Frequently Asked Questions - Occupational Therapy Assistant
What skills do I need to succeed in this major?
If you’re considering an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) major at CMU, you should possess interpersonal skills, enjoy working with people from diverse backgrounds, have excellent organizational skills, be self-motivated, and thrive while working with a team. In this major, a desire to help others reach their highest potential is a must. As an OTA student, you should be able to complete physical tasks that require stooping, bending, lifting, coordination and flexibility.
How will I know if this major fits me?
If you feel you’re a “people person,” a good listener, and enjoy helping individuals of all ages improve their lives, this major could be the right choice for you. OTA majors at CMU are typically creative individuals who are able to think of new ideas easily, so if you enjoy coming up with solutions for people who are struggling or facing a difficult situation, this major might be what you’ve been looking for.
What can I expect to learn?
You will gain the knowledge and skills needed to help clients improve their occupational or life skills. You’ll provide solutions to help clients reach their fullest ability. Some of the topics you’ll cover include history, philosophy, value, ethics and other areas of practice relevant to the OT profession. Classes will include general theory, skills training, and the foundation for clinical reasoning. The program has a strong base in the sciences, with concentration on human development – psychological, neurological, musculoskeletal and etiological, as it relates to the client. You will develop an understanding of professional organizations, advocacy, and strategies that support lifelong learning and continued development.
What kind of scholarships are available?
Students accepted into the (OTA or PTA) program are eligible to receive the Thogmorton Scholars Scholarship. This scholarship provides a 50% automatic tuition discount to OTA/PTA majors.
Will I have opportunities for internships and hands-on learning experiences?
As an OTA student, you will participate in four full-time clinical education affiliations with a total of 600 hours of both observation and hands-on clinical experience. The technical courses within the program are set up to allow ongoing practice of hands-on practical skills in the classroom and laboratory which are dedicated to the practical application of OT for the student.
Will the OTA Program accept classes I have already taken from other institutions or as dual credit?
We offer credit for previous coursework, just not work experience. If you have completed the general coursework and pre-OTA science courses at another institution don’t hesitate to contact us. Transfer credit from an accredited institution may be used to satisfy any course requirements where the course or course categories are generally equivalent to CMU requirements. We are happy to review your transcript and course transfer request.
What are CMU OTA majors saying about their experience?
“I chose occupational therapy because I wanted to have a sense of accomplishment – not just in my overall life, but in my life from a day-to-day basis. With this major, many people will rely on you for the answers and rely on you to know how to make them better. I think OT provides those challenges and that is what drives me to be the best I can be.” – Austin Horn
Who can I speak with for more information about this major?
For additional guidance and information about the OTA major, contact CMU’s Admissions Department at 660-248-6251, toll-free at 877-CMU-1854, or firstname.lastname@example.org.