Students may repeat the exam one-time only, in an attempt to receive a higher score. The highest achieved score will be calculated in the final course grade.

Students must complete all questions.

Course Percentage: 10%.

Suggest Students Purchase APEA Resource: Dermatology DDx Deck/ Pediatric  Dermatology DDx Deck.

NSG6021 Pre-Clinical Evaluation

3P Exam: Administer Week 8/9.

Content areas with a score ≤66% require remediation.

NSG6420 (FNP) or NSG6320 (AGNP) - Practicum I: Family or Adult Health: Adults and Gerontology

APEA Resource: Continue QBank Patient Assessment.

Students must complete 50 Assessment Q bank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week 9, students will complete a 75-question exam mode assessment with a required score of ≥ 80%. Students may repeat the exam one-time only, in an attempt to receive a higher score. The highest achieved score will be calculated in the final course grade.

Students must complete all questions.

Course Percentage: 10%.

APEA Resource: Begin FNP or AGNP Online Video Review Course 12 months; 2 views.

Students must complete the appropriate sections for their track, sections 1 through 5 of the review course by the end week 9 or receive a zero "0" for the assignment.

NSG6430 (FNP) Practicum II: Famly Health-Women's Health

or

NSG6330 (AGNP) - Practicum II Adult Gerontology-Reproductive Health

APEA Resource: Begin QBank Patient Management 12 months' access. 

Students must complete 50 Management Q bank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week 9 students must complete a 75 question exam mode assessment with a required score of ≥ 80%.  Students may repeat the exam one-time only, in an attempt to receive a higher score. The highest achieved score will be calculated in the final course grade.

Students must complete all questions.

Course Percentage: 10%

APEA Resource: Continue FNP or AGNP Online Video Review Course 12 months; 2 views

Students must complete the appropriate sections for their track, sections 6 through 10 of the review course by the end week 9 or receive a zero "0" for the assignment.

NSG6435 (FNP) - Practicum III: Family Health: Pediatrics

APEA Resource: Continue QBank Patient Management.

Students will complete 50 Management Q bank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week, 9 students will complete a 75-question exam mode assessment with a required score of ≥ 80%. Students may repeat the exam one-time only, in an attempt to receive a higher score. The highest achieved score will be calculated in the final course grade.

Students must complete all questions.

Course Percentage: 10%.

APEA Resource: Continue FNP Online Video Review Course 12 months; 2 views.

Students must complete sections 11 through 15 of the review course by the end week 9 or receive a zero "0" for the assignment.

NSG6340 (AGNP) - Practicum III: Adult Health: Primary Care

APEA Resource: Continue QBank Patient Management.

Students will complete 50 Management Q bank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week, 9 students will complete a 75-question exam mode assessment with a required score of ≥ 80%.  Students may repeat the exam one-time only, in an attempt to receive a higher score. The highest achieved score will be calculated in the final course grade.

Students must complete all questions.

Pass/Fail

APEA Resource: Continue AGNP Online Video Review Course 12 months; 2 views.

Students must complete sections 11 through 16 of the review course by the end week 9. Complete all the practice questions and the evaluation. Then submit the certificate of completion from APEA or receive an incomplete for the course.

Pre-Predictor Exam (AGNP): Administer Week 2.

Post-Predictor Exam (AGNP): Administer Week 8/9.

NSG6440 (FNP) - Practicum IV (IV: Family Health: Primary Care

APEA Resource: Continue QBank Patient Management.

Students must complete 50 Management Q bank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week 9 students will complete a question exam mode assessment with a required score of  ≥  80%.  Students may repeat the exam one-time only, in an attempt to receive a higher score. The highest achieved score will be calculated in the final course grade.

Students must complete all questions or receive an incomplete for the course.

Pass/Fail

APEA Resource: Continue FNP Online Video Review Course

Students must complete sections 16 through 19 of the review course by the end week 10. Complete all the practice questions and the evaluation. Then submit the certificate of completion from APEA or receive an incomplete for the course.

Pre-Predictor Exam (FNP): Administer Week 2.

Post-Predictor Exam (FNP): Administer Week 8/9.

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Occupational Therapist Assistant Program

The occupational therapy assistant works under the supervision of the occupational therapist to help individuals regain or accommodate to decreased range of motion, muscle strength, coordination, perception and activities of daily living, which includes dressing, eating, toileting, hygiene and home management.  

