Occupational Therapy Assistant

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program prepares students to use therapeutic modalities and procedures under the direction and supervision of an occupational therapist. The OTA provides rehabilitative services to people with physical, psycho-social and developmental impairments as well as helps people of all ages regain independence and participate in daily activities. Occupational therapy assistants blend science, creativity, and compassion to help their clients develop skills and strategies to participate fully in meaningful life activities.

Occupational therapy assistants are skilled health care workers who provide direct patient care under the supervision of an occupational therapist (OT). Work locations include but are not limited to rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, schools, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, and outpatient clinics.

Program graduates will be eligible to take the National Occupational Therapy Certification Examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of the examination, graduates are certified as occupational therapy assistants and are eligible to apply for state licensure.


Field of Interest
Health Sciences
Degree Type
Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
Academic Plan
Occupational Therapy Assistant (DEG)
Academic Plan Code
Total credits required
Catalog Year
Effective Term
Fall 2023
Admissions criteria

1. Formal application for admission to the program.
2. Completion of 20 observation hours, 10 in pediatrics and 10 with adults as noted in the program information packet. Completion of observation hour form filled out and signed by supervisor and turned in with program application.
Students with other related health care experiences not listed on the following program preparatory options may request an evaluation for course competency equivalence for work experience or equivalent education as evaluated by the Gateway Health Core Curriculum Coordinator.
3. Background check requirements: Admission to an Allied Health program requires that students comply with the Maricopa County Community College District Background Check Standards. Upon program enrollment, the student must comply with all requirements of the MCCCD Background Check Policy.
4. Clinical health and safety requirements must be met prior to enrollment in any program of study course. Upon conditional program enrollment, the student must comply with all requirements of the MCCCD Clinical Health and Safety Policy and drug testing protocols.
5. Inability to comply with background check requirements and/or clinical health and safety requirements at the start of classes may result in cancellation of enrollment.
6. Current American Heart Association HealthCare Provider CPR Certificate.
7. There are limited spaces available in the OTA program. Only students who have completed all of the general education and introductory courses noted above may have their name added to the queue of those waiting for an available space in a cohort.


Students must obtain a B or better in all courses required within the program.

Where selected as part of program completion, the following general education and introductory courses must be completed with a 3.0 GPA to be added to the queue of those waiting for an available cohort space to begin the core curriculum: BIO201, BIO202, CRE101, COM100, COM110, COM230, ENG101, ENG107, HCC146, OTA100, PSY101.

What You'll Learn

This pathway map will help you gain the expertise needed to:

  1. Integrate the occupational therapy practice framework throughout the OTA intervention process.
  2. Analyze occupational performance and activity demand.
  3. Assess client factors, performance skills, and performance patterns that affect occupational performance.
  4. Integrate an awareness of biological, physical social, and behavioral sciences into OTA service provision.
  5. Appraise environmental and contextual factors during the intervention process.
  6. Modify treatment activities based on progress or changes in client or environmental factors.
  7. Demonstrate effective professional written and verbal communication with clients, families, caregivers, supervisors, and all other members of the health care team.
  8. Integrate therapeutic use of self into OTA interventions.
  9. Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth.
  10. Apply legal and ethical regulations to OTA practice.
  11. Demonstrate civic engagement and an awareness of social, economic and political factors which affect health care provision.
  12. Create client-centered treatment activities which provide the appropriate level of challenge and address client goals, values, culture, beliefs, and the established occupational therapy goals.
  13. Consider potential discharge needs and plans during intervention process.
  14. Demonstrate competency with entry-level occupational therapy assistant intervention skills with clients of all ages.
  15. Apply relevant knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to seek career opportunities in the field.

Successful completion of this degree may lead to employment in a variety of different occupations and industries. Below are examples of related occupations with associated Maricopa County-based annual median wages* for this degree. Education requirements vary for the occupations listed below, so you may need further education or degrees in order to qualify for some of these jobs and earn the related salaries. Please visit with an academic advisor and/or program director for additional information. You can click on any occupation to view the detail regarding education level, wages, and employment information.

