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Associate Degree in Occupational Therapy Sciences


The Occupational Therapy Program and the Health Sciences Department believes that a human being is an active entity capable of  involving itself in their occupation in a manner that promotes health and  well-being (Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process). Through active participation of human beings in Occupational Areas they will maintain a degree of Independence that will allow them to feel satisfied and competent.

We believe that human beings should be seen as a holistic entity. That it is more than the sum of its parts (Aristotle): body, mind and spirit. Looking at the human being from this perspective we created a curriculum of education that supports this view. We took into consideration the different contexts where man is involved so that the promotion of the well-being and health are significant for them.

The program emphasizes developing entry-level skills as Occupational Therapy Assistants that can be used by students to provide effective and relevant services once they graduate. The program’s primary goal is to promote the customer’s greatest possible independence in occupational areas to facilitate a state of health and general well-being in customers. These services will be centralized in the customer's needs.

Our program uses different theories to develop the knowledge of our students. Between the skills that we promote are the emotional cognitive, motor and social knowledge of individuals. This is linked to clinical experiences where students manage to put into practice the knowledge acquired from the process of educative learning. These experiences allow students the development of clinical judgment skills of great importance in our profession.

The curriculum provides the opportunity to experience and acquire new knowledge through the use of technology and simulated situations from real life. We believe that this model of teaching allows students validate the knowledge, making them feel more confident when entering clinical experiences outside of the Program.

Mission and Goals:

The Associate in Applied Sciences in Occupational Therapy  was created to develop competent entry-level Occupational Therapy Assistants,that will become integral members of the health care team. The associate degree program promotes the Inter American University, Ponce Campus’ mission, to offer educational programs in the area of health sciences by offering a program of study that assists students in preparing for careers in the field of Occupational Therapy.

The mission is reached through the following goals:

1.       Offer an Occupational Therapy Assistant Program in which students demonstrate the highest levels of knowledge, skills, and competence in intervention strategies in the rehabilitation process.

2.      Prepare Occupational Therapy Assistants who apply critical thinking in the functions delegated and supervised by the Occupational Therapist.

3.      Provide society with competent Occupational Therapy Assistants that demonstrate practice standards effectively under the direction and supervision of an Occupational Therapist.

4.      Develop practitioners who display legal and ethical-professional conduct consistent with the practice and the standards of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program. 

5.      Promote the development of practitioners to enable them to act responsibly, contribute actively, and respond efficiently in their area of expertise as a member of a health care team under the direction and supervision of an Occupational Therapist.

6.      Stimulate graduates of the Program to recognize the value of personal and professional ongoing growth and development in their field, and keep abreast of technological advancements.

7.      Demonstrate the application of skills and concepts of the Program by passing satisfactorily the Occupational Therapy Assistant local board exam. 

Graduates from the Associate of Science Degree in the Occupational Therapy will meet the following competencies:


1.      Apply theoretical and scientific knowledge in intervention strategies safely and effectively.

2.      Acquire knowledge of basic patient care, performance of activities of daily living, activity analysis and therapeutic modalities in Occupational Therapy, and pathology of most common conditions in the population correctly.

3.      Demonstrate commitment and responsibility within the organization which they serve.

4.      Assess emergency situations to act safely and effectively.


1.      Execute practices in areas of occupation effectively as established in the treatment plan directed by the Occupational Therapist.

2.      Demonstrate mastery of skills for an entry-level practice as an Occupational Therapy Assistant.

3.       Implement the treatment plan developed by the Occupational Therapist safely and effectively

4.      Record and inform accurately to the Occupational Therapist the patient’s progress and the need of modifications to the treatment plan.

5.       Identify and communicate appropriately emergency situations and changes in the patient’s state of health.

6.      Analyze and interpret client’s data accurately to modify the treatment plan, if needed, established by the Occupational Therapist. 

7.      Participate in educating patients and caregivers responsibly.

8.      Record accurately responses to patient’s treatments, administrative data, and relevant aspects of the service offered.

9.      Actively participate in the treatment plan established by the supervising Occupational Therapist.

10.  Demonstrate effective appropriate verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills with patients, family members, colleagues and health care team members.

11.  Implement high level practice standards in accordance with the role and responsibilities of an Occupational Therapy Assistant.

12.  Prepare a plan and manage time effectively.

13.  Under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist, perform safe and effective evidence-based interventions following ethical-legal principals.

14.  Recognize if delegated duties and responsibilities are congruent with their competency and practice level.

15.  Develop effective and appropriate communication strategies with the health team involved in the care of the patient.

