Occupational Therapy Assistant

Gain a career in occupational therapy

Our nationally accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program provides a comprehensive education for students who want to help people with disabilities remain engaged in occupations that are meaningful to them. A person who experiences a sudden injury causing a short or long-term disability needs an OTA to help him/her maintain independence in daily activities such as dressing, cooking, driving, riding a bus, handwriting and participating in leisure and play activities. OTA’s work with patients in a multitude of settings, ages and a variety of diagnoses, both physical and mental. The program offers unique learning opportunities with community agencies, the city of Tacoma, and the University of Puget Sound for Carfit. Students can earn their associate of applied science in 16 months and are well prepared to provide client-centered, occupation-based best practices in their careers.

General Information

Admissions Officer / Recruiter: Andrea Cobb
253.680.7185 | acobb@bates.ctc.edu

Location: Downtown Campus
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:45 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

  • National Median Salary$59,310
  • National Potential Annual Job Openings6,600

This information is base on data from August 2018. For updated information, visit careeronestop, a database sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Tuition and Fees

At Bates, our tuition is affordable and there are options to help make it even easier to gain an education. Federal aid is available for many of our students. Scholarships are also available through the Bates Foundation.

See if you qualify for other funding through our special funding programs with the Workforce Education office.

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Note: Information is accurate as of its original posting date. The college reserves the right to edit, change, or update information as needed throughout the year. Up-to-date information is available in Student Services.

Occupational Therapy Assistant - Associate of Applied Science: 120 Credits

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General Education Requirements

Gen Ed Group Credits Required Course ID/Name Credits
Communication 5.0 ENGL&101 - English Composition I
An expository written communication course emphasizing critical thought, reflective reading, and information literacy with attention to rules and conventions of standard American English.
5
HUM/SS 5.0 PSYC&200 - Lifespan Psychology
This course is an introduction to the various states of human development. Emphasis is on the major theories and perspectives and their relationship to the physical, cognitive and psychosocial aspects of development across the lifespan.
5
Natural Science 7.0 BIOL&175 - Human Biology with Lab
This human anatomy and physiology course includes a brief overview of the human body for the non-science major. Basics of chemistry and cell structure are introduced and then the major systems of the human body are emphasized.
5
BIOL170 - Medical Terminology
An introduction to the basic building blocks of medical terminology with an emphasis on word formation and structure
2
Quantitative 5.0 MATH&141 - Precalculus I
In this course students solve functions, function operations, rational, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and linear functions and equation solving, function graphs, matrices and determinants, sequences and series.
5
MATH&142 - Precalculus II
Right and oblique triangle trigonometry, circular functions, graphs of trigonometric functions, identities, inverse trig functions, vectors and polar coordinates, and parametric equations
5
MATH&146 - Statistics
This course is designed to teach the student counting rules, probability, mean and standard deviation, graphing, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing and regression analysis. Also applications in business, health and technology
5
MATH&151 - Calculus
Limits and limit laws, continuity, tangents and rates of change, derivatives using definition and differentiation rules for polynomial, exponential, trigonometric, logarithmic and transcendental functions, max/min problems, LHospitals rule, Newtons method and antidifferentiation.
5
MATH171 - Technical Math
Application of linear and quadratic equations, systems of equations, geometry and trigonometry and vectors and their applications in the technical workplace.
5
MATH172 - Business Math
Equation solving, exponents, markup, income tax, compoung interst, logarithms and finding time, annuities, amoritization and business statistics.
5
MATH173 - Mathematic Concepts for Child Care/Early Education
Mathematics for Early Childhood Educators focuses on the conceptual understanding, connections between and the application of math concepts. Concepts include number systems and computation, geometry, measurement, data analysis, probability and statistics, and problem solving. Emphasis is placed on the ability to communicate mathematical concepts in ways appropriate for young children.
5
MATH174 - Math for Allied Health
Mathematical concepts for allied health fields including systems of measurement, use of formulas, ratios and proportions in health applications; and basic statistics
5

