Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy (OT) is the use of everyday life activities (occupations) with individuals who have limitations. These limitations may include physical or mental health and developmental or learning abilities. Individuals may also be limited by poverty and cultural differences or the aging process. OT is used to prevent disability, and maintain health in the areas of work, play, leisure, education, communication interaction and activities of daily living.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program includes general and technical courses and supervised fieldwork experiences. The Level II fieldwork experience must be completed within 18 months of finishing the OTAC courses.

Enrollment in the OTA program may be limited due to the availability of fieldwork sites. Acceptance by the College does not constitute acceptance into the OTA program. Students are considered to be "Pre-OTA" until they have been accepted to enroll in OTA courses. Interested students must complete an OTA program application in order to be considered for enrollment in the OTA program. Students interested in enrolling in this major are encouraged to contact OTA faculty to find out specific requirements for admission into this program.

Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the national certification exam for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT) 12 South Summit Ave, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150 (301) 990-7979. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be nationally certified. Many states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on results of NBCOT certification examination. History of a felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or obtain state licensure (inquire regarding appeals process).

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Program Accreditation

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomory Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD, 208214-3449. ACOTE's telphone number is (301)-652-AOTA and it's web address is

Program Accreditation

College Accreditation

Northland Community & Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

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Program Specific Requirements

  1. Completion and approval for clinical participation of the Minnesota Department of Humans Services Licensing Division Background Study prior to entering OTAC courses higher than 1100. Completion and approval for clinical participation of a National Background Study through Verified Credentials cost $50.

  2. Current CPR certification. CPR for Health Care Providers (American Heart Association) or CPR for Professional Rescuer (Red Cross) certification is required prior to entering OTAC 2000 level courses.

  3. All required courses for the program must be completed with a grade of C or better. The program minimum scores for the Accuplacer Assessment test are as follows: Reading Comprehension - 78; Arithmetic - 50.

  4. Completion of the College Health Screening & Immunization form prior to enrollment in OTAC courses.

  5. Students must complete an OTA program application in order to be considered for enrollment in OTAC courses higher than 1100.

  6. Students must complete 30 volunteer hours with Occupational Therapy Practitioners in specified areas and documented on the Volunteer/Observation Hours Form.

  7. Students must meet with OTA faculty to determine eligibility for enrollment in the OTA program.


  • Health and Human Services students must comply with both Minnesota law and clinical facility requirements related to immunizations and background screenings.
  • Students who do not comply with the required health and immunization requirements may not be permitted to attend clinical which WILL affect program progression and completion.

Program Course Listings

Required Courses

Course # Course Name Credits
HLTH 1106 Medical Terminology 2 credits
OTAC 1001 Intro to OT 2 credits
OTAC 1115 Disability/Disease Proc 2 credits
OTAC 1125 Phys Hlth Foundations 3 credits
OTAC 1135 Psychosocial Foundations 3 credits
OTAC 1145 Scholarship I 1 credits
OTAC 1155 Movement for Occupations 3 credits
OTAC 2015 Ped Community Practice 2 credits
OTAC 2025 Ped Physical Health 5 credits
OTAC 2035 Ped Psychosocial 5 credits
OTAC 2045 Scholarship II 2 credits
OTAC 2115 Adult Community Practice 2 credits
OTAC 2125 Adult Physical Health 5 credits
OTAC 2135 Adult Psychosocial 5 credits
OTAC 2145 Scholarship III 1 credits
OTAC 2155 Professional Topics 2 credits
OTAC 2225 Physical Health Fieldwork 6 credits
OTAC 2235 Psychosocial Fieldwork 6 credits
BIOL 2252 Anatomy & Phys I 3 credits
BIOL 2254 Anatomy & Phys II 3 credits
ENGL 1111 Composition I 3 credits
PSYC 2201 Developmental Psychology 3 credits
PSYC 2215 Abnormal Psychology 3 credits
TOTAL CREDITS: 72 credits

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Program Learner Outcomes

  1. Student will perform entry-level competencies, based on occupational therapy standards.

  2. Student will implement occupations based interventions in collaboration with consumers, families and other service providers.

  3. Student will perform entry-level practice competencies safely and proficiently in traditional and emerging areas of practice.

  4. Student will communicate effectively with consumers, families and other service providers.

  5. Student will demonstrate ethical and professional behavior while displaying respect for diversity of culture, age and gender.

  6. Student will demonstrate needed skills to be lifelong learners in the profession of Occupational Therapy.

Employment Outlook & Opportunities

Northland Career Center

Job Openings

Counselors are available in the Career Center to assist with career advising, job search resources, employer connections, occupational descriptions, employment outlook, earnings, education/training requirements and sources.

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Career opportunities include: Occupational Therapy Assistants for acute and long term care facilities, schools and community agencies. The OTA works under the supervision of an OT. An OTA is also qualified to work without supervision as a Director of an activities program.

The employment outlook for occupational therapist assistants in the state of Minnesota from 2010 to 2020 is 22.6%, a very high growth career.

Program Faculty

East Grand Forks Campus

  • Cassie Hilts
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant Instructor
  • (218) 793-2589
  • Kara Welke
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant Instructor
  • (218) 793-2582