Occupational Therapy Assistant
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is designed to prepare successful graduates for entry-level employment in the field of as Occupational Therapy Assistants. A Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist, provides rehabilitative services to individuals with mental, physical, emotional, or developmental disabilities.
The COTA's purpose is to improve a client's quality of life and enhance his/her ability to perform daily activities. COTAs provide clients with adaptive skills that enable them to reenter the workforce, instruct clients in compensating for a loss of motor skill function, and plan activities that increase the independence of those with disabilities.
The OTA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org.
Graduates of this program will be able to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapy assistants administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a COTA. In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
Prior to admission to the technical phase of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, students must complete a platform of 28 hours which includes general education and medical courses. Students must also hold a current CPR for Health Care Providers certification prior to the first day of class. Students must submit an application to the program and meet entrance requirements for acceptance into the technical phase of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program.
Students who are pursuing a program of study where admission is limited (Cardiac Sonography, Cosmetology, Medical Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Paramedic/Emergency Medical Services, Physical Therapist Assistant, Practical Nursing and Registered Nursing), will be assigned a major of Associate of General Studies until admitted into their selected program.
Students are advised that the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program (OTA) is strenuous in nature. Students are therefore not allowed to take additional course work that is not directly related to their degree plan while in the OTA Program. If a student has completed all general education course requirements prior to entering the program, the student may not have a full load of twelve credit hours or more (which could affect financial aid eligibility).
The OTA Program is very intense and requires approximately 30-36 hours per week of theory /lab/fieldwork. This does not include prep or study time. The hours ascribed to each semester while in the OTA Program are considered by the program to be full time.