Occupational Therapy Assistant AAS

This nationally ranked program teaches students how to help patients overcome physical challenges and improve the quality of their lives.

Occupational Therapy Assistant AAS

A Best OTA school 2016-17If you have a passion for helping people, for restoring dignity and helping to rebuild lives, then a career in occupational therapy may be for you. Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) help people with many concerns, including developmental disabilities, low vision, traumatic brain injury, autism spectrum disorder, physical dysfunction, and the effects of aging. At Maria College, our OTA program is designed to turn your passion for helping people into a career. Contact our admissions office to learn more about our courses or to schedule a visit at our beautiful historic campus in Albany, NY.

Maria’s Mission for Occupational Therapy Majors

The mission of Maria’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is to give students a quality academic and clinical education in preparation for work with individuals of all abilities, ages, and from various cultural and socioeconomic groups. The program is based on the altruistic and compassionate values shared by the occupational therapy profession and the College’s founders, the Sisters of Mercy—both acknowledging the value of human differences and individuality.

Flexible scheduling

Occupational therapy assistant courses are offered in the Day Division and Weekend College programs. Courses are taught in a combination of lecture, discussion, and demonstration, with active participation being vital to student learning. Clinical experience is offered in a variety of traditional settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, mental health facilities, developmental centers, and schools. Emerging areas of OT practice in community and social systems are used to reflect local current trends in healthcare. Clinical laboratory and fieldwork education are scheduled during the day hours for all students. Students in the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program may need to be certified in CPR and/or fingerprinted with background checks to meet individual clinical site requirements. A prior felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Exam and/or attain state authorization/licensure.

Fieldwork requirements

Maria OTA students will receive real-world experience by participating in two full-time fieldwork internships, totaling 16 weeks (two separate eight-week rotations). Students must successfully complete all Fieldwork II assignments within 18 months following completion of academic coursework.

Employment statistics

The Occupational Therapy Assistants are entering a high demand career field. Learn more about the growth of this industry, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact our admissions office today!

Accreditation

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

The OTA Program will be re-accredited in the 2027-2028 academic year.

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
P: 301-652-6611
Web: https://acoteonline.org

Maria College’s associate degree program for occupational therapy assistant has been recognized as one of the best in the nation by The Community for Accredited Online Schools. As a leading resource for higher education and college accreditation information, the site released its annual ranking for the 2016-17 school year, honoring Maria College as a 20th nationally ranked school. Contact us today for further information.

  • Program Learning Outcomes

    The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program aims to graduate students who:

    1. Value occupation as the therapeutic agent integral to the profession which drives human engagement in context giving meaning, focus, and purpose to one’s life.
    2. Exhibit behaviors reflective of the profession’s philosophy, ethical principles, knowledge base, and practice guidelines in order to safeguard clients’ health and privacy, document services accurately, and adhere to laws regulating the delivery of Occupational Therapy services.
    3. View health and illness as a continuum that fluctuates from a sense of total well-being to a state of physical, social, and/or mental disability, and recognize how therapeutic occupation is used to promote health and wellness and provide opportunities to adapt to one’s circumstances.
    4. Utilize clinical reasoning to demonstrate competency in the analysis and application of skills appropriate for client-centered and occupation-based therapeutic interventions with individuals, groups and populations in a variety of settings and contexts.
    5. Communicate and collaborate effectively and professionally with peers, supervisors, members of related disciplines, clients and their families.
    6. Demonstrate the necessary skills to function effectively in the modern workplace including the use of clinical reasoning, the use of technology for client interventions and documentation of services, and the ability to utilize scholarly research to engage in evidence-based best practice.
    7. Engage in self-reflection and self-evaluation to determine current strengths, needs, and interests to facilitate preparation of a professional development plan that addresses continuing competency and cultivates new interests consistent with an appreciation for lifelong learning.
  • Course Sequence: Day Division

    Day Division

    First Year: First Semester                 

    Course

     

    Credits

    BIO 209

    Anatomy & Physiology I

    4

    ENG 111

    Composition I

    3

    PSY 100

    General Psychology

    3

    SCI 100

    Medical Terminology and Conditions

    3

    OCT 112

    O.T. Skills & Application I

    1

    OCT 114

    Foundations of O.T. I

    3

       

    17

    First Year: Second Semester                 

    BIO 210

    Anatomy & Physiology II

    4

    BIO 119

    Introductory Kinesiology

    1

    OCT 116

    O.T. Skills & Application II

    1

    OCT 120

    Occupational Performance Across the Lifespan

    3

    OCT 121

    Foundations of O.T. II

    3

    OCT 117

    Introduction to Fieldwork

    1

    PSY

    Psychology Elective

    3

       

