Applied Health Studies: Occupational Therapy Assistant Concentration (BAO)

(Effective Fall 2017)

Occupational Therapy provides opportunities to assist people facing challenges in everyday life. Through guided and goal-directed participation in occupations of leisure, work and activities of daily living, individuals can restore their ability to do the things they need, want, or are expected to do. Occupational therapy practitioners contribute to improving independence and quality of life for people of all ages in a variety of settings concerned with health care, education, community and social services. Occupational therapy assistants work in collaboration with supervising occupational therapists to serve individuals or groups who experience impairment, loss of activity or ability to participate fully in meaningful occupations due to genetic disorders, chronic conditions, illness, accidents, mental impairment, or social conditions such as poverty and violence.

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Health Studies Concentration in Occupational Therapy Assistant is only for students selected into the Occupational Therapy Assistant major and who express interest in continuing their education for a bachelor's degree while completing their Occupational Therapy Assistant coursework. This bachelor's degree prepares future Occupational Therapy Assistants to function in a dynamic health care environment and to build on in current practical knowledge and skills for personal and professional growth. To graduate from the Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Health Studies Concentration in Occupational Therapy Assistant, a student must present evidence that he or she is certified, licensed, or registered in his or her associate's degree concentration where such credentialing is required to perform in the field.

Career Opportunities

Occupational therapy assistants work in highly diversified settings. Examples include hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, community mental health centers and inpatient psychiatric units, vocational rehabilitation programs, sheltered workshops, drug and alcohol programs, prison systems, adult day care centers, programs for children with developmental disability, and public school systems.
Graduates of the Bachelor's Degree in Applied Health Studies Concentration in Occupational Therapy Assistant will be credentialed health care practitioners. This degree can offer opportunities within disciplines and/or health care systems to expand clinical roles and/or seek positions in management, administration, or education. Students may also complete this degree in order to apply for master's level degrees in fields such as, but not limited to, health care administration, education, business, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, or pre-medical studies. degrees in fields such as (but not limited to) Health Care Administration, Education, Business, or Pre-Medical Studies.

Recommended High School Subjects

Competency in English, reading and math is expected of students planning to enter the Occupational Therapy Assistant major. In addition, high school biology is highly recommended

Special Admissions Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Health Studies Concentration in Occupational Therapy Assistant, a student must first be selected into a Penn College associate’s degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant. Acceptance into this competitive major is based on an admissions ranking process. Students accepted to Penn College will take related courses in the OTA major, earning points that will be applied toward the selective admissions process. Completion of related courses does not guarantee acceptance into the major. Applicants who are accepted into the College will be placed in a pre-major status based upon pre-entrance testing and the requirements of the major. While in pre-major status, the students begin prerequisite course work that will prepare them for courses specific to the major. Pre-major students are then evaluated for acceptance into the major twice annually. Acceptance is based upon additional requirements beyond College admission and is explained in OTA Admissions Ranking System information. These admission requirements are not considered an irrevocable contract between the pre-major student and the College; the requirements are subject to change at the College's discretion.

Remediation Strategies

All entering students will be tested for English, math and reading deficiencies. Students are expected to remediate all deficiencies prior to being eligible for the admission ranking process

Transfer Procedures

Health care workers who are or are soon to be U.S. certified, licensed, and/or registered in a health care area are eligible to be evaluated for entry into this major. Individual portfolios/credentials/transcripts will be evaluated by School of Nursing & Health Sciences administrators for transfer credit. All students entering the program will be considered transfer students, including those who have graduated from a Penn College associate-degree major and those who have completed hospital-based training programs.
Students interested in a health care training program at a non-traditional education site (e.g., hospital) can be considered for entry into this major as a "pre" or provisional acceptance student IF the institution/program has a formal articulation agreement with the School of Nursing & Health Sciences. See "Special Admissions Requirements" above for specific conditions and restrictions for entry under this option.
International health credentials/licensure, sciences courses, and most math courses will not be accepted to satisfy requirements of this major. Please see additional information for international students applying to Nursing & Health Sciences majors.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:
  • demonstrate personal accountability for ethical and cultural concerns within the realm of healthcare practice.
  • apply effective managerial and leadership skills to solve problems in the healthcare setting.
  • evaluate the effectiveness of educational plans in a given allied health care setting.
  • compare health care spending, supply, utilization, prices, and health outcomes between the U.S. healthcare system and systems in other industrialized nations.
  • critique public and private funding of the U.S. healthcare system.
  • evaluate a given quality assurance program for effectiveness based upon established health care expected outcomes.
  • design a systematic investigative process to demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate the significance of a project, methods employed, and results.

Performance Standards

Students enrolled in the major must earn a minimum final grade of "C" in each of their occupational therapy assistant courses. Failure to do so will result in the inability to matriculate in the program. Students enrolled in this major must also earn a minimum final grade of 'C' in all of their Applied Health Studies (HTH coded) courses. Grading scale is A, B, C, F.


First Semester Credits
FYE101 First Year Experience 1  
BIO115 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4  
ENL111 English Composition I 3  
MTR100 Medical Terminology Survey 1  
PSY111 General Psychology 3  
SSE Social Science Elective 3  
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1  
Second Semester Credits
BIO125 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4  
PSY203 Developmental Psychology 3  
SPC101 Fundamentals of Speech 3  
SPC102 Fundamentals of Small Group Communication 3  
MMM Math Elective (MTH151 or Higher) 3  
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3  
Third Semester Credits
OCT100 Foundations of Occupational Therapy 4  
OCT101 Human Occupations 2  
PSY201 Abnormal Psychology 3  
OEA Open Elective 3  
ENL121 English Composition II 3  
ENL201 Technical and Professional Communication 3  
Fourth Semester Credits
OCT122 Developmental Habilitation Theory 4  
OCT124 Developmental Habilitation: Level I Fieldwork 2  
OCT121 Analysis of Movement 2  
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1  
MTH160 Elementary Statistics with Computer Applications 4  
OCT203 Clinical Conditions 3  
Fifth Semester Credits
OCT201 Physical Rehabilitation Methods 2  
OCT205 Physical Rehabilitation Theory 3  
OCT206 Physical Rehabilitation: Level 1 Fieldwork 2  
OCT204 OT Practice Skills 2  
HUM Humanities Elective 3  
HTH310 Health Issues and Transitions 3  Writing Enriched Requirement &
Cultural Diversity Requirement &
Science, Technology and Society Requirement
Sixth Semester Credits
OCT226 Psychosocial Rehabilitation Theory 3  
OCT227 Psychosocial Rehabilitation: Level I Fieldwork 2  
OCT221 Psychosocial Rehabilitation Methods 2  Writing Enriched Requirement
OCT224 Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy 3  
OCT228 Occupational Therapy Management Issues 2  
OCT229 Professional Issues in Occupational Therapy 1  
HTH325 Health Care Delivery Systems 3  
Summer Session Credits
OCT251 Level II-A Fieldwork 3  
OCT252 Level II-B Fieldwork 3  
Seventh Semester Credits
HTD Directed Applied Health Studies Electives 3  
HTH332 Quality Assurance for Healthcare Workers 3  
ART Art Elective 3  
HTH321 Application of Teaching and Learning Styles in the Allied Health Professions 3  
Eighth Semester Credits
HTD Directed Applied Health Studies Electives 3  
HTH311 Medical Practice Administration 3  
HTH497 Senior Capstone 3  Writing Enriched Requirement
OEA Open Elective 3  
PPC Proven Professional Credential  

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