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
Effective immediately the TEAS Exam will NOT be a requirement to apply for the Candidacy Program ONLY for the Spring 2020 semester. In addition, the Candidacy deadline has been extended to the last day of Spring 2020 class June 4th 2020. Important information regarding the ATI TEAS Exam Requirements
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 LaGuardia Community College occupational therapy assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). 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). ACOTE Contact Information 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200 North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929 Telephone No. - (301) 652-AOTA http://www.acoteonline.org NBCOT Contact Information One Bank Street, Suite 300 Gaithersburg, MD 20878 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 individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; 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.
Important information regarding changes to Key Courses
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. OTA Candidacy TEAS Exam Requirement.
OTA Admission Guide Handbook
For questions about the OTA Program, please email HealthSci@lagcc.cuny.edu.
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 Advising Team is made up of faculty, professional and peer advisors. They will guide you at every step during your college career. They are ready to help you:
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.
If your candidacy is not successful, you may repeat the registration for OTA00- Intent to OTA only once. Spring 2020 CR/NC Policy – How it applies to Health Sciences Candidacy Programs
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.
Explore possibilities on Career Connect.
*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).
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.
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
For information about this program’s retention and graduation rate visit the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment website page.
How long does it take to finish the OTA Program? The minimum time required to complete the entire degree program, including all pre-clinical and clinical phase courses, is two years and three months (5 semesters). The full-time Clinical phase curriculum is completed in 18 months.
How can I change my major to OTA? The change of major form is in the Registrar website: http://www.laguardia.edu/registrar/. Go toward the bottom of the page under Forms, subheading Student Forms and you should be able to download the form. Once it is completed, you can email it as an attachment to the department’s email address at HealthSci@lagcc.cuny.edu.
What are the requirements to apply for the OTA program? To apply for the OTA Program Candidacy, students must:
What happens if I apply for candidacy and I don’t get accepted? A student has two attempts for OTA candidacy. After an unsuccessful second attempt, we recommend meeting with an advisor to explore alternative academic planning.
What is the minimum score I have to get to pass my ATI-TEAS Exam and when can I take it? All applicants are required to take the ATI-TEAS Exam as a requirement for candidacy. A proficient composite score of 55% or higher is the minimum required. The TEAS score must be within 18 months of the end date of candidacy. There is no limit on the number of attempts for this exam in order to achieve the minimum score required.
Do I have to retake the TEAS Exam if I score a passing, but low score? Would that increase my chances to get accepted? You don’t necessarily have to retake your TEAS as long as you have a passing overall score of 55%. The TEAS Exam scores are not ranked.
Are the TEAS Exam scores due at the same time as the candidacy application is due? The OTA Program does not require that you submit your scores together with your candidacy application. The TEAS Exam scores are due prior to or at the end of session I of the semester of candidacy application.
Does the OTA Program offer an evening schedule? The OTA Program offers both day session and evening session options. Please review the following information on program schedules so you are clear on when is the appropriate time to submit your candidacy application.
If accepted into the OTA Program, when do I start? Successful candidates are scheduled to begin the Clinical phase in session I of the following semester after candidacy application. Candidates that are unable to begin the program as scheduled will forfeit their seat in the program.
When will I know if I got accepted into the OTA Program? Students will be notified of the results during session II (Fall II or Spring II) of the semester of candidacy application (Fall I or Spring I).
When can I apply for candidacy for the OTA Program? Candidacy occurs twice a year during the first session of the school semester. Students can submit applications for candidacy during Fall I and Spring I. The candidacy deadlines are listed on the school calendar and it is the student’s responsibility to apply for candidacy on time. Students have to request a Candidacy Form by emailing the Health Sciences Department at HealthSci@lagcc.cuny.edu. The Candidacy Form then needs to be filled out and emailed to the Health Sciences Department before the Candidacy Deadline. Once the form is received by the Health Sciences Department the student will receive an acknowledgement email confirming receipt of the Candidacy form.
What is the required GPA to get accepted into the OTA Program. Minimum GPA requirement to apply for candidacy is 2.50. However, please note that the program is highly competitive. The minimum GPA of successful candidates varies but is always well above 2.50. Candidacy follows a GPA ranking system and the top twenty students get the twenty available seats in the program.
Can I take the remaining pre-clinical courses while I am taking Clinical Phase courses? Accepted students are able to take the remaining pending pre-clinical courses together with their clinical coursework. It is highly recommended that pre-clinical courses be completed prior to beginning the clinical phase. Most clinical courses have pre- and co-requisite requirements that must be fulfilled by the pre-clinical phase courses. It is the student’s responsibility to seek academic advisement from the director of the program, Prof. Regina Lehman, soon after getting accepted into the program.
I took science a long time ago, can I use that course to fulfill my science requirement? Do science courses expire? SCB203 and SCB204 taken more than 7 years of the candidacy semester will not be accepted for OTA candidacy. Prospective applicants must retake science courses older than the required 7 years.
What is the minimum course grade to get accepted into the program? Students must have a minimum of 2.50 in all the key courses to be considered for the OTA program. Please note: students are not permitted to repeat any course with a grade of C or above. In addition, the original grade in any pre-clinical courses required for the OTA major, are averaged into the ranking along with the repeated grade. This includes transfer credit grades.
What is the OTA Program’s policy on criminal records? CUNY does not require criminal background checks; however, individual health care facilities may require background checks and drug screening. Please note that students must complete varied clinical rotations during the clinical phase. Students are required to have a current medical exam with blood work (within 3 months). Please note: A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
Where can I get more information on the OTA Program to review at my own pace? All program requirements and additional information can be found in the OTA Handbook.
Can I start working right after I complete the OTA Program? At the completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) for occupational therapy assistants. Eligibility for licensure is based upon successfully passing the NBCOT examination. OTA graduates are eligible to practice as an occupational therapy assistant in New York for one year under a limited permit/temporary New York State license in certain facilities and agencies. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
I applied for admission into LaGuardia as a transfer student, when can I apply for candidacy. Admission into the OTA program is offered to LaGuardia students only. You can apply for candidacy after your transfer credits (if any) are posted to your transcript at LaGuardia and/or you are officially admitted into the college as a matriculated student.
How long is the clinical fieldwork? Students must complete 2 level I (part-time) and 2 level II (full-time 8-10 weeks) clinical placements during the clinical phase. Fieldwork placement schedules depend upon the site, however all field work placements require a regular work day. Please note that CUNY does not require criminal background checks. Individual health care facilities may require drug screening, fingerprinting and a background check.
LaGuardia Community College City University of New York Tuition and Fees/Cost of Attendance for New York City/State Resident and Non-City/State Resident & International Student may be found here. Once the student is accepted into the clinical phase of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, the costs below are incurred in addition to the regular tuition and fees/cost to attend the college. Please note that all fees are subject to change.