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Occupational Therapy Assistant

Jeffrey Hopkins, Program Director
Allied Health 234

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) working under the supervision of a Licensed Occupational Therapist, assists in evaluation and interventions for individuals whose ability to handle daily living tasks is impaired by injury, disease, aging, or developmental deficits.

Phase I
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is a 1+1 program. This means that students are required to complete all General Education requirements (Phase I) before applying to the clinical phase of the program (Phase II). A full-time student could potentially complete all General Education requirements in one year; however, a part-time student will require additional time. It is recommended that General Education requirements be completed within five (5) years prior to application to the Clinical Phase, and it is mandatory for the Biology requirements unless waived by the program director.

Phase II
Once admitted to the Clinical Phase (Phase II), students will complete all Occupational Therapy Assistant courses at the Cumberland campus in four (4) consecutive terms; summer, fall, spring, and summer. Many of the Phase II courses are offered in an A-Term/B-Term format.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is comprised of both classroom education and clinical experience. A satisfactory health record must be on file prior to clinical experience. CPR certification is a prerequisite to beginning the clinical phase of the program. Certification and/or recertification is the responsibility of the student. The college regularly offers such courses. In order to participate in clinical experiences, students must obtain a Criminal Record Check. Many Occupational Therapy Assistant program fieldwork sites require receipt of the results of a criminal background check before accepting a student for fieldwork and may not accept a student with a criminal record. The Occupational Therapy Assistant program contracts with an independent agency to perform criminal background checks, and the cost of the service is included as a course fee in the first semester of Phase II of the program. The results of the criminal background check are reported to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program director and will be shared only with the Clinical Coordinator within the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. If a student has a significant criminal history, he or she may not be able to complete fieldwork, and as fieldwork is an integral part of the Occupational Therapy Assistant curriculum, the student will also not be able to complete the program. In addition, a significant criminal history may prevent the student from becoming certified and licensed to practice occupational therapy. If participating in a clinical experience at a Pennsylvania site, the student must also obtain a Child Abuse History Clearance. During enrollment, any official change or the initiation of any governmental proceeding affecting the information revealed by the required criminal or child abuse background checks must be reported immediately by the student to the director of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Allegany College of Maryland has been designated as a Health Manpower Shortage Program. The Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has determined certain health occupations in the state to be in short supply. The Maryland Higher Education Commission has designated educational programs that correspond to these health occupations to be eligible for the Health Manpower Shortage Program. Maryland residents from counties other than Allegany County who register in this eligible program will be charged the out-of-county tuition rate. However, these students may be eligible to receive reimbursement for a portion of the cost difference between the in county and out-of-county tuition rates. Funding availability for this program is based on funding from the State of Maryland and is thus subject to change each semester. Some restrictions apply. More information can be obtained by contacting the Admissions Office.

This is a career program and is designed to enable students to seek employment at the program's completion. Students planning to transfer should consult with their advisor or the Advising Center regarding specific program course transfer issues.

Successful completion of this program qualifies a student to apply for an Associate of Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant.

Phase II

Requirements for application to the Clinical Phase (Phase II):

  1. Successful completion of all General Education courses (Phase I) with a grade of “C” or better.
  2. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 for all Phase I courses.
  3. Completion of eight (8) documented volunteer observation hours with a licensed Occupational Therapist (OT) or Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) at two different facilities. Four of the 8 hours must be in a hospital or long term care setting, and the remaining four hours must be in an alternate setting (pediatrics, outpatient therapy clinic, home care, or mental health). The observation forms must be submitted directly to the OTA Department by the supervisor at the facility by the April 15 deadline. Forms must be submitted in a confidential manner or they will not be accepted.
  4. Review assigned videos and submit reflection summary assignments and submit by the April 15 deadline.
  5. Submission of program application by April 15 in order to be considered for admission in the summer session.

Admission to the clinical phase of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program is limited to 16 students per year, and completion of the above requirements does not guarantee admission. Please contact the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program or the Admissions Office for more information on the application process.


Required Occupational Therapy Assistant Courses

Introduction to Occupational Therapy
Dynamics of Human Motion
Intervention Techniques I
Diversity and Health Determinants
Intervention in Physical Rehabilitation
Domain of Occupational Therapy
Intervention Techniques II
Physical Agent Modalities
Intervention with Children and Adolescents
Clinical Internship I
Clinical Internship II
Specialty Skills Development
Mental Health Concepts and Techniques
Interventions with the Geriatric Population
OT Program Development

Required General Courses

Musculoskeletal Anatomy of the Human
Human Anatomy and Physiology
English Composition I
General Psychology
Human Growth and Development (Education 203)

Required Elective Courses

Please consult with your advisor or the Advising Center staff for selecting appropriate elective courses for graduation.


Humanities Elective - 3 credits

Mathematic Elective - 3 credits




Biological Science 121 (Musculoskeletal Anatomy of the Human) 1 4
English 101 (English Composition I) 3
Humanities Elective 3
Psychology 101 (General Psychology) 3
Mathematics Elective 3
Total: 16
Biological Science 201 (Human Anatomy and Physiology) 1 4
Occupational Therapy 101 (Introduction to Occupational Therapy) 3
Occupational Therapy 104 (Diversity and Health Determinants) 3
Psychology 203 (Human Growth and Development) 3
Total: 13
SUMMER SESSION (following second semester)
Occupational Therapy 106 (Intervention in Physical Rehabilitation) 4
Occupational Therapy 103 (Intervention Techniques I) 2
Occupational Therapy 107 (Domain of Occupational Therapy) 2
Total: 8
Occupational Therapy 102 (Dynamics of Human Motion) 4
Occupational Therapy 203 (Intervention Techniques II) 2
Occupational Therapy 207 (Intervention with Children and Adolescents) 4
Occupational Therapy 215
(Mental Health Concepts and Techniques)
Total: 14
Occupational Therapy 204 (Physical Agent Modalities) 2
Occupational Therapy 209 (Clinical Internship I) 4
Occupational Therapy 212 (Specialty Skills Development) 3
Occupational Therapy 217 (Intervention with the Geriatric Population) 4
Occupational Therapy 220 (OT Program Development) 2
Total: 15
SUMMER SESSION (following fourth semester)
Occupational Therapy 210 (Clinical Internship II) 4
Total: 4
Total Credit Hours: 70

Students may elect to take both Biological Science 207 and 208 in place of both Biological Science 121 and 201. If the student’s long-term goal is to transfer to a four-year college or university, then it is recommended that the student take Biological Science 207 and 208.

NOTE: All courses specifically identified by course number are graduation requirements for this program.


The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449,; 301-652-2682. Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination and are subsequently eligible for state licensure. This examination is administered by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD 20877,; 301-990-7979.