The Associate of Applied Science and the Associate of Science degrees in the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) degree program are dedicated to providing educational opportunities of the intellectual, social and professional development of a diverse student population. Through its carefully balanced and sequenced curricular design over eight quarters or nine quarters, the Occupational Therapy Assistant program is designed to prepare qualified graduates to seek entry-level employment as occupational therapy practitioners. The program prepares students with knowledge and skills for competent entry-level practice in a variety of contexts for an ever-changing world. The Occupational Therapy Assistant program further seeks to lead the profession and community through its contributions in educational leadership, community and professional service, lifelong learning, and scholarship.

The Professional Phase of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program is delivered on campus at each of the campuses wher the program is offered.  It is offered on the Virgina Beach cain two modalities: fully campus-based or blended.  Students enrolled in the blended modality meet face-to-face in the classroom and asynchronously online over the 11-week quarter.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

The OTA program goals address student competency in the following areas

  1. Prepare occupational therapy assistants who appreciate and adapt to diverse and alternative cultures, settings, systems, processes, and ideas. (adaptation thread)
  2. Foster student skill in accessing relevant literature and information, using research-based evidence to make informed decisions in occupational therapy practice. (information literacy thread)
  3. Cultivate student skill in effective critical thinking, problem-solving, and clinical reasoning with clients across the lifespan in diverse practice settings. (critical thinking thread)
  4. Foster development of student's communication skills to promote effective, appropriate interaction with all stakeholders. (professionalism thread)
  5. Instill in the student the values, attitudes and behaviors consistent with the occupational therapy profession's philosophy, standards and ethics. (professionalism thread)
  6. Provide the student with opportunities to acquire skills in advocacy for the profession of occupational therapy to other professionals, service providers, consumers, third-party payers, regulatory bodies, professional associations and the public. (professionalism thread)
  7. Provide the student with a challenging curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to deliver occupational therapy assistant services with entry-level competency under the supervision of an occupational therapist in a variety of practice settings. (professionalism and critical thinking threads)
  8. Impart to the student a passion for lifelong professional development to meet changing societal needs. (lifelong learning thread)
  9. Provide ongoing opportunities for stakeholders in the OTA program to have input into the development and evaluation of the OTA program to ensure the program remains true to its mission and philosophy. (information literacy thread)

Accreditation

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at South University, Columbia, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Tampa and West Palm Beach are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. . ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA. http://www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program will be 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, most 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. More information on ACOTE may be obtained at http://www.acoteonline.org.

Effective April 1, 2017, ACOTE changed the accreditation status of the Associate of Science degree offered by the OTA Program on the South University-West Palm Beach campus to Probationary Accreditation for noncompliance with ACOTE Standard A.5.6 (certification exam pass rate).  The program remains accredited. In April 2018 ACOTE granted to extend the period for compliance with the Standards A.5.6 until March 2020.

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Clinical APEA Policy

Clinical (NP and NE) APEA Policy

This policy establishes guidelines and grading criteria for the use of the Advanced Practice Education Associates (APEA) products in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) programs.  This policy provides a framework for consistent usage and application of APEA products.

  1. APEA Testing

The APEA assessments are used as a component of formative and summative academic assessment in the MSN/PGC/FNP, AGPCNP and for NE (the 3P exam only) programs. The APEA online testing center provides documentation of completion of assigned proctored/non-proctored APEA exams. 

  1. The APEA 3P exam measures competency of the core criteria for advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology and advanced pharmacology. This exam evaluates clinical readiness prior to entering the practicum setting. A minimum score of ≥ 67 (minimum score may change based on exam psychometrics) is the goal. This exam is administered during week eight/nine of NSG6020 Advanced Health and Physical Assessment, in NSG6021 Pre-Clinical Evaluation. Students who do not achieve the minimum score will be enrolled in NSG6023 Nurse Practitioner Enhancement, a 4 credit, 10/11-week remediation course. A new 3P exam version will be administered in week 10/11. Students who are unsuccessful after two cumulative (2) attempts will be programmatically dismissed from the MSN nurse practitioner programs. The Grading Rubric is presented in Table 1.1 below.

