Occupational therapy is a valuable healthcare profession that uses “occupations,” those activities that are meaningful and purposeful to an individual or group, to increase their successful participation in the roles and routines of their daily life. Working under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistants help people of all ages acquire, improve, or regain the ability to engage in their daily occupations to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives. Occupational therapy practitioners work with a diverse population of clients with varying levels of physical, developmental and emotional abilities.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) curriculum engages the student in academically challenging coursework, which combines biological and behavioral sciences with specific courses in theories of occupational therapy and occupational therapy treatment methods. Students are required to be active and self-directed learners with guidance from the faculty to establish the ability to plan and implement therapeutic treatments, adapt and grade activities to increase their client’s independence, and educate individuals and groups in skills and techniques to improve their daily lives.
The OTA program consists of four semesters and one summer session of academic work and clinical experience, called fieldwork. The student will have lecture and discussion-based classes, combined with on campus hands-on learning labs and off campus clinical fieldwork experiences. The OTA program requires two full-time, eight-week fieldwork placements of supervised practical experience in a variety of healthcare practice settings.
Graduates of the OTA program are eligible to take the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy’s (NBCOT) examination to earn certification as an occupational therapy assistant. States also require certified occupational therapy assistants to complete a licensing process to practice in their respective state. The estimated cost to comply with these requirements is $675. A felony conviction may limit an individual’s ability to be certified or licensed. Individuals with a felony record should contact the NBCOT to determine eligibility before applying to the program. The contact information is: National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) located at One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD, 20878. NBCOT’s phone number is 301.990.7979.
OTA Program Outcomes
OTA Fieldwork Educators Resources
Major: Occupational Therapy Assistant
Degree: Associate of Applied Science
Location: On Campus
Duration: 2 Years
Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
c/o Accreditation Department of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449