Occupational Therapy Assistant | MCC

Occupational Therapy Assistant


Occupational Therapy Assistance

Promote health and healing. In this program, you’ll assist occupational therapists, who help people recovering from illness get back to the everyday tasks of work and life.

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What is Occupational Therapy Assistant?

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is designed to provide a quality educational experience that will train prospective professionals in the art and science of promoting and maintaining the holistic health and wellness of people, organizations, and populations through engagement in occupation. Graduates will be able to perform/engage as entry level professionals under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist (OT). Graduates will develop skills necessary for employment as Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, thereby meeting the students' individual needs and the expressed health-care needs of the local and extended communities served by the Colleges. The program strives to fill a growing need for professionals able to contribute to all facets of occupational therapy, from community-based programs to client-centered intervention. The program promotes the value and professional importance of life-long learning.

A basic background in natural sciences, mathematics, communication, and behavioral sciences undergirds the specialized course work. Specialized course work prepares students for the certification examination they will take to become Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA). Employment may be in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, clinics, and other health care facilities, as well as within pediatric, community, or educational settings.

What are my career choices?

Employment is available in rehabilitation units, schools outpatient clinics, long term care facilities, home health agencies and a variety of community based programs. Entry level wages in Kentucky is $32,000 to $40,000.

What are my degree, diploma, or certificate options?

Admission Requirements

Occupational Therapy Assistant is a selective admission program. In addition to MCC s general admission requirements, candidates to the OTA program must complete the following:

Complete all prerequisite courses or be able to complete prior to starting in the fall term. Students who are accepted into the program prior to completing courses are admitted conditionally on successful completion (C or better grade) of each pre-requisite course. OTA Pre-requisites: ENG 101 Writing I, PSY 110 General Psychology, PSY 223 Developmental Psychology, BIO 137 Anatomy & Physiology with lab, BIO 139 Anatomy & Physiology with lab, MAT 110 Applied Mathematics OR Higher, COM 181 Basic Public Speaking OR COM 252 Intro. to Interpersonal Communications, Heritage or Humanities (recommend REL 130, ), and Computer/Digital Literacy course (CIT 105 or other qualifying course) or skill demonstrated by competency exam.

OTA 101 Introduction to Occupational Therapy. OTA 101 requires successful completion of ENG 101. OTA 101 is offered only online in the fall and spring semesters.

Students seeking admission into the Occupational Therapy Assistant program are required to attend one Pre-Admission Conference. The 2020-2021 sessions will be offered online.

Students must email the program director for an invitation: kim.qualls@kctcs.edu

  • August 13, 2020 3:30 p.m.
  • December 3, 2020 3:30 p.m.
  • January 7, 2021 3:30 p.m.
  • February 4, 2021 3:30 p.m. (This session is only open to students enrolled in OTA 101 or have completed OTA 101)

At the mandatory pre-admission conference, students will receive the admissions folder and OTA application forms. Students must attend a conference in the academic year they are applying. All are welcome to attend the pre-admission conference at MCCs Health Science Campus in the Baptist Health Allied Health Building room 102.

2019-2020 Mandatory Preadmission Conference Dates for students applying March 1, 2020:

  • February 6, 2020: 3:30 p.m. (This date open only to students enrolled in OTA 101 or have completed OTA 101)

The following documents must be submitted in the admission folder by March 1:

  • Completed OTA application form
  • Clinical Evaluation form and the Clinical Verification form. Documentation of no fewer than 10 observation / volunteer hours in more than one occupational therapy setting (5 hours in one setting and 5 hours in another setting).
  • Point System form with grades and points for completed courses.
  • Advising plan with grades and semester courses fill out.
  • If applicable, letters of reference from employer may be submitted to verify points for health related job. Reference letters must be signed.

Students must submit the admissions folder to Dr. Kim Qualls, OTA PD by March 1 to be considered for admission to the program the following fall.

MCC’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program has a two-step selection process. The first step is based 74% on GPA, 10% on observation hours, 10% on earned degrees, 5% on employment/military history, & 1% on Kentucky resident. The top 20-25 applicants are invited to the second step. This is an interview process. The points from these two steps are the cumulative final score that determines the next cohort.

Length of Program

The OTA program is only offered as a full-time program. Student can complete the program in 18 months. Courses are offered during three 16-week semesters (August-December and January-May).

Occupational Therapy Assistant FAQ Page

Technical Standards

The Occupational Therapy Assistant, under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist, works to promote and maintain the holistic health of individuals in the community. The program strives to fill a growing need for professionals able to contribute to all facets of occupational therapy, from assessment to treatment termination. Therefore, in order to work successfully with clients, all applicants should possess sufficient performance skills in the areas of:

  • sensory functions including visual acuity, such as observation skills necessary for administering client care and reading equipment gauges and settings used in treatments;
  • sensory functions including auditory perception to receive verbal communication and to execute client care through the use of monitoring devices;
  • strength and gross and fine motor coordination and motor praxis skills to respond promptly and to implement client care skills, such as the manipulation of equipment, and positioning and lifting clients;
  • communication and social skills (speech, reading, writing) to interact with the individuals and to communicate their needs promptly and effectively, as may be necessary in the client’s interest, and
  • Intellectual, cognitive, and emotional function to implement the plan of care.

License and Accreditation

The OTA Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), a division of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), which can be contacted by postal mail at:

c/o Accreditation Department 
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200,
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929 
Phone number: (301) 652-(AOTA) 

Madisonville Community College’s associate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant 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 the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure 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.

“Students must complete 16 weeks of Level II fieldwork within 18 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program.”

OTA Program Statistics

Academic Year 2018

Sixteen students entered the program & twelve students graduated December 2017. 

Eleven graduates passed the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy exam (NBCOT) for a 92% pass rate. 

Academic Year 2017

Sixteen students entered the program & fifteen students graduated December 2016. 

Fifteen graduates passed the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy exam (NBCOT) for a 100% pass rate.

Academic Year 2016

Sixteen students entered the program & fifteen students graduated December 2015. 

Fifteen graduates passed the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy exam (NBCOT) for a 94% pass rate.

The total number of graduates from the Madisonville Community College associate in applied science occupational therapy assistant program during the 3-year period of 2016-2018 was 43 with an overall graduation rate of 95.3%. 

OTA Program national statistics reported by NBCOT

This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog. You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.

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Program Contact

Kim Qualls, OTD, MS OTR/L

Program Coordinator Associate Professor



Misty Burton, MA, OTR/L

Fieldwork Coordinator
Associate Professor



Tina Seibert

Administrative Assistant