Table 1.1  APEA 3P Grading Rubric

APEA 3P Exam Grading CriteriaLetter GradePoints/Percent of Grade
Score on APEA 3P is ≥67%P100 pts/100%
Score on APEA  3P of <67%F0 pts/100%
  1. The APEA Pre-Predictor exam measures competency in patient management: assessment, diagnosis, planning and intervention, pharmacotherapeutics, and evaluation The Pre-Predictor Exam identifies weaknesses in knowledge areas and testing domains for remediation in preparation for the APEA Post-Predictor exam. This exam is administered for MSN AGNP students in week two of NSG6340: Practicum III: Adult Health: Primary Care and for MSN FNP students in week two of NSG6440: Practicum IV: Family Health: Primary Care. A minimum score of ≥70% is the goal. The Pre-Predictor exam is 15% of the MSN FNP NSG6440 and MSN AGNP NSG6430 course grade. The Grading Rubric is presented in Table 1.2 below.

Table 1.2 APEA Pre-Predictor Grading Rubric

APEA Pre-Predictor Exam Grading CriteriaPoints/Percent of Grade
Score on APEA Pre-predictor Exam is > 70%100 pts/15%
Score on APEA Pre-predictor Exam of 65-69%75 pts/15%
Score on APEA Pre-predictor Exam of < 65%55 pts/15%

Note: Score ranges may change based on exam psychometrics

  1. The APEA Post-Predictor exam measures competency in patient management by testing knowledge areas and testing domains that include: assessment, diagnosis, planning and intervention, pharmacotherapeutics, and evaluation. The APEA Post-Predictor exam identifies weaknesses in knowledge areas and testing domains for remediation in preparation for the certification exam The APEA Post-Predictor exam considered a national standardized exam or exit exam. This exam is administered for MSN AGNP students in week eight/nine of NSG6340: Practicum III: Adult Health: Primary Care and for MSN FNP students in week eight/nine of NSG6440: Practicum IV: Family Health: Primary Care. A minimum score of ≥70% is the goal. The Post-Predictor exam is worth 40% of the final grade in MSN FNP ( NSG6440) and AGNP ( NSG6340). The Grading Rubric is presented in Table 1.3 below.

Table 1.3 APEA Post-Predictor Grading Rubric

APEA Post-Predictor Exam Grading CriteriaPoints/Percent of Grade
Score on APEA Post-predictor Exam is > 70%100 pts/40%
Score on APEA Post-predictor Exam of 65-69%75 pts/40%
Score on APEA Post-predictor Exam of < 65%55 pts/40%

Note: Score ranges may change based on exam psychometrics

  1. Remediation
    1. Individualized remediation provides an opportunity for students to review study and acquire additional knowledge. Remediation is intended to help students recover important information that was missed when taking the assessment.
    2. Remediation is required for all APEA assessments. Students must utilize their test results to complete remediation. Content areas with a score of ≤ 66 on the 3P exam and ≤ 69% on the pre and post predictor exams require remediation (minimum score may change based on exam psychometrics).
    3. Failure to comply with the APEA testing policy may result in a course failure.

Retesting is required for any student not achieving a minimum grade of ≥ 67% (minimum score may change based on exam psychometrics) on the APEA 3P exam. Retesting of the APEA 3P exam will take place during the final week of NSG6023. A different test version will be utilized for retesting.Students who achieve a minimum grade of ≥ 67% on the retest of the 3P exam will receive an 80% for the APEA grade. Students who are unsuccessful after two (2) attempts on the 3P exam will be programmatically dismissed from the MSN nurse practitioner programs.  Any retakes/retesting of the APEA 3P or APEA pre and post-predictor exams must be approved by the College of Nursing and Public Health Dean or their designee.

  1. Comprehensive APEA Program

Students have access to and are assigned the APEA resources to be used. Courses are listed in Table 3.1 and identifies APEA resources to be used in the corresponding courses.

Table 3.1 Courses with Corresponding APEA Resources

CourseResource
NSG5003 - Advanced Pathophysiology (FNP and AGPCNP)

Require Students Purchase APEA Resource: Clinical Guidelines in Primary Care.

Students are required to cite clinical guidelines resources in papers and presentations throughout the program as identified in the ACOs.

NSG6005 - Pharmacology (FNP and AGPCNP)

APEA Resource: Begin QBank Pharmacology 6 months' access.

Students must complete 50 Pharmacology QBank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week 10, students must complete a 75-question exam mode assessment with a required score of ≥ 80%. Students may repeat the exam to achieve the required 80%.

Students must complete all questions.

Course Percentage: 10%.

Suggest Students Purchase APEA Resource: Pharm in Flash cards from APEA.

NSG6001 - Advanced Nursing Practice I (FNP & AGPCNP) and practicum courses.

Suggest Students Purchase APEA Resource: APEA Guide to Coding.

