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.
Recipients of the Associate of Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant will have demonstrated the ability to:
- 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;
- 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, setting, and patient’s diagnosis to facilitate individualized functional patient outcomes across the lifespan;
- function competently and safely in a variety of patient care settings using psychomotor skills, emerging techniques, technology, equipment and supplies;
- 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;
- identify and report relevant changes in patients’ status including preparation of timely, accurate, logically sequenced written documentation;
- gather information through research of medical publications, patient records, continuing education and selfdirected readings to enhance knowledge and skills for lifelong learning; and
- demonstrate professional and ethical behaviors in accordance with the code of ethics, core values and standards of practice in the AOTA guidelines.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (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). National certification is a prerequisite for obtaining an Occupational Therapy Assistant license to practice in most states, including Louisiana (www.lsbme.org). 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.
This program includes a required clinical component. Persons interested in pursuing this degree should be aware of all information concerning clinical programs described on the Division of Science, Nursing, and Allied Health page.
Specific Requirements for Program Progression and Completion:
Once selected to the OTA program, students will be required to provide health information and meet all requirements for a program with a clinical component.
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. Level I-B and Level II 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 in each of their programmatic curriculum courses, pass all fieldwork requirements, and maintain a 2.50** per semester GPA (**not applicable during first program semester).
Students have the right to appeal any grade or disciplinary action. The process of appeal is described in BPCC Student Handbook, available online at https://www.bpcc.edu/current-students/student-handbook/index.
This program articulates with one or more institutions or agencies. Refer to the Articulation Agreements section of the catalog for further detail.
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 currently 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 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 2.75 or higher in all pre-program (qualification) courses. Students must earn a “C” or better in all qualification courses.
- All pre-program (qualification) courses must be completed by the end of the spring semester in the application year.
- Program application packet must be received by April 15 to be considered. Partial/incomplete packets will not be considered.
- Students must complete a total of 20 observation hours in a minimum of two different settings with two different licensed occupational therapy practitioners (licensed occupational therapists or licensed occupational therapy assistants). Applicants must submit a written summary of observation experiences with application packet. Observation Rating forms will be kept on file by the OTA Program Director for two years and will be valid for two consecutive OTA application cycles
A maximum of 50 of the highest scoring OTA applicants who have submitted a complete application packet will be invited by mail and/or email for an interview with the Program Admissions Committee. Interviews are conducted after the conclusion of the spring semester of each year. Applicants will be notified by mail and/or email of their selection status.
A maximum of twenty (20) students per year are accepted into the OTA Program. Selection is based on scores on Academic Rating forms, observation narratives, 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: