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Occupational Therapy Assistant

If empathy is one of your strengths and you want to work with people in the health and rehabilitation profession, consider a career as an occupational therapy assistant (OTA).

Application deadlines

  • Priority: November 27, 2023 – May 3rd, 2024
  • Late: May 4th, 2024 – August 28, 2024

What is Occupational Therapy?

In the simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • An individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person's goals
  • Customized intervention to improve the person's ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals. This is where the occupational therapy assistant is most involved.
  • An outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan

What does it look like?

  • Working with kids and teachers in a classroom to help develop skills such as handwriting and computer use.
  • Working with patients in the hospital following a stroke or brain injury to assess and treat problems with the ability to think, move, remember, or communicate their goals.
  • Working at inpatient psychiatric facilities with clients with mental illness, to manage their conditions and develop skills so they can live independently in the community.
  • Assisting clients with purchasing and setting up equipment, such as wheelchairs or bathroom safety devices, to ensure they can safely remain at home.
  • Working with clients in clinics following an injury to determine what they may need in the future to be able perform their daily activities.
  • Working with clients, who have experienced a change in their physical or mental abilities, to return to work by adapting how they do their job, what type of job they do or making changes to the workplace environment.
  • Working with adults to return to driving after illness or injury.
  • Working with individuals in inpatient rehabilitation as they develop the strength, range of motion and self-care skills to return to living independently.
  • Working with children and adults in adaptive sports like basketball, rugby, swimming, skiing, ice hockey and rock climbing to help them return to their hobbies or learn new ones after illness or injury.

To find if this is the right career for you, please contact:

Māpuana Carey, Allied Health Curriculum Advisor
509-533-3288
mapuana.carey@sfcc.spokane.edu

For questions regarding transferability of previous college credits, please contact:

Laura Woods, Counselor
509-533-3530
laura.woods@sfcc.spokane.edu

Why SFCC’s OTA Program?

Individual attention- SFCC’s OTA program seats 16-18 students in small cohorts each fall. Students remain together the entire 2 years, serving as friends, resources, and later colleagues as they progress through the program. The small class sizes allow for faculty advisors to provide 1:1 support to students as they develop into practitioners. Our faculty understand the challenges of attending college as a first-generation college student, and as a student with limited financial resources, along with other challenges that can make college seem impossible.

Mission- The OTA Program at Spokane Falls Community College is committed to meeting the needs of our community by offering high quality, community-centered, science-driven and activity rich education. The program prepares students to enter the workforce with a wide range of diverse knowledge, the practical hands-on skills and professional behaviors needed to be successful in the occupational therapy setting of their choice as an entry-level occupational therapy assistant.

  • In addition, the SFCC OTA program is dedicated to equipping occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) for employment in the rural regions neighboring our community. Should you originate from a rural area, our aim is to facilitate your transition back to your community as a proficient OTA practitioner.

SOTA Club- The SFCC OTA program has an active SOTA club that participates in campus and community events, spreading knowledge of the profession and building skills to carry into the profession.

Accreditation

The SFCC occupational therapy assistant program is fully accredited by The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E Bethesda, MD 20814. ACOTE’s telephone number is (301) 652-2682 or (301) 652-2682, and its web address is acoteonline.org.

  • 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 in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

Student Outcomes

The total number of graduates from the SFCC Occupational Therapy Assistant program during the 3-year period of 2021-2023 was 37, with an overall graduation rate of 79%.

Graduation Year Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
2021 16/13 81%
2022 17/14 82%
2023 14/10 71%
Total 47/37 79%

National Board Exam pass rate (NBCOT)

Graduation Year NBCOT Pass Rate
2021 100%
2022 100%
2023 100%

View program results online from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)

Program Costs

Current cost of OTA
Program (2023-24)
OTA Program Year 1 OTA Program Year 2 Total
Costs (6 quarters/2 years)
Tuition $4,623 $4,623 $9,246
Institutional Fees $755 $755 $1,511
Lab & Course Fees $1,345 $2,189 $3,534
Textbooks $1,078 $664 $1,742
Distance Ed Fees $0 $0 $0
Total $7,801 $8,231 $16,032

*Illustration based on current tuition, fees, and materials, all of which are subject to change

Federal/State Curriculum Requirements

ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs satisfy the states’ educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Students graduating from an ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational program are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, please refer to the State Occupational Therapy Licensure | AOTA.

