The BPCC Occupational Therapy Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), The certifying agency is the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. After successful completion of the NBCOT exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. It is important to know your school’s accreditation status because students must graduate from an ACOTE-accredited program to be eligible to sit for the NBCOT certification examination.
After completion of the OTA program, graduates are required to take and pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Examination to be eligible to apply for a license to practice as an OTA in the state of Louisiana.
Absolutely. While the majority of our applicants and clinical students live and plan to work in this area, we encourage and are in fact actively recruiting students from other regions of the state. Job availability and salaries continue to grow in those communities not served by a local OT or OTA program and we receive frequent calls from rural hospitals and clinics seeking OTA graduates. If you are from out of town and are interested in pursuing an OTA degree from BPCC you are encouraged to contact an OTA advisor for additional information and to request a personalized transcript review.
The job market and salaries in the Shreveport-Bossier City area are very good (starting salaries range from $35,000 to $45,000 per year). The available jobs and salary ranges in more “rural” areas outside Shreveport-Bossier City tend to be even higher.
More information on the job descriptions, job outlook and salaries for OTAs can be found on the website for the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
The majority of the pre-OTA curriculum (qualification courses) for this Program may be completed at any accredited 4-year university or community college (near your home). In addition, the scheduled clinical practice experiences/“fieldwork” that occur during the program component (final year) (each 8 weeks in length) may be scheduled in hospitals/OT clinics in or near your hometown. Your required time in Bossier would include:
While it is likely that within your degree you have taken some or even most of the pre-requisite course requirements, there is a strong possibility that you may be lacking one or more of the required classes. You should request that an OTA advisor review your transcript and help you identify what may be missing. Additionally, if a significant amount of time has passed since the completion of your degree, your advisor may recommend re-taking or auditing particular courses so that your knowledge in that content is current.
The selection process for the OTA professional program is based 50% on academic criteria and 50% on non-academic criteria. Those factors include:
We accept a maximum of 20 students per year into the OTA Program.
We encourage any applicant not selected for the OTA program to meet with an OTA advisor to review strengths/weaknesses of their application packet. Options for students not selected include (a) pursuing another allied health program at BPCC (b) working on improving an application score with re-application to the OTA program the following year (c) working toward completion of a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field or (d) investigating OTA Program application at another institution.
The pre-OTA component (qualification courses) of the program has only those costs associated with regular tuition per credit hour which is the same for all BPCC students. Once accepted into the OTA program there are additional costs related to clinical fees, uniforms, immunizations, etc.
|Occupational Therapist||Occupational Therapist Assistant|
|Master of Occupational Therapy (a Graduate School Degree)||Associate Degree|
|Starting Salary||Starting Salary|
|approximately $60,000 in Shreveport, LA||approximately $35,000 - $45,000 in Shreveport, LA|
Develop plan of care to improve patients' functional abilities.
|Collaborating with the OT in gathering data, planning goals and strategies, implementing treatment programs according to the plan of care, reporting to the OT on patient's response, and documenting patient treatment and response; works under supervision of an occupational therapist|
|Patient Conditions Treated||Patient Conditions Treated|
Spinal Cord Injury
|Same as Occupational Therapist|
|Work Place||Work Place|
Home Health Agencies
|Same as Occupational Therapist|
|Requires Licensure Exam To Work||Requires Licensure Exam To Work|
|Area Schools That Offer Training||Schools That Offer Training|
|LSUHSC Shreveport, LA
LSUHSC New Orleans, LA
|Bossier Parish Community College
Delgado Community College (New Orleans, LA)
South Arkansas Community College (El Dorado, AR)
In order to become an Occupational Therapist, a student must complete a graduate school level program in Occupational Therapy. In Louisiana, there are 2 institutions which offer that degree program – LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. While completing an Associate Degree in OTA is not the most typical “route” to take in pursuing a degree in Occupational Therapy, it is one option.
Acceptance into the OT Programs in Louisiana is on a selective/competitive basis. In order to apply for admission to those programs, you must first obtain a Baccalaureate Degree. Additionally, that B.S. degree must include all of the pre-requisite (pre-OT) courses required by the respective programs. For a more complete description of the pre-requisite requirements and application/selection process utilized by those programs we encourage you to review the website of the LSUHSC OT Program in Shreveport and contact those faculty advisors/instructors with questions.
Typically, students wishing to become an Occupational Therapist pursue a 4-yr. B.S. degree and apply for admission to an OT Program. Obtaining an Associate Degree in OTA first is neither necessary nor common. If interested in this option, please contact an OTA advisor.
Please be aware that the OTA Program at Bossier Parish Community College and the OT Program at LSUHSC are in no way linked or affiliated. There is no “shortcut” toward achieving a degree in Occupational Therapy provided by first becoming an OT Assistant. Additionally, please be aware that graduates of the BPCC OTA Program are not given preference in the selection process for the LSUHSC OT Program. Becoming an OTA while en-route to becoming an OT offers primarily the advantage of providing the student earlier opportunities for work experience and income earning in the field of occupational therapy.