Occupational Therapy Assistant
Ann Best, MHS, Chair
Phone: (419) 995-8080
Office: 102L Tech Edu Lab
Occupational Therapy is the art and science of helping others to live life to its fullest. Practitioners of this profession are occupational therapists (OT) and occupational therapy assistants (OTA). OTs and OTAs work with individuals of any age to develop, recover or maintain the skills needed to participate in occupation (everyday activities) with meaning, satisfaction and productivity. Under the supervision of an occupational therapist, an assistant will develop and provide therapeutic activities and strategies that will help their clients gain the cognitive, physical, emotional and/or developmental skills necessary for everyday life. They may also provide adaptive equipment or techniques necessary to carry out life tasks, provide education and consultation to individuals, families and society, and address prevention. The OTA will work with the health care team which may include physicians, nurses, physical therapists, psychologists, social workers, and speech and language pathologists, in a variety of settings including: hospitals, school systems, community mental health centers, nursing homes, home health agencies and private practice.
Credentialing Required After Graduation
After successfully completing an accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, the graduate is eligible to take 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 COTA.
12 South Summit Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
In addition, most states including Ohio require licensure to practice; however, Ohio and most other state licenses are based on passing of the NBCOT exam. After achieving licensure, the individual will be a COTA/L.
The Rhodes State OTA Program prepares students to be competent, professional occupational therapy assistants.
Notice to Prospective or Current Occupational Therapy Assistant Students
You are at risk if you have been convicted of a prior felony and/or some misdemeanors. You may not be able to participate in clinical education experiences at some hospitals or other clinical sites; therefore preventing you from completing the program. A felony conviction may affect your ability to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapy Assistant (NBCOT exam) or attain state licensure. Because health care employers routinely perform background checks on prospective employees, a criminal record may also prevent you from obtaining employment.
See here for details.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Associate of Applied Science Degree
Structured Course Sequence (6 Semester Plan)
|OTA 1010 ||Principles and Practices of Occupational Therapy||3|
|COM 1110 ||English Composition||3|
|BIO 1110||Anatomy and Physiology I||4|
|SDE 1010 ||First Year Experience||1|
|OTA 1020||Occupational Therapy Process||2|
|OTA 1030||Therapeutic Activities and Occupations||2|
|OTA 1050||Human Anatomy and Pathology I||3|
|PSY 1010 ||General Psychology||3|
|BIO 1120||Anatomy and Physiology II||4|
|OTA 1060||Human Anatomy and Pathology II||2|
|OTA 1140||Therapeutic Procedures I||5|
|PSY 1730||Abnormal Psychology||3|
|OTA 2130||Therapeutic Procedures II||4|
|BHS 1390||Medical Terminology||2|
|OTA 2100||Occupational Therapy for Psychosocial Dysfunction I||2|
|OTA 2140||Occupational Therapy for Developmental Dysfunction||3|
|OTA 2150 ||Occupational Therapy for Psychosocial Dysfunction II||3|
or MTH 1151
or Quantitative Reasoning
|SOC 1010 ||Sociology||3|
|OTA 2170||Fieldwork I 1||4|
|OTA 2180||Fieldwork II 1||4|
|OTA 2200 ||Capstone for Occupational Therapy Assistant||2|
These courses involve full-time field work in clinical sites and must be completed no later than 18 months after completion of academic preparation.
Students should check course prerequisites before registering. Prerequisites are listed in the Course Tab.
OTA 1010 — Principles and Practices of Occupational Therapy
3 Credit hours
Provides an overview of the healthcare system, the role of the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA), and the provision of occupational therapy services. Emphasis is on the profession's historical development, domain, standards of practice, professional ethics, and models of practice/frames of reference and the use of evidence to guide clinical reasoning. Lecture and laboratory sessions will focus on the student's achieving competence with vital sign monitoring; patient positioning, bed mobility, transfers, selection and use of mobility aid; infection control and safety procedures. Abbreviations and documentation for common treatments rendered in therapy are also introduced. "C" grade policy applies.
Corequisites: OTA-1010L, COM 1110.
OTA 1020 — Occupational Therapy Process
2 Credit hours
Provides an emphasis on the process of the provision of occupational therapy services, including proper documentation of those services. The role of the OTA and the importance of collaboration with the OT is stressed. Screening and assessment skills covered include observations, histories, interviews, and standardized tests. The student will be expected to competently perform several standardized assessments, including but not limited to those related to Occupational Performance and the Biomechanical Frame of Reference. Application of assessment results in intervention planning, implementation and review is introduced. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: OTA 1010
Corequisites: OTA 1030, OTA 1050, OTA-1020L.
