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Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant

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 occupational therapy assistants committed to serving the needs of the regional occupational therapy community. 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 Learning Outcomes:

Recipients of the Associate of Applied Science in the Occupational Therapy Assistant will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. apply foundational knowledge of human psychological, anatomical and physiological principles of occupations, normal movement and development in the assessments and treatments of patients across the lifespan;
  2. think critically to interpret patient responses and assessment data in order to modify and progress interventions as indicated by the Occupational Therapist's plan of care and patient's diagnosis to facilitate individualized functional patient outcomes across the lifespan;
  3. function competently and safely in a variety of patient care settings using psychomotor skills, emerging techniques, technology, equipment and supplies;
  4. utilize verbal and non-verbal communication strategies that are sensitive to diversity while interacting with patients, caregivers, coworkers and other medical professionals, including the ability to develop rapport, collaborate, inform, inquire, redirect and teach;
  5. identify and report relevant changes in patients' status including preparation of timely, accurate, logically sequenced written documentation;
  6. gather information through research of medical publications, patient records, continuing education and self-directed readings to enhance knowledge and skills for lifelong learning; and
  7. demonstrate professional and ethical behaviors in accordance with the code of ethics, core values and standards of practice in the AOTA guidelines.


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.

c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
301-652-AOTA (2684)
www.aota.orgWill open new browser window or tab

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
Fax 301-869-8492
www.nbcot.orgWill open new browser window or tab

Specific Requirements for Program Progression and Completion:

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) curriculum is sequenced in two phases. The first phase consists of a minimum of 30 credit hours of general education curriculum (Qualification Courses) that must be successfully completed before a student is eligible to apply for the OTA Program. Admission to the OTA Program is selective and competitive. Completion of the qualification courses does not guarantee admission to the OTA Program. The second phase consists of 30 hours of classroom instruction, laboratory activities, Level I fieldwork experiences, and 12 credit hours of Level II fieldwork experiences. Fieldwork experiences related to occupational therapy are completed under the direct supervision of a licensed occupational therapy practitioner in patient care. The Level II fieldwork rotations (12 credit hours) must be completed within 16 months of completion of didactic coursework.

In order to complete the Associate of Applied Science in OTA, program students must pass all program classes with a “C” or better while also maintaining a 2.50** per semester GPA (**not applicable during first program semester). If a program student performs unsatisfactorily, the remediation process stated in the OTA Student Handbook will begin.

Students have the right to appeal any grade or disciplinary action. The process of appeal is described in BPCC Student Handbook, available online at

After completion of the program, OTA Program graduates must take and pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Examination (NBCOT) to be eligible to apply for a license to practice as an OTA in the state of Louisiana. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification 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.

Application Process/Policy for Admission into the OTA Program:

The Occupational Therapy Program at Bossier Parish Community College does not accept transfer credit for any course in the curriculum having an OCTA prefix, nor does the program award credit for these courses based on experiential/work experiences.

Only applications from students who are enrolled at Bossier Parish Community College and have met all admission requirements will be considered. Objectives, assessment measures, and means of evaluating students for admittance to BPCC based on the Ability to Benefit test are published in the BPCC General Catalog.

The selection process for the OTA program begins each spring. Application packets and detailed instructions on completing and submitting the packet are available on the BPCC Occupational Therapy Assistant Program website. Students are selected in May and should be available to begin class in late June (summer session C). Students must meet program specific criteria in the areas outlined below to be eligible for an interview.

  • Cumulative GPA must be 2.0 or higher and 2.50 or higher in all pre-program (qualification) courses. Students must earn a “C” or better in all qualification courses.
  • It is strongly advised that all qualification courses be completed by the end of the spring semester in the application year. With prior approval from an academic advisor, up to 3 credit hours may be completed in the first summer session, if available. MATH 101 or MATH 102; BLGY 230, BLGY 230-Lab, and BLGY 231 may not be taken in summer session B and must be completed by the end of the spring semester of application year.
  • Program application packet must be received by April 15 to be considered.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 20 observation hours in two different settings with two different licensed occupational therapy practitioners. Applicants must submit a written summary of observation experiences with application packet.

Interview Process/Policy:

The top 50 applicants who have submitted a complete application packet will be scheduled for an interview with the program Admissions Committee. Applicants will be notified by mail of their selection status.

A maximum of twenty (20) students per year are accepted into the OTA Program. Selection is based on scores on Employee Reference forms, Clinical Observation Rating forms (required components of the application packet), grade point average, essay, and interview scores. Specific criteria for selection are included on the OTA website.

Special Requirements and Considerations:

Students who are selected for the OTA Program must be available for daytime, evening, and occasional weekend classes. In addition, based upon fieldwork site availability, OTA students may be required to complete one or more fieldwork rotations (8 weeks in duration) at an out-of-town facility. These rotations must be completed within 16 months of completion of didactic coursework.

Students selected for program classes must submit all required information for allied health programs and pay a clinical fee, in addition to regular tuition each semester with a fieldwork component.

Required courses for the Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant:

Qualification Courses
(must be completed prior to beginning program classes)
ENGL 101: Composition and Rhetoric I 3
ENGL 102: Composition and Rhetoric II 3
Humanities Elective 3
MATH 102: College Algebra 3
or MATH 101:     Algebra for College Students
PSYC 201: Introduction to Psychology 3
PSYC 220: Developmental Psychology 3
BLGY 230: Human Anatomy and Physiology I 3
BLGY 230L: Human Anatomy and Physiology I Lab 1
BLGY 231: Human Anatomy and Physiology II 3
ALHT 109: Health Care Systems/Safety 2
BLGY 110: Medical Terminology 3
Total OTA program qualification hours: 30
OTA Program Courses
(Students are selected by committee to enter the program.)
Summer Semester Hours
OCTA 200: Introduction to Occupational Therapy 2
OCTA 201: Functional Anatomy for OTA 2
Fall Semester Hours
OCTA 202: Group Process 1
OCTA 203: Physical Challenges to Occupation 3
OCTA 204: Mental Challenges to Occupation 3
OCTA 205: Developmental Challenges to Occupation 3
OCTA 206: Therapeutic Interventions I 1
OCTA 207: Fieldwork Level I-A with Documentation 2
Spring Semester Hours
OCTA 210: OTA Seminar 2
OCTA 212: OT Strategies and Interventions for the Elderly 2
OCTA 213: OT Strategies and Interventions to Physical Challenges 3
OCTA 215: OT Strategies and Interventions to Pediatrics 3
OCTA 216: Therapeutic Interventions II 1
OCTA 217: Fieldwork I-B 2
Final Semester Hours
OCTA 220: Fieldwork Level II - A 6
OCTA 221: Fieldwork Level II - B 6
Total credit hours to earn the Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant 72

Students receiving the Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant from Bossier Parish Community College may transfer their courses to partially fulfill degree requirements at Northwestern State University to satisfy requirements for the Bachelor of Applied Science in Allied Health

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