Degree Description

The program prepares students as entry level Occupational Therapy Assistant practitioners. The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) works under the direction of the Occupational Therapist (OT) in providing specific patient services to improve health and performance. OTA and OTPT courses will be taught only at the Southern Lakes Branch Campus.

Career Possibilities

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Degree Pathway

Program Information & Forms

A felony conviction may affect the graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification exam or attain state licensure.

Accreditation Status

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 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. AOTA’s phone number is (301) 652-6611. 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). Michigan requires a license in order to practice in this state (the program coordinator will give you information on obtaining a license). A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination and attain state registration.

NOTE: All OTA students must complete Level II Fieldwork within 18 months following completion of academic preparation.

Physical Exam

Documentation of a recent physical examination (no older than six months) must be submitted to the OTA Program Coordinator by date specified by the program coordinator (usually they are due during the first fall in the program). The physical exam form is available in the Division of Health Sciences office Curtis-Mott building on the main campus or from the OTA Program Coordinator at the Southern Lakes Branch Center. Forms will also be available at the program orientation. The form must be filled out completely by the student and his/her physician.

Time Commitment

The OTA program requires a large time commitment for classroom hours, study, practical examinations, and clinical participation. Expect to study two hours for each lecture hour. Classes may be scheduled as early as 8:00 am and end as late as 9:00 pm. Each semester/session class schedule will vary. Students are typically in class or clinicals 15 – 20 hours per week. During the OTA Internship students are in the clinic 40 hours per week for 16 weeks. Some students are able to work part-time but others find it difficult to keep up with the material and either cut back on work hours or quit working.

Tuition Information

Tuition is based on contact hours. Please see the current tuition schedule. Tuition may be raised by the Board of Trustees of the College as necessary.

Currently a CBI is required for all students applying for any Health Science program except: Physical Education, Phlebotomy, and Histologic Tech*.

Criminal Background Investigations & Drug Screens
Michigan law requires criminal background screening for individuals working in most health care settings and facilities. Students in a Health Science Program are affected by this law. Conviction of a criminal offense (felony or misdemeanor) may make a student ineligible to be assigned to a clinical site, making program completion and graduation unattainable.

The start-up packet provides instruction regarding the process to complete and submit the background investigation. Students will not be admitted to any health science program without a clear CBI.

*In some cases, clinical sites may require students to complete additional background investigation and submit to drug screening procedures prior to or during the clinical experience. All background investigations and drug screenings are at the student’s expense.

Conviction of a criminal offense may also make graduates of health science program ineligible for state or national licensure/certification at program completion. All applicants for a health profession license in Michigan are required to submit fingerprints and undergo a criminal background investigation prior to licensure/certification.

Program coordinators, faculty, and staff cannot give legal advice to any student regarding potential eligibility/ineligibility based on prior convictions or negative findings on the criminal background investigation. The student should consult an attorney for questions specific to his/her individual case.

Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTA) work under the supervision of occupational therapists in helping people of all ages with physical, psychological, or developmental disabilities so that they may regain, improve, or adjust to their physical or mental capacities. The treatments focus on helping patients achieve maximum levels of independence in such daily activities as dressing, bathing, grooming, eating, caring for a home, participating in education, or seeking and holding employment. As an OTA, you will have a great impact on your patient's lives; allowing time to live their lives to the fullest.