Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA-B)


Dr. Rashida Daye-Campbell, Director of Occupational Therapy Assistant Program(OTA-B)
Angela Karpieniak, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
Mr. Richard Osborne, OT Programs Academic Fieldwork Coordinator


Trinity is transitioning to an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) baccalaureate degree. This degree educates students to work under the supervision and in cooperation with an occupational therapist (OT) to help people across the lifespan engage in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities called occupations.

This major prepares you to work in various settings such as  hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, sub-acute facilities, psychiatric and community-based programs, schools, nursing homes, private practice, and other emerging practice areas.

Students may be admitted to Trinity to complete general education and OTA prerequisite courses. The OTA program has received Candidacy Status from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and will enroll the first cohort in fall 2021.

Degree Requirements

Students will complete general education and pre-requisite courses before applying to the OTA program. These can be taken at Trinity in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students will complete core OTA courses after formal acceptance into the OTA program.

Requirements for the Degree:

The requirements to graduate from Trinity with an Occupational Therapy Assistant Bachelor of Science degree are outlined in the student handbook and include the successful completion of the following:

  • all program pre-requisite courses and general education courses in the College of Arts and Sciences or transferred from another accredited institution.
  • all core OTA courses with a grade of “C” or better.
  • a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5
  • For students matriculating after Fall 2002, 45 of the final 60 credits, excluding credits for experiential learning, and all OTA-designated courses must be completed at Trinity.

Prerequisite and General Education Courses 

Freshman Year, First Semester (16 credits)
CRS 101 Critical Reading and Writing Seminar I
PSYC 101 Introductory Psychology
HPNU 120 Medical Terminology
MATH 108 Finite Mathematics
BIOL 121 Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Freshman Year, Second Semester (16 credits)
CRS 102 Critical Reading and Writing Seminar II
ENGL 107 College Composition
BIOL 122 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
MATH 110 Introduction to Statistics
SOCY 100 Introduction to Sociology

Sophomore Year, First Semester (15 credits)
PSYC 243 Lifespan Development
SNHP 224 Health Care Systems and Global Health

Choose TWO courses from General Education 

Fine Arts (FNAR)
Literature (ENGL)

Choose a Foreign Language (or other General Education Requirement)

Sophomore Year, Second Year (15 credits)

SNHP 220 Health Promotion, Policy and Politics
PHIL 251 Bioethics

Choose TWO courses from General Education
Religious Studies and Theology (RST)
History (AFST, GLBL, or HIS)

Choose a Foreign Language (or other General Education Requirement)

Core OTA Course

Students will complete core OTA courses after formal acceptance into the OTA program.

Junior Year, First Semester (17 credits)

OTA 200 Intro to Occupational Thrpy and Fldwrk
OTA 320 Functional Mvmnt and Occup Performance
OTA 324 Pathology for Occupational Therapy Asst
OTA 330 Analys and Perf of Occup Across Lifespan
SNHP 330 Research and Evidence-Based Practice

Junior Year, Second Semester (16 credits)

OTA 304 Profess Standards and Responsibilities I
OTA 340 Occupational Therapy Process I
OTA 436 Interv & Tools Psychosoc Rehab Prct Set
OTA 437 Interv & Tools Pediatric Prct Set
OTA 300 Clinical Reason I: Fldwrk and Bacc Proj

Senior Year, First Semester (13)

OTA 404 Profess Standards & Responsibilities II
OTA 440 Occupational Therapy Process II
OTA 438 Interv & Tools Adult Phys Disab Prct Set
OTA 400 Clinical Reason II: Fldwrk and Bacc Proj

Senior Year, Second Semester (12 credits)

OTA 491 Level II FW: Rotation I
OTA 494 NBCOT Exam Prep and Bacc Proj Presen

Program Policies

Questions from non-Trinity students regarding the application process and acceptance criteria should be directed to the Admissions Office. Questions from a current Trinity student regarding the application process and acceptance criteria should be directed to the student’s undergraduate advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Required Documentation: 
Prior to enrolling in all OTA fieldwork courses, students are required to present documentation of the following:

