Since the 1960s, the Harcum College Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program in Pennsylvania has prepared students to enter the field of occupational therapy with confidence. Today, we’ve expanded the program into Arizona, a state where certified occupational therapy assistants are in high demand.
Located in the Phoenix metropolitan area, our new Online OTA program makes it possible to earn a quality associate of science degree in 16 months. The program uses a blended learning format to provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to work in all areas of OTA practice.
Our 16-month OTA curriculum comprises:
- Online courses that teach the fundamentals of the profession.
- On-site skills labs that focus on hands-on learning and practice.
- Fieldwork that provides real-world experience working with patients.
As a graduate of our Online OTA program, you’ll have the knowledge, skills, and job readiness required to take the national certification exam and work as a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA).
OTA Online Courses
Delivered through an intuitive e-learning platform, our OTA online courses set the foundation for your education by focusing on the fundamentals of the profession. As you develop your core knowledge, you’ll take this information and learn how to apply it during skills labs and fieldwork experiences.
These online courses allow you to study at your own pace and attend “class” whenever it best fits into your daily schedule. Keep in mind, however, that instructor deadlines still apply. If you have questions about the coursework, our professors are highly supportive and readily available to address your needs.
OTA Skills Labs
OTA skills labs, which take place at our learning site in Sun City, provide a contextual environment for you to learn how to perform mental, cognitive, and physical health-based interventions on patients of all ages and developmental stages.
During these labs, you’ll use real-world adaptive equipment to develop your hands-on skills as well as actively participate in role-play scenarios that involve your instructors and/or peers. Overall, these labs help build your skills and confidence before heading into fieldwork.
OTA fieldwork plays an important role in your education by helping you make the transition from student to practitioner. As an OTA student, you’ll complete two levels of fieldwork, which translates into 736 hours of learning in the real-world.
Level I fieldwork enriches your knowledge through direct observation, job shadowing, and talking with professionals. Level II fieldwork further refines your hands-on skills and clinical judgment while working with actual patients.
What Does an OTA Do?
Occupational therapy is a diverse profession where effective patient rehabilitation involves the collaboration between an occupational therapist and an occupational therapy assistant.
While the occupational therapist takes the lead by evaluating patients and developing their treatment plans, the occupational therapy assistant plays a supporting role by putting these treatment plans into action.
OTA Practice Areas
The field of occupational therapy consists of six core practice areas. Within these areas, occupational therapy assistants concentrate on both the physical and cognitive aspects of rehabilitation while working with patients of all ages.
Children and Youth
OTAs help children develop life skills, learn self-care activities, and foster relationships with others.
OTAs work with aging adults on ways to safely approach daily living activities to not only preserve their quality of life, but also enable them to live independently for as long as possible.
Health and Wellness
OTAs help patients maximize their capacity to participate in life activities that are important to them via health and wellness promotion.
OTAs help individuals with mental health issues lead productive daily routines and engage in meaningful daily life activities.
Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation
OTAs help individuals with disabilities and those recovering from injuries improve their life skills so they can live as independently as possible.
Work and Industry
OTAs promote success in the workplace by improving the fit between an individual, his or her job tasks, and the environment.
The Grand Canyon State is currently experiencing some of the fastest OTA job growth in the country, which is due in part to the increased rehabilitation service demands of an aging population. By bringing our Online OTA program to Arizona, we can help employers fill these job openings with a continuous pipeline of qualified practitioners.
Are You Eligible?
Whether you’re a high school graduate or a career changer with college experience, we can prepare you for the OTA profession in as few as 16 months. To be eligible for our Online OTA program in Arizona, you must have/do the following:
- High school diploma or passing GED® exam score
- Minimum GPA of 2.5
- Pass an English proficiency test within the specified score, if applicable
- Complete core requirements within the specified grade requirements
Let’s Get Started
If you’re ready to become an occupational therapy assistant, we can get you started on your education as soon as possible. Providing you meet the admission requirements, you can apply for an OTA program start date in January, May, or August. Reach out to our admission team today to learn more!