Program of Study

Occupational Therapy Assistant, AAS

Click on title for course description.
Prefix Number Title Class Lab Clinical Credit
ACA 111 College Student Success 1 0 0 1
Fall Semester I
BIO 168 Anatomy & Physiology I 3 3 0 4
ENG 111 Writing & Inquiry 3 0 0 3
OTA 110 Fundamentals of OT 2 3 0 3
OTA 120 OT Media I 1 3 0 2
OTA 130 Assessment Skills 2 3 0 3
PSY 150 General Psychology 3 0 0 3
    Totals 14 12 0 18
Spring Semester I
BIO 169 Anatomy & Physiology II 3 3 0 4
OTA 140 Professional Skills I 0 3 0 1
OTA 150 Peds Concepts & Interventions 2 3 0 3
OTA 170 Physical Conditions 2 3 0 3
PSY 241 Developmental Psychology 3 0 0 3
    Totals 10 12 0 14
Summer Semester I
ENG 114 Professional Research & Reporting 3 0 0 3
OTA 161 Fieldwork I - Placement I 0 0 3 1
OTA 162 Fieldwork I - Placement 2 0 0 3 1
OTA 240 Professional Skills II 0 3 0 1
PSY 281 Abnormal Psychology 3 0 0 3
    Totals 6 3 6 9
Fall Semester II
HUM 115 Critical Thinking 3 0 0 3
OTA 163 Fieldwork I - Placement 3 0 0 3 1
OTA 180 Psychosocial Conditions 2 3 0 3
OTA 220 OT Media II 1 6 0 3
OTA 250 Adult Concepts & Interventions 2 3 0 3
    Totals 8 12 3 13
Spring Semester II
OTA 260 Level II Fieldwork - Placement I 0 0 18 6
OTA 261 Level II Fieldwork - Placement II 0 0 18 6
OTA 280 Professional Transitions 0 2 0 1
    Totals 0 2 36 13

Admission Criteria-
The program has a limited enrollment and a selective admissions process including three phases. Classes are admitted in the fall of each year.  Applications and supporting documents listed in Phase I below must be completed and submitted by March 1 of the year the student wishes to apply to the program. If all slots have not been filled after the above deadline, there may be extensions to the deadline. Please check with the Admissions Office about the status of the program.

PHASE I- To be completed by March 1.

a. High school GPA of 2.8 or higher within the past 10 years

b. High school GPA of 2.2-2.79 within the past 10 years: student will be eligible for admission after successful completion of ENG 111 and the corresponding corequisite. This is a required corequisite for the program.

c. High school GPA of below 2.2 within the past 10 years: student will be eligible for admission after completion of required transition English and math courses.

d. High school graduation prior to the past 10 years: student will be eligible for Phase II of the selective admission process after successful completion of the RISE placement test or the required transition English and math courses.

  1. If you are not currently enrolled at SCC complete an application to the college.  Designate Occupational Therapy Assistant AAS Degree (A45500) as the program of interest.  If you are a current student, see Admissions to complete a change of major form if you wish to apply to the OTA program.  
  2. Graduate from high school or have earned a high school equivalency diploma (GED). May apply to the program during senior year of high school if enrolled in college classes.  
  3. Request official transcripts from high school and all college/universities attended be mailed to the Admissions office. (1-800-447-4091) or 828-339-4219.  Request an unofficial copy be sent to you at home if you would like a copy.
  4. Achieve a minimum of 2.5 GPA with 10 or more credits from college or high school (GPA will be determined from the most recent institution where at least 10 credit hours have been completed
  5. Meet the Southwestern Community College Placement requirements. This may be met by one of the following:
  6. Have access to a computer that is up to date with current web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla FireFox. Have consistent access to a word processing application like Microsoft Office 2013. If you have any questions regarding your online access to our college services, review the online learning technical requirements or contact the IT helpdesk at 828.339.4409.
  7. Must complete the TEAS-Allied Health exam.  The TEAS-Allied Health Exam must have been taken within the past three years and may only be taken once per academic year. This is not a pass or fail test. It is used to measure your potential to be successful in the program.For more information, visit
  8. Complete a maximum of six hours of observation in occupational therapy and submit the completed observation form. The observation form may be obtained from OTA faculty.
  9. Applicants must be able to meet all Essential Functions required to complete the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program and become employable.  These essential functions are provided to help students assess the appropriateness of this career individually.  A prospective student with a disability that is concerned that the disability may impact his or her ability to perform one or more of these skills, provide patient care, or participate in other job activities, is encouraged to contact  Peter Buck, Student Disability & Academic Engagement Coordinator at 828-339-4243. For more information on essential functions of the Occupational Therapy Assistant:
  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving:  Critical thinking and problem-solving ability sufficient for clinical judgment.
  • Interpersonal Skills:  Ability to interact with individuals, families, and groups successfully from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds.
  • Communication:  Communication skills sufficient for acceptable written, verbal and non-verbal skills to communicate with individuals, families, and groups.
  • Mobility and Strength:  Physical mobility and strength sufficient to move through the clinical setting, to move patients and equipment, to use ones’ body for treatment without the use of equipment, and to insure patient safety during treatment. Motor Skills:  Gross and fine motor abilities/coordination to provide safe and effective treatment.
  • Hearing:  Auditory acuity sufficient to monitor and treat patients and to monitor safety warning signals on equipment.
  • Visual Acuity:  Visual acuity sufficient to monitor and treat patients and to monitor safety warning signals on equipment.     
  • Tactile Skills:  Tactile skills sufficient to monitor and treat patients and to perform measurements.  
  • Emotional: Must possess emotional stability sufficient to maintain composure in stressful situations.  
Please Note:  In order to participate in clinical education experiences at health care facilities, students will be required to submit proof of immunizations, annual TB test, results of a criminal background check and annual drug screen at their expense. 