OTA 1030 — Therapeutic Activities and Occupations
2 Credit hours
Examines the use of activity and occupation as therapeutic intervention. Emphasized will be meaning and dynamics of occupation and activity, the profession's history relative to the use of activity, models of practice/frames of reference and the use of evidence to guide clinical reasoning. Students will be introduced to the tools and terminology for analysis of activity relative to areas of occupation, performance skills, performance patterns, activity demands, contexts, client factors and the interaction/significance of these areas. Students will experience a variety of crafts and creative media that can be used in therapy and gain skills for using the teaching- learning process. Introduced will be the ability to grade and adapt the environment, tools, materials, and tasks based on the changing needs of the client, as well as, documentation relative to this specific aspect of occupational therapy. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: OTA 1010
Corequisites: OTA 1020, OTA-1030L, OTA 1050.
OTA 1050 — Human Anatomy and Pathology I
3 Credit hours
Examines the human anatomy as it relates to the field of occupational therapy. Focus is on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, specifically structure and function of the human body when engaged in occupation. Emphasized will be the action, innervations and function of major muscles. Unique cadaver, model, web-based and group laboratory study will allow visualization as well as palpation of bones, muscles, joints, and nerves of the human body. Analysis of functional movement using medical terminology will be introduced and related to participation in occupation. Also studied will be common diseases and pathology of the musculoskeletal system and medical/pharmacological diagnostic/treatment options. Logical thinking, critical analysis, problem solving and creativity will be used to apply knowledge about common clinical conditions to dysfunction in occupation and the impact to individual, family, and society. The teaching-learning process will be introduced with emphasis on diverse learning styles and public speaking skills with opportunities for practice. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: OTA 1010, BIO 1110
Corequisites: OTA 1020, OTA 1030, OTA-1050L.
OTA 1060 — Human Anatomy and Pathology II
2 Credit hours
Continues the study of human anatomy as it relates to the field of occupational therapy. Focus is on the cardiopulmonary, neurological, respiratory, endocrine, and integument systems specific to the human while engaged in occupation. Common diseases and pathology of these systems and their medical/pharmacological diagnostic and treatment procedures will be studied. Also discussed are the effects of heritable diseases and predisposing genetic conditions, pathophysiology, immunopathology, and infection. The student will work with others to discover the effects of aging, stress, pain, and inactivity on well-being. Critical thinking will be developed related to the impact of disease on occupational performance to the individual, family and society; and the use of occupation for the promotion of health/prevention of disease. Team work will be utilized to analyze the impact of disease on areas of occupation, performance skills, performance patterns, activity demands, contexts and client factors and to develop appropriate treatment planning based on this impact utilizing evidence-based practice. The teaching- learning process, interview techniques, literature review professional behavior and public speaking skills will be refined and utilized throughout. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: OTA 1030, OTA 1050, BIO 1120
Corequisites: OTA 1140, OTA-1060L.
OTA 1140 — Therapeutic Procedures I
5 Credit hours
Applies basic functional anatomy and an in-depth analysis of human motion. Developmental (adult), biomechanical, rehabilitative and occupational performance approaches are examined. Focus is on treatment interventions related to range of motion, strength, endurance, edema control, hand- use, coordination and sensation with particular focus on the adult population and the developmental needs of this population. Occupational therapy treatment principles specific to orthopedic injuries, burns and surgical repairs including standard protocols and precautions will be discussed and applied. More in-depth study and application of standardized assessments specific to this area will occur and the student will learn to critically analyze activity relative to areas of occupation and related client activity and environment factors. Developed will be the ability to utilize physical agent modalities for common clinical conditions, as well as, splinting, utilization of orthotics and training in the use of prosthesis. Emphasized will be a variety of functional activities, utilization of adaptive/assistive equipment and compensatory as well as remedial techniques, home and environmental assessment and adaptation, education of safety with patient-family training, community reintegration, and ergonomics/return to work issues. Skills related to therapeutic use of self, professional behaviors, activity analysis, grading and adapting activity and occupation, documentation, and the use of evidence for treatment planning will be further developed and practiced. Instructors will role model appropriate standards of practice and act as the supervising and collaborating occupational therapist for the students as they work in groups to analyze case studies, apply assessment results in intervention planning and demonstrate to peers treatment intervention. Level I fieldwork begins with exposure to settings with biomechanical focus and settings with activity focus. "C" grade polic.
OTA 1990 — Independent Study in OTA
1-2 Credit hours
Provides the OTA student with the opportunity for in-depth work in a selected topic with the field of occupational therapy which the student was unable to pursue to the desired degree of depth in regular course offerings. OTA students have the option of observing occupational therapy and/or writing a paper. During the first week of the term, the student meets with the chairperson and submits in writing the proposed topic of study he/she wishes to pursue either through observation or research. An OTA faculty member will be assigned to the student for continued support throughout the project.
Prerequisites: any OTA course.