Required Coursework

Course ID Title Prerequisites Credits
OTA102 OTA102 - Health and Wellness and the OTA
Principles and strategies for managing health and promoting wellness are practiced. Importance of balancing areas of occupation for success in occupational roles are examined and applied
3
OTA103 OTA103 - Functional Movement
This course covers basic principles of kinesiology, biomechanics, and associated biological systems related to daily living activities. Techniques for body mechanics, safety and mobility, energy conservation, task simplification are covered. Upper extremity functions for everyday tasks are emphasized
5
OTA104 OTA104 - Therapeutic Use of Self
The focus of this course is to explore personal values and cultural attitudes that relate to individual performance, group interactions and therapeutic use of self for the establishment of therapeutic relationships. Group roles, learning styles, leadership, and communication styles will be examined in a variety of ways. Students develop basic skills for observation, interviewing, communicating with their cohort but also with the population we serve. Personality, insights, perceptions and judgments as part of the therapeutic process are covered and addressed to ensure success as occupational therapy practitioners.
5
OTA105 OTA105 - Nervous System Function
Basic principles of neurology and associated sensory and cognitive systems related to daily living activities. Deficits in sensory, perceptual and cognitive functioning and effects on occupational performance are examined
4
OTA106 OTA106 - Therapeutic Activities and Performance I
This course covers areas of human occupation through analysis of activities of daily living- work, leisure, play and self-care. Students develop an understanding of the nature and value of occupation to support client participation and performance through therapeutic crafts and daily living activities
5
OTA107 OTA107 - Devel. Disabilities - Treatment and Applications
This course focuses on students learning about the functional implications of various pediatric diagnoses on areas of occupation: self-care, play, education, and social participation while considering sociocultural and ethical issues when working with children and adolescents and their families. These experiences promote essential critical thinking and clinical reasoning abilities in students as they learn to apply theoretical frames of reference in pediatric occupational therapy and develop assessment skills and intervention plans for children and adolescents with various diagnoses. Lab experiences will be part of the class, and allow students to practice specific occupational therapy assessment measures and intervention techniques for infants, children and adolescents.
5
OTA108 OTA108 - Applied Experience I - A
Students participate in observations and guided practice opportunities for applying OT principles in traditional and nontraditional settings
1
OTA109 OTA109 - Adaptive Technologies
Adaptive technology used in occupational therapy setting is explored through laboratory practice and field site visits. Low technology such as prosthetics, positioning equipment and adaptive aides for daily living to more advanced computer technology utilized for environmental control and augmentative communication are covered
5
OTA110 OTA110 - Documentation Skills
Students learn about record keeping, progress note writing, and assisting the OT with functional goals and objectives for various OT settings. Overview of terminology of assessment results and treatment plans covered
3
OTA111 OTA111 - Introduction to Occupational Therapy
This course provides an overview of the OTA program and the profession and the roles and responsibilities of OT practitioners in health care, community-based settings and school systems. Basic terminology, principles, philosophies and ethics are introduced for a better understanding of occupational therapy, the clients served, and other health care professionals working in the settings. Students gain computer literacy skills and library skills for accessing information about professional issues
5
OTA201 OTA201 - Therapeutic Activities and Performance II
More advanced course to develop creative problem-solving, clinical reasoning, and documentation skills through exposure to barriers for safety and independence. Models and theories of occupation are applied and the effects on performance are examined. Students examine universal design principles and environmental modifications for work, home and the community
5
OTA202 OTA202 - Psychosocial Dysfunctions : Treatment and Applications
Conditions that lead to psychiatric and social-emotional challenges are examined. Clinical features, medical management and issues impacting OT are covered. This course focuses on the further development of observation, assessment skills, task analysis and interventions for individuals with psychosocial challenges. Quality of life and meaningful occupations are emphasi
8
OTA203 OTA203 - Applied Experience I - B
Students participate in observations and guided practice opportunities for applying OT principles in traditional and nontraditional settings
1
OTA204 OTA204 - Seminar - Applied Mental Health
This course focuses on the applied mental health in fieldwork experiences, by articulating the physical components of individual/group function within the context of occupational therapy practice, based on skilled observations. Reflection on the ethical considerations within occupational therapy practice, including use of the AOTA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice to make informed clinical and employment decision, including strategies for analyzing issues and making decisions to resolve personal and organizational ethical conflicts.
1
OTA210 OTA210 - Physical Disabilities - Treatment and Applications
Trauma, illness, and other conditions that lead to physical dysfunction are examined. Therapy modalities to maximize independence, safety and participation in meaningful occupation are practiced. This course focuses on the further development of the students skills in clinical reasoning carrying out the treatment plan
8
OTA212 OTA212 - Applied Experience - I - C
Students participate in observations and guided practice opportunities for applying OT principles in traditional and nontraditional settings
1
OTA213 OTA213 - Seminar - Applied Physical Rehabilitation
This course focuses on the applied physical rehabilitation in fieldwork experiences, by articulating the physical components of individual/group function within the context of occupational therapy practice, based on skilled observations. Reflection on the ethical considerations within occupational therapy practice, including use of the AOTA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice to make informed clinical and employment decision, including strategies for analyzing issues and making decisions to resolve personal and organizational ethical conflicts.
1
OTA220 OTA220 - Clinical Fieldwork Level II - Rotation A
The first of two eight-week off-campus work experiences in a clinical setting under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist or a certified occupational therapy assistant. This forty-hour per week rotation is to further develop and practice the skills of an entry-level OTA and must be successfully completed before student is eligible for the national certification examination
11
OTA221 OTA221 - Clinical Fieldwork Level II - Seminar A
Discussion and problem-solving of fieldwork experiences and preparation for the national board exam are emphasized
1
OTA222 OTA222 - Clinical Fieldwork Level II - Rotation B
The second of two eight-week career experiences working in a clinical setting under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist or a certified occupational therapy assistant. This forty-hour per week rotation is to further develop and practice the skills of an entry-level OTA and must be successfully completed before student is eligible for the national certification examination
11
OTA223 OTA223 - Clinical Fieldwork Level II - Seminar B
Discussion and problem-solving of fieldwork experiences and preparation for the national board exam are emphasized
1
OTA231 OTA231 - OTA and Special Settings
This course focuses on the settings which require the OT assistant to be an independent self-starter. Occupational therapy practice with elderly clients in long term care, assisted living and home health care, pediatric clients in school settings, and injured workers in work condition programs are covered.
4
OTA232 OTA232 - Professional Issues for the OTA
Preparation for fieldwork, certification and employment of the OTA, as well as, workplace issues and job-related responsibilities of OTA are covered. The OTA as a manager, contractor, private practitioner and advocate of occupational therapy services are presented.
4

