Jul 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy Assistant, A.S.

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, meaningful occupations, 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, 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 218  FWIB, OTA 250  and OTA 260  Advanced Fieldwork Level IIA and IIB are all completed during the day as required by clinical sites. Level II fieldwork courses in your final semester are completed on a full-time basis. A part-time option is not available.


The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Goodwin University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200 North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s Telephone Number, C/O AOTA, is (301) 652-AOTA, and its web address is www.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 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 Criteria

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 seats available. All occupational therapy assistant prerequisite and general education requirements must be completed prior to beginning the program. Any submitted applications that do not meet the requirements 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 University. Applicants to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program must first meet the requirement for admission and be accepted into Goodwin University.
  2. Complete the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program application. Applicants must include:
    1. Official high school transcript or General Equivalency Diploma/HiSET. (An official Bachelor’s or Master’s degree transcript, with a date of completion/graduation, can be accepted in lieu of a high school transcript.)
    2. Official college transcripts, if applicable.
  3. Applicants must also 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.
  4. Complete the University Placement Evaluations. Applicants must qualify for a minimum of ENG 101  and MATH 125  in order to enter the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Any foundational courses required as indicated by the test results must be completed before entering the Program. All prerequisite and general education requirements must be completed prior to beginning the program.
  5. Provide documentation of observation of occupational therapy in any specialty area. Observation must include 8 hours in the prior 12 months. 
  6. Occupational Therapy assistant applicants who have satisfied all the admission criteria will be required to interview with the Program Director and complete a personal essay before admission.

Specific 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)   3
Bachelor’s Degree   4
Master’s Degree   5
Completion of courses at Goodwin University    
1 course   1
2 courses   2
3 courses   3
4 courses   4
5 courses   5
Cumulative GPA (minimum 12 credits)    
2.7 - 3.0   1
3.1 - 3.4   2
3.5 - 3.6   3
3.7-3.8   4
3.9 - 4.0   5
Personal Essay/Interview   10
Total Possible Points   25+

*Acceptance to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is based on the applicant scoring 17 points or higher on the Interview Rubric. Points obtained on the interview is a part of the total specific point system for acceptance into the program.

Accepted Students

  1. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to to the start of the OTA program. 
  2. Official college transcripts, if applicable, must be submitted with application to assure appropriate transfer of credits and prerequisite requirements are met.
  3. Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of a “C+” or better: 
    1. BIO 211  completed within the last five years
    2. BIO 212  completed within the last five years
  4. 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.
  5. Additional documentation required:

Immunization Records and Statement of General Health:

Admitted students must submit a medical examination report by a physician which describes the student’s physical and emotional health. All required immunizations, including the Hepatitis B vaccine series, must be completed before the start of the fieldwork and must remain current while in the program. Additional health requirements may need to be met, based on the requirements of each individual fieldwork site.

Required Medical and Legal Documentation:

  • CPR certification prior to first FW II rotation
  • Fingerprinting (if required by FW site) prior to start of FW II
  • Annual updates: Physical Exam, 2 Step PPD, Flu vaccine
  • Varicella, MMR and Hepatitis B
  • Tetanus less than 7 years old, or booster if over. (Additional health requirements may need to be met, based on the requirements of each individual fieldwork site.)

Medical Insurance:

It is required for all Occupational Therapy Assistant students to cover injuries or illness that may occur during the program

Malpractice Insurance:

Malpractice insurance can be obtained at the following websites:



It is the student’s responsibility to maintain current CPR certification, malpractice insurance coverage, health insurance coverage, and annual two step PPD testing. Failure to do so will prevent the student from participating in their advanced academic fieldwork experience.

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.
  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 BIO 211   and BIO 212  , or equivalent, with a minimum grade of “C+”.
  3. Fieldwork IIA and IIB must be completed within 18 months of completion of all academic coursework.


Total Credits in the Program: 65