  • Current immunization or titers for: DPT; MMR; Hepatitis B (3 doses); Tetanus; Influenza (annual); TB (annual)
  • National criminal background check
  • Drug Test
  • Current major medical health insurance
  • American Heart Association BLS/CPR certification for the Health Care Provider (2-year card)
  • Current physical examination
  • Some clinical facilities may also require fingerprinting and additional vaccinations

Additional Expenses:
As part of Fieldwork Levels I and II, as well as community learning experiences, students in the OTA program should expect to incur the following additional expenses beyond tuition and fees:

  • OTA polo shirt
  • Local travel and transportation
  • Books/Manuals
  • Health insurance
  • Criminal background check
  • Fingerprinting
  • Annual Physical Examination
  • American Heart Association BLS/CPR certification for the Health Care Provider (2-year card)

Advanced Placement:

Credits earned through AP examinations can only fulfill pre-requisite and general education requirements for the OTA major.

CLEP Policy: 

Credits earned through CLEP examinations can only fulfill pre-requisite and general education requirements for the OTA major.

Grades in Pre-requisite and Major Courses:
OTA students must earn a  “C” or above as a final course grade in all OTA courses. A final grade below a “C” will require the student to repeat the course to successfully complete all requirements of the OTA curriculum plan. A final grade below a “C” may impact a student’s academic progression in the occupational therapy assistant program. Any grade involving a numerical fraction is NOT rounded up at the end of the semester in the final course grade.

Pass/No Pass:
No courses fulfilling major requirements in the OTA program may be taken as Pass/No Pass.

Transfer Credits: 
Transfer credit for pre-requisite courses will be awarded after appropriate program review and approval.


Trinity Washington University’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program strives to educate students to be competent, ethical, and committed occupational therapy practitioners who promote health and well-being of all people as they engage in everyday activities called occupations.  Through dynamic classroom, clinical and community experiences, OTA students graduate prepared to meet the ever-changing occupational needs of society and address social justice and occupational performance issues locally and globally.

Occupational Therapy Program Philosophy

The OTA program’s philosophy reflects occupational therapy fundamental ideals in that it is based on the profession’s belief that humans are complex beings who are continuously engaged in their environment. Learning is an active and social process where learners discover principles, concepts, and facts through interactions with each other and their environment. The Philosophical Base of Occupational Therapy (AOTA, 2017) provides the Trinity Washington University OTA Program’s foundation. The OTA curriculum’s organizing philosophical framework is derived from the belief that engagement in occupations can positively influence the health and well-being of individuals and populations. Through employment in occupations, we can find meaning and balance in our lives.

Fundamental Beliefs about Human Beings

Humans are complex beings who constantly interact with the physical, social, temporal, cultural, psychological, spiritual, and virtual environment through their actions. We are active beings who can adapt, modify, and affect our lives’ quality by engaging in the things we want and need to do called occupations. “Participation in these occupations influences their development, health, and well-being across the lifespan.” (AOTA Commission on Education, 2011, p. S65); However, when a person is faced with an occupational challenge because of impairment, disability, or a stressful event, the natural process of human adaptation may become impaired (Schultz, 1992 and Schultz & Schkade, 1992). Through occupational therapy intervention, the occupational therapy practitioner’s “therapeutic use of self,” management of the environment, and use of “occupations as tools” promote the client’s ability to adapt to life’s challenges for successful occupational performance.

View of Learning

Learning is an active and social process in which learners learn to discover principles, concepts, and facts through interactions with each other and with the environment in which they live (Brown 1989; Ackerman 1996). Trinity acknowledges learners are unique individuals with unique needs and diverse backgrounds while being complex and multidimensional. Using a constructivist viewpoint to guide the learning process, we see that the responsibility for learning resides with the learner.  Motivation for learning strongly depends on the learner’s confidence in their potential to learn (Prawat and Floden 1994). Instructors are facilitators of learning that create guidelines and set the stage within the environment for learning. The learning experience is shaped by the instructor’s and the learners’ values. Culture and background are shared and respected (Ernest 1991; Prawat et al. 1994). The faculty of Trinity’s OTA program demonstrates support for students to become effective and critical thinkers through the “beyond the comfort zone” academic challenge (Vygotsky 1978) that will also translate into critical thinking and reasoning skills in the OT practice setting of activities as interventions.


Trinity Washington University’s baccalaureate-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 telephone 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 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, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results 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.