Occupational therapist assistant talks with a patientOccupational therapist assistants help patients develop and maintain the skills they need for daily living. Graduates of the occupational therapist assistant program at The Praxis Institute earn an associate degree in this high-demand field. These vital members of the healthcare community assist occupational therapists in helping people of all ages and abilities live full, productive lives. Students at our Hialeah campus in the Miami, FL, area train for new careers in this program, which is compliant with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

What Do Occupational Therapist Assistants Do?

Occupational therapist assistants help develop care plans and provide a variety of therapies to patients. As directed by a primary occupational therapist, they work directly with their patients, helping them learn strengthening exercises, use technological aids, and maintain skills for independent living. Different approaches are used, depending on individual needs. These methods may include:

  • Playing activities with younger children
  • Implementing maps and navigation strategies for patients with wheelchairs
  • Using creative modifications to help injured patients return to their jobs and household tasks

Students in the occupational therapist assistant program at The Praxis Institute gain skills in kinesiology, activity analysis, and mental health. They also learn how to work with pediatric, adolescent, geriatric, and other groups of patients. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). When successfully passed, the occupational therapist assistant will be certified. State licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT exam.

Our Occupational Therapist Assistant Program Curriculum

There are 75 credit hours (about 1870 clock hours) required for completion of the occupational therapist assistant program at The Praxis Institute. This program is offered on our Hialeah, FL, campus, with many of the courses available online for greater scheduling flexibility. Our courses are taught by a team of instructors who are highly knowledgeable in their field and truly dedicated to student success. The course requirements for the Occupational Therapist Assistant Program are as follows:

* Courses offered online

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
MAT 100 College Algebra* 3.0
SPC 100 Basics of Speech Communication* 3.0
ENC 101 English Composition I* 3.0
ENC 102 English Composition II* 3.0
HSC 100 Anatomy & Physiology I + Lab* 3.0
HSC 102 Anatomy & Physiology II + Lab* 3.0
HSC 103 Introduction to Psychology* 3.0
OTA 100 Introduction to Occupational Therapy* 3.0
OTA 101 Introduction to Occupational Therapy Lab*  2.0
OTA 102 Functional Anatomy & Kinesiology for Occupational Therapy*  3.0
OTA 103 Functional Anatomy & Kinesiology for Occupational Therapy Lab*  2.0
OTA 104 Activity Analysis*  3.0
OTA 105 Activity Analysis Lab*  2.0
OTA 106 Therapeutic Media & Group Therapy*  3.0
OTA 107 Therapeutic Media & Group Therapy Lab*  2.0
OTA 108 Patient Care Procedures*  1.0
OTA 109 Patient Care Procedures Lab*  1.0
OTA 110 OT Treatment Planning & Techniques for Traditional & Emerging Practice Areas*  3.0
OTA 200 OT Treatment Planning & Techniques for Adolescents & Pediatrics II*  3.0
OTA 201 OT Treatment Planning & Techniques for Adolescents & Pediatrics II Lab*  2.0
OTA 202 OT Treatment Planning & Techniques for Geriatrics & Mental Health III*  3.0
OTA 203 OT Treatment Planning & Techniques for Geriatrics & Mental Health III Lab*  2.0
OTA 204 Fieldwork Education Level Ia-Id  2.0
OTA 205 Fieldwork Reflections  1.0
OTA 206 Fieldwork Education Level IIa  7.0
OTA 207 Fieldwork Education Level IIb  7.0
OTA 208 From OTA Student to OTA New Graduate Seminar*  2.0
TOTAL  75

Please note: This program is offered only at our Hialeah campus.

Program Tuition and Fees

The Praxis Institute offers competitive pricing for this program and others. The chart below displays the current tuition and fees for this program. However, books and supplies are not included. Our financial aid office helps qualified students apply for federal loans and grants to help with tuition costs.

PROGRAM LENGTH: PROGRAM COST:
Clock Hours 1870 Tuition 40,100
Credit Hours 75 Fees 100
  Books & Supplies Not included
  Any Other Costs Not included
  Total Program Cost 40,200

PROGRAM OUTCOMES

Year Total # of Program Graduates Graduation Rate Employment Rate (% working in field six months post graduation)
2021 15 68% 100%
2020 22 79% 90%
2019 23 92% 87%

* Preliminary information: statistics to be updated as incoming date is collected & analyzed.

This program is offered only at the Hialeah Campus

Job Opportunities for Occupational Therapist Assistants

Job opportunities for occupational therapist assistants keep growing. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, more of these healthcare professionals will be required to help seniors maintain independent living situations, and their assistance will also be needed in senior housing and nursing homes. Their skills are in demand as they form medical care teams with physical therapists, speech therapists, and audiologists. They work in hospitals and schools, both public and private. And they bring life-changing assistance through home healthcare services.