Occupational therapy assistants work under the direction of occupational therapists to provide services to persons whose lives have been challenged due to injury, illness, developmental deficits or aging. Occupational therapy assistants view individuals in a holistic manner and help people prevent, lessen or overcome disabilities so they are able to function more independently in every aspect of daily living. Occupational therapy assistants use therapeutic activities and exercises to improve a clients skills for performing a variety of important everyday tasks safely and independently in their role at work, home, school, and in the community. Students in this program receive fundamental skills in occupational therapy and extensive clinical training. Successful completion of the program prepares students for careers as occupational therapy assistants in hospitals, out-patient clinics, rehabilitation centers, mental health centers, assisted living and nursing care facilities, and school systems.

At the successful completion of the program curriculum, students will be able to:

  1. Apply practice models, knowledge and skills through the use of clinical reasoning and thinking to a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, client homes, long term care facilities, retirement communities, assisted living facilities, school systems, and mental health centers.
  2. Describe the role of the occupational therapy assistant and the occupational therapist, the differences in the scope of practice, and the supervision guidelines, both legal and professional.
  3. Provide skilled treatment that is reflective of evidenced-based practice through the ability to locate current research information, evaluate and apply the information to the populations they serve.
  4. Establish therapeutic relationships with clients, families and caregivers that are representative of an understanding of their self and their impact on the therapeutic process.
  5. Provide occupation-based/medically-based centered care that is reflective both of the environment the client is in, and also of the individuality and unique roles of that client.
  6. Demonstrate respect and professionalism in all patient interactions despite the differences in culture, beliefs about health and wellness, and lifestyle choices.
  7. Demonstrate professional behaviors with clients, families, and other healthcare personnel, including communication skills, good work habits and sound judgment.
  8. Demonstrate skill, knowledge and attitudes to successfully pass the national certification examination for occupational therapy assistants and to gain employment and cope successfully with ever-changing workforce requirements.

In addition, the following college-wide learning outcomes reflect the guiding expectations of all programs at Bates Technical College.

  • Human Diversity
  • Effective Communication
  • Critical Thinking

Bates instructors are industry experts who enjoy working with and teaching students.

Instructors

  • Marge Luthman, MS, OT/L

    253-680-7108 | Email

  • Andrew Min, COTA/L

    253-680-7287 | Email

  • Alicia Lancaster, COTA/L

    253-680-7278 | Email

  • Phyllis Tharp, COTA/L

    253-680-7278 | Email