Students are required to include ICD-10, E & M and CPT codes for all diagnoses, levels of care and procedures referenced in papers, presentations and clinical documentation (comprehensive and focused SOAP notes) throughout the program as identified in the ACOs.

NSG6020 - Advanced Health and Physical Assessment (FNP , AGNP & NE)

APEA Resource: Begin QBank Patient Assessment Questions with 6 months' access.

Students must complete 50 Assessment Q bank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week, 9 students will complete a 75 questions exam mode assessment with a required score of ≥ 80%.  Students may repeat the exam one-time only, in an attempt to receive a higher score. The highest achieved score will be calculated in the final course grade.

Students must complete all questions.

Course Percentage: 10%.

Suggest Students Purchase APEA Resource: Dermatology DDx Deck/ Pediatric  Dermatology DDx Deck.

NSG6021 Pre-Clinical Evaluation

3P Exam: Administer Week 8/9.

Content areas with a score ≤66% require remediation.

NSG6420 (FNP) or NSG6320 (AGNP) - Practicum I: Family or Adult Health: Adults and Gerontology

APEA Resource: Continue QBank Patient Assessment.

Students must complete 50 Assessment Q bank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week 9, students will complete a 75-question exam mode assessment with a required score of ≥ 80%. Students may repeat the exam one-time only, in an attempt to receive a higher score. The highest achieved score will be calculated in the final course grade.

Students must complete all questions.

Course Percentage: 10%.

APEA Resource: Begin FNP or AGNP Online Video Review Course 12 months; 2 views.

Students must complete the appropriate sections for their track, sections 1 through 5 of the review course by the end week 9 or receive a zero "0" for the assignment.

NSG6430 (FNP) Practicum II: Famly Health-Women's Health

or

NSG6330 (AGNP) - Practicum II Adult Gerontology-Reproductive Health

APEA Resource: Begin QBank Patient Management 12 months' access. 

Students must complete 50 Management Q bank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week 9 students must complete a 75 question exam mode assessment with a required score of ≥ 80%.  Students may repeat the exam one-time only, in an attempt to receive a higher score. The highest achieved score will be calculated in the final course grade.

Students must complete all questions.

Course Percentage: 10%

APEA Resource: Continue FNP or AGNP Online Video Review Course 12 months; 2 views

Students must complete the appropriate sections for their track, sections 6 through 10 of the review course by the end week 9 or receive a zero "0" for the assignment.

NSG6435 (FNP) - Practicum III: Family Health: Pediatrics

APEA Resource: Continue QBank Patient Management.

Students will complete 50 Management Q bank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week, 9 students will complete a 75-question exam mode assessment with a required score of ≥ 80%. Students may repeat the exam one-time only, in an attempt to receive a higher score. The highest achieved score will be calculated in the final course grade.

Students must complete all questions.

Course Percentage: 10%.

APEA Resource: Continue FNP Online Video Review Course 12 months; 2 views.

Students must complete sections 11 through 15 of the review course by the end week 9 or receive a zero "0" for the assignment.

NSG6340 (AGNP) - Practicum III: Adult Health: Primary Care

APEA Resource: Continue QBank Patient Management.

Students will complete 50 Management Q bank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week, 9 students will complete a 75-question exam mode assessment with a required score of ≥ 80%.  Students may repeat the exam one-time only, in an attempt to receive a higher score. The highest achieved score will be calculated in the final course grade.

Students must complete all questions.

Pass/Fail

APEA Resource: Continue AGNP Online Video Review Course 12 months; 2 views.

Students must complete sections 11 through 16 of the review course by the end week 9. Complete all the practice questions and the evaluation. Then submit the certificate of completion from APEA or receive an incomplete for the course.

Pre-Predictor Exam (AGNP): Administer Week 2.

Post-Predictor Exam (AGNP): Administer Week 8/9.

NSG6440 (FNP) - Practicum IV (IV: Family Health: Primary Care

APEA Resource: Continue QBank Patient Management.

Students must complete 50 Management Q bank questions per week in tutor mode.

In week 9 students will complete a question exam mode assessment with a required score of  ≥  80%.  Students may repeat the exam one-time only, in an attempt to receive a higher score. The highest achieved score will be calculated in the final course grade.

Students must complete all questions or receive an incomplete for the course.

Pass/Fail

APEA Resource: Continue FNP Online Video Review Course

Students must complete sections 16 through 19 of the review course by the end week 10. Complete all the practice questions and the evaluation. Then submit the certificate of completion from APEA or receive an incomplete for the course.

