Occupational Therapy Assistant, Associate in Science

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate Degree Program prepares graduates to care for clients who are limited by a physical illness or injury, an emotional disorder, a developmental disability or the aging process. Working under the supervision of an occupational therapist, an occupational therapy assistant uses functional activities and therapeutic modalities as methods of treatment. Therapy focuses on assisting clients in regaining or maintaining independence in everyday life skills. Specific techniques that an occupational therapy assistant may utilize include training in activities of daily living, fabrication of splints, adapting home, work and school environments, vocational, training and therapeutic use of functional activities.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program core courses are primarily offered on evenings and weekends. The program must be completed in a cohort model (see curriculum). Students should be advised and make arrangements early in their coursework to accommodate the full-time requirement of Academic Fieldwork along with the responsibility of providing their own transportation. OTA 100 FWIA, OTA 102 Clinical FWIB, OTA 250 and OTA 260 Advanced Fieldwork Level IIA and IIB are all completed during the day as required by clinical sites. 


The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Goodwin College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE). The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) is located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-AOTA. 

Graduates of the program will be eligible 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). In addition, all states require licensure to practice, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico; however, state licenses are based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. When you apply to sit for the certification exam, you will be asked to answer questions related to the topic of felony convictions. For further information on these limitations, contact NBCOT. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain licensure. 

Admission Requirements

The specific admission requirements are outlined below. It is important to note that not all qualified candidates can be offered admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program due to the limited number of places available. Admission is based upon completion of occupational therapy assistant prerequisites, general education requirements, and other outlined requirements. Any submitted applications that do not meet the minimum required GPA and the required score on the examination being utilized as the pre-admission exam will not be considered for admission.

Candidates will be accepted based on the following outlined requirements listed below and the outlined point system: 

  1. Complete the application for admission into Goodwin College. Applicants to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program must first meet the requirement for admission and be accepted into Goodwin College.
  2. Applicants must take the pre-admission - Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) for Allied Health. This examination is administered at Goodwin College three times a year (January, May, and September). The cost of the exam is the responsibility of the applicant. Students may only register for the exam when they are submitting an application or reactivating an application that is already on file. It is the student's responsibility to follow the deadlines and instructions posted on the application. All questions regarding exam registration must be directed to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Department or are accessible on the Goodwin College web site for exam dates and deadlines. Students may take The Pre-Entrance Examination as many times as they wish. Students must score at 50 percent or higher on this exam to be considered for admission.
  3. Complete the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program application. 
  4. Applicants must have a cumulative 2.7 GPA in the last twelve college credits taken or on high school transcripts if no college courses have been taken.
  5. Provide documentation of observation of occupational therapy in any specialty area. Observation must include 8 hours in the prior 12 months.
  6. All prerequisite and general education requirements must be completed before entering the Program.
  7. Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of a "C" or better:
    1. HSC 105 - Medical Terminology
    2. BIO 120 (Goodwin College) or equivalent with a laboratory OR Anatomy & Physiology I (Goodwin College) or equivalent completed within the last five years. This is the prerequisite for OTA 101.
  8. Occupational Therapy Assistant applicants who have satisfied all of the admission criteria are also required to interview with the Program Director before admission.

Point System

Occupational Therapy Students who have satisfied all of the admission criteria will be selected according to the point system specified below:

Admission requirements: Score
Previous College Education
Associate Degree or > (60 Credits) 2
Bachelor's Degree 3
Master's Degree 4
Completion of courses at Goodwin College
1 course 1
2 courses 2
3 courses 3
4 courses 4
Cumulative GPA
2.7 - 3.0 1
3.1 - 3.5 2
3.6 - 4.0 3
Pre Admission Test - Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)
50-59% 1
60-65% 2
66-70% 3
71-75% 4
76-80% 5
81-85% 6
86-90% 7
91-95% 8
96-99% 9
Interview 0-7
Total Possible Points 27

Accepted Students 

Occupational Therapy Assistant students will be required to provide documentation of a Physical Exam (within 2 years) and immunizations prior to starting the program. Student immunizations must remain current throughout the program. Immunization requirements include:

  • Hepatitis B vaccination or titer
  • Influenza vaccination (within 1 year)
  • MMR vaccination or titer
  • Varicella vaccination or titer
  • Tetanus vaccination (within 7 years)
  • Two-step PPD (within 1 year)

All students must provide proof of CPR certification by the American Heart Association prior to starting their Advanced Fieldwork Level II rotation.

