AAS Degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is a two-year, full-time, program leading to an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree, and is offered at Touro College's Manhattan Main Campus. The first eighteen months are an evening course of study followed by a five month daytime fieldwork experience. The curriculum provides a foundation in Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as specific courses for the OTA. The evening program is designed to support the College mission of expanding access to educational opportunities. The program includes minimal daytime fieldwork visits during the third and fourth semesters, and includes a five-month, full-time daytime clinical experience at the conclusion of the academic component.
Students study and train under the supervision of licensed and registered Occupational Therapists (OTRs) and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs), receiving a comprehensive overview of the types of clients and settings encountered in practice. This AAS curriculum emphasizes the application of treatment techniques that enables the student to work under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist. Students learn treatment planning and delivery, data collection, and how to communicate effectively and collaborate with other members of the health care team. While the level of instruction and the nature of the courses vary from that of the OTR, the expectations placed upon the student, and the ultimate contribution the student makes to the health care team remain consistent: to serve society.
Occupational Therapy Assistant courses are presented using diverse instructional methods to accommodate different learning styles and to take advantage of the cultural diversity of the student body at Touro College. This approach facilitates the development of students' sensitivity to and appreciation of multiculturalism as a necessity for client-centered focus in their practice as professionals and as citizens.
The development of professional behaviors is considered to be a critical aspect of the educational program. Therefore, all courses coded as OTA include a portion of their grade for professional development. The desired outcome of the program is facilitation of student achievement of the necessary knowledge and skills to become competent, caring and ethical Occupational Therapy Assistant practitioners.