Criminal Record and Certification

All states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based upon the results of the NBCOT examination. Be advised that a felony conviction record may render an individual ineligible to take the certification exam and consequently will be ineligible to practice as an occupational therapy assistant. If you have concerns pertaining to a past criminal record, you should contact NBCOT at 301-990-7979 to determine your eligibility for the exam.

What You’ll Learn

  • Collect relevant information regarding factors that influence occupational performance on an ongoing basis throughout the occupational therapy process
  • Implement interventions in accordance with the intervention plan and level of service competence to support client participation in area of occupation throughout the occupational therapy process
  • Uphold professional standards and responsibilities by achieving service competence and applying evidence-based interventions to promote quality in practice

You and your advisor will use this program map as a starting point to create a personal education plan customized to your needs. We meet you where you are and help you reach your goals.
Need more details? Check out the requirements for the Occupational Therapy Assistant AAS degree. Course descriptions and course learning outcomes can be found in our online catalogue.

Program Map for

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Choose program map:

Total Credits: 90

First Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
OTA 101
Foundation of Occupational Therapy
3
OTA 102
Occupational Therapy Terminology
1
OTA 108
Regional Anatomy
3
OTA 110
OTA Procedures
2
OTA 111
Activity Analysis
3
OTA 120
OTA Procedures Lab
2
OTA 180
Regional Anatomy Lab
2
Total Credits
 
16

Second Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
OTA 103
Applied Anatomy
2
OTA 104
Survey of Pathophysiology
5
OTA 105
Introduction to Neuroscience
4
OTA 113
Occupational Therapy Principles
3
OTA 123
Applied Anatomy Lab
2
Total Credits
 
16

Third Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
OTA 107
Occupation Through the Lifespan
2
OTA 112
Occupational Performance and Physical Disabilities
3
OTA 114
Therapeutic Activities
3
OTA 122
Occupational Performance and Physical Disabilities Lab
3
OTA 124
Therapeutic Activities Lab
2
OTA 151
Level I Clinical Fieldwork 1- Physical Disabilities
1
OTA 161
Documentation for the Occupational Therapy Assistant
1
Total Credits
 
15

Fourth Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
OTA 202
Group Dynamics
2
OTA 203
Management for the Occupational Therapy Assistant
2
OTA 210
Occupational Performance and Mental Health
3
OTA 212
Occupational Performance and Children
3
OTA 220
Occupational Performance and Mental Health Lab
2
OTA 232
Group Dynamics Lab
1
OTA 242
Occupational Performance and Children Lab
2
OTA 251
Level I Clinical Fieldwork II- Pediatrics and Mental Health
1
OTA 261
Level II Fieldwork Skills Seminar
1
Total Credits
 
17

Fifth Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
OTA 201
Issues in Occupational Therapy and Health Care
2
OTA 221
Occupational Performance and Aging
3
OTA 231
Occupational Performance and Aging Lab
2
OTA 252
Level I Clinical Fieldwork III
1
OTA 253
Level II Clinical Fieldwork 1a
4
OTA 263
Fieldwork II Seminar 1
1
Total Credits
 
13

Sixth Quarter

Course ID
Course Title
Credits
OTA 254
Level II Clinical Fieldwork 1b
4
OTA 255
Level II Clinical Fieldwork 2
8
OTA 264
Fieldwork II Seminar 2
1
Total Credits
 
13

Admission Requirements

  • Apply for Admission to SFCC

  • Completion of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Application Booklet. Applications are accepted during the winter quarter preceding fall quarter entry into the program. See the booklet for specific due dates. Entry into the program is only one time a year, Fall quarter.

  • Completion of 3 essay questions related to occupational therapy (located in the Application Booklet).

  • Minimum 2.0 in ENGL& 101.

  • Minimum 2.0 in MATH course.

  • Minimum 2.0 in BIOL& 241.

  • Minimum 2.0 in PSYCH&100.

  • Documentation of volunteer experience in a medical setting (30 volunteer hours under the supervision of an OT or an OTA).

  • Professional Reference (mailed separately to OTA office).

  • Once application is assessed, student may be invited to participate in a group interview/activity session prior to selection.

  • ESL (English as Second Language) students must complete the TOEFL with a minimum score of 74 within the past 2 years. Please request a paper score be submitted to the SFCC OTA Program Director (mailing address is listed in our booklets) upon completion of the TOEFL prior to sending in your program application. Please refer to www.ets.org/toefl for more information.

  • Upon acceptance, the student will be informed of documentation needed: current immunizations, drug screening (required by some fieldwork sites), Washington State Patrol and national criminal background check, CPR, and first aid.

