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​Frequently Asked Questions ​Answers
What is an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)? ​An Occupational Therapy Assistant provides service to individuals with physical, mental, or environmental disabilities who need to remediate skills of everyday tasks of work, self care, and leisure.
Where does an OTA work?
​You might find an OTA working with a child in the public school that has handwriting problems, a stroke patient in the hospital, or a homemaker with severe arthritis that requires special equipment in the home.
​How long is the program?
​The program takes two years to complete with classes only being offered during the Fall and Spring semesters.
How much does the program cost?
​California Community College are currently $46 per unit; with the OTA coursework being 45 units. Click here for more information.
​Is this a Day or Evening program?
Both the spring-start and fall-start programs have a combination of online and on campus lectures which require students to be on campus two days per week.  Approximate time to be on campus is as follows: Spring- start: 8 am - 3 pm and Fall-start: 3 pm - 9 pm.  In the Fall-start program classes will start at noon on one day per week and 3 pm on the other day. Click here for more information.
I already have a Bachelor's degree. How long will the program take me to complete?
​The program will take you two years to complete.
When Can I Apply to the OTA program?
The OTA program accepts application once a year which is typically from mid-August to mid-September.  Please check the website at a later time for definite dates. As a result, students are unable to apply to the program before then.
​When is the Next Available Start Date?
​Our next available start dates for the OTA program are Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 with applications being accepted from mid-August to mid-September of 2018.
​Is there a Waitlist to get into the OTA program?
At this time we no longer comprise a waitlist due to our program being highly impacted.  Instead we keep student's applications on file from previous years and those applications are re-randomized with the new applications.  ​
How Many Applications does the program usually receive? Because we keep applications on file from previous years, we are unable to determine the number of applications we receive during each application process; but we anticipate a high volume of new applicants each year.
​Will I have a Better Chance of Being Accepted into the program if I turn my application in on the first day of the filing period?
​No. Applications will not be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Therefore, you may submit your application at any time during the application process and it will not positively or negatively impact your chance of acceptance.
​How can I learn more about the OTA program?
​The best way to learn more is to attend one of the OTA orientations that are held once a month. The schedule for the orientations can be found HERE. Also, our website provides the most up-to-date information about the program as well.
​I can't attend the OTA information session what should I do? We encourage you to review our website for the most up-to-date information about the program and feel free to email or call us with any questions.
​I live out of the area, can I complete the OTA program entirely online, without coming to campus?
​No, on campus lecture and lab classes will meet on campus twice a week from either 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (depending on if the student starts in the Spring or Fall semester) during the first and second semester. In the third semester on-campus classes will start at 3:00 day a week and at noon one day a week. Students are also required to complete 32 hours of Level 1 fieldwork per semester. during the fourth (final) semester students are required to complete two eight-week full-time (40 hours a week) Level II fieldwork rotation. No courses are offered during the winter or summer semesters. 
What are the prerequisite courses?
We require four prerequisite courses that may be completed here at SAC or at any other college/university as long as the coursework is equivalent. ​Please click HERE for more information.
​I am having trouble getting into some of the prerequisite courses. What can I do?
​You can try to get the classes you need at more than one college. If you are on the waitlist for a class be sure to attend on the first day of school.
​Can I apply to the program even if I haven't finished all of my prerequisite courses?
​No. All of your prerequisite courses must be completed at the time in which you submit your application. This means that a grade of "C" or better must be posted to your transcript.
​Can I take core OTA courses at another school and transfer them to your program?
​The only core OTA course that may be taken prior to enrolling in the program is Psychology 250 (Abnormal Psychology).
​I have Bachelor's degree and have met all of the requirements except Anatomy and Physiology. Can I take it during the first semester of the program? ​No. You need to complete all prerequisite courses before applying to the program.
​I took my prerequisite courses a long time ago, will you still accept them?
​The only prerequisite course that must be taken within the last ten years is Anatomy & Physiology. All other prerequisite courses may have been taken at any time.
​I have taken a Human Biology class. Will that class count for Anatomy & Physiology? ​Most Human Biology classes will not count for Anatomy & Physiology, but the UC/CSU system have some that will. Please utilize the ASSIST system to determine course equivalency or contact the OTA program directly.
​I am a Massage Therapist and took several hours of Anatomy & Physiology in my program. Will this count?
​Only a 4 unit Anatomy & Physiology class with a lab (that includes dissection) will count. Please review the equivalent Anatomy & Physiology courses.
Will a hit on My Background Check limit my opportunities?
​When applying for the certification examination with the National Board for Certification (NBCOT) students will be asked to answer questions related to the topic of felonies. Fingerprinting is required for application for state licensure with the Board of Occupational Therapy (BOT) and for placement in most Level II fieldwork sites. For limitations based on felonies students are advised to call NBCOT and BOT any time. Students who are unable to clear the fingerprinting process required for Level II fieldwork will not be able to be placed and complete the requirements for the program.
​I have been working with Occupational Therapists for several years. Will any of my work count for college credit?
​Although work experience is always helpful; only equivalent coursework will count as college credit.
​I just completed Math Placement testing at a college near where I live. Will this transfer to SAC?
​No. The Level III Math Placement test must be completed here at Santa Ana College prior to submitting your OTA program application.
​I have a Bachelor's degree from another country. What should I do?
​First you need to have your transcripts formally evaluated. Here are two agencies you can go to: American Education Research Corporation or Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute. Be sure that they divide the classes into upper and lower division courses. Then you will need to apply to the college to get a student number. Turn the evaluated transcript into the Admissions office with your student number on it. Make an appointment with the graduation specialists to see which courses will be accepted. You will need to take English, Speech, and American Institutions in this country even if you have had them in your native country.
How is my Fieldwork Site Determined?
​Students are placed at sites that will provide them with a variety of experiences and enable them to exit the program as an entry-level generalist. 
​Where Will My Fieldwork Site be Located? ​All placements are subject to the availability of the facility. Every effort will be made to place students living in Orange County and its neighboring counties (Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego) at facilities located within a 30 mile radius from the Student's residence. Placements outside of these counties can not be guaranteed.
​Am I allowed to complete my Fieldwork Out of State?
​Students are unable to complete their fieldwork out-of-state or internationally.
​Can I work during my Level II Fieldwork Rotation?
​It is not advisable that you work due to the fact that you will be required to be at your schedule facility 40 hours per week. 
​I have taken some OT or OTA courses at another accredited program and want to transfer them to SAC.  Is this possible? ​The OTA program director will review transcripts and course syllabi to determine if selected courses will be accepted.  If selected courses are evaluated to be an equivalent, the student will need to take an examination demonstrating proficiency in the subject matter before the course is accepted.  No more than the equivalent of one semester of coursework will be accepted regardless of the number of courses completed at another college. 

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