Program Information

Program Information

The OTA program at Amarillo College is a 4 semester program (first fall 16 weeks, first spring 16 weeks, second fall 16 weeks and second spring 17 weeks). The program includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. The program consists of students who have met the application requirements, completed the application process, have been notified of program acceptance and have formally accepted a position in the current class.

Thinking of becoming an OTA?? TAKE THIS ON LINE QUIZ

Tell me about AC's OTA program


OTA students say the class schedule works well with their life. Also, the faculty are passionate about OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY and enjoy teaching. Students truly seem to enjoy each other - they sometimes spend time together outside of class. There are opportunities for active learning in the classroom and a broad range of Level I and Level II fieldwork experiences. Once students are accepted and enroll into the OTA program, they experience a high rate of success.

Students say they've worked harder in the OTA program than they did for another degree or in other college courses they have taken. Students are viewed by the faculty as life long active learners. As adult learners, students in the OTA program are responsible to come to class prepared to apply what has been learned through pre-class preparation, study, reading and activities. If you are an OTA student, plan to study and prepare 3 hours outside of class for every hour in class. Each semester is typically 20 clock hours in the classroom so a student will need to spend 60 hours in study, reading, writing, preparing assignments, and outside learning each week.

What is the best thing about occupational therapy?


"I got into OT because I want to make a difference in people's lives. OT can change how well a person with a disease or disability lives life."  AC OTA graduate

"When I graduate, I'll have jobs to choose from - I might  work with children, adults or elders. OTAs  are really in demand all across Texas and the US. I can make $25.00 or more an hour working in Dallas." AC OTA student

"I didn't know what OT was until my child needed it. I saw what a benefit OT was in helping do everyday things that had been a struggle - getting dressed, learning in school, playing with others, making friends. Now I want to have a career where I can guide others in improving their independence and satisfaction with life." AC OTA student

Check out these links :  

AOTA information on the career of OTA

What OT personnel do daily at work

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24ecvXE3ZjY                 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQnOhpD2vhI        

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVrkOby5ijU                          

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq120f5Qkm4          

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D28kdYV227k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud5Fp279g4Y                         

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtsdnV3RtxQ            

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik7w5fdtRjY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfEcLeeNXtw                           

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CJthrxi3yM               

What's "fieldwork?"


Fieldwork is clinical practice of the skills learned in class. A licensed OT practitioner supervises fieldwork. There are two levels of fieldwork experience in the OTA program. Level I Fieldwork consists of 3 clinical experiences connected to childhood, adulthood and elders courses. After a student completes pediatric classroom instruction, the student is placed in a pediatric site for a fieldwork experience. The student may need to take vacation time if working in order to attend fieldwork each for the first 3 semesters.

Level II  fieldwork courses are an average of 8 weeks each, for a total of 16 weeks as required by ACOTE. These two courses consist of advanced direct patient intervention under the supervision of a licensed OT practitioner. The student will be in the clinical site for 40 hours per week for 16 full weeks the last semester of the program. The successful OTA student does not work during Level II fieldwork.

Level I and Level II Fieldwork WILL NOT ALL TAKE PLACE IN AMARILLO because of the number of students in the program and the number of clinical fieldwork educators available in Amarillo. Amarillo College can not guarantee placement in Amarillo for ANY Level I or Level II experience.

When I finish the classes and fieldwork, what do I do next?


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 passing this exam, you will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant(COTA).

In addition, Texas and most other states require licensure to practice. Texas and many other states use the certification exam results to determine who can be licensed to practice OT.

NOTE: A felony conviction may affect your ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or get a state license to practice OT. A graduate who is not allowed by NBCOT to take the certification exam because of a felony conviction will probably not be able to get Texas license as an OTA. Assistance with a felony conviction can be obtained through NBCOT  at http://www.nbcot.org/ and ECPTOTE at http://www.ptot.texas.gov/page/home

What happens after I graduate?


Amarillo College OTA students continue their success by progressing though the program, passing the cert exam and getting jobs.

GRADUATION YEAR Students entering/graduating NBCOT EXAM PASS RATE
2016 20/20 88%
2017 12/12 85%
2018 16/15 82%
3 year total/percentage 48/46 85%

The direct link for NBCOT results for Amarillo College OTA graduate data is https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx

OTA employment and salaries vary with location, supply and demand as well as type of facility. Locally, a new OTA graduate can expect to earn approximately $41,600 to $52,000 annually, a rate of $20.00 to $25.00 per hour. On-call and per diem rates are higher. Employment opportunities in Amarillo vary year to year for OTAs. Fewer full time OTA jobs have been available in Amarillo in the past couple of years for new graduates. Students are encouraged to plan on being employed in another part of the state where there are more job openings for OTAs. The rate of pay is higher in other parts of Texas. Some AC OTA graduates are working 60-90 miles from Amarillo earning $30.00 per hour. There are many jobs  available within the state as well as across the US.

Amarillo College's OTA program is accredited by Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of The American Occupational Therapy Association(AOTA). AOTA is locate at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929 . ACOTE offices are housed within the AOTA building. ACOTE'S phone number in care of AOTA is 301-652-AOTA and the web address is www.acoteonline.org.