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?
Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
Occupational Therapy Assistant is a selective admission program. In addition to MCC s general admission requirements, candidates to the program must complete the following:
- Complete the OTA online application
- Attend a mandatory OTA pre-admission conference.
- Students will receive the admissions folder during the conference.
- 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.
- The following documents must be submitted in the admission folder by March 1:
- 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) using the Clinical Evaluation form and the Clinical Verification form
- Students are to enter grades of completed prerequisite courses on the Point System form. This form will calculate students points in an excel format.
- 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 and complete the online application by March 1 to be considered for admission to the program the following fall
Length of Program
As a full-time student, you can complete the program in 18 months. Courses are offered during three 16-week semesters (August December and January May) with a clinical experience scheduled during the summer between semesters.
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)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
Phone number: (301) 652-(AOTA)
Credentialing 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 of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states, including Kentucky, require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT examination or attain state licensure.
You can earn an associate in applied science degree in two years if you maintain full-time status.
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.