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The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program (OTA) is a two-year curriculum leading to an A.A.S. degree. There are a total of 68 credits in the program; 41 OTA credits and 27 general education credits.

Twenty-four students are admitted to the program each fall. Admission requires a high school diploma or the equivalent. Advanced Placement Biology with a score of 3 or better on the AP exam, and successful completion of any required developmental courses. Students who do not meet the biology requirements can satisfy the entrance requirement by taking Introduction to Biology BIO110 and earning a grade of C or better. Attendance at one of three Pre-Admission Orientation meetings is required, as well as, 15 hours* of observation in three different Occupational Therapy practice areas.

*Due to COVID-19 this requirement has been changed to Video Observations for Fall 2021 admission. To access a list of acceptable videos and assignment please go to: "Become A Student" from the main SUNYOrange page, click on "Health Professions" and on the left side bar click "Health Professions Application Resources". 

While the Occupational Therapy Assistant course of study may be completed on a part time basis, Clinical Practice I & II, in the final semester, require full-time participation for the full sixteen weeks of the semester. All program requirements must be completed within three consecutive years from the time of enrollment in the first OTA course. Individualized part-time schedules can be developed between the student and the OTA faculty advisor.

Each occupational therapy course is offered once each year. OTA courses must be taken in the sequence in which they are offered.

First Semester (Fall)

Course # Course Name Credits
ENG 101 Freshman English I 3
ENG 160 Technical Writing 1.5
PSY 111 Introduction to Psychology 3
BIO 111 Anatomy & Physiology 4
OTA 101 Fundamentals of OT I 3
OTA 103 Occupational Performance I 1
OTA 107 Principles Of OT in Geriatrics 2

Second Semester (Spring)

Course # Course Name Credits
ENG 102 Freshman English II 3
PSY 220 Developmental Psychology 3
BIO 112 Anatomy & Physiology II 4
OTA 102 Fundamentals of OT II 3
OTA 104 Occupational Performance II 1
OTA 106 Medical Conditions 3

Third Semester (Fall)

Course # Course Name Credits
PSY 230 Abnormal Psychology 3
OTA 110 Introduction to Assistive Technology 3
OTA 201 Principles of OT in Pediatrics & Developmental Disabilities 3
OTA 203 Clinical Reasoning Skills 1
OTA 205 Principles Of OT in Mental Health 3
OTA 207 Principles Of OT in Phys. Disability 3
OTA 209 Documentation in OT 1.5
PED 155 CPR* 1

Fourth Semester (Spring)

Course # Course Name Credits
OTA 217 Clinical Practice I* 7.5
OTA 218 Clinical Practice II* 7.5

Total Credits: 68

* CPR Certification is required for Clinical Practice I & II


Course Descriptions

OTA101: Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy I

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of occupational therapy. Content includes history, philosophy, role delineation, ethics, cultural issues, standards of practice and professional associations. The OT process, practice framework, principles and application of group dynamics, therapeutic use of self and the importance of delivering evidence-based practice are emphasized. A Level I fieldwork component provides exposure to the practice of OT in a variety of practice settings. Students must pass both Level I field observation evaluations in order to pass this course. (See Appendix A - Level I Fieldwork Assessment of Student Performance). (*Malpractice insurance fee applied)

Prerequisite: Admission to OTA Program Corequisites: BIO 111, ENG160, OTA103 & OTA107

OTA102: Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy II

Course provides the student with practical experience in a variety of treatment techniques utilized in occupational therapy. Units on splinting, transfer techniques, activities of daily living techniques and adaptive equipment, are included. (*Lab fee applied)

Prerequisites: BIO111, OTA101, OTA103 & OTA107 Corequisites: BIO112, OTA104 & OTA106

OTA103: Occupational Performance I

Emphasis is on the understanding of occupation in one’s daily life and the impact of physical, emotional and developmental challenges to carrying out activities of daily living. Basic problem-solving skill techniques and activities are learned as well as their therapeutic application to a variety of disability areas. Students actively engage in the teaching and learning-process which is essential in occupational therapy practice. Students are required to learn specific craft activities in a group setting, as a form of treatment intervention in the delivery of occupational therapy services. Principles of activity analysis, therapeutic application, and group and dyadic presentation techniques are covered. (*Lab fee applied)

Prerequisite: Admission to the OTA Program Corequisites: BIO111, ENG160, OTA101 & OTA107

OTA104: Occupational Performance II

This is the second in a series of three clinical skills courses, following Occupational Performance I and preceding Clinical Reasoning Skills. The occupational performance course builds upon the foundation of occupation and the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework established in the preceding course. The course also addresses a variety of intervention techniques including adapted and therapeutic games, computers and assistive technology. Emphasis is on service learning community projects, problem-based learning and evidence-based practice research projects. (*Lab fee applied)

Prerequisites: BIO111, OTA101,OTA103 & OTA107 Corequisites: BIO112, OTA102 & OTA106

OTA106: Medical Conditions

This course presents the etiology and symptoms of medical and psychological clinical conditions across the lifespan that are commonly referred to occupational therapy services. Course content emphasizes the effects of trauma, disease, and congenital conditions on the biological, psychological, and social domains of occupational behavior. An exploration of cultural perspectives on disease and wellness will be included.