In all these settings, occupational therapist assistants teach skills to their patients, encourage them to learn activities, monitor their progress, and record information in the electronic health record. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports employment growth is projected for occupational therapist assistants and aides by as much as 25% through the year 2031. In 2021, the median annual wage for the average occupational therapist assistant was $61,730, with median wages over $75,000 reported in the home healthcare industry.

The Praxis Institute Career Support for Graduates

The Praxis Institute offers students and graduates career services to help with job searches, networking, resume preparation, and practice interviews. We’re committed to providing comprehensive, personalized assistance to our graduates as they search for rewarding careers in healthcare. We’re proud to say that six months after graduation, the employment rate reached 100% for our 2021 class of occupational therapist assistants.

Enroll in Our Occupational Therapist Assistant Program

Are you ready to take the next step toward your career goals? The Praxis Institute serves students in the Miami, FL, area, providing comprehensive programs, resources, and support. Contact us for more information about how to apply to the occupational therapist assistant program today.

NBCOT logo

See Direct Link to the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NGCOT®) Program Data Results.
Program performance data on the NBCOT certification examination by state and program level.

Program Accreditation Status:

ACOTE Logo

Statement regarding ACOTE’s April 2022 Quarterly Meeting:

 

The 3-year average (2018–2020) was negatively impacted, especially during the pandemic year. In ACOTE’s most recent quarterly meeting the OTA program was placed on Probationary Accreditation because the area of noncompliance related to 2018 Standard A.6.4 (NBCOT certification exam pass rate). ACOTE acknowledged that the 2021 NBCOT pass rates demonstrated significant improvement based on the strategies implemented by the OTA program and ACOTE voted to approve the OTA program’s request to extend the time frame for compliance with certification exam pass rate until April 2023. During this year (2022) and beyond, we continue to work diligently, with your support and stellar academic outcomes to maintain compliance.

 

The Praxis Institute’s OTA program remains accredited by ACOTE. 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 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.

POTENTIAL IMPACT OF A FELONY CONVICTION ON A GRADUATE’S ELIGIBILITY FOR CERTIFICATION AND CREDENTIALING.

Once admitted, it is the student’s responsibility to update the school regarding any status changes (medical, personal, background). As part of the Admissions process, it is necessary for students to disclose criminal background history. State and/or federal legislations have regulations regarding issuance of licensures and certification. A marred criminal background check could pose restrictions to licensure and certification. For example, the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy:

“Effective July 1, 2012, Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes (F.S.), provides that health care boards or the department shall refuse to issue a license, certificate or registration and shall refuse to admit a candidate for examination if the applicant:

1.      Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under Chapter 409, F.S., (relating to social and economic assistance), Chapter 817, F.S., (relating to fraudulent practices), Chapter 893, F.S., (relating to drug abuse prevention and control) or a similar felony offense(s) in another state or jurisdiction unless the candidate or applicant has successfully completed a drug court program for that felony and provides proof that the plea has been withdrawn or the charges have been dismissed. Any such conviction or plea shall exclude the applicant or candidate from licensure, examination, certification, or registration, unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended:

o    or the felonies of the first or second degree, more than 15 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;

o    For the felonies of the third degree, more than 10 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;

o    For the felonies of the third degree under section 893.13(6)(a), F.S., more than five years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;

1.      Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under 21 U.S.C. ss. 801-970 (relating to controlled substances) or 42 U.S.C. ss. 1395-1396 (relating to public health, welfare, Medicare and Medicaid issues), unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or pleas ended more than 15 years prior to the date of the application;

2.      Has been terminated for cause from the Florida Medicaid program pursuant to section 409.913, F.S., unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with the Florida Medicaid program for the most recent five years;

3.      Has been terminated for cause, pursuant to the appeals procedures established by the state or Federal Government, from any other state Medicaid program, unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with a state Medicaid program for the most recent five years and the termination occurred at least 20 years before the date of the application;

4.      Is currently listed on the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s List of Excluded Individuals and Entities. The section above does not apply to candidates or applicants for initial licensure or certification who were enrolled in an educational or training program on or before July 1, 2009, which was recognized by a board or, if there is no board, recognized by the department, and who applied for licensure after July 1, 2012.

NBCOT (National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy) has an Early Determination process, for a $100 fee, as indicated below:

“An individual who is considering entering, or who has already entered, an occupational therapy educational program can have his/her background reviewed prior to actually applying for the exam by requesting an Early Determination Review.

In this Early Determination Review process, NBCOT may give early or prior approval to take the certification exam, as it pertains to good moral character, provided that the information reviewed is not found to be a violation of any of the principles of the Practice Standards/Code of Conduct.

Each early review case is reviewed on an individual basis. After NBCOT has completed its review, the individual is notified in writing regarding whether he/she would be eligible to sit for the NBCOT exam, provided all eligibility requirements are met”.

NBCOT also subjects all candidates/applicants to a character review.