OTA 1991 — Special Topics in OTA I
1-2 Credit hours
Provides the OTA student with for in-depth work in selected topics within the field of occupational therapy which the student was unable to pursue to the desired degree of depth in regular course offerings. During the first week of the term, the student meets with the chairperson and submits the ideas for further study. Through collaboration between the program chairperson and student, a syllabus and course requirements will be developed and agreed upon. Course requirements will involve work beyond writing and research. Additional OTA faculty members may be assigned to the student for continued support throughout the project.
OTA 1992 — Special Topics in OTA II
1-2 Credit hours
Provides the OTA student with the opportunity for in-depth work in selected topics within the field of occupational therapy which the student was unable to pursue in Special Topics in OTA I. During the first week of the term, the student meets with the chairperson and submits the ideas for further study. Through collaboration between the program chairperson and student, a syllabus and course requirements will be developed and agreed upon. Course requirements will involve work beyond writing and research. Additional OTA faculty members may be assigned to the student for continued support throughout the project. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: OTA 1991.
OTA 2100 — Occupational Therapy for Psychosocial Dysfunction I
2 Credit hours
Relates occupational therapy treatment theories and intervention to psychosocial dysfunction. The diversity of the consumer will be explored, as will diagnosis, symptoms and behaviors, psychotropic medications, and specific needs for various populations. The history of occupational therapy in mental health, current treatment settings and issues, the role of the OTA, and ethical concerns will be discussed. The occupational therapy process including evaluation, treatment planning, therapeutic intervention and documentation specific to this area will be modeled and practiced. Culmination of course materials will occur through a case study project. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: PSY 1730
Corequisites: OTA-2100L, OTA 2130, OTA-2130C.
OTA 2130 — Therapeutic Procedures II
4 Credit hours
Focuses on cognitive/perceptual, neurological, rehabilitative and related frames of reference as applicable to the adult and elderly population, while also incorporating previously learned knowledge and intervention techniques to provide for the total needs of the patient. Standardized assessments and practical applications for the intervention of cognitive/perceptual and neurological dysfunctions are introduced and emphasized. Focus on traditional, as well as, modern theories related to motor control and learning for neurological dysfunction and application of the rehabilitative approach specific to this population will allow students to develop skills for treatment intervention. Specialty areas related to these theories including driver re-education, and treatment interventions for other conditions common to the adult and elderly population will be studied. Examined will be normal development, health and wellness, sexuality and continence in the aging population, as well as, ethical concerns and working with families and caregivers of elders. Regulation of public policy and reimbursement issues will be studied at more in-depth levels. Students are expected to build upon previously learned theories and knowledge regarding documentation. The ability to critically analyze activity relative to areas of occupation, performance skills, performance patterns, activity demands, contexts and client factors and the interaction/significance of these areas, as well as therapeutic use of self, professional behaviors, activity analysis, grading and adapting activity and occupation, and the use of evidence for treatment planning is expected to be at a proficient level. Level 1 fieldwork continues with exposure to settings and neurological focus. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: OTA 1140, OTA 1060
Corequisites: OTA-2130C, OTA-2130L.
OTA 2140 — Occupational Therapy for Developmental Dysfunction
3 Credit hours
Focuses on the role of the OTA in the provision of OT services for the pediatric population, ages 0-21. Normal development and common diagnoses/disorders and impact on the occupational performance of children are explored. Intervention will focus on the frames of reference appropriate to this population, particularly the developmental, biomechanical, neurodevelopmental, motor learning, sensory integration/sensory processing, and visuo-cognitive frames of reference as they are applied in various contexts including, but not limited to school/ community-based settings. Documentation of services across settings continues to be practiced and the student is introduced to the IEP process. Assistive technology, educational legislation and reimbursement are also emphasized. Critical thinking skills will be fostered throughout via group as well as individual case study assignments and competency testing incorporating current technology. The ability to critically analyze activity relative to areas of occupation, performance skills, performance patterns, activity demands, contexts and client factors and the interaction/significance of these areas; as well as, therapeutic use of self, professional behaviors, activity analysis, grading and adapting activity and occupation, and the use of evidence for treatment planning is expected to be developed specific to OT for this population. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: OTA 2130
Corequisites: OTA-2140L, OTA 2150, OTA-2150L, OTA-2150C.
