The OTA Curriculum is taught by seasoned occupational therapy practitioners who are expected in a variety of settings. OTA faculty specialize in adult education techniques that emphasize hands-on learning, mentorship, meaningful and job-relevant assignments and the use of technology to enhance instruction.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Giving back Independence and Hope
Occupational Therapy uses meaningful and purposeful activities and occupations to promote health and independence. Under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist (OT), the occupational therapy assistant (OTA) works directly with individuals, families, groups and communities to facilitate health and well-being through engagement in meaningful activities and occupations. In addition to direct patient care, occupational therapy practitioners are involved in addressing the impact of social, political and environmental factors that contribute to occupational deprivation.
In this program, students learn to analyze how the person (client), their environment (home, support systems, etc.) and their occupations (roles, tasks) interrelate and effect health, wellness and every day functioning. The goal of the program is to graduate competent professionals who use clinical reasoning to provide occupational therapy services that are client centered, occupation based, and evidence based. Graduates from this program are skilled at establishing therapeutic relationships and have a strong appreciation of the importance of community service.
The OTA Program is in the Health and Natural Science building located at 1109 W. Panola Street; and is operated under the guidance of the American Occupational Therapy Association. The program consists of five academic semesters and two, eight-week Level II fieldwork experiences that must be completed within 18 months following the completion of academic courses. The curriculum ensures a balance of theoretical and technical courses as well as supervised application of skills in area health care facilities. Upon successful completion of the program, the student is awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301)652-AOTA. In 2013, the OTA Program was re-accredited for the second time for ten years, the longest period awarded by ACOTE.
Upon completion of the OTA Program, graduates will be able 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 the exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to take the NBCOT exam or attain state licensure. Additionally, students with a criminal history are not guaranteed fieldwork placement.