Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)

Career Description

Occupational therapy is a health care profession that focuses on helping people – The practice of occupational therapy means the therapeutic use of everyday life activities - or “occupations” - with individuals or groups for the purpose of participation in roles and situations in home, school, work place, community, and other settings. Occupational therapy services are provided for the purpose of promoting health and wellness to those who have or are at risk for developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, activity limitation, or participation restriction. Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, and other aspects of performance in a variety of contexts to support engagement in everyday life activities that affect health, well-being, and quality of life (AOTA Practice Framework definition). OTAs must complete a 2-year associate's degree and are licensed health care providers. Occupational therapy is a health care profession that focuses on helping people of all ages regain, develop, or master everyday skills in order to live independent, productive, and satisfying lives. For a more complete description of careers in occupational therapy, refer to the website of the American Occupational Therapy Association.Will open new browser window or tab

Important Deadlines

Available appointments for testing and packet submission may be limited close to the published deadlines. Please schedule early when eligibility requirements are met.

  • April 15, 2014 - Deadline for submission (hand-delivery or postmark date)
  • April 15, 2014 - Deadline to apply to BPCC and request official transcripts to be sent to BPCC Admissions Office (Transfer Students)
  • April 15, 2014 - Deadline to submit Clinical Observation Rating Form

Program Overview

BPCC's OTA Program consists of a Pre-OTA component (qualification courses) and a program component. Students may work at any pace (part time/full time) to complete the OTA qualification courses and other requirements. When courses have been completed (with a “C” or better), students apply for admission to the program component. Applications for the OTA program component are taken each spring, with a new OTA class beginning in third summer session. The program is designed so that a student may complete the OTA qualification course component in 1 year and the program component in 18 months.

Program Mission

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program prepares students to work under the direction of occupational therapists to provide patient care in a variety of clinical environments. The mission of the OTA Program at BPCC is to provide students with the academic instruction and support services necessary to earn an associate degree in occupational therapy assistant and graduate well-qualified and board eligible occupational therapy assistants committed to serving the needs of the occupational therapy community, state and nation. The OTA Program supports OT services that promote the therapeutic use of occupation and activity during the OT process to increase a person's health, wellness and personal satisfaction.

Program Philosophy

We believe that individuals are intrinsically motivated, functionally active and holistically unique in their pursuit of occupation and that all individuals have the right to participate in society and make personal choices. We believe each person has unique personal characteristics which affect their ability to participate in necessary occupations that may impact his or her quality of life. We believe that human development has multiple influences on human behavior which in turn affects occupational performance and outcomes. The OTA faculty believes that OT practitioners are deeply cognizant and keenly aware of the diversity of issues related to a person’s ability to successfully engage in meaningful occupations. We support OT services that promote the therapeutic use of occupation and activity during the OT process to increase a person’s health, wellness and personal satisfaction.

Admission to the Program

The selection process for the OTA Program component begins each spring. Students should be aware of the following requirements and procedures regarding program selection:

  • Students must submit a completed OTA Program Application Packet by the application deadline of April 15th.
  • Pre-program (qualification) courses must be completed by the end of the spring semester in the application year. In some situations, however, up to 3 credit hours may be completed in the first summer session (June session/session B) when available and with prior approval of the academic advisor.
  • Transfer students must apply for college admission to BPCC and complete all requests for official transcripts to be sent to the BPCC Admissions Office from all previously attended institutions by April 15.
  • Transfer students must also include an official copy of transcripts from all previously attended institutions in their application packet.
  • Admission to the OTA Program is based upon a competitive selection process that occurs once a year. All applicants are ranked by the OTA Program Selection Committee on predetermined criteria that are both academic and non-academic. Cumulative GPA for eligibility to apply is 2.0 or higher. Qualification course GPA must be 2.5 or higher with a "C" or better in all required courses.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 20 hours of observation, in two different occupational therapy settings under the supervision of two different licensed occupational therapy providers by the application deadline.
  • Interviews are conducted in May of each year. The top scoring 50 qualified applicants will be notified by mail of their scheduled interview day/time.
  • The Program Application Packet includes additional eligibility requirements, detailed instructions, deadlines and procedures for program application. The top ranking 20 applicants are offered admission to the OTA Program that begins in the summer semester, session "C"

Special Requirements

Students who are selected for the OTA program must be available for daytime, evening and occasional weekend classes.

OTA program students must be prepared to complete one or more full-time fieldwork rotation assignments (each rotation is 8 weeks in duration) in an out of town facility. These rotations must be completed within 16 months of completion of didactic coursework.

Students selected for the OTA program must adhere to the OTA Clinical Requirements related to additional tests/immunizationsPDF File required, documentation submission and policies/procedures of the division/program.

Students selected for the OTA program pay a clinical fee, in addition to regular tuition, each program semester.

Accreditation

The occupational therapy assistant program at Bossier Parish Community College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org.Will open new browser window or tab 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) and will be eligible to apply for a license to practice as an OTA in the state of Louisiana www.lsbme.org).Will open new browser window or tab Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. Therefore, it is the responsibility of a student with a felony conviction to contact the state licensing board and NBCOT prior to the application process to the program to determine eligibility status.

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
P.O. Box 31220
Bethesda, MD 20824-1220
1-800-SAY-AOTA Ext. 2911 or 301-652-AOTA (2682)
www.aota.orgWill open new browser window or tab

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, INC. (NBCOT)
12 South Summit Avenue
Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
301-990-7979
Fax 301-869-8492
www.nbcot.orgWill open new browser window or tab

Degree Completion

The chart below indicates the number of students who graduated from the program and the graduation rate for each class for the past three years.

Class of: 2011 2012 2013
Total number of program graduates: 15 17 16
Graduation rate: 87% 89% 84%

NBCOT Certification

Please see the following link for details on the pass rate:

Program Performance Data on the NBCOT® National Certification ExaminationWill open new browser window or tab