16.   Select appropriate patient resolutions within the treatment plan established by the Occupational Therapist.

17.  Select appropriate solutions to conflict and adapt to change in the clinical environment.


1.       Adjust behavior appropriately and show sensibility for individual and cultural differences with each patient.

2.      Provide   emotional and psychosocial support to patients and family members.

3.      Interact effectively with other health care professionals that reflect the roles and responsibilities of an Occupational Therapy Assistant.

4.      Demonstrate responsibility and commitment to professional development with participation in ongoing clinical research by completing continued education courses and active membership in professional accredited organizations.

Admission Requirements:

1.      Comply with the admissions requirements established in the General Catalog and by the corresponding campus.

2.      To be admitted to the Program, candidates must:

     a.      Have a minimum grade point index 2.50.

3. To be admitted to a clinical practice agency, the following is required:

a.      A recent certificate of no criminal record issued recently by the Police of   Puerto Rico.

b.      A health certificate valid for one year issued by the Health Department.

c.      Evidence of vaccination against Hepatitis B.

Admission Procedure:

Undergraduate Admission Procedures

Applicants for admission to any campus of Inter American University of Puerto Rico must:

  1. Obtain an application for admission from the Admissions Office of the Campus of their choice or from high school advisors or other authorized personnel. Application forms are also available through the Internet.
  2. Submit the completed application to the Admissions Office of the chosen Campus, preferably by May 1, to apply for the fall semester, by November 15 to apply for the spring semester and by April 15 to apply for the summer session. Students in their fourth year of high school are advised to submit the application as soon as they decide to study at this University. By applying before May, they will be able to receive greater orientation about the University and its financial aid programs.
  3. Arrange for a transcript of the high school record to be sent by an authorized representative of the secondary school to the appropriate Admissions Office.
  4. Arrange for the CEO test results to be sent to the appropriate Admissions Office.
  5.  Submit an updated certificate of vaccination if the student is less than 21 years old, except students interested in taking courses in other countries through distance learning. Final decisions regarding applications will normally reach the applicant no later than three weeks after all application materials have been received by the University. If for any reason the University requires more time, the applicant will be notified. A personal interview of an applicant for admission may be required.


For other Admissions requirements please visit:


Curriculum Design


First Year: August Intensive Session


Contact Hours

(R) Requisite

(C) Co-requisite




GEIC 1010 – Information and Computer Literacy









First Year: First Semester



OCTH 1000 – Introduction to Occupational Therapy





C- OCTH 1010,1020,  1031 & 1040

OCTH 1040 –Occupational Sociology





C-OCTH 1000,1020, 1040  & 1031

OCTH 1050 –Occupation Throughout  the Life Cycle





C-  OCTH 1000,1010, 1031  & 1040

OCTH 1031 – Therapeutic Modalities I





C- OCTH 1000,1010, 1020 & 1040

OCTH 1060- Anatomy and  Human Physiology





C- OCTH 1000,1010, 1020 & 1031





First Year : Second Semester



OCTH 1132 – Therapeutic Modalities II





R: OCTH  1000, 1010, 1020, 1031 & 1040

OCTH 1121 Occupational Therapy applied to Pediatrics I





R: OCTH 1000,1010, 1020, 1031 & 1040

OCTH 1141 Occupational Therapy applied to Psychosocial I





R: OCTH 1000, 1010, 1020, 1031 & 1040

OCTH 1120– Process in Occupational Therapy





R: OCTH 1000, 1010,

1020, 1031 & 1040

GESP 1101 – Literature and Communication: Narrative and Essay












OCTH 1911-  Instructional Practice



145 hrs.

R: OCTH  1110, 1121, 1132, & 1141





Second Year: First Semester



OCTH 2013 – Therapeutic Modalities III





R: OCTH 1911

OCTH 2022 Occupational Therapy applied to Pediatrics II





R: OCTH 1911

OCTH 2042 Occupational Therapy applied to Psychosocial II





R: OCTH 1911

OCTH 2001 – Occupational Therapy applied to Physical Dysfunction I





R: OCTH 1911

GEMA 1000 – Quantitative Reasoning




GEEN 1101 – English as a Second Language I








 Second Year: Second Semester



OCTH 2102 – Occupational Therapy applied to Physical Dysfunction II





R: OCTH 2001,  2013, 2022 & 2042

OCTH 2135– Occupational Therapy in Activities of Daily Living





R: OCTH 2001, 2013, 2022 & 2042

OCTH 2921 –Fieldwork I




225 hrs.

R: OCTH 2001, 2013, 2022 & 2042

GEEN 1102 – English as a Second Language II





GEHS 2010 – Historical Process of Puerto Rico








Third Year: First Semester



OCTH 2975 – Integration Seminar





R:OCTH 2151,2351,2911

C – OCTH 2916

OCTH 2922- Fieldwork II



480 hrs.

