The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program at Green River College awards an Associate in Applied Science degree and is accredited by the *Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
Occupational Therapy is a health discipline that provides services to people whose lives have been disrupted by physical injury, illness, and developmental, psychosocial, or aging-related problems. "Occupational" in this sense does not necessarily refer to a person's employment. Instead, it means therapy that enables a person to gain the functions necessary to perform those activities that "occupy" their time related to day-to-day work, self-care, and leisure activities as related to one's roles. For example, a person with a disability may need to relearn how to dress him or herself, how to safely take a bus, or how to prepare a basic meal.
The OTA degree includes related instruction requirements in anatomy and physiology, communication, English composition, psychology, sociology, and math. These may be completed at any accredited college or university. Program studies include coursework specific to occupational therapy theory, skills and behavior as well as practical clinical experiences in area health care facilities. OTA courses must be taken in sequence.
Occupational therapy assistant courses begin fall or spring quarter of each year and must be taken in sequence.
- Complete anatomy and physiology, English composition, and lifespan development courses prior to entering the program;
- Complete and submit a General Admissions application to Green River College (if you have not previously attended Green River College);
- Complete and submit a separate Occupational Therapy Assistant application:
- Be admitted into the program.
Thirty-two (32) students will be accepted into the Occupational Therapy Assistant program each fall and 16 each spring, based on the strength and qualifications of the applicant pool. Application forms are available online in late fall quarter for spring admission and late winter quarter for fall admission. They are also available via the Career and Advising Office at (253) 833-9111, ext. 2641.
For questions, please contact the Career & Advising Center:
The classes for the OTA program are not designed to transfer. Students who seek occupational therapy degrees should pursue a bachelor’s degree and then attend a occupational therapy program.
OTAs are employed in a wide variety of settings including hospitals and rehabilitation facilities; outpatient clinics; skilled nursing, extended care or convalescent facilities; home health agencies; schools and other pediatric facilities; and geriatric day centers.
The demand for occupational therapy assistants is strong in the Puget Sound area and nationwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 25 percent increase in the need for OTAs between 2006 and 2016. In the Seattle-Tacoma area the average pay range is $18-24 per hour, plus benefits.
All of Green River’s OTA program graduates who have sought employment in occupational therapy have been employed. Many students have obtained jobs prior to graduation. Job placement is not guaranteed.
Upon approval from the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), which is headquartered at 800 South Frederick Avenue, Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150, Green River OTA graduates are able to sit for the national certification examination. Graduates may take the exam, which is computer-based, at any Prometric Testing Center.
After successful completion of this examination, the graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Washington State requires licensure in order to practice.
*Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s phone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA, and its web address is http://www.acoteonline.org.