Learning in the Associate of Applied Science: Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program combines:
- A practical, "learn-it-and-use-it" fieldwork model — you'll apply new skills with clients in real-world OT settings;
- Small class sizes — you'll work closely with faculty, engage in discussions and role-playing, build your confidence, and enhance your skills for communication and teamwork;
- Learning from faculty members who are experienced, supportive OT professionals;
- Liberal arts learning, building essential skills for communication and critical thinking;
- A focus on social justice and ethics — you'll deepen your appreciation for diversity, human dignity, community and the common good; and
- Leadership skills development.
The OTA associate degree program of study, described below, applies to students entering the university in Fall 2014 or later.
All courses are offered weekdays on St. Catherine University's Minneapolis campus.
Hands-on learning: Lab and fieldwork
In St. Kate's OTA program, you'll get real-world, hands-on experience to prepare you for career success. You'll build skills in a lab environment on campus. Then, in fieldwork experience under the supervision of a practicing occupational therapy professional, you'll work directly with patients and experience what you'll be doing on a day-to-day basis as a COTA. You'll gain the confidence and skills you need to succeed.
After acceptance into the university, you'll take the Compass test to assess reading and writing competency. Depending on your scores, you may be required to start with one or more foundation courses (Foundations in College Writing, College Reading for the Health Sciences, Foundations in Critical Language, Study Skills for Anatomy and Physiology).
The following courses must be completed before starting OTA courses (OSOT courses, listed below):
- BIOL 2400: General Anatomy and Physiology (4 cr.)*
- PSYC 1000: General Psychology (4 cr.)
- ENGL 1100: Composition (2 cr.)
- HIMP 1020: Medical Terminology (1 cr.)*
Prerequisite courses must have been completed with a grade of “C” or higher in each of course. Each prerequisite course may be repeated only once. If a course was taken once with a “W” indicated on a transcript, and then taken again, this is considered a "repeat."
*These courses must have been completed within the last five years.
Liberal arts and sciences courses
In addition to the prerequisite courses listed above, you'll take the liberal arts and sciences (LAS) courses listed below. It is recommended that you plan to have most, if not all, LAS coursework completed before starting OSOT courses.
If you have prior college experience, St. Catherine University will work with you to transfer in your previous coursework for selected liberal arts and sciences and prerequisite courses. See our transfer page for details, or contact your admission counselor for a complementary transfer evaluation.
- ART: elective (2 cr.)
- Community Integrated Learning (CIL) course (2 cr.)
- ECOL 2000: Human Ecology or other science elective (2 cr.)
- ENGL: English literature course (2 cr.)
- PHIL 2000: Ethical Problems in Healthcare (2 cr.)
- PSYC 2020: Lifespan Developmental Psychology* (4 cr.)
- SSCS 1000: Power and Social Change (2 cr.)
- SSCS (social science) elective (2 cr.)
- THEO (theology) elective (2 cr.)
* PSYC 2020 must have been completed within the last five years, and must be taken before the end of the first year of the OSOT course sequence, listed below.
OTA courses: Year one
You'll start the OTA course sequence in the fall, and finish the OTA course sequence 21 months later.
To begin the OTA course sequence, students must have
- Completed any required Foundation courses,
- Completed prerequisite courses (see above),
- Earned a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above, and
- Earned a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above in prerequisite courses.
- OSOT 1020: Role of the OTA (2 cr.)
- OSOT 1030: Human Occupations I (2 cr.)
- OSOT 1040: Clinical Conditions (2 cr.)
- OSOT 1050: Human Occupations II (2 cr.)
- OSOT 1210: Client Support Skills (3 cr.)
- OSOT 1250: Aging (2 cr.)
- OSOT 1270: Level I Fieldwork (1 cr.)
- OSOT 1300: Therapeutic Applications I (2 cr.)
- OSOT 3250: Group Dynamics and Leadership (2 cr.)
OTA courses: Year two
- OSOT 2330: Therapeutic Applications II (2 cr.)
- OSOT 2300: Therapeutic Applications III (2 cr.)
- OSOT 2350: Level II Fieldwork (6 cr.)
- OSOT 2360: Level II Fieldwork (6 cr.)
- OSOT 2400: Practice Models and Professional Issues I (1 cr.)
- OSOT 2410: Practice Models and Professional Issues II (1 cr.)
Move up the ladder: finish your bachelor's at St. Kate's
Women graduating with St. Kate's associate OTA degree may move seamlessly into the Evening/Weekend/Online bachelor's degree program for adults. Study while you work as a COTA, build on credits earned for your associate degree, and complete a bachelor's degree with a major in Public Health, Healthcare Management, or other field.