Maximum estimated costs for completing this program

  • Tuition

  • Resident

    $
    9,245
  • Non-Resident

    $
    11,459
  • International

    $
    21,146
  • Books

    $
    2,103
  • Course Fees

    $
    1,135
  • Institutional Fees

    $
    1,511

  • The amounts listed for tuition and lab & course fees reflects a maximum estimated cost and may be lower based on courses selected.
  • The amount listed for books is a maximum estimated cost based on the price of new textbooks purchased during the previous school year. Costs may be lower based on student choices and availability (used books vs new, rental vs purchase).
  • For more information about costs, visit our page How Much Does It Cost?

  • Mapuana Carey
    Mapuana Carey
    Program Specialist 2
    Mapuana.Carey@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-533-3288
  • Laura Woods
    Laura Woods
    Counselor
    B.A., St. Bonaventure University; M.S., Eastern Washington University
    Laura.Woods@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-533-3530
  • Jessica Cusack
    Jessica Cusack
    Occupational Therapy Asst
    B.S., Eastern Washington University; M.Ed., Western Governors University
    Jessica.Cusack@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-279-6094

  • Lance Best
    Lance Best
    Allied Health Instruct Tech
    Lance.Best@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-279-6241
  • Cynthia Cobbs
    Cynthia Cobbs
    Office Manager
    Cynthia.Cobbs@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-533-3523
  • Danielle DiLuzio
    Danielle DiLuzio
    Instructor
    Danielle.DiLuzio@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-279-6227
  • Allie Jost
    Allie Jost
    Instructor
    Allie.Jost@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-079-6227
  • Athena Lorig
    Athena Lorig
    Instructor
    Athena.Lorig@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-279-6227
  • Dana McPhee
    Dana McPhee
    Physical Therapist Asst
    B.S., Gonzaga University; M.S., Pacific University
    Dana.McPhee@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-279-6224
  • Skylor Mitchell
    Skylor Mitchell
    Administrative Assistant 2
    Skylor.Mitchell@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-279-6073
  • Emily Orne
    Emily Orne
    Allied Health Clinical Coord
    Emily.Orne@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-279-6204
  • Chris Pelchat
    Chris Pelchat
    Dean PSLWE
    B.A., M.Ed., Eastern Washington University; PhD., University of Idaho
    Chris.Pelchat@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-533-3429
  • April Ritter
  • Tracy Strong
  • Tana Tenold
    Tana Tenold
    Occupational Therapy Asst
    B.A., Western Washington University; M.Ed., Eastern Washington University
    Tana.Tenold@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-279-6077
  • Natasha Volkmann
    Natasha Volkmann
    Occupational Therapy Asst
    B.S., Eastern Washington University; M.S. Boston University
    Natasha.Volkmann@sfcc.spokane.edu
    509-279-6083

Selective Admission
Program start:
Fall
Number of students accepted each year: 16-18
Contact: mapuana.carey@sfcc.spokane.edu
Pre-requisites:

  • ENGL& 101, BIOL& 241, PSYCH& 100, and MATH93 or BUS123 (with minimum 2.0 GPA; Math higher than 93 is also accepted)
  • 30 hours of volunteer experience in 2 separate facilities under supervision of OT/OTA.
  • You may apply prior to completion of pre-requisites, for consideration of contingent acceptance.

Applications deadline:

  • Priority Cycle: November 27, 2023 – May 3rd, 2024
  • Late cycle: May 4th, 2024 – August 28, 2024

SFCC's OTA program incorporates a holistic selective process for admission. This process uses a point system based on coursework and life experiences as outlined in the application. In order to be accepted into the program, all pre-requisites must be completed with a minimum grade of 2.0 or higher: ENGL& 101, PSYCH& 100, BIOL& 241, and MATH 93 or higher. Please be aware that the completion of all prerequisites alone does not ensure admission to the program. Please refer to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Information Book for important, detailed information about the application process.

**Criminal Record and Certification: All states require licensure in order to practice, however state licenses are usually based upon the results of the NBCOT examination. Be advised that a criminal record may render an individual ineligible to take the certification exam and consequently ineligible to practice as an occupational therapy assistant. If you have concerns pertaining to a past criminal record, you should contact NBCOT at 301-990-7979 to determine your eligibility for the exam.

Have a question? Let's hear it.

Jessica Cusack

Program Director
Jessica.Cusack@sfcc.spokane.edu
509-279-6094
Building 27, Office 27-352

Māpuana Carey

Pathways Specialist
mapuana.carey@sfcc.spokane.edu
509-533-3502
Building 19, Office 106