Pre-Predictor Exam (FNP): Administer Week 2.

Post-Predictor Exam (FNP): Administer Week 8/9.

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Occupational Therapist Assistant Program

The occupational therapy assistant works under the supervision of the occupational therapist to help individuals regain or accommodate to decreased range of motion, muscle strength, coordination, perception and activities of daily living, which includes dressing, eating, toileting, hygiene and home management.  

The Associate of Applied Science and the Associate of Science degrees in the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) degree program are dedicated to providing educational opportunities of the intellectual, social and professional development of a diverse student population. Through its carefully balanced and sequenced curricular design over eight quarters or nine quarters, the Occupational Therapy Assistant program is designed to prepare qualified graduates to seek entry-level employment as occupational therapy practitioners. The program prepares students with knowledge and skills for competent entry-level practice in a variety of contexts for an ever-changing world. The Occupational Therapy Assistant program further seeks to lead the profession and community through its contributions in educational leadership, community and professional service, lifelong learning, and scholarship.

The Professional Phase of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program is delivered on campus at each of the campuses wher the program is offered.  It is offered on the Virgina Beach cain two modalities: fully campus-based or blended.  Students enrolled in the blended modality meet face-to-face in the classroom and asynchronously online over the 11-week quarter.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

The OTA program goals address student competency in the following areas

  1. Prepare occupational therapy assistants who appreciate and adapt to diverse and alternative cultures, settings, systems, processes, and ideas. (adaptation thread)
  2. Foster student skill in accessing relevant literature and information, using research-based evidence to make informed decisions in occupational therapy practice. (information literacy thread)
  3. Cultivate student skill in effective critical thinking, problem-solving, and clinical reasoning with clients across the lifespan in diverse practice settings. (critical thinking thread)
  4. Foster development of student's communication skills to promote effective, appropriate interaction with all stakeholders. (professionalism thread)
  5. Instill in the student the values, attitudes and behaviors consistent with the occupational therapy profession's philosophy, standards and ethics. (professionalism thread)
  6. Provide the student with opportunities to acquire skills in advocacy for the profession of occupational therapy to other professionals, service providers, consumers, third-party payers, regulatory bodies, professional associations and the public. (professionalism thread)
  7. Provide the student with a challenging curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to deliver occupational therapy assistant services with entry-level competency under the supervision of an occupational therapist in a variety of practice settings. (professionalism and critical thinking threads)
  8. Impart to the student a passion for lifelong professional development to meet changing societal needs. (lifelong learning thread)
  9. Provide ongoing opportunities for stakeholders in the OTA program to have input into the development and evaluation of the OTA program to ensure the program remains true to its mission and philosophy. (information literacy thread)

Accreditation

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at South University, Columbia, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Tampa and West Palm Beach are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. . ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA. http://www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program will be 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, most 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. More information on ACOTE may be obtained at http://www.acoteonline.org.

Effective April 1, 2017, ACOTE changed the accreditation status of the Associate of Science degree offered by the OTA Program on the South University-West Palm Beach campus to Probationary Accreditation for noncompliance with ACOTE Standard A.5.6 (certification exam pass rate).  The program remains accredited. In April 2018 ACOTE granted to extend the period for compliance with the Standards A.5.6 until March 2020.

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Graduation Rates

Graduation Rate for OTA Program at South University, Columbia

The total number of students graduating from the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at South University, Columbia, during the 3-year period of January 1, 2017 - December 31, 2019 is listed below:

 Year Students Enter/Graduate OTA Program Number of Students Newly Enrolled Number of Students Who Graduated Graduation Rate
Cohort 2: Winter 2016, graduating Spring 2017 18 15 83%
Cohort 3: Summer 2016, graduating Fall 2017 14 11 78%
Cohort 4: Summer 2017, graduating Spring 2018 16 10 62%
Cohort 5: Summer 2017, graduating Fall 2018 11  6 54% 
Cohort 6: Winter 2018, graduating Spring 2019 24 15 62%
Cohort 7: Summer 2018, graduating Summer 2019 6  5 83% 
 NOTE: This information is posted in compliance with ACOTE Standard A.4.2. Accurate and current information regarding student and program outcomes must be readily available to the public on the program’s Web page.  At a minimum, the following data must be reported for the previous 3 years: Total number of program graduates and graduation rates.
NOTE: Graduation rate is determined by dividing the number of students newly enrolled in a cohort of the Professional OTA Program by the number of students in that cohort who successfully complete degree requirements within 150% of the published length of the Professional OTA Curriculum, or within nine quarters, which includes time enrolled.