(16 wks)

R:OCTH 2151,2351,2911

GECF 1010 – The Christian Faith





GESP 1102 – Literature and Communication: Poetry and Theater












Academic Progress Requirements:

  1. Meet all the academic progress norms established in the University’s General Catalog.
  2. Pass all major courses with a minimum grade of C. 
  3. Students who fail on two occasions in a same major course will be placed on probation in the Occupational Therapy Program.  Students failing during the probation period in the same course will be dropped from the Program.


Transfer Requirements:

1.      Comply with the admissions requirements for transfer students established in the General Catalog and by the corresponding Campus.

2.   Admission of transfer students to the Program or to take courses of the major with combined registration requires the previous authorization of both Program Coordinator and the Division Academic Coordinator.

3.   If the student leaves the program after the second year second semester (prior to OCTH 2922 – Fieldwork II), the student will have a period of one years to return to the Program without academic penalty. If the student returns after that period of time, the student may have to repeat some courses or take a series of exams or remediative courses as determined by the OTA Program Coordinator.  


Having an Institution free of discrimination is at the core of our value system as stated on our mission statement which reads:

“Inter American University of Puerto Rico Institution (UIAPR)-Wide Mission- Developing the talents of men and women, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age or nationality is IAUPR's main purpose. The Campuses offer diversified programs including, but not limited to, a liberal undergraduate education as well as graduate, professional and occupational programs leading to the degrees, diplomas and certificates usually granted by higher education institutions.”

The Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus strives to have an admissions process that does not discriminate in any manner against any applicant.

Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations maybe request by contacting the Deanship of Students. Please visit for additional information.

Graduation Requirements for Associate Degrees

To complete requirements for graduation with an Associate Degree from Inter American University, students must:

1.      Complete satisfactorily a minimum of 52 academic credits.

2.      Complete the General Education academic requirements and those specified in the program for the Associate Degree for which they are candidates.

3.      Achieve an overall grade point index of 2.00 or higher.

4.      Achieve a cumulative grade point index of 2.00 or higher in the major.

5.      Complete satisfactorily no less than one-third of all the credits required for the degree at Inter American University.  Credits obtained by Proficiency Examinations will not count toward this requirement.

6.      Complete satisfactorily at Inter American University no less than one-third of all course credits required for the degree.

General Education Requirements for Associate Degrees


General Education Requirements for Associate Degrees - 23 credits

GESP                  Spanish                                                                                                                   6

GEEN                 English                                                                                                                    6

GEMA                Mathematics                                                                                                           3

GEHS      2010    Historical Process of Puerto Rico                                                                           3

GECF      1010    The Christian Faith                                                                                                 3

GEIC       1010    Information and Computer Literacy                                                                       3


Professional Credentials

All practicing Occupational Therapy Assistant are required to pass the Puerto Rico licensing exam or the NBCOT. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or to attain state licensure exam. Information on the guidelines for felony convictions can be provided by the PR Board of Occupational Therapy at (787) 753-4099 or found under Publications “disciplinary actions” at .

OTA’S Licensing Exam Pass Rate

During the course of 2010, the OTA Program underwent a comprehensive curricular revision. The revision was based on the need to refresh the program’s curriculum and objectives. In essence, the current program is a new version.

Program effective’s data will be available through this page once the new class of 2012 completes the licensing exam.


Prof. Iraida Oquendo, OTL MFCM

Occupational Therapy Program Coordinator

Health Sciences Department

787-284-1912 ext. 3308


Prof. Iraida Oquendo is our Program Coordinator. She obtained a Bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus on May 1999. In 2006, Oquendo completed a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Counseling of the University of Phoenix Puerto Rico Campus. She is a licensed Occupational Therapist in Puerto Rico, and has worked in a variety of settings building thirteen years of clinical and administrative experience.

Prof. Heydi Colón, OTL MA

Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Coordinator

Health Sciences Department

787-284-1912 ext. 3307


Prof. Heydi Colón is the designated Fieldwork Coordinator. She obtained her Bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus on May 1998. In June 2005, Prof. Colón completed her Master degree in Early Intervention Education 0-4 from Inter American University Guayama Campus.

She is an active clinician licensed by the Puerto Rico Occupational Therapist Board. Prof. Colón has fourteen years of clinical experience in different clinical settings including pediatrics, school  and psychiatric hospitals


Due Process

Safety in Dealing with Body Substances

Safety Regulations Regarding Laboratory Use

Informed Consent for Students Participating in Role of Subjects

Campus Safety and Emergency Procedures


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General Catalog:

Accreditation Status:

 The Inter American University, Ponce Campus, Occupational Therapist Assistant Program was granted candidacy status for accreditation by OTA. For information regarding accreditation please contact:


Accreditation Department


4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200

Bethesda, MD 20814-3425

Telephone: 301-652-2682