All students must successfully pass a background check, drug test and DCF check before official acceptance into the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program will be granted. Forms are provided by program personnel.

Program Outcomes

The goal of the Occupational Therapy Assisting Program is to provide meaningful and appropriate educational experiences that enable students to develop knowledge and achieve competency in entry-level skills. The program leads to certification as an occupational therapy assistant (COTA). Upon successful completion of all Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program requirements, graduates will be able to:

  1. Sit for the National Certification Exam;
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply, analyze, and evaluate clinical information relevant to their role as an occupational therapy assistant;
  3. Demonstrate the clinical skills and proficiency in all relevant practice areas necessary to fulfill the role as an entry-level occupational therapy assistant;
  4. Demonstrate professional behavior consistent with employer expectations for the occupational therapy assistant;
  5. Demonstrate professional skills to begin work in any one of the specialty areas of occupational therapy practice with the general and specific tools necessary to complete the job requirements;
  6. Apply the scope of occupational therapy practice;
  7. Apply the comprehensive learning outcomes identified within each syllabus; and
  8. Apply the comprehensive learning outcomes identified with the General Education Component.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Policies

Policies specific to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program may be found in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Student Handbook and Fieldwork Guide.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all the general Associate graduation requirements as stated in the catalog. In addition, students must complete the following programmatic graduation requirements:

  1. Complete all Occupational Therapy Assistant core courses with a minimum grade of "C+".
  2. Complete HSC 105 and BIO 120, or equivalent, with a minimum grade of "C".
  3. Fieldwork IIA and IIB must be completed within 12 months of completion of all academic coursework.


Associate in Occupational Therapy Assistant

Non-Major Core Requirements - 6 Credits

HSC 105Medical Terminology


PSY 212Lifespan Development


General Education Core - 22 Credits

ENG 101English Composition


ENG 1XXEnglish Elective


CAP 110*Computer Applications


MATH 1XXMathematics (MATH)


BIO 120Human Biology


PSY 112Introduction to Psychology


Humanities (HIS, PHIL, SPAN, ASL, HUM)


*Students have the option to test out of CAP 110 and take a General Education elective instead.  The test must be completed prior to the first attempt.  See CAP 005 policy.

Elective credits may be chosen from any general education course, unless directed by the program.  General Education courses contain the following prefixes:  ENG, MATH, STAT, CAP, COM, IDA, BIO, CHEM, SCI, HIS, HUM, PHIL, SPAN, PSY, SOC, and PSC.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Major Core - 36 credits

Semester One

OTA 100Occupational Therapy Foundations and Fieldwork IA


OTA 101Foundations of Movement and Function


OTA 105Foundations of Behavioral Health in OTA


Semester Two

OTA 102Clinical Fieldwork IB (FW I)


OTA 214Principles of Adult Populations and the Occupational Therapy Assistant


OTA 215Principles of Pediatric Populations and the Occupational Therapy Assistant


Semester Three

OTA 203Case Studies and Practice Applications in Occupational Therapy Assistant


OTA 216Principles of Geriatric Populations and the Occupational Therapy Assistant


OTA 217Principles of Group Dynamics in OTA


Semester Four

OTA 220Occupational Therapy Assistant Seminar


OTA 250Advanced Fieldwork Level IIA


OTA 260Advanced Fieldwork Level IIB


Total Credit Hours: 64