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Occupational Therapy Assistant

Program Description

Occupational therapy personnel working with child side-lying on round platform swingOccupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) work under the direct supervision of a Occupational Therapist (OTs) to provide all levels of patient treatment to people who are limited by physical injury or illness, mental health problems, developmental or learning disabilities, or the aging process.

PICTURE TO THE RIGHT: Occupational therapy personnel working with child side-lying on round platform swing.

OTAs assist OTs in assessing patient needs, determining therapeutic goals, planning and implementing treatment activities, communicating with patients and health care providers and documenting patient progress. They utilize purposeful activities, manual and creative arts to help patients achieve their highest level of function. OTAs are employed in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities, schools, day treatment centers, outpatient clinics and other community agencies.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program prepares the student for an Associate in Science Degree. In addition to the core curriculum, the major requires selected general education courses from the biological, social and behavioral sciences. OTA core courses are offered evenings only. Clinical Practicum experiences are available daytime and possible weekends only. Clinical Practicum IV and V (OTA 240 & 241) requires a 40 hour/week commitment for 20 weeks.



Grossmont College

Grossmont College provides an exemplary higher education learning environment through comprehensive and innovative instructional programs and student support services. 

By advancing equity and inclusion, we prepare our diverse student population to lead and engage with local and global communities. 

We fulfill our mission by providing the people of East San Diego County with:

  • Associate/transfer degrees and certificate programs
  • Career education and workforce development
  • Preparation for collegiate success
  • Exploration of academic and career options
  • Lifelong learning opportunities

Grossmont College Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

To provide a quality educational program that values the uniqueness of all human beings; that is committed to producing competent, socially responsive entry level occupational therapy assistants; and that serves the San Diego community by educating students to provide occupational therapy services to a complex, culturally diverse population. This program is also committed to the encouragement of life-long learning as an adaptive professional "skill" in response to an ever changing society.


Students today can look forward to dynamic careers working in multiple settings with people of all ages. And the employment outlook for occupational therapy assistants is bright! Recent information published by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the job outlook for occupational therapy assistants will continue to improve steadily for the foreseeable future. Specifically, it states that: 

"Employment of occupational therapy expected to grow by 33 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations."

One of the greatest advantages of a career as an occupational therapy assistant is the wide variety of opportunities available to graduates. Many childhood--learning, playing, and growing. Some work in schools with students who having learning disabilities, behavioral problems, cerebral palsy, or Down syndrome.

Occupational therapy assistants also work with individuals in their homes, community centers, rehabilitation hospitals, and nursing homes. In these settings, they help people with traumatic injuries, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, or mental health problems learn to live productive lives through the use of meaningful occupations.

If you are looking for a challenging career and have a desire to learn, achieve, and give your best to society, a career as an occupational therapy assistant is for you!"


Upon completion of the program, the Grossmont College Associate Degree Occupational Therapy Assistant graduate will:

  • Be eligible to sit for the NBCOT examination
  • Value the uniqueness, dignity and rights of the individual
  • Exhibit cultural sensitivity during treatment interactions
  • Demonstrate ability to utilize purposeful activity to facilitate adaptation and mediate dysfunction for all age groups, disabilities and occupational roles
  • Demonstrate ability to provide quality services in a wide variety of practice environments including uncharted areas of practice
  • Demonstrate the necessary occupational therapy skills to meet the practice needs of the occupational therapy community
  • Exhibit ability to communicate clearly through various means to patients/clients, family members, peers, administrators and community members to convey education and treatment as indicated
  • Exhibit behaviors consistent with the Occupational Therapy Codes of Ethics and professionalism while representing the profession.
  • Value continuing education, technical advancement, leadership opportunities, career advancement and community service in occupational therapy
  • Advocate and promote the field of occupational therapy


Last Updated: 03/05/2020
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District