Occupational therapist training programs are generally at the master's level and occupational therapy assistant (OTA) programs usually confer an associate's degree; students in Oklahoma have both types of programs available to them. Occupational therapy programs at both the associate's and master's levels include some element of clinical training. Graduate program applicants must hold a bachelor's degree first and will complete at least one internship prior to graduation.
Murray State College
Murray State College's campus is in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, and offers a 2-year occupational therapy assistant program that confers an Associate in Applied Science. Students need to apply for admission to the program prior to their second year and after taking 34 credit hours of prerequisite general education courses. The second year features 16 months of focused study in the major, including clinical experience in the field.
Oklahoma City Community College
Located in Oklahoma City, this college offers a 72-credit associate degree occupational therapy assistant program. The accredited program includes clinical training that takes place in a variety of field locations. Students study topics like group dynamics, history of occupational therapy and service skills.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Weatherford's Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) awards students an Associate in Applied Science after completing the accredited, 2-year OTA program. This program is offered in cooperation with Caddo Kiowa Technology Center, located in Fort Cobb, and students can complete courses in Fort Cobb or SWOSU's Weatherford and Sayre campuses. Students who complete this program receive their degree from SWOSU-Sayre.
Tulsa Community College
Located in Tulsa, this community college's 2-year occupational therapy assistant program is accredited; graduates earn an Associate in Applied Science. Admission requirements for this program include a minimum GPA score for college coursework totaling 12 hours or a minimum high school GPA for those with less than 12 college credit hours. Attaining a minimum score in the ACT or SAT is also required. The program curriculum includes courses like applied anatomy and physical disabilities therapy. Training culminates with 16 weeks of full-time clinical fieldwork.
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Located in Oklahoma City, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center offers an accredited 80-hour occupational therapy program that confers a Master of Occupational Therapy upon completion. The university also offers didactic occupational therapy courses on its Tulsa campus that provide the same training as the Oklahoma City campus.
Admission to the program is selective, and admission requirements include a bachelor's degree with minimum GPA, prerequisite coursework completion, GRE scores and 40 hours of documented clinical observation experience. The curriculum blends traditional lectures with 26 hours of clinical fieldwork. The program is offered on a full-time basis, and some clinical internships require 40 hours per week attendance.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all occupational therapists and most occupational therapy assistants need a state license to practice. In order to qualify for licensure, aspiring therapists and assistants need to first complete an accredited program. In addition, therapists need at least six months of supervised field experience, while assistants require two months. Once this is completed, licensing is obtained by successfully passing the examination administered through the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision. OTAs can also apply for voluntary national certification by taking the National Board Certification Occupational Therapy exam.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Occupational Therapy Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Murray State College||2-year, public; distant rural||Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$6,010 in-state, $12,160 out-of-state*|
|Oklahoma City Community College||2-year, public; large city||Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$4,059 in-state, $9,810 out-of-state*|
|Southwestern Oklahoma State University||4-year; public; remote town||Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$7,335 in-state, $14,235 out-of-state*|
|Tulsa Community College||2-year, public; large city||Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$3,349 in-state, $8,581 out-of-state*|
|University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center||4-year, public; large city||Master of Occupational Therapy||$7,463 in-state (graduate), $22,122 out-of-state (graduate)*|
Source: *NCES, College Navigator.