(Austell, Ga. – May 14, 2013) Chattahoochee Technical College was recently granted full accreditation status for its Associate of Applied Science of Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. This is a five-year accreditation status for the only such program at a public college within Metro Atlanta.
“The process for accreditation for all Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs consists of 3-parts and is governed by the ACOTE,” explained Chattahoochee Technical College Program Director Dr. Traci Swartz. “The entire process/timeline takes approximately 2 years, and programs must achieve accreditation prior to the graduation of the first class of students.”
The accreditation process for the program included the submittal of an application, including curriculum, course descriptions and strategic plan. Additionally, the process includes a self-study and finally a site visit. Chattahoochee Technical College’s site visit was a 2 and a half day onsite experience in January 2013.
“Chattahoochee Technical College is pleased to receive full programmatic accreditation status from the ACOTE,” stated Ron Webb, Dean of Health Sciences. “We are committed to upholding the highest standards of excellence in our program so that our students will provide patients with world-class service and treatment.”
The first cohort of 11 students in Chattahoochee Technical College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program will begin their final fieldwork during the summer semester. Fieldwork consists of a total of 16-weeks in a minimum of two different settings. The students are slated to graduate at the end of Fall Semester 2013.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Chattahoochee Technical College trains students in real-world occupational therapy environments with professional faculty and clinical partners.
Occupational Therapy Assistants work under the direction of occupational therapists to help rehabilitate patients with injuries, illnesses or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people who are recovering from injuries to regain necessary skills, and providing support for older adults who are experiencing physical or cognitive changes.
“The biggest misconception about the field of occupational therapy is that we find people jobs,” said Swartz. “While OTs and OTAs may work with clients on employment related skills, as well as adaptation of work environments, we do not simply find jobs for people.”
The program consists of 96 credit hours, including prerequisites Students complete 120 hours of Level I Fieldwork interspersed with academic coursework, and 16 weeks of full-time Level II Fieldwork at the end of the program. Occupational courses can be completed in five semesters. Program prerequisite courses are offered at multiple campuses and online. Occupational Therapy Assistant occupational courses are offered at the Austell Campus.