OTA 2150 — Occupational Therapy for Psychosocial Dysfunction II
3.5 Credit hours
Relates occupational therapy treatment theories and intervention to psychosocial dysfunction. Group process, group dynamics, group behaviors, and the application of group work in the occupational therapy field are examined. Occupational therapy treatment theories, models, and frames of reference are used to establish group treatment plans. Group leadership is discussed, implemented and assessed. Students integrate knowledge through formulating and implementing group treatment plans for peers in the classroom and for clients in the clinic. The course instructor acts as the supervising and collaborating OT for a group case study project where students integrate the therapeutic process including therapeutic use of self, environment, and activity. Therapeutic use of self and professionalism is fostered through reflection and assessment in final preparation for Level II Fieldwork. Culmination of course material occurs as the students write, submit, and present a proposal to provide occupational therapy services to an emerging area of practice in the mental health arena utilizing evidence based practice, interviewing of current occupational therapists, and application of knowledge gained from the course. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: OTA 2100
Corequisites: SOC 1010, OTA-2150C, OTA-2150L.
OTA 2170 — Fieldwork I
4 Credit hours
Provides an advanced clinical experience under the guidance and supervision of an occupational therapy practitioner. Students prepare for the work force by developing their level skills relating to the provision of role appropriate OT services, and demonstration of professional and ethical behavior while completing a minimum of 8 full-time hours hours at an assigned fieldwork site. In addition, the student will meet with the course instructor virtually one time/week where reflection and self-assessment will allow the students to begin to integrate technical and clinical knowledge and develop the clinical reasoning, professional behaviors, and therapeutic use of self necessary for entry-level work as an OTA. A "Satisfactory" grade must be achieved for the continuation in the program. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: OTA 2140, OTA 2150, MTH 1260 or MTH 1151, BHS 1390, COM 1110
Corequisites: OTA 2200.
OTA 2180 — Fieldwork II
4 Credit hours
Provides an advanced clinical experience under the guidance and supervision of an occupational therapy practitioner. Prepares students for the work force by developing their entry-level skills relating to the provision of role appropriate OT services, and demonstration of professional and ethical behavior while completing a minimum of 8 full-time hours at an assigned field work site. In addition, the student will meet with the course instructor one time/week wherereflection and self-assessment will allow the students to fully integrate technical and clinical knowledge and develop the clinical reasoning, professional behaviors and the use of self necessary for entry-level work as an OTA. A "Satisfactory" grade must be achieved for graduation. "C" grade policy applies.
Corequisites: OTA 2170, OTA 2200.
OTA 2200 — Capstone for Occupational Therapy Assistant
3 Credit hours
Provides the student with opportunities to become increasingly aware of professional issues affecting the field of occupational therapy and to demonstrate their proficiency of integrating technical knowledge with core skills and abilities. Journaling and group participation is used to share experiences from clinical practice in various occupational therapy work settings. Directed on-line and classroom discussion and assignments related to clinical and management experiences will allow for exploration of multiple practice and management issues, will emphasize situational problem solving and will ultimately encourage the establishment of life-long learning habits. The course will include an examination of the student's growth in diversity, critical thinking and writing. Culmination of OTA program knowledge will occur in a project to promote the profession which will be presented to mentors in the clinic and peers in the classroom and in a final review of the OTA curriculum with preparation for the OTA national certification, and state licensure exams. "C" grade policy applies.
Corequisites: OTA 2170, OTA 2180.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is accredited by the:
Accreditation Council for Occupation Therapy Education (ACOTE)
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
This program has been accredited since its inception in 1997.
All students who apply for acceptance into the Occupational Therapy Assistant program have their name placed on a qualified list after they meet the program qualifications listed below.
Please contact the Office of Advising and Counseling for the application packet. Students seeking admission are encouraged to review the qualification requirements early due to the amount of time required to complete the process. The application deadline is is the second Friday of February for the application year.
In addition to the general admission requirements for all students, the following specific requirements must be completed before being added to qualified list:
- Attend a mandatory program specific orientation.
- Complete and score a minimum of 60 on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) assessment exam.
- Have a minimum 2.75 grade point average (GPA) for any previous college level course work at the time of selection and matriculation. For the high school senior applicant without college level courses work, high school grades though the first nine weeks of the senior year will be used to calculate the GPA.
- Complete 40 hours of observation in a clinical setting with a licensed Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant using the Observation Form in the application packet.
- Complete all required college level or developmental level math, writing and reading courses and/or prerequisites with a grade or D or higher, and all college level or development level science requirements and/or prerequisites with a grade of C or higher; or equivalent placement.
If more than 30 applicants are qualified, students will be offered a seat based on the qualifying criteria (aggregate of calculated GPA, ATI TEAS score, the number of program specific courses completed with a C or better, and the two observation rubrics). If the qualifying criteria aggregate score of two applicants is equal then the college application date will be used to rank order those applicants.
Qualified students not in the top 30 will be admitted in a following cohort year. This acceptance is contingent upon re-application prior to the deadline of the offered cohort year to verify continued interest in pursuing the degree. These students will be encouraged to attend an informational meeting with programmatic faculty to discuss strategies for persistence within the program or opportunities for other health care majors with seats available for immediate entry and/or other career directions offered at College.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program accepts students once a year in Summer Semester.