An occupational therapy assistant works under the supervision
of a registered occupational therapist to help individuals with physical, psychiatric,
developmental, and other disabilities to participate in daily life to the greatest
The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program is coordinated by the Health Sciences Department and leads to an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. Occupational therapy assistants choose and adapt tasks, activities and therapeutic media to improve the functioning of their clients. They instruct individuals and groups, contribute to evaluation and assessment, and communicate reports of patient progress to the health care team. The OTA program at LaGuardia is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Graduates of the OTA program are eligible to sit for national certification for occupational therapy assistant, administered by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). ACOTE Contact Information 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200 Bethesda, Maryland 20814-3449 Telephone No. - (301) 652-AOTA http://www.acoteonline.org NBCOT Contact Information 800 S. Frederick Ave. Suite 200 Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877-4150 Telephone No. - (301) 990-7979 www.nbcot.org
Program results from the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found at https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states 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 certification examination or attain state licensure.
Students interested in applying to LaGuardia Community College should contact the Admissions Office. New students selecting OTA as their major are considered to be in the pre-clinical phase.Progression to the clinical phase of the program is competitive and is by acceptance into candidacy. Students must apply for candidacy and be accepted in order to enter the clinical phase.Day and Evening OptionsStudents intending to pursue clinical courses as a Day student should apply for candidacy in the Fall I session preceding the Spring entry to the OTA Clinical Phase.Students intending to pursue clinical courses as an Evening student should apply for candidacy in the Spring I session preceding the Fall entry to the OTA Clinical Phase.Pre-Clinical PhaseThe pre-clinical phase of the OTA program consists of all required general education and elective courses, including Key Courses. Pre-clinical students are considered candidates for the clinical phase.
Students must first complete, or be in the process of completing, the four key courses in the 12-week semester in which they are applying for candidacy.Eligible students are then ranked according to a scoring system of grades in Key Courses. Learn more about the scoring system and additional candidacy requirements in the OTA Handbook.
For additional information, please review the OTA Admission Guide.
Occupational therapy assistants choose and adapt tasks, activities and therapeutic media to improve the functioning of their clients. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected change in employment from 2014- 2024 is 40% for occupational therapy assistants, whereas the national average is just 11%. This increase is expected to add more than 16,000 new occupational therapy assistants across the country. BLS has indicated that the 2015 annual median pay for occupational therapy assistants is $54,520.* The New York State Occupational Therapy Association ( NYSOTA) is the only professional organization for Occupational Therapy in New York State. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is the national professional association established in 1917 to represent the interests and concerns of occupational therapy practitioners and students of occupational therapy and to improve the quality of occupational therapy services.
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*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapy-assistants-and-aides.htm (visited September 02, 2016).
OTA Admission Guide Handbook
OTA Student Handbook
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Review the Occupational Therapy Assistant Curriculum and the recommended course sequence below.
Recommended Course Sequence
Pre-Clinical and General Education Courses
12 Week Session
6 Week Session
12 Week Session
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