Feb 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy Assistant, AAS

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125 Credits

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 function necessary to perform day-to-day work, self-care and leisure activities as related to one’s roles. Occupational therapy assistants are often part of a health team that not only includes an occupational therapist but may also include physicians, nurses, social workers, teachers, physical therapists and other specialists. Besides preparing to become occupational therapy assistants, students in this program learn many skills that will serve in other helping careers.

Occupational therapy assistants are employed at public schools, long-term care centers, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and geriatric day centers to name a few. Assistants work under the supervision and consultation of an occupational therapist to provide patient treatments. They also provide assistance with patient assessments.

The associate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929 ACOTE’s phone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapy assistants administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this examination, the graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the result of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Felony convictions may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination and attain state licensure. NBCOT offers an Early Determination Review to individuals who (1) have been charged with or convicted of felony, (2) have had any professional license, registration or certification revoked, suspended or subject to probationary conditions by a regulatory authority or certification board, and/or (3) have been found by any court, administrative or disciplinary proceeding to have committed negligence, malpractice, recklessness or willful or intentional misconduct which resulted in harm to another.

An individual who is considering entering the Green River College Occupational Therapy Assistant program, or has already entered the program but is not yet eligible to apply for the certification examination, may have his/her character information reviewed prior to actually applying for the examination by requesting the review. The fee and payment form can be found on NBCOT’s Website https://www.nbcot.org/Student/Services#EarlyDetermination.

Students can choose from two academic options, as traditional full-time students that begin every fall and consists of 7 quarters of study. Or a hybrid, that begins every other (odd years) spring quarter on a part-time evening schedule where the length of study would be 9 quarters. Level II fieldwork requirements must be completed within 18 months of academic courses. All Level I and Level II fieldwork experiences are completed during normal daytime business hours. Green River cannot guarantee placement at student geographical location and that up to a 90-minute drive (one way) for level I fieldwork and up to 60-minute drive (one way) for level II fieldwork is possible. Also, students may be placed outside the Puget Sound area.

Program Application

OTA program admission requirements and the application process are subject to change from year to year. If you are planning to apply for a later year, the packet will provide guidelines for the application process. The application packet is updated each fall for the following year and it is the applicant’s responsibility to be aware of current application requirements. Specific dates can be found on the program website. When the program fills, applicants will be placed on alternate list.

  1. Candidates may apply when they have earned a minimum of 20 quarter credits in program prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of 2.0 in each course and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 (grades on 4.0 scale). Appropriate test score equivalencies may be substituted.

  2. Prerequisite courses for the OTA program are:

a. BIOL& 175  and 5 credits from the Humanities/Fine Arts/English Distribution  (non-performance), Social Science Distribution  or Natural Science Distribution  lists

or AP 103  and AP 104  

or BIOL& 241  and BIOL& 242  

- Sequencing of all Anatomy and Physiology courses must be taken at the same institution. Central Washington University courses (EXSCI 350, EXSCI 350Lab, EXSCI 351 and EXSCI 351Lab) and Washington State University courses (KINES/MVTST 262 and KINES/MVTST 380) meet the AP 103 and AP 104 OTA degree requirement at GRC.

b. ENGL& 101  

c. PSYC& 100  

  1. Complete an essay with specific prompt (see program website).

  2. For shadowing or work experience requirements please see program website.

Selection Process:

Students who satisfy the above requirements will be selected based on academic preparation, GPA, and familiarity with occupational therapy including the essential functions of the occupational therapy assistant student. The procedures used in selection, evaluation, and retention do not discriminate and are consistent with the process of Green River College.

Note Regarding Open Enrollment  

Contact: Health Occupations Admissions, ext. 2641 - healthoccadmissions@greenriver.edu

Information Session: Sign up: greenriver.edu/info-sessions

Program Website: Occupational Therapy Assistant | https://www.greenriver.edu/students/academics/degrees-programs/occupational-therapy-assistant/

Program Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate mastery of the occupational therapy foundational content requirements.
  2. Discuss the basic tenets of occupational therapy.
  3. Conduct and document a screening and evaluation process.
  4. Intervene and implement occupational therapy processes.
  5. Describe the context of occupational therapy services.
  6. Assist in the management of occupational therapy services.
  7. Read and use professional literature in the field of occupational therapy.
  8. Discuss the importance of ethics, values and responsibilities in the field of occupational therapy.


Traditional full-time course sequence

Foundational Classes

Sixth Quarter (Spring)

Level II Fieldwork

Hybrid course sequence

Hybrid course sequence  

Program Degree Requirements:

Related Instruction Requirements

Satisfies related instruction requirements.

Written Communication

  • Credits: 5
  • Or an AP score of 4 or 5 on the English Language/Composition exam

    Or a score of 5-7 on the International Baccalaureate (IB) English test

Oral Communication

Choose one of the following:


  • Credits: 5  or higher
  • Or an AP score of 3-5 on the following tests; Calculus AB, Calculus BC, and Statistics

    Or IB Mathematics HL or SL of 5-7


(Instructor’s permission required)


* Clinical hours off campus during the day hours required.
OTA students must earn a minimum grade of 2.0 in all required classes or an appropriate test score equivalencies as substitution.

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