    16

    Second Year: First Semester                 

    OCT 210

    Fieldwork I – Psychosocial

    1

    OCT 211

    Preparing for Practice

    1

    OCT 213

    O.T. in Developmental Disabilities

    3

    OCT 214

    O.T. in Physical Dysfunction

    3

    OCT 215

    O.T. in Psychosocial Dysfunction

    4

    RES 201

    Foundations in Social Justice           

    3

    ENG 211

    Critical Inquiry and Writing

    3

       

    18

    Second Year: Second Semester

    OCT 216

    Fieldwork II – First Rotation*

    6

    OCT 217

    Fieldwork II – Second Rotation*

    6

       

    12

    * Two Fieldwork II courses required; full-time day hours, eight weeks each

                                                                                                                                              

  • Course Sequence: Weekend College

    Weekend College

    First Year: First Semester                 

    Course

     

    Credits

    BIO 209

    Anatomy & Physiology I

    4

    ENG 111

    Composition I

    3

    PSY 100

    General Psychology

    3

       

    10

    First Year: Second Semester

    BIO 210

    Anatomy & Physiology II

    4

    PSY

    Psychology Elective

    3

       

    7

    First Year: Third Semester

    RES 201

    Foundations in Social Justice

    3

    ENG 211

    Critical Inquiry and Writing

    3

       

    6

    Second Year: First Semester                 

    OCT 112

    O.T. Skills & Application I

    1

    OCT 114

    Foundations of O.T. I

    3

    BIO 119

    Introductory Kinesiology

    1

    SCI 100

    Medical Terminology and Conditions

    3

       

    8

    Second Year: Second Semester                 

    OCT 116

    O.T. Skills & Application II

    1

    OCT 120

    Occupational Performance Across the Lifespan

    3

    OCT 121

    Foundations of O.T. II

    3

       

    7

    Second Year: Third Semester                 

    OCT 117

    Introduction to Fieldwork

    1

    OCT 210

    Fieldwork I – Psychosocial     

    1

    OCT 215

    O.T. in Psychosocial Dysfunction

    4

       

    6

    Third Year: First Semester                 

    OCT 211

    Preparing for Practice

    1

    OCT 213

    O.T. in Developmental Disabilities

    3

    OCT 214

    O.T. in Physical Dysfunction

    3

       

    7

    Third Year: Second Semester                 

    OCT 216

    Fieldwork II – First Rotation*

    6

    OCT 217

    Fieldwork II – Second Rotation* 

      6

       

    12

    * Two Fieldwork II courses required; full-time day hours, eight weeks each

  • Admissions Requirements

    General Admissions Requirements:
    All students who apply for our Associate or Bachelor’s programs need the following:

    • Application for Admissions
    • All high school transcripts or equivalent
    • If you are a transfer student: All official college transcripts from previously attended schools that show up in the National Student Clearinghouse
    • Minimum of a 2.5 GPA or higher in College or minimum overall 80 GPA or higher from high school.

    Occupational Therapy Assistant, AAS Requirements:
    In addition to the general admissions requirements listed above, students who apply to our OTA program need the following:

    • Successful completion of laboratory biology and chemistry is satisfied by one of these three ways:
      • Final grade of 80 or higher in both subjects from high school.
      • Minimum C or better from a college biology and chemistry course.
      • Minimum C or better in a 4-credit Anatomy and Physiology I with lab course transferable to Maria’s Anatomy and Physiology I course.

    General Studies with Intent for OTA (GSO) process: If students are not qualified for our Associates in OTA at the time they apply, we have a wonderful pre-occupational therapy track called General Studies with the intention of OTA. Students will build a strong academic foundation, have faculty advisor dedicated to our pre-OTA process, and submit a Change of Status form with the required OTA documents, versus apply to the program again. Current students are given priority review for the OTA program.

    Important Deadlines:
    March 1 – Completed application
    April 1 – Application deposit due
    After April 1 – Program review on space available

  • Program Results

    The total number of graduates from the Maria College Occupational Therapy Assistant program during the 3-year period of 2018-2020 was 146 with an overall graduation rate of 80.7%.

    Maria College OTA Program Graduation Rates

    Graduation Year

    Graduates Entering/Graduating

    Rate

    2020

    50/38

    76.0%

    2019

    79/66

    83.5%

    2018

    52/42

    80.8%

    TOTAL

    181/146

    80.7%

    Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at: https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx

     

Maria Stories
Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson ’18, describes how she found Maria and how the variety of programs and services that made a difference in her life.

Peter Aldana

Peter Aldana travels from his home in San Francisco every other weekend to attend Maria’s Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program.

Click to watch a video Cheryl Warner’s experience as an OTA student.

From Brooklyn to upstate New York — Cheryl Warnerpaul discovers Maria's weekend OTA program