Associate in Science - Occupational Therapy Assistant

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 activities 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, fabrication of splints, 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 course work to accommodate the full-time requirement of Academic Fieldwork along with the responsibility of providing their own transportation. OTA 102 Clinical Fieldwork I and OTA 250 and OTA 260 Advanced Fieldwork Level IIA and B courses are all completed during the day as required by clinical sites.


The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Goodwin College was issued the accreditation status of Probationary Accreditation effective April 9, 2016 for failure to comply with 2011 OTA Standards A.5.6 (certification exam pass rates) and C.1.7 (fieldwork focus on psychological and social factors). A Plan of Correction to return the program to full compliance of the Standards within the mandated period was submitted and accepted. A Progress Report will be submitted for the June and October 2016 and April 2017 meetings. Full details of the program’s accredited status are available on the American Occupational Therapy Association’s website.

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) is located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-AOTA.  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, most states require licensure in order to practice; 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. Connecticut requires a license in order to practice occupational therapy and the license is based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

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 places available. Admission is based upon completion of occupational therapy assistant prerequisites, general education requirements, and other outlined requirements. Any submitted applications that do not meet the minimum required GPA and the required score on the examination being utilized as the pre-admission exam will not be considered for admission.

Beginning with candidates for Fall 2016 admission, candidates will be accepted based on the following outlined requirements listed below and the outlined point system:

  1. Applicants must take the pre-admission- Test of Essential Academic Skills-TEAS. This examination is administered at Goodwin College three times a year, (January, May and September). The cost of the Exam is the responsibility of the applicant. Students may only register for the Exam when they are submitting an application or reactivating an application that is already on file. It is the student's responsibility to follow the deadlines and instructions posted on the application. All questions regarding Exam registration must be directed to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Department or are accessible on the Goodwin College web site for Exam dates and deadlines. Students may take The Pre-Entrance Examination as many times as they wish. Students must score at 50 percent or higher on this exam to be considered for admission.
  2. Complete the application for admission into Goodwin College. Applicants to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program must first meet the requirement for admission and be accepted into Goodwin College.
  3. Complete the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program application. Applicants must have include:
    1. Official high school transcript or General Equivalency Diploma/HiSET.

      i. 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.

      b. Official college transcripts, if applicable.

      4. 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.

      5. Complete the College 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 acceptance.

      6. Provide documentation of observation of occupational therapy in any specialty area. Observation must include 8 hours in prior 12 months.

      7. Occupational Therapy assistant applicants who have satisfied all of the admission criteria also require an interview with the Program Director before admission.

Occupational Therapy Students who have satisfied all of the admission criteria will be selected according to the point system specified below:

Admission requirements:


Previous College Education


Associate Degree or > (60 Credits)


Bachelor's Degree


Master's Degree


Completion of courses at Goodwin College


1 course


2 courses


3 courses


4 courses


Cumulative GPA


2.7 - 3.0


3.1 - 3.5


3.6 - 4.0


Pre Admission Test - Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)




















Personal Essay /Interview


Total Possible Points


Accepted Students

  1. All prerequisite courses must be completed before entering the 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. HSC 105 - Medical Terminology
    2. BIO 120 (Goodwin College) or equivalent with a laboratory OR Anatomy & Physiology I (Goodwin College) or equivalent completed within the last five years is the prerequisite for OTA 101.
  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:
    • CPR certification prior to rotation
    • Physical exam within one year of start of FW II rotation
    • Fingerprinting (if required by FW site) prior to start of FW I or FW II
    • Additional health requirements may need to be met, based on the requirements of each individual fieldwork site.

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 comprehend, apply, 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 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. Comprehend the scope of occupational therapy practice;
  7. Complete the comprehensive learning outcomes identified within each syllabus; and
  8. Complete the comprehensive learning outcomes identified with the General Education Component.

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 HSC 105 and BIO 120, or equivalent, with a minimum grade of "C+".

3. Fieldwork IIA and IIB must be completed within 18 months of all academic course work.


Associate in Occupational Therapy Assistant

General Education Core - 28 Credits

ENG 101

English Composition



Writing Competency (WR)



Communications Competency (COM)



Computer Literacy Competency (CL)



Math Competency (MATH)


BIO 120

Human Biology (SCI)


PSY 112

Introduction to Psychology (SS)



Cultural Competency (HUM or E/P)


HSC 105

Medical Terminology


Non-Major Core Requirements - 6 Credits

ASD 120

The College Experience OR



Open Elective


PSY 212

Life Span Development


Occupational Therapy Assistant Major Core - 36 credits

Semester One

OTA 100

Foundations of Occupational Therapy and



Task Analysis


OTA 101

Foundations of Movement and Function


OTA 103

Group Dynamics in Occupational Therapy


Semester Two

OTA 204

Adult Populations and the Occupational



Therapy Assistant


OTA 205

Pediatric Populations and the Occupational



Therapy Assistant


Semester Three

OTA 102

Clinical Fieldwork I (FW I)


OTA 206

Geriatric Populations and the Occupational



Therapy Assistant


OTA 203

Case Studies and Practical Applications in



Occupational Therapy Assistant


Semester Four

OTA 220

Occupational Therapy Assistant Seminar


OTA 250

Advanced Fieldwork Level IIA (FW II)


OTA 260

Advanced Fieldwork Level IIB (FW II)


Total Credits in the Program