Occupational Therapy Assistant

Associate in Science Degree


The Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate’s Degree program prepares students to assist people of all ages, with varying abilities or disabilities, to become independent in their day-to-day activities.  Both day and evening classes are available.

In the Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate’s Degree program, the student learns to act as part of the rehabilitation team, collecting data needed for the patient’s initial evaluation, carrying out treatment plans, using technology to help people overcome disabilities, and designing activities to help people reach their goals.

After completion of all Occupational Therapy Assistant course training on campus, and Level I Fieldwork off campus, students enter the community for Level II Fieldwork. The two Level II Fieldwork experiences give the student many opportunities to apply Occupational Therapy Assistant classroom training to real life situations. Upon successful completion of all degree requirements, the student will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapy Assistants. Employment is available in a wide variety of settings in the areas of physical disabilities, pediatrics, and geriatrics, as well as in mental health and wellness programs. Earn your Associate’s Degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant Technology in as little as 18 months, days or evenings. In addition, after completing certain prerequisites*, graduates of this program are eligible to continue on for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management Technology or Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy.


The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association.   ACOTE c/o Accreditation Department American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200 Bethesda, MD 20814-3449.   ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is  www.acoteonline.org .

Results of National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Examination

Year Number of Program Graduates Number of first-time test takers Number of first-time test takers who passed the exam Percentage of first-time test takers who passed the exam
2010 34 26 26 100%
2011 46 40 35 88%
2012 54 56 43 77%
Total 3-year 134 122 104 85%


Graduates of the program 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 this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).  Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Most states, including Rhode Island, require licensure in order to practice. State licensure is usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. To access NBCOT examination data please use this link provided https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx. 

Program Mission, Goals and Outcomes

Program Mission:
The mission of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Technology (OTA) Program is to provide a specialized associate degree program to prepare students to become Occupational Therapy Assistants working in partnership with the Occupational Therapist. Through a combination of didactic, laboratory and fieldwork experiences, the program emphasizes application of knowledge to the provision of occupational therapy services to individuals who strive to live a productive life.

Program Goals:
1. The OTA program will provide appropriate learning opportunities for students to acquire the theoretical knowledge, applicable skills and attitude necessary to function as an entry-level occupational therapy assistant.
2. The OTA program will prepare students to sit for the national certification examination.
3. The OTA program will endeavor to instill in the student a sense of commitment to the occupational therapy profession’s core values and ethics.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates of this program will be able to:
1. Respect all people and cultures and render occupational therapy services to clients in various environments; for all populations, groups and individuals seeking services.
2. Function as an advocate and partner in the health care team including the development of professional relationships with recipients of service and professional and non-professional care givers.
3. Communicate through a variety of methods all material, information, services and documentation required as directed by practice guidelines and the law.
4. Act in an ethically, responsible way with regard to legal obligations applicable in all practice settings while adhering to the core values of occupational therapy practice.
5. Follow and select all activities pertinent to meeting the objectives of the treatment plan and recognize the need for adaptation, adjustments and restructuring of the plan within the recognized role delineation of the occupational therapy assistant.
6. Practice occupational therapy services using the most current evidence-based methods to ensure the highest quality of care.

Courses Offered

Associate in Science Degree

OTA 110 Foundations of Occupational Therapy Assistant Practice
OTA 111 Foundations of Occupational Therapy Assistant Practice Lab
BIO 100 Anatomy and Physiology I
BIO 101 Anatomy and Physiology I
HS 120 Medical Terminology I
OTA 122 Development of Human Occupation Across the Lifespan
OTA 136 Level I Fieldwork – Mental Health
OTA 137 Mental Health Populations and Practice for Occupational Therapy
BIO 120 Anatomy and Physiology II
BIO 121 Anatomy and Physiology II Lab
AHS 123 Medical Terminology II
OTA 123 Functional Kinesiology
OTA 132 Pediatric Populations
OTA 133 Pediatric Practice for Occupational Therapy
OTA 236 Level I Fieldwork – Adult Rehab
OTA 242 Adult Populations
OTA 243 Adult Practice for Occupational Therapy
OTA 250 Gerontology Practice for Occupational Therapy
OTA 255 Practice Issues for the Occupational Therapy Assistant
OTA 258 Level II Fieldwork l
OTA 263 Senior Capstone and Practice Development Seminar
OTA 268 Level II Fieldwork*II