Occupational Therapy Assistant
Ann Best, OTR/L, MHS, Chair
Phone: (419) 995-8080
Office: 102L Tech Edu Lab
Occupational Therapy is an evidence-based, science-driven profession that helps others increase participation and independence in everyday life activities (occupations) in all of their environments (home, work, school, community, etc.). Occupational therapists (OTs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) help people of all ages through therapeutic use of activities. Under the supervision of an OT, an OTA will develop and provide therapeutic strategies that will help their clients gain the physical, cognitive, psychological and developmental skills necessary for everyday life. They also provide adaptive equipment or techniques necessary to carry out life tasks; educate clients, families, and caregivers; and address prevention. The OTA works with a team of other professionals in a variety of settings including but not limited to: hospitals, school systems, community mental health centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, and private practice.
Credentialing Required After Graduation
After successfully completing this 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.
One Bank Street
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
In addition, all states require licensure to practice; however, Ohio and most other state licenses are based on passing of the NBCOT Certification 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 *Pre-requisite to program admission||3|
|COM 1110 ||English Composition *Pre-requisite to program admission||3|
|BIO 1110||Anatomy and Physiology I *Pre-requisite to program admission||4|
|SDE 1010 ||First Year Experience *Pre-requisite to program admission||1|
|BHS 1390||Medical Terminology *Pre-requisite to program admission||2|
|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|
|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.
Prerequisites: Must be remediation free with a 2.75 GPA Academic Advisor from Public Service Office 148 will verify eligibility and complete course registration
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: BHS 1390 with a "C" or better, OTA 1010, Acceptance to the OTA Program.
Corequisites: OTA-1020L, OTA 1030, OTA 1050.
OTA 1030 — Therapeutic Activities and Occupations
2 Credit hours
Examines the use of activity and occupation as therapeutic intervention. 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. Emphasized will be the 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 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, Acceptance to the OTA Program
Corequisites: OTA 1020, OTA-1030L, OTA 1050.
OTA 1050 — Human Anatomy and Pathology I
3 Credit hours
Examines 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 which necessitate occupational therapy intervention and treatment. 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: BIO 1110, OTA 1010, Acceptance to the OTA Program
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. Application of standardized assessments will occur. 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 will be further developed. Level I Fieldwork begins with biomechanical and activity focus. "C" grade policy applies.
Prerequisites: OTA 1030, OTA 1050, OTA 1020
Corequisites: OTA-1140C, OTA-1140L.
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 "C" grade policy applies
Corequisites: OTA-2100L, OTA 2130, OTA-2130C, OTA-2130L.
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 and 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. Therapeutic use of self, activity analysis, use of evidence for treatment to be at a proficient level. Level I Fieldwork continues with 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 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 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: BHS 1390, COM 1110, MTH 1260 or MTH 1151, OTA 2140, OTA 2150
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 where reflection 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
2 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) of the
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
This program has been accredited since its inception in 1997.
Admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program requires submission of a program application which can be found on the OTA page of the website. Application review will conclude at the end of each summer semester prior to each cohort’s fall semester start.
OTA Program Eligibility Requirements
- Attendance to a Program Briefing to learn about the program and profession. Sign-up is available on the OTA webpage.
- Meeting with an Academic Advisor to determine academic eligibility for pre-requisite courses (remediation free with a 2.75 GPA.)
- Completion of all pre-requisite semester courses with a grade of “C” or better.
- OTA 1010 will be offered in summer semester each year; a spring semester section will be offered pending sufficient enrollment.
- Anatomy and Physiology I course must be successfully completed within 5 years of entry into the program. (The 5 year requirement can be waived by the program chair with submission of proof of employment in a health care field.)
- If a student does not receive a C or better or withdraws (or a combination of these occur) three times from the same prerequisite course, the student will no longer be considered eligible.
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.
- Minimum overall achievement score of 60 on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). The deadline for completion of the TEAS is the last day of July.
- 40 hours of observation completed in two different clinical settings with a licensed Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant using the Observation Forms approved by Rhodes State College.
- 18 years of age by first clincal experience (first day of spring semester first year).
A maximum of 30 students will be accepted to begin the OTA program during each fall semester. Students are awarded points based on an Application Review Form which is provided in the Application Packet. Students who obtain the most points will be offered a seat for the OTA program enrollment up to a maximum of 30 students per cohort. Students are notified of an offer via Rhodes State e-mail. Students not offered enrollment may choose to be reviewed again the following year. No carryover of “Application Review” points or sorting from the previous year will be used.