* Career and wage information provided by Lightcast using data, reports, and forecasts which are generated using government data sources and Lightcast’s proprietary analytical processes. Lightcast’s data covers multiple classes of workers including QCEW, non-QCEW, and those who are self-employed. Disclaimer

Course Sequence by Term

The following is the suggested course sequence by term. Please keep in mind:

  • Students should meet with an academic advisor to develop an individual education plan that meets their academic and career goals. Use the Pathway Planner tool in your Student Center to manage your plan.
  • The course sequence is laid out by suggested term and may be affected when students enter the program at different times of the year.
  • Initial course placement is determined by current district placement measures and/or completion of 100-200 level course and/or program requirements.
  • Degree and transfer seeking students may be required to successfully complete a MCCCD First Year Experience Course (FYE) within the first two semesters at a MCCCD College. Courses include FYE101 and FYE103. Course offerings will vary by college. See an academic, program, or faculty advisor for details.
  • Consult with your faculty mentor or academic advisor to determine educational requirements, including possible university transfer options, for your chosen career field.

Full-time Sequence

Full-time status is 12 credits to 18 credits per semester.

Term 1

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 1
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
BIO201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I SG 4
ENG101 or
First-Year Composition or First-Year Composition for ESL FYC 3
HU Humanities, Fine Arts & Design Any approved general education course from the Humanities, Arts and Design area 3 HU 3
FYE101 or
Introduction to College, Career and Personal Success or Exploration of College, Career and Personal Success 1–3

Term 2

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 2
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
BIO202 Human Anatomy and Physiology II SG 4
COM100 or
COM110 or
Introduction to Human Communication or Interpersonal Communication or Small Group Communication SB 3
CRE101 College Critical Reading and Critical Thinking OR Equivalent by assessment on Placement Test L 0–3
HCC146 Common Medical Terminology for Health Care Professionals OR Work experience or equivalent education as evaluated by the GateWay Health Core Curriculum Coordinator 0–2
OTA100 Introduction to Occupational Therapy Assistant Profession 2
PSY101 Introduction to Psychology SB 3

Term 3

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 3
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
OTA102 Psychosocial Health and Occupation 3
OTA105 Fieldwork: Psychosocial 0.5
OTA107 Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy 3
OTA117 Physical Health and Occupations 3
PSY266 Psychological Disorders SB 3
SOC101 Introduction to Sociology SB 3

Term 4

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 4
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
OTA201 Assistive Technology 2
OTA216 Occupational Therapy Assisting Pediatrics I 2
OTA234 Occupational Therapy Assistant Professional Standards 2
MAT140 or
MAT141 or
MAT142 or
MAT145 or
MAT146 or
College Mathematics or College Mathematics or College Mathematics or College Mathematics with Review or College Mathematics with Review or Elements of Statistics MA or CS 3–6

Term 5

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 5
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
ENG102 or
First-Year Composition or First-Year Composition for ESL FYC 3
OTA157 Occupational Therapy Assistant in Physical Rehabilitation 3
OTA205 Fieldwork: Geriatric 0.5
OTA207 Occupational Therapy Assistant in Geriatrics 3
OTA215 Fieldwork: Pediatric I 0.5
OTA217 Occupational Therapy Assisting Pediatrics II 3

Term 6

A sequence of suggested courses that should be taken during Term 6
Course Number Course Name Requisites Notes Area Credits
OTA255 Fieldwork: Adult 4
OTA265 Fieldwork: Pediatric II 4
OTA284 Occupational Therapy Assistant Professional Transition 2
Course Area Key

Students must earn a grade of C or better in all courses within the program.

Course Sequence total credits may differ from the program information located on the MCCCD curriculum website due to program and system design.

View MCCCD’s official curriculum documentation for additional details regarding the requirements of this award (https://aztransmac2.asu.edu/cgi-bin/WebObjects/MCCCD.woa/wa/freeForm3?id=181784).

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.

Previous Catalog Years

The pathway map presented above is for the current catalog year and is the intended pathway map for new students. All previous catalog years for this pathway map are available at the link below.