The OTA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Graduates of the OTA program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant, which is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of the NBCOT certification exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice. Licensure generally requires initial certification by the NBCOT. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification and obtain state licensure. 

6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929

301.652.6611 ext. 2914 |

All of the above program admissions requirements must complete and received by the admissions office by March 1.  After March 1 our admissions office will send the OTA faculty all information on applicants who completed the above criteria. Applicants will be chosen based on the following criteria.
Criteria Points Description
GPAx5 20 2.5=12.5  4.0=20
TEAS (R & L) 5  
Attend Information Session 5 Information sessions are held in the spring and fall.
Clinical Observation 3 Must submit a completed observation form to admissions
Academic History 20 Points are awarded for courses taken toward the curriculum
Health related certificates 1 Must be from an accredited program. Examples: CNA, EMS, Massage Therapy. Credentials must be presented to obtain the point. Documentation must be presented.
Previous degree 1 Verified through transcript
Total  50  

Twenty selected applicants will be notified by the Admission Office of provisional acceptance into the program.  The applicants must sign and return the Acknowledgment of Acceptance form to the Admissions office as soon as possible within the identified timeline.  Any student whose acknowledgment is not returned in a timely manner may forfeit the seat in the program.

Those individuals, who are notified of acceptance status, will be provided with SCC health forms to be completed by the appropriate medical personnel.  The completed medical forms must indicate that the candidate is capable of meeting the essential functions for the program.  All conditionally accepted candidates must return the health forms at a scheduled orientation session during the summer.  As part of this session, candidates must successfully complete an essential functions activity which includes essential functions for the field of occupational therapy.  Students will also be provided with information on the following at orientation:  Registering with Certified Background and submitting required personal information, immunization records, drug test to be accessed by clinical fieldwork sites.  Students will be provided with information on CPR certification and professional liability insurance.   

  1. Applicants are responsible for submitting all the necessary records to the admissions office.
  2. Applications must be updated annually by applicants who were not accepted the previous year.
  3. Applicants may take non-occupational therapy assistant, general education and related coursework prior to being accepted into the program.
  4. All students admitted into the OTA program will be required to submit to a criminal background check and drug testing each academic year. The results of these tests could affect the student’s ability to progress in the program. Additional testing may be required by facilities in which the students are completing fieldwork education.
  5. All students completing a health science program may be required, by an external testing agency, to submit to a criminal background check and/or drug test prior to a state or national licensing/ certification board approving the graduation to sit for the licensure /certification exams.
  6. All Students are required to complete clinical fieldwork education.  Many of these sites may require the student to relocate or travel extensively for this part of the program. All expenses are the student’s responsibility.



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Anna Walls
Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Coordinator/Instructor
800.447.4091, ext. 4334
Occupational Therapy Assistant Academic Fieldwork Coordinator/Instructor
800.447.4091, ext. 4254