Outcomes

The program goals of the South University, Columbia Occupational Therapy Assistant Program are as follows:

  • Prepare occupational therapy assistants who appreciate and adapt to diverse and alternative cultures, settings, systems, processes, and ideas.
  • Foster student skill in accessing relevant literature and information, using research-based evidence to make informed decisions in occupational therapy practice.
  • Cultivate student skill in effective critical thinking, problem-solving, and clinical reasoning with clients across the lifespan in diverse practice settings.
  • Foster development of student’s communication skills to promote effective, appropriate interaction with all stakeholders.
  • Instill in the student the values, attitudes and behaviors consistent with the occupational therapy profession's philosophy, standards and ethics.
  • Provide the student with opportunities to acquire skills in advocacy for the profession of occupational therapy to other professionals, service providers, consumers, third-party payers,regulatory bodies, professional associations and the public.
  • Provide the student with a challenging curriculum that prepares students to deliver occupational therapy assistant services with entry-level competency under the supervision of an occupational therapist in a variety of practice settings.
  • Impart to the student a passion for lifelong professional development to meet changing societal needs.
  • Provide ongoing opportunities for stakeholders in the OTA Program to have input into the development and evaluation of the OTA Program in ensure the Program remains true to its mission and philosophy.
Learn More

About Occupational Therapy Assistant at South University

When someone is in need, are you quick to lend a hand? Have you often been described as a good listener?  As you choose your own career path, it is important to think about areas where you naturally excel in day-to-day life. those everyday talents - such as showing compassion, paying attention to detail, and even physical strength - will serve you well as an occupational therapy assistant. We invite you to find out more by contacting the Admissions Department at South University. Let us help point you in the right direction as you explore your future career path

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Success Stories

Outstanding Education for Remarkable Careers

We're committed to helping our graduates make an impact in their professional and personal lives. We applaud our alumni and the difference they make. Check out what some of our healthcare graduates have to say.

Laceye A. Parker 2010
Laceye Parker Grad Alumni
Class of '13
Doctor of Pharmacy

“I had always been interested in healthcare, and as a child thought about becoming a physician. But when both my grandfathers became seriously ill, I came to a new appreciation of the vital role that pharmacists play in achieving positive outcomes for patients. As soon as I completed my master's degree, I decided to enter South University's Doctor of Pharmacy program. I've learned through my work at SCDHEC, and in my MBA program and Pharmacy School at South University, is laying a firm foundation for my career as a pharmacist.”

Crystal May 2014
Crystal May Grad Alumni
Class of '14
Bachelor of Sceince in Healthcare Management

“The staff was the heart of my experience at South. The staff worked together to provide a positive learning environment and truly had passion in educating the students. The staff helped me identify my strength and interest in the financial avenue of healthcare, and helped me see the benefits of pursuing this career. South University gave me the tools I need to be successful and validated my capabilities to be a successful professional.”

Robyn Smith 2007
Robyn Smith Grad Alumni
Class of '07
Associate of Science in Physical Therapy Assistant

“I had only heard good things about their PTA program and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I find it very rewarding and emotional when a patient of mine who hasn't walked in a while takes steps again. It makes going to work everyday worth it to know that i can help improve the quality of life for some of these people.”

Anna Langley 2014
Anna Langley Grad Alumni
Class of '14
Master of Science in Physician Assistant

“During my [admissions] interview, I really felt like South was a place that professors were encouraging, welcoming, and helpful. I also was drawn to the small groups that they present. I liked the idea of having a faculty member mentor to guide a smaller group of students throughout the entire program. The rigorous nature of the coursework prepared me well for the boards and the ability to be successful in my career. During clinical rotations, I was able to apply what I had learned and gain valuable patient experience that has helped me today”

Allyson Obluck 2017
Allyson Obluck Grad Alumni
Class of '17
Associate of Science in Occupational Therapist Assistant

“I wanted to make a difference and I knew occupational therapy was a hands-on way to improve quality of life for many people. My professors always made the effort to ensure that I understood the material and were constantly encouraging me to be better and do better. All of my experiences throughout my clinical rotations challenged me to think outside the box and to trust my instincts.”

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at South University, Columbia 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. http://www.acoteonline.org.

Graduates of the program will be 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, most 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.