Best Occupational Therapy School 2021

Occupational therapy helps individuals with mental, emotional, or physical challenges complete daily activities, such as dressing, bathing, and cooking. Occupational therapy practitioners promote health and wellness for people living with illnesses and disabilities. They also work to improve the quality of life for people recovering from injuries.

Professionals in the field need strong critical thinking, creative, and problem-solving skills. Since occupational therapy practitioners work closely with people, they also need good interpersonal skills. Occupational therapy practitioners advocate for clients and empower them to live independently.


Best Schools

An associate degree in occupational therapy qualifies graduates for careers as occupational therapy assistants. After passing the certification exam, graduates with an occupational therapy associate degree can begin working in the field.

This guide lists the best occupational therapy associate degrees. The following sections explore common occupational therapy courses, employment projections for occupational therapy assistants, and scholarships for occupational therapy students.

FAQ

Question Answer
What is occupational therapy? Occupational therapy helps people with illnesses, injuries, or disabilities improve their ability to perform daily activities. Practitioners use therapeutic tools to recover and maintain these abilities.
How long does it take to earn an associate degree in occupational therapy? Learners typically complete their associate degree in occupational therapy in two years. Degree-completion time varies by program. Some programs offer accelerated tracks, and fieldwork requirements impact the timeline.
What is the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy? Physical therapy patients work to improve their movement and mobility. Occupational therapy professionals help patients perform daily tasks and meaningful activities. Both types of therapy focus on improving clients' quality of life.
Who is occupational therapy for? People experiencing physical, mental, or emotional challenges may benefit from occupational therapy. For example, an occupational therapy practitioner may help a child with autism improve their motor skills.

Best Occupational Therapy Schools 2021

Individuals who are interested in helping others through health issues may consider earning an associate degree in occupational therapy. An associate degree in occupational therapy meets the educational requirements for entry-level positions in the field. The following list ranks the best occupational therapy associate programs to help prospective students find a program that fits their career goals.

Rank Logo School Tuition # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit For Experience Placement Service Counseling Services Description & Additional Information Toggle
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1 Bates Technical College Tacoma, WA Tuition $4,278 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public school based in Tacoma, Washington, Bates offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting. The program prepares students to help people with disabilities engage in daily activities, such as driving and cooking.

Many students obtain their degree in 16 months. Enrollees spend 11 months in the classroom and complete two fieldwork rotations to gain practical experience. Notable courses include therapeutic activities and functional movement. Students must complete clinical fieldwork with at least a 2.0 GPA to finish the degree. Learners can then take the national board exam to begin their careers as occupational therapy assistants.

Applicants must submit a recommendation letter and personal essay. They must also provide documentation of previous occupational therapy observations. Clinical requirements include a criminal background check and clinical liability insurance.

2 North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton, ND Tuition $10,210 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public school based in Wahpeton, NDSCS offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting that provides hands-on training for students.

Enrollees complete three semesters of academic coursework and one semester of fieldwork. Notable courses include disability awareness and therapeutic media. After the first semester, students must participate in departmental interviews. These interviews verify learners' ability to continue in the program. Many graduates pursue careers in schools, rehabilitation centers, and retirement facilities.

Applicants with a college degree must demonstrate a 2.25 GPA or higher to qualify for admission. They must also submit ACT or placement testing results. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

3 Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Shenango Sharon, PA Tuition $13,538 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public school located in Sharon, Penn State Shenango offers an associate of science in occupational therapy assisting that teaches students occupational therapy theories and practices.

Students typically complete 69 credits over five semesters. Courses cover topics like clinical reasoning and assistive technologies. Students also complete fieldwork to gain hands-on experience in the field. Enrollees must show proof of liability insurance and complete a criminal background check prior to beginning their supervised field experience.

Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. This program limits the number of admitted students to ensure optimal clinical experiences. Tuition costs less for Pennsylvania residents. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

4 Pennsylvania State University-Penn State DuBois DuBois, PA Tuition $18,610 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

Penn State DuBois offers an associate of science in occupational therapy assisting that prepares students to help people with physical and emotional challenges. Students complete general education courses in addition to occupational therapy courses.

Depending on available sites, students may participate in fieldwork during their second or third semesters. Many graduates pursue careers in hospitals and home health agencies. Others go on to earn higher degrees in the field.

Students must submit health and criminal background check results prior to admission. The minimum GPA required for admission changes based on the pool of applicants.

5 Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus Roswell, NM Tuition $5,320 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

ENMU-Roswell offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting that prepares students to work with occupational therapists to create treatment plans. Students take courses on topics such as therapeutic techniques and kinesiology.