Prerequisites: BIO111 and OTA101 Corequisites: BIO112, OTA102 & OTA104

OTA107: Principles of Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics & Gerontology

This course gives the student a working knowledge of the social, emotional, physical, and psychological aspects of aging. The student is made aware of services available to older adults in the community and the principles of occupational therapy as they relate to the older adult patient.

Prerequisite: Admission to OTA Program Corequisites: ENG160, OTA101 & OTA103

OTA110: Introduction to Assistive Technology

This is a project based and experiential course that will introduce the students to the field of Assistive Technology, various tools/supports and resources. Students will engage in assignments that will help to broaden their understanding of how technology may be used to improve function and independence in people with various disabilities. Students will be expected to attend face-to-face classes as well as participate in weekly online learning activities. This is a hybrid course involving classroom and online lecture and learning activities.

OTA201: Principles of OT in Pediatrics & Developmental Disabilities

The student is introduced to the various conditions that interfere with normal development, and the occupational therapy treatment techniques used with the developmentally and intellectually disabled. Students are presented with a problem-based learning case study and client to develop throughout the semester. This project culminates in the development of an individualized intervention plan, as well as an adapted/assistive technology application designed to meet the needs of the client. (*Malpractice insurance fee applied)

Prerequisites: PSY220, BIO111, OTA102, OTA104 & OTA106

Corequisites: OTA 203, OTA205, OTA207 & OTA209

OTA203: Clinical Reasoning Skills

The emphasis in this course is on the application of clinical reasoning skills applied to the diverse OT practice areas. A series of clinical reasoning/role playing modules encourage students to simulate intervention approaches and treatment activities. Group process is an integral component as students are assigned to community connections project groups.

The community outreach projects, problem-based learning and evidence-based practice research projects initiated in OTA104 (OP II) are continued in this course. (*Malpractice insurance fee applied)

Prerequisites: OTA102, OTA104 & OTA106 Corequisites: OTA201, OTA205, OTA207 & OTA209

OTA205: Principles of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health

This course addresses the critical mental health component in all areas of occupational therapy service provision; physical, developmental and psychiatric. The emphasis is on addressing remediation, and compensation for mental, cognitive, perceptual, behavioral skills and sensory functions across a wide spectrum of physical, developmental and mental health issues. A study of the theoretical basis for DSM-IV Classifications is reviewed and applied to occupational therapy intervention techniques. Students are guided through a series of self-reflection activities to develop the essential aspects of therapeutic use of self. (*Malpractice insurance fee applied)

Prerequisite: BIO112, OTA102, OTA104 & OTA106

Corequisites: OTA201, OTA203, OTA207, OTA209 & PSY230

OTA207: Principles of Occupational Therapy in Physical Disabilities

A study of the theoretical basis for occupational therapy treatment techniques in physical disorders. The student is introduced to specific techniques and skills utilized in the area of physical dysfunction. (*Malpractice insurance fee applied)

Prerequisites: OTA102, OTA104 & OTA106 Corequisite: OTA201, OTA203, OTA205 & OTA209

OTA209: Documentation in Occupational Therapy

This course will provide knowledge of documentation and the quality assurance process used in occupational therapy practice, with a focus on electronic health records. Modules will address legal and ethical issues related to documentation and reimbursement. Students will review various documentation formats that are used in practice and how the appeals process works when claims are denied. The role of the OTA in case management will also be described. Students will be assigned to fieldwork affiliation sites during the semester to increase their observational and documentation skills.

Prerequisites: OTA102, OTA104 & OTA106 Corequisite: OTA 201, OTA203, OTA205 & OTA207

OTA217: Clinical Practice I

This course provides a supervised eight-week clinical experience in an occupational therapy treatment setting. The student may elect to work with the physically challenged, emotionally challenged, developmentally challenged population or an emerging area of practice. The student is expected to use knowledge and skills, acquired through previous course work, to carry out prescribed treatment programs. Evaluation, treatment intervention and treatment documentation are the major components of the fieldwork experience. (*Malpractice insurance fee applied)

Prerequisites: OTA201, OTA 203, OTA205, OTA207 and OTA209 All Academic Course Work

OTA218: Clinical Practice II

This second eight-week clinical experience follows the successful completion of Clinical Practice I and occurs in a setting that services a different client population than the first clinical course. Evaluation, treatment intervention and treatment documentation are the major components of the field work experience. The student is expected to apply knowledge and skills acquired through course work and the preceding clinical experience.

Prerequisite: OTA217 (*Malpractice insurance fee applied)

 *See College Catalog for current lab and malpractice insurance fees.

 Associated Course 

ENG160: Technical Writing

The Technical Writing course is part of the program’s curriculum requirements. The course is taken in conjunction with Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy I in the fall semester of the freshmen year. The 1.5 credit course uses the computer as the primary writing tool and preliminary instruction on the operation of the computer is provided in each course.

This course is scheduled for one hour of lecture/writing with a requirement of two additional hours in the writing lab each week. Failure to pass this Technical Writing course will prevent progression into second semester OTA courses.