Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA), AAS

Room: E-Building, E-300/C-252

Phone: (718) 482-5774

Program Accreditation

ACOTE Contact Information
7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E
Bethesda, MD  20814
Telephone No. – (301) 652-6611

Acote Logohttp://www.acoteonline.org

NBCOT Contact Information
One Bank Street, Suite 300
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Telephone No. – (301) 990-7979

After successful completion of the NBCOT certification examination, the graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) and eligible for licensure. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.


Graduation Year Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
2021 37/29 81%
2022 32/31 97%
2023 24/24 100%
Totals 93/84 90%

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


An Occupational Therapy Assistant works under the supervision of a registered Occupational Therapist to help individuals and groups with physical, psychiatric, and developmental conditions to participate in daily life to the greatest extent possible. Occupational Therapy Assistants contribute to assessment; choose and adapt tasks, activities, and therapeutic media to improve the functioning of their clients; instruct individuals and groups; and are an integral part of the health care team. Graduates of the program sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and are eligible for licensure in NYS.

Program Requirements

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.

For additional information, please review the OTA Admission Guide.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Information Sheet

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. Students can only register for OTA Candidacy (OTA000) by emailing the Health Sciences Department at HealthSci@lagcc.cuny.edu.
  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.

OTA Program Fees

To view the cost associated with attending LaGuardia Community College and the OTA Program, please visit the Tuition and Fees page.

Semester Textbooks Fee Description Fee Amount Total
1 $500 AOTA Membership
NYSOTA Membership
2 $500 Occupational Therapy Knowledge Exam $15 $515
3 $500 Occupational Therapy Knowledge Exam
NBCOT Practice Exam

Total cost: $1,663

Students may incur additional fees related to fieldwork including, Basic Life Saving (CPR), background checks, fingerprinting, N-95 fit-testing, and medical lab testing.

Are You Interested In...

  • Working directly and closely with people and groups?
  • Working in a multidisciplinary healthcare team or in the community?
  • Helping people with multiple medical, developmental, and/or psychiatric needs?
  • Managing multiple activities and deadlines?

Skills You Will Learn

  • How to communicate effectively and work with clients with a variety of physical and/or mental health conditions both individually and in groups
  • How to analyze, select, and therapeutically use activities to improve a client’s ability to engage in daily life activities (occupations)
  • How to assess and address the physical, psychological, and cognitive aspects of a client’s well-being through engagement in occupation.
  • How to help people function in all of their environments (e.g., home, work, school, community)

What makes this major unique?

Occupational therapy practitioners (OTR and OTA) work closely with the other Allied Health professionals in a variety of settings with persons of all ages across the healthcare continuum. Graduates of the OTA Program work with occupational therapists providing services to persons with needs caused by physical conditions and injuries, developmental delay, aging, mental health concerns, cognitive limitations, or other impairments.

The main difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy is that OT focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform activities of daily living and PT focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform a particular movement of the human body. In other words, OT takes a holistic approach to make sure a client is adjusted and able to perform daily tasks, whereas PT seeks to effectively treat a specific biomechanical problem.

Career Possibilities

Occupational Therapy Practitioners work with individuals and groups across the lifespan in a variety of medical, educational, psychiatric, and community-based settings. Graduates must sit for and pass the NBCOT Examination in order to become licensed to practice. Temporary licensure is available for graduates for one year.

  • Hospital/Acute Care Medical & Psychiatric Facilities
  • Long Term Care/Rehabilitation
  • Private Practice
  • Schools
  • Clinical Fieldwork Education/Activities Coordination
  • Supervisor
  • Director of Occupational Therapy
  • Director of Rehabilitation
  • Activities Coordinator
  • Educator
  • Clinical Fieldwork Educator

Transfer Possibilities

  • City Tech – BS in Health Service Administration
  • Master in Occupational Therapy
  • Doctorate in Occupational Therapy

Additional Resources

OTA Admission Guide Handbook
OTA Program Orientation Handbook

For questions about the OTA Program, please email HealthSci@lagcc.cuny.edu.

Degree Requirements

A. REQUIRED CORE: 13 credits

English: 6 credits

  • ENG101 English Composition I* 3
    (or ENA101 depending on placement)
  • ENG102 Writing through Literature 3

Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credits

Select one course from the following:

  • MAT 115 College Algebra and Trigonometry*
  • MAT117 Algebra and Trigonometry*
    (depending on placement)
  • MAT119 Statistics with Elementary Algebra*
  • MAT120 Elementary Statistics*
    (depending on placement)

Life and Physical Sciences: 4 credits

  • SCB203 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (STEM)* 4

B. FLEXIBLE CORE: 13 credits**
To complete the degree requirements from the Flexible Core, students are advised to select the following:

  • SCB204 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (STEM) 4
  • SSY101 General Psychology* 3
  • SSY230 Abnormal Psychology 3
  • SSY240 Developmental Psychology 3


*Key courses for candidacy

**Additional Common Core courses will be required when transferring to a CUNY College.

Course Credits
Health Sciences: 2 Credits
HSF090 First Year Seminar for Health Sciences 0
SCN195 Community Health 2
Occupational Therapy Assistant Core: 35 Credits
SCO101 Introduction to Occupational Therapy 3
SCO110 Legal and Ethical Aspects of Occupational Therapy 2
SCO114 Documentation in Occupational Therapy 2
SCO175 Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy 2
SCO200 Physical Aspects of Human Growth & Development 2
SCO204 Occupational Therapy Process: Psychosocial Dysfunction and Geriatric Conditions 4
SCO205 Occupational Therapy Process: Physical and Developmental Disabilities 4
SCO214 Occupational Therapy Skills and Functional Activities I 3
SCO215 Occupational Therapy Skills and Functional Activities II 3
SCO230 Functional Pathology 3
SCO284 Occupational Therapy Clerkship for Psychosocial Dysfunction and Geriatric Conditions 1.