Learners also take courses focused on helping specific populations, such as children and the elderly. After two years of coursework, students spend 16 weeks completing fieldwork, which may require travel and additional housing expenses.

Applicants need a high school or GED diploma and must submit ACT scores. Students must demonstrate a C grade or better in prerequisite courses, including mathematics, composition, and social sciences.

6 Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Mont Alto Mont Alto, PA Tuition $20,334 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

Penn State Mont Alto offers an associate of science in occupational therapy assisting that prepares students to work under the supervision of an occupational therapist.

The occupational therapy assistant program gives students hands-on experience in on-campus labs. These labs include a hand therapy clinic and wellness clinic. Learners also complete 69 credits of coursework. Notable courses include first aid and foundations of occupational therapy. Field placements allow students to work with different populations, such as infants, working adults, and older people.

Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. This program does not require a minimum GPA for admission.

7 Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Berks Reading, PA Tuition $22,393 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

Located in eastern Pennsylvania, Penn State Berks offers an associate degree in occupational therapy assisting that helps students become certified occupational therapy assistants.

Full-time students complete 69 credits over five semesters. Courses include occupational therapy for behavioral health and physical health. Students also complete two internships over 16 weeks. Qualified occupational therapists at healthcare facilities supervise students at these internships. Enrollees must complete annual health examinations and obtain liability insurance before beginning fieldwork.

Admitted students begin classes in the fall semester. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts or proof of equivalency prior to admission. This program does not require a minimum GPA.

8 Newman University Wichita, KS Tuition $13,902 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A Catholic school based in Wichita, Kansas, NU offers an associate of science in occupational therapy assisting. This program prepares students for board certification and state licensure.

Students take general knowledge courses, such as English and theology, in addition to occupational therapy courses. Notable occupational therapy courses include clinical conditions and management issues. Students also participate in labs and fieldwork to gain practical experience.

Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must also complete prerequisite courses in human anatomy, algebra, and psychology. This program admits students based on skills and personality testing. Applicants complete tests in a proctored group setting.

9 Rutgers University-New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ Tuition $16,295 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public school based in New Jersey, Rutgers New Brunswick offers an associate of science in occupational therapy assisting that prepares students to serve people with physical and emotional challenges.

The occupational therapy program develops the skills needed to work within healthcare, education, and community settings. Students complete 74 credits of courses on topics like communication techniques, group dynamics, and therapeutic applications. Each semester, students participate in fieldwork in addition to taking classes.

Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must also demonstrate completion of prerequisite courses and submit two recommendation letters and a personal essay.

10 Lake Washington Institute of Technology Kirkland, WA Tuition $8,137 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public school located in Kirkland, Washington, LWTech offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting. The 99-credit occupational therapy assistant program prepares students for entry-level positions in this field.

Learners enroll in general education coursework such as public speaking and lifespan psychology. They also take occupational therapy courses such as assistive technology and functional movement. Labs supplement each course to offer hands-on learning. Students also participate in fieldwork at mental health centers, schools, and rehabilitation clinics.

Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. They must also complete 20 hours of observation in two healthcare or community settings. Prerequisite courses include medical terminology, human biology, and statistics. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA in these courses.

11 Zane State College Zanesville, OH Tuition $4,857 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public school located in Zanesville, Ohio, ZSC offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting that prepares students to work with diverse populations under the supervision of an occupational therapist.

The occupational therapy program combines coursework with clinical experience. Courses cover topics like occupational therapy theories, biology, and the behavioral sciences. Labs supplement lecture and discussion-based courses. Students must also complete two full-time clinical field experiences over 16 weeks.

Applicants need a high school or GED diploma to qualify for admission. They must also complete the college's assessment and placement test and submit ACT or Health Occupations Aptitude Examination results.

12 Casper College Casper, WY Tuition $6,438 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public college based in Wyoming, Casper offers an associate of science in occupational therapy assisting that teaches students to help people with physical and mental challenges. The occupational therapy program offers small classes with individualized attention from faculty.

Students can take courses on campus, online, or in a hybrid format. Enrollees also complete two full-time fieldwork experiences after completing coursework. Many graduates work in hospitals, community programs, and public schools.

Applicants must meet core performance requirements in areas such as communication, mobility, and professionalism. They also need at least a high school or GED diploma and must submit official transcripts.

13 Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL Tuition $3,498 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A regionally accredited public school, FSCJ offers an associate of science in occupational therapy assisting that trains students to support occupational therapists.

Students in the 74-credit program learn through lectures, labs, and clinical experiences. Notable courses include physical rehabilitation and adaptive living skills. Fieldwork sites typically require students to undergo a drug screening and criminal background check prior to participation. Enrollees must also maintain current CPR certification.

Applicants must complete prerequisite courses in areas like psychology, anatomy, and physiology. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

14 Pennsylvania College of Technology Williamsport, PA Tuition $21,242 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public school based in Williamsport, Penn College offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting that teaches students the techniques needed to help people participate in daily activities.

Penn College's occupational therapy program combines general education and specialized courses. General education courses such as composition and speech help students develop critical thinking and communication skills. Occupational therapy courses include analysis of movement and physical rehabilitation. Enrollees typically participate in corresponding labs for hands-on training. Students also complete over 800 hours of clinical experience.

Applicants must apply to Penn College before applying for the program. They need a minimum 2.0 GPA in prerequisite courses, such as mathematics and biology.

15 George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville Hanceville, AL Tuition $5,143 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public community college based in Hanceville, Alabama, Wallace State offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting that prepares students to help others gain independence.

During the occupational therapy assistant program, students receive individualized attention from faculty thanks to small class sizes. Students typically participate in labs that correspond with coursework to gain practical experience. Learners must also complete fieldwork within 20 months of finishing academic coursework.

Applicants must submit transcripts and complete prerequisite courses in areas like psychology, composition, anatomy, and physiology. They need a minimum 2.0 GPA in all prerequisite classes.

16 Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Shell Lake, WI Tuition $9,968 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public school located in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, WITC offers an associate degree in occupational therapy assisting that teaches students how to treat a variety of clients, from infants to older adults.

Notable courses include activity analysis, management, and medical and psychosocial conditions. During their fourth semester, students complete full-time fieldwork under the supervision of an occupational therapist. Many graduates pursue careers as occupational therapists, case managers, and mental health technicians.

Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. They must also submit background check and physical exam results if accepted into the program. Admitted students must maintain CPR for healthcare providers certification.

17 San Juan College Farmington, NM Tuition $5,796 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public school based in Farmington, New Mexico, SJC offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting. The 77-credit program trains students for entry-level work as occupational therapy assistants.

Enrollees take general education courses in addition to occupational therapy courses. General education courses include math for health careers and technical composition. Occupational therapy courses include healthcare management and functional kinesiology.

This program accepts a maximum of 20 students each year. Applicants need a minimum 2.75 GPA. They must also complete at least six hours of observation with two different populations in an occupational therapy setting.

18 Green River College Auburn, WA Tuition $7,746 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public school located in Auburn, Washington, Green River offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting that trains students to help people of all ages perform daily activities.

Green River's occupational therapy assistant program offers online, in-person, and hybrid formats. Notable courses include developmental disabilities and therapeutic practice. Students work with faculty who practice in the field. They also receive academic advising throughout the program.

Applicants must submit transcripts and complete volunteer observations prior to admission. Supervisors for observation must complete a form to confirm the applicant's hours.

19 Southwestern Community College Sylva, NC Tuition $4,148 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public community college based in Sylva, North Carolina, SCC offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting. Learners study topics such as activity analysis, therapeutic use of self, adult interventions, and psychosocial conditions.

Students participate in various levels of fieldwork throughout the program. The second level of fieldwork allows students to work under experienced occupational therapists. Many graduates pursue careers in home health programs, hospitals, and community programs.

Applicants must submit high school transcripts and complete at least six hours of observation. They must also submit an observation form to confirm their hours.

20 Laredo College Laredo, TX Tuition $5,213 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A Texas-based public school, LC offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting that takes two years of full-time study to complete.

The 60-credit occupational therapy program trains students to work with patients to overcome physical and mental challenges. Courses combine lectures and labs. Occupational therapy courses include therapeutic interventions and occupational performance. Students also complete part-time and full-time clinical fieldwork experiences. To successfully complete fieldwork, students must demonstrate mastery of technical standards in the field.

Applicants must complete observation hours within a year before applying to this program. They must also hold a minimum 2.5 GPA in prerequisite courses and submit a narrative essay and recommendation forms. Applicants also participate in a panel interview.

21 Lake Area Technical Institute Watertown, SD Tuition $11,689 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

Located in Watertown, South Dakota, Lake Area Tech offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting that prepares students for careers helping people improve their functional ability.

Many students complete this program in less than two years, although others follow the three-year plan. Students learn important occupational therapy skills through lectures, labs, and discussion. Demonstrations and clinical fieldwork experiences provide hands-on training. Notable courses include human development and adaptations for daily tasks.

Applicants must submit transcripts and a writing sample. Volunteer experience with high-need populations is not required but highly encouraged.

22 Warren County Community College Washington, NJ Tuition $6,740 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public community college based in Washington, New Jersey, WCCC offers an associate of applied sciences in occupational therapy assisting. The occupational therapy program is a joint program with the Rutgers School of Health-Related Professions. Students complete 32 general education credits at WCCC. They then continue their occupational therapy education at Rutgers for a total of 74 credits.

Students must earn a minimum 2.5 GPA in general education courses before applying to Rutgers. The program's professional phase features courses in group dynamics and performance skills analysis.

Students must complete at least 11 credits before continuing to the program's professional phase. They must also complete 40 hours of volunteer experience in an occupational therapy setting. This volunteer experience must occur at two different locations.

23 Kennebec Valley Community College Fairfield, ME Tuition $9,272 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public community college located in Fairfield, Maine, KVCC offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting that prepares students for entry-level positions in the field.

KVCC offers Maine's only occupational therapy assistant program. Many students complete this degree in two years. Enrollees complete 70 credits of coursework and fieldwork experience. Notable courses include assistive technology, developmental psychology, and functional kinesiology. During their fourth semester, students participate in a full-time clinical fieldwork experience to gain hands-on training in the field.

Applicants must submit results from the Test of Essential Academic Skills. They must also observe a professional in an occupational therapy setting for at least two hours. After completing observation, applicants submit a personal essay discussing the experience.

24 Madisonville Community College Madisonville, KY Tuition $5,304 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A community college based in Kentucky, MCC offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting that trains students to promote health and wellness through daily activities.

MCC's occupational therapy assistant program prepares students to earn state licensure. Students typically complete the full-time program in 18 months. Students complete general education and professional courses. Professional courses include physical dysfunction and community practice. Students also participate in clinical fieldwork to gain practical experience.

MCC's program bases admission on GPA, earned degrees, and employment history. Applicants must also complete at least 10 hours of volunteer observation in an occupational therapy setting and submit a video based on their volunteer hours.

25 Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI Tuition $9,969 # of Online Programs Acceptance Rate - Graduation Rate - Financial Aid - Credit For Experience - Placement Service - Counseling Services -

A public school located in Appleton, Wisconsin, FVTC offers an associate of applied science in occupational therapy assisting that trains students to provide treatment under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist.

The occupational therapy program prepares students to earn state licensure. The 64-credit program includes general education courses such as psychology and diversity studies. Occupational therapy courses include psychosocial practice, community practice, and performance skills. Students also complete clinical fieldwork.

Applicants need at least a 58.7 on the Test of Essential Academic Skills to qualify for admission. They must also submit official high school transcripts and meet technical standards in areas like motor coordination and mobility.

What Do Occupational Therapy Assistants Do?

Occupational therapy assistants help patients recover, improve, and maintain daily living skills, such as working, writing, and getting dressed. These professionals typically work under the supervision of occupational therapists. Occupational therapy assistants create treatment plans, assess each client's condition, and coordinate therapy. Occupational therapy assistants can work for a variety of employers, including hospitals, schools, and home healthcare providers.

Problem-solving and creative skills help these professionals develop individualized therapy plans. For example, an occupational therapy assistant might incorporate a makeup bag into therapy for a client who loves cosmetics. Occupational therapy assistants typically work directly with clients, and they encourage patients to complete treatment activities outside of therapy.

Occupational therapy assistants work with people of all ages. Some occupational therapy assistants teach clients with chronic illnesses how to use special equipment that can make daily life easier. Others help children with developmental disabilities perform play activities.

To become a certified occupational therapy assistant, associate degree-holders must pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. Many states also require licensure. Occupational therapy assistants can obtain their master's degree to become occupational therapists. While occupational therapists still work directly with clients, they typically have a reduced caseload and more paperwork to complete.

Career and Salary Outlook for Occupational Therapy Assistants

Salaries for occupational therapy assistants vary based on the individual's work experience and location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), occupational therapy assistants earn a median salary of $61,880 per year. The BLS projects employment for occupational therapy assistants and aides to increase 32% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Salaries for occupational therapy assistants also depend on their industry. For example, occupational therapy assistants working in nursing care facilities earned an average salary of $66,090 in 2019. Those working in education earned an average salary of $58,330.

A professional's earning potential also depends on their education level. For example, occupational therapy assistants typically earn higher salaries than occupational therapy aides. Occupational therapy assistants need an associate degree, while occupational therapy aides need only a high school diploma. Both work under the supervision of occupational therapists, who need a master's degree.

The following table lists the earning potential of occupational therapy assistants.

Bottom 10% Median Annual Salary Top 10%
$41,730 $61,510 $82,210

Source: BLS

Accreditation for Occupational Therapy Programs

Students should verify each prospective school's accreditation status before applying. Accreditation verifies that the institution delivers consistent, high-quality educational programming. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversees the independent agencies that award accreditation. Federal aid is only available to students at accredited schools, and employers may only provide tuition assistance if the employee attends an accredited institution.

Schools in the United States can receive national or regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious. Credits and degrees earned from nationally accredited schools do not typically transfer to regionally accredited institutions.

In addition to institutional accreditation, learners can look for programmatic accreditation. The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education accredits occupational therapy programs and holds recognition from CHEA and the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Learners can use the ED's searchable database to verify the accreditation status of any school or program.

Courses in an Occupational Therapy Associate Program

Associate programs in occupational therapy prepare students for the NBCOT exam and careers in the field. Curricula help learners develop the knowledge and skills they need to practice occupational therapy. Students learn how to work with patients of all ages and how to use field-specific technology.

In addition to major coursework, occupational therapy associate programs typically require general education courses. Classes in areas such as composition and psychology help students develop foundational knowledge for professional occupational therapy courses.

The courses below are common to many occupational therapy associate programs. Curricula vary by program, so learners should contact their prospective school to learn about course availability.

Introduction to Occupational Therapy

This course provides an introduction to the field of occupational therapy. Students learn about the history of the profession and explore how various healthcare facilities use occupational therapy. Students examine occupational therapy objectives and begin considering the type of occupational therapy they want to pursue.

Pediatric Occupational Therapy

This course examines the relationship between development and performance in children and adolescents. Students learn how to assess and manage conditions that challenge these populations. Learners also explore the role of an occupational therapy assistant in creating goals and using intervention techniques. Additional course topics include observation skills, play, and working with families.

Psychosocial Aspects

Students learn about the relationship between mental health and occupational therapy. Coursework covers common symptoms, intervention methods, and treatments. Learners also explore topics related to mental health assessments, therapeutic use of self, and client safety. Students learn how to plan and facilitate group therapy sessions in mental health settings.

Kinesiology

Learners explore normal human movement and examine common limiting factors, including physical disabilities. Students apply prior knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and they may practice manual testing for muscular strength and range of motion. Degree-seekers may also study the movement of lower and upper extremities.

Adaptive Living Skills

This course helps students develop problem-solving skills. Learners prepare to analyze patients' daily activities and to adapt activities to meet each patient's needs. Students explore performance skills and learn how to use adaptive devices and assistive technology.

Financial Aid

Learners can apply for financial aid to help minimize student debt. Many financial aid opportunities are available to students pursuing an associate degree in occupational therapy. For example, students can apply for work-study positions, which pay participants for on-campus jobs. Degree-seekers can also receive grants and loans from the federal government.

Students should complete the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for federal funding. To qualify for institutional aid, learners must submit the form before their school's financial aid application deadline. In addition to financial aid, students can take out loans from the federal government. Borrowers must repay loans with interest after completing their degree.

Online occupational therapy associate programs are often more affordable than on-campus options. Distance learners typically save on costs associated with housing and transportation. Many students also continue working full time while earning their degree.

Scholarships for Occupational Therapy

Scholarships are ideal forms of funding for occupational therapy students. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment. Students enrolled in associate in occupational therapy programs can qualify for a variety of scholarships, including those below.

Carlotta Welles Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship is reserved for students pursuing associate degrees in occupational therapy. Applicants must plan to attend a two-year college and must hold membership with the American Occupational Therapy Association. Current high school students are not eligible.

Amount: $500

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Myra McDaniel Endowed Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Members of the Florida Occupational Therapy Association may apply. Applicants must be enrolled full time in an occupational therapy program and must have completed at least one year of school.

Amount: Varies

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Scholarships4Moms Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports mothers and expecting mothers. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a college program or within three months of enrollment. The organization chooses the scholarship recipient through a random drawing.

Amount: $10,000

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CBCF Louis Stokes Health Scholars Program

Who Can Apply: African American and Black students pursuing an associate degree in a healthcare-related field may apply. Applicants must be attending an accredited institution and must demonstrate leadership and a history of community service.

Amount: Varies

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Hispanic Education Endowment Fund

Who Can Apply: This scholarship is open to high school seniors and community college students transferring to a four-year school. Applicants must be studying healthcare and must be a first-generation Hispanic college student. Candidates must also have completed volunteer or paid service in healthcare or wellness.

Amount: $1,000-$5,000

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