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Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy Assistant - Associate in Applied Science Degree

Program Requirements:

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Admission Type:

OTA Application Process


Grand Strand


(843) 347-3186

a physical therapist helps a client

Occupational therapy is a health care profession that specializes in helping people develop, master or regain the everyday skills necessary to live independent, productive and meaningful lives. Occupational therapy assistants work under the supervision of an occupational therapist to implement treatment interventions and meet the goals of each individual client’s needs. Occupational therapy assistants perform treatment with clients of various diagnoses across the lifespan.

The program curriculum will expose the student to a wide variety of traditional and emerging occupational therapy practices and settings. Fieldwork will provide the student with the opportunity to develop, implement and assess interventions based on the client’s plan of care.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program prepares graduates to attain the essential skills and competencies needed to sit for the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.

Specific Admission Requirements for Program
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is a limited-access program. All applicants must meet weighted Admission requirements by May 15 to advance to the next phase of consideration for admission to the program. However, meeting admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the OTA program. An applicant who receives notification that she/he was not admitted to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program must resubmit the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Application by the published application deadline in order to be considered for admission to the next available class. These applicants should check with Admissions to determine if HGTC Admission information requires updating. A waiting list of applicants is not maintained.

  • Criminal Background Check 30 days prior to starting clinical each semester beginning in the second semester; felony or misdemeanor convictions could result in applicants being ineligible to complete the program.
  • Urine Drug Screening 30 days prior to starting clinical each semester beginning in the second semester.
  • Submit a Health Sciences Division Student Health Record Form indicating the candidate can perform the physical tasks required in the program prior to second semester.
  • Proof of CPR certification for Health Care Providers prior to second semester.
  • Experience Documentation form submitted to Office of Admissions reflecting a minimum of 20 hours with a certified occupational therapist or certified occupational therapy assistant. The applicant is responsible for arranging the observation experience at any site that provides occupational therapy services.
  • GPA of 2.5 or higher on all required General Education and support courses, with "C" or higher in each course. These courses include: BIO 210 and BIO 211 (5 year time limit), ENG 101, MAT 120 or MAT 110, PSY 201 and Humanities. Minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA must be maintained with no academic or disciplinary suspension at time of admission or program entry.
  • Note: The OTA program does not accept experiential credit for courses with an OTA prefix. 
  • To be licensed as a Occupational Therapy Assistant in the state of South Carolina the graduate must pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination and apply for Occupational Therapy Assistant licensure with the Labor and Licensing Regulation Board of South Carolina. The cost of completing the NBCOT examination and application for licensure is not included in the cost of tuition for the program.

Course Sequence and Progression Requirements

A minimum grade of "C" or better is required for all OTA-prefixed courses for progression and graduation. 

The associate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant program is accredited by 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 in order 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.

For more information about HGTC's accreditations, click here.

For more information about careers, visit O*Net Online for an overview of South Carolina and National earnings statistics, and Career Services for more employment resources.

On a typical day, an occupational therapy assistant will perform components of a variety of treatment procedures, including:

  • self-care: bathing, dressing, showering, cooking, etc.
  • home & community management
  • energy conservation
  • wheelchair measurement and positioning
  • splinting
  • therapeutic exercise

 Employment can be found in the following settings:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Outpatient offices
  • Home health agencies

Applicants to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program should be aware a current, unrestricted license or certification may be required to practice in the state in which you intend to reside/practice. Each state is unique in its licensure requirements. Students are encouraged to reach out to the program chair for more information and assistance with understanding professional licensure.

Career Pathways

Previous education and work experience could qualify for Credit for Prior Learning, saving you time and money.
There are currently no certificates associated with this pathway.
Go to the University Transfer page for more information.

For more information about Health Science Admissions visit: www.hgtc.edu/healthscience.

For more information, contact:
Gina Brown - 843-839-1092

Curriculum Sequence

PHASE 1 - General Admission

Phase I is a general admission phase and enables students to enroll in the general education core courses required for completion of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. These courses may be completed at Horry-Georgetown Technical College or transferred in from another accredited institution.

Upon completion of the following required general education courses students are eligible to apply for Phase II.
General Education Requirements Course Title Semester
Credit Hours
BIO 210 Anatomy Physiology I 4
BIO 211 Anatomy Physiology II 4
ENG 101 English Composition I 3
MAT 110 College Algebra 3
MAT 120 Probability and Statistics (preferred)  
PSY 201 General Psychology 3
  Humanities 3
  TOTAL 20
*Registration for ENG and MAT courses require students to have appropriate test scores and/or pre-req courses; please refer to your advisor to determine your academic qualifications and eligibility for enrolling in ENG and MAT courses.

PHASE II - Limited Access

Phase II is limited access and requires admissions for students to be eligible to enroll in OTA and clinical courses. For students to proceed to Phase II they must complete the OTA program specific admission process.

After admission to PHASE II – Limited Access students must complete the following courses to graduate as a Occupational Therapy Assistant.

First Semester - Fall    
OTA 101 Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy 3
OTA 105 Therapeutic Analysis in Occupational Therapy 3
OTA 142 OTA Clinical Introduction I 1
OTA 162 Psychosocial Dysfunction 3
OTA 200 Introduction to Kinesiology 3
  TOTAL 13
Second Semester - Spring    
OTA 144 OTA Clinical Introduction II 1
OTA 176 Pediatric Development and Dysfunction 4
OTA 203 Kinesiology for Occupational Therapy 3
OTA 220 Adult Physical Performance I 4
  TOTAL 12
Third Semester - Summer    
OTA 155 Gerontology 2
OTA 221 Adult Performance II 4
OTA 245 Occupational Therapy Departmental Management 2
Fourth Semester - Fall    
OTA 108 Professional Development 1
OTA 262 OTA Clinical Application I 7
OTA 264 OTA Clinial Application II 7
  TOTAL 15

Total Credit Hours