Occupational Therapy, A.S. (Berks)

Program Code: 2OTBK_AS

Program Description

The Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant Program prepares students to work in numerous practice settings, guided by the supervision of occupational therapists. Across the lifespan, individuals engage in meaningful occupations. Learning, playing, working, resting, and caring for self and others are among the occupations of life. A physical or psychological challenge may hinder an individual, group, and/or community from participating fully in meaningful occupations. Occupational therapy makes it possible for people to maintain or reclaim independence; thereby positively engaging in Living Life to its Fullest™. Upon successful graduation from the program, students must sit for and successfully pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) national certification examination to practice. Most states also require licensure as a condition for employment. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination and obtain licensure. NBCOT may be contacted at:

NBCOT
One Bank Street
Suite 300
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
301-990-7979
www.NBCOT.org

To enter this major, students must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. To be admitted to degree candidacy, the applicant must have completed educational background requirements called Carnegie Units or Secondary School Units. Students are responsible for proof of liability insurance and other requirements specified by the facility providing supervised field experience.

The size of each entering class is limited so that optimal clinical experiences and practical application situations can be maintained. Students are expected to progress through the program in the prescribed manner. Fieldwork affiliations are maintained within a specified geographical area. Students may be required to make special housing and transportation arrangements during the fieldwork phase. Students must complete all Level II fieldwork within eighteen months of successful completion of OTA didactic course work. The 2OTCC and 2OTBL curricula are delivered in five semesters.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a practice informed by physical, psychological, and occupational science. It is with these skills and knowledge; occupational therapy assistants employ intervention plans that engage people in maintaining or reclaiming independence. A physical or psychological challenge may hinder an individual, group, and/or community from participating fully in meaningful occupations. When this occurs an occupational therapy assistant works with the client(s) to design a plan to Live Life to its Fullest™. As a certified occupational therapy assistant, you will work in numerous practice settings, guided by the supervision of occupational therapists. Most importantly, by choosing a career in occupational therapy, you will be at the forefront in making a difference in people’s lives by way of therapeutic use of self and an intentional relationship.

You Might Like This Program If...

You want to work in a variety of practice settings with individuals and groups across the lifespan. Physical, mental health, emotional, and other challenges prevent people from participating fully in the job of living. Occupational therapy makes it possible for people to regain independence and to enjoy life. By choosing a career in occupational therapy, you will make a difference in lives of people and groups in your community.

Entrance to Major

Students must request a Dean's review to change to this Associate degree after admission to the University.

Degree Requirements

For the Associate in Science degree in Occupational Therapy, a minimum of 69 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 21
Requirements for the Major 60

12 of the 21 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 3 credits of GWS courses; 6 credits of GS courses; 3 credits of GN courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all associate degree students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 3 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 3 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 3 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits

Note: Up to six credits of Inter-domain courses may be used for any Knowledge Domain requirement, but when a course is used to satisfy more than one requirement, the credits from the course can be counted only once.

Foundations or Knowledge Domains

  • Any General Education course: 3 credits

University Degree Requirements

Cultures Requirement   

3 credits of United States (US) or International (IL) cultures coursework are required and may satisfy other requirements

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 60 degree credits must be earned for a associates degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 60 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
BIOL 161Human Anatomy and Physiology I - Lecture Keystone/General Education Course3
BIOL 162Human Anatomy and Physiology I - Laboratory Keystone/General Education Course1
BIOL 163Human Anatomy and Physiology II - Lecture Keystone/General Education Course3
BIOL 164Human Anatomy and Physiology II - Laboratory Keystone/General Education Course1
ENGL 15Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course3
KINES 13First Aid & Safety, CPR/AED Keystone/General Education Course1
OT 100Structural Foundations of Occupational Therapy1
OT 101Conceptual Foundations of Occupational Therapy Practice2
OT 103Occupational Performance Across the Life Span3
OT 195EFieldwork Level I Experience in Occupational Therapy1
OT 205Group Process Across The Lifespan3
OT 207Assistive Technologies and Methods of Adaptation3
OT 209Management, Leadership and Ethics in Occupational Therapy3
OT 210WClinical Reasoning and Documentation in Occupational Therapy3
OT 212Occupational Therapy for Child & Adolescent Health3
OT 214Occupational Therapy for Psychosocial and Behavioral Health3
OT 216Occupational Therapy for Physical Health and Rehabilitation4
OT 295EFieldwork Level I Experience in Occupational Therapy1
OT 395AFieldwork Level II Experience in Occupational Therapy6
OT 395BFieldwork Level II Experience in Occupational Therapy6
PSYCH 100Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
HDFS 129Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies Keystone/General Education Course3
or PSYCH 212 Introduction to Developmental Psychology Keystone/General Education Course

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

Berks

David Kresse
Program Director, Assistant Teaching Professor in Occupational Therapy
Tulpehocken Road, PO Box 7009
115 Luerssen Science Building
Reading, PA 19610
610-396-6425
dck12@psu.edu

DuBois

LuAnn Demi
Program Director, Assistant Teaching Professor in Occupational Therapy
1 College Place
OT House
DuBois, PA 15801
814-375-4748
ldb4@psu.edu

Mont Alto

Angela Hissong
Program Director, Associate Teaching Professor in Occupational Therapy
University College, Professor-in-Charge
1 Campus Drive
201 Residence B
Mont Alto, PA 17237
717-749-6165
anh1@psu.edu

Shenango

Tammy Divens
Program Director, Assistant Teaching Professor in Occupational Therapy
147 Shenango Avenue
104 Chadderton Lab
Sharon, PA 16146
724-983-2973
tsd13@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Occupational Therapy, A.S. at Berks Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15 or 30H (GWS)3BIOL 163*3
BIOL 161 (GN)*†3BIOL 164*1
BIOL 162*1HDFS 129 or PSYCH 212 (GS)*†3
PSYCH 100 (GS)*†3OT 103*3
OT 100S*1General Education Course (GQ)3
OT 101*2KINES 13*1
 13 14
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
OT 195E*1OT 295E*1
OT 205*3OT 210W*3
OT 207*3OT 212*3
OT 209*3OT 214*3
General Education Course (GA)3OT 216*4
General Education Course (GH)3 
 16 14
Third Year
FallCredits 
OT 395A*6 
OT 395B*6 
 12 
Total Credits 69

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GN, GA, GH, and GS). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Career Paths

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA's) work in numerous practice settings. Across the lifespan, individuals engage in meaningful occupations. Learning, playing, working, resting, and caring for self and others are among the occupations of life. A physical or psychological challenge may hinder an individual, group, and/or community from participating fully in meaningful occupations. Occupational therapy makes it possible for people to maintain or reclaim independence. Following graduation from the nationally accredited program, students are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.

Careers

A Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) supports individuals of all ages develop, recover, improve, or maintain the skills necessary for daily living, leisure, play, and work. COTA’s work in public and private schools, early intervention programs, general, psychiatric, and pediatric hospitals, day treatment centers, hospices and home health agencies, rehabilitation hospitals and centers, skilled and intermediate care facilities, community living programs, community wellness centers, and/or hand therapy clinics.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Once a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) has completed the associate in science in occupational therapy degree, they may decide to further studies by obtaining a baccalaureate degree. Common degrees include biology, psychology, occupational science, biobehavioral health, integrated social sciences, and other health related degrees.

Many COTA’s decide to complete a baccalaureate degree secondary to the benefits of advancing their education as applied to occupational therapy and/or as part of positive progression of employment. Additionally, some COTA’s complete a baccalaureate degree to prepare for graduate studies at the master’s or doctoral degree entry-level to become occupational therapists.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Accreditation

The Penn State Occupational Therapy Assistant program is fully accredited by ACOTE, which can be reached at:

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
301-652-6611 ext. 2042
email: accred@aota.org
www.acoteonline.org

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) is an Associated Advisory Council of the Executive Board of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA®). ACOTE® is recognized as the accrediting agency for occupational therapy education by both the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). ACOTE is also an active member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA). ACOTE currently accredits or is in the process of accrediting nearly 600 occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs in the United States and its territories as well as programs in the United Kingdom.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ACCREDITATION COUNCIL FOR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY EDUCATION

Professional Licensure/Certification

Many U.S. states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.

Contact

Berks

Tulpehocken Road, PO Box 7009
115 Luerssen Science Building
Reading, PA 19610
610-396-6425
dck12@psu.edu

https://berks.psu.edu/associate-occupational-therapy

DuBois

1 College Place
OT House
DuBois, PA 15801
814-375-4748
ldb4@psu.edu

https://dubois.psu.edu/ota

Mont Alto

1 Campus Drive
201 Residence B
Mont Alto, PA 17237
717-749-6165
anh1@psu.edu

https://montalto.psu.edu/ota

Shenango

147 Shenango Avenue
104 Chadderton Lab
Sharon, PA 16146
724-983-2973
tsd13@psu.edu

https://shenango.psu.edu/ota