What is program evaluation and why is it important?

All occupational therapy programs must evaluate how successful their programs are. This is called program evaluation. It is the responsibility of the Jamestown Community College occupational therapy assistant program to communicate these findings to the public. The public may include interested students and their families, consumers, accrediting bodies, potential employers, and the community at large,

Program evaluation allows faculty to objectively measure their strengths and weaknesses to improve the program. This information can also be used by the public before applying to the program, hiring our graduates, or investing resources. Evaluating a program is important to make good decisions. Would you invest in a car that has a poor rating? No! Being a smart consumer is important!

What are the evaluation measures used by the occupational therapy assistant program faculty?

There are numerous measures that the program uses. On this site you will find:

Persistence to graduation from the OTA program: This data indicates how many graduates completed the OTA program in a maximum of 3 years (150% of normal graduation rate).

Persistence to graduation from the college: This indicates those students that left the OTA program for various reasons (i.e., life event, poor grades, chose an alternate career path) but still graduated from JCC or transferred to another college.

Attrition data: This is the total number of students who did not persevere to complete the OTA program, or another degree at the college. This is an important number, and speaks to the program and the college's ability to help students realize their career ambition. Not all people who enroll in OTA make the right career choice. When that happens, faculty and staff are there to guide students to help them find career paths that work for them.

NBCOT examination results: The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy is charged with developing national examinations for students to take following their graduation from either OTA or OTR programs. This examination is a bar that indicates that students who pass have the skills and abilities to be hired as entry-level practitioners. These results are correlated to the quality of education that students receive. A high passage rate is one sign of a good program! Like anything, pass rates fluctuate for a variety of reasons such as test anxiety and learning disabilities. The data on this page provides information on students who took the NBCOT exam and passed within 12 months of graduating from our program.

Employer satisfaction: Evaluating how employers feel about our student’s skills and abilities is important. It is important that the students who are hired in local area meet the needs of the employers. The level of employer satisfaction is another quality measure of the program’s ability to develop qualified occupational therapy assistants.

Graduate job placement: Following graduation, the program tracks students to see how many successfully get jobs. Data is collected via survey and by talking directly with previous students. This is valuable data to evaluate. Being marketable is important.

If you have questions about any of the data found on the site please feel free to call or e-mail the OTA department faculty.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Attrition Report: Three Year Graduation, Persistence, and Attrition Rates for OTA Students

  Starting Cohort: Students taking OTA 1510 Graduates within 150% of normal time:
Earned degree in OTA
Graduates within 150% of normal time:
Graduated from other JCC program
Persisters still enrolled at JCC:
Still enrolled in OTA
Persisters still enrolled at JCC:
Enrolled in other JCC program
Transferred to another college within 150% of normal time Attrition
Number of students in fall 2011 cohort 24 19 1 0 0 0 4
  Status as of fall 2014   79.2% 4.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 16.7%
Number of students in fall 2012 cohort 23 18 3 0 0 2 0
  Status as of fall 2015   78.3% 13.0% 0.0% 0.0% 8.7% 0.0%
Number of students in the fall 2013 cohort 27 22 1 0 0 1 3
  Status of fall 2016   81.5% 3.7% 0.0% 0.0% 3.7% 11.1%

*Registrations in OTA 1510 as of SUNY Census. Graduates within 150% of normal time include August graduates. (Ex: The Fall 2011 starting cohort looks at degrees awarded between December 2011 and August 2014.) Transfer data come from the National Student Clearinghouse and are for associate degree-seeking students only. The National Student Clearinghouse covers over 92% of the nation's IPEDs enrollment counts (approximately 3300 colleges and universities). Students and schools might block data from being retrieved.
Note: Graduation, persistence, and attrition data may seem to vary significantly from year to year because the starting cohorts are small.

Program Evaluation Outcome Data: Results of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Examination

Year Number of program graduates Number of test takers who passed the exam within 12 months of graduation Percentage of test takers who passed the exam within 12 months of graduation
2014 19 19 100%
2015 23 21 91%
2016 20 18 90%
Total 3-year 62 58 94%

NBCOT Certification Results

For the three most recent calendar years (2014, 2015, and 2016), the performance of the graduates of the occupational therapy assistant program on the National Board for Certification in Occupation Therapy (NBCOT) certification examination was as follows:

Total number of program graduates: 63
Total number of test-takers of the NBCOT certification exam within 12 months of graduation: 53
Percentage pass rate: 97%

For comparison of JCC's OTA program to other schools, go to

 Employee Satisfaction Evaluation Outcome Data

  2013 2014 2015 2016
Very satisfied 50% 100% 40% 75%
Satisfied 50% 0% 60% 25%
Somewhat dissatisfied 0% 0% 0% 0%
In field 12/67% 6/43% 63% 58%
Using OTA skill sets 1/5% 4/29% 19% 8%
Continuing education 4/23% 2/14% 0% 8%
In unrelated field 1/5% 2/14% 13% 8%
Unknown 4 5 5% 17%

 *Data is not representative of all graduates.

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