• Occupational Therapy Assistant

    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 extent possible.

  • 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

    NBCOT Contact Information
    800 S. Frederick Ave. Suite 200
    Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877-4150
    Telephone No. - (301) 990-7979

    Program results from the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found at
    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.

  • Year
    Graduation Rate

    Program results from the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online.

  •  Admission and the Pre-Clinical Phase

    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 Options
    Students 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 Phase
    The 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.

     Candidacy and the Clinical Phase
    1. In order to apply for OTA candidacy (progression to the clinical phase of the OTA Program), you must be an OTA Major.

    2. To apply for candidacy, students must register for Intent to OTA OTA000 in the first 4 weeks of a 12 week term. Check the Academic Calendar for exact dates. There are no credits, classes or meetings or charges involved for registering for this candidacy. You may also apply in person by filing out the Intent to OTA Candidacy Form in the Registrar’s office.

    3. You should only apply for candidacy if you have completed all four key courses or if you are going to complete all four key courses by the end of the 12 week session in which you are applying for candidacy.

    4. If you are enrolled in one of the four key courses and you withdraw from that course, you must also withdraw from OTA Candidacy (Intent to OTA000). If you do not successfully withdraw from Intent to OTA, you will lose one candidacy attempt. You can only apply for candidacy twice.

    5. Please note that if you received a C, D, or F for any of the key courses and have repeated the course, all grades received will be averaged in any key course(s) repeated that key course will be used in your consideration for OTA Candidacy.

    6. Results  of  candidacy  will  not  be  available  until  all  grades  for  the  12  week  term  are submitted. The Registrar’s office will then do all the calculations and will provide OTA faculty with the list of students’ names and ranking. 
    7. Day/ Extended Day choices: Students may enter the OTA Program clinical phase in either the Fall I semester for evening session classes or the Spring I semester for day session classes. SCO101 – Introduction to Occupational Therapy and SCO110 – Legal and Ethical Aspects of Occupational Therapy are the first courses taken in the clinical program. One evening section of SCO101 and SCO110 are offered in Fall I, and one day section of SCO101 and SCO110 are offered in Spring I.
      • Students who wish to enroll in the Fall evening section must register for OTA000 in the preceding Spring I term.
      • Students who wish to enroll in the Spring day section must register for OTA000 in the preceding Fall I term.

    8. Notification of success in candidacy takes place on campus following calculation of grades. Students should be present at the scheduled notification time to sign the list of accepted students to be enrolled.
      • Accepted students that are not present to sign the list may forfeit their seat to the next ranked candidate.
      • If a student cannot be present, a representative may substitute with the student’s ID card and a signed note from the candidate giving that person permission to represent the student.
      • Students should expect to receive a mailing after grades are submitted or may check with the OTA office to verify the time and place to report for candidacy notification.

    9. The most common reasons for being ineligible for candidacy are:
      • Not having successfully completed one of the key courses
      • Having a grade of INC in one of the key courses
      • Having a GPA of less than 2.5 in the key courses
      • Having retaken a key course, not realizing that both grades are calculated in computing the key course GPA

    If your candidacy is not successful, you may repeat the registration for OTA00- Intent to OTA only once.
     Advising Team

    Advising Team

    In support of the LaGuardia’s mission to educate and graduate its students to become critical thinkers and socially responsible citizens, the College has undertaken a team approach toward advising, designed to support you in your major from orientation through graduation. 

    Your advisement team, made up of faculty and professional advisors, will guide you at every step during your college career.

    Visit the Advising page to learn more about when to get advised and how to prepare for an advising appointment, and check out the Advising Calendar for information sessions, events and more. 

    Please feel free to reach out to these advisors if you have any questions or need assistance, and visit laguardia.edu/visit for directions to campus.

    Advising Team Staff Members Email Phone Office Location
    Jill Janofsky, Advising Services jjanofsky@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5249  B 100Q 
    Carole Julien, Advising Services  cjulien@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-6006  B 100T 
    Rosanna Pichardo, Advising Services  rpichardo@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5169  B 100C 

    Advising Team Faculty Members Email Phone Office Location
    Regina M. Lehman, MS, OTR/L
    Occupational Therapy Assistant, Program Director and Associate Professor 
    rlehman@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5775  E 300I 
    Sherrell Powell Ed.D., OTR/L Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Professor  spowell@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5776  E 300G 
    Michele Mills, MA, OTR/L
    Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Professor and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
    mmills@lagcc.cuny.edu 718-482-5777  E 300S 
    Luisa Hindle, COTA
    Occupational Therapy Assistant Program College Laboratory Technician 
    lhindle@lagcc.cuny.edu  718-482-5779  E 323 

    For general program information, or to make an appointment with an OTA faculty member, please contact Jennifer Colon in E300, at 718-482-5740 or jcolon@lagcc.cuny.edu
     Career Profile

    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 2012- 2022 is 41% for occupational therapy assistants, whereas the national average is just 11%. This increase is expected to add nearly 16,000 new occupational therapy assistants across the country. BLS has indicated that the 2012 annual median pay for occupational therapy assistants is $48,940. [1]

    The-New-York-State- Occupational Therapy Association.png

    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.png

    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.

     Admission Guide and Student Handbook
     Curriculum Overview

    Current Students

    Log in to the CUNY Portal to review your Degree Audit to find out what classes to take.

    Have questions about using Degree Audit? Visit LaGuardia’s Degree Audit page for tutorials and how-to guides.


    Prospective Students

    Review the Occupational Therapy Assistant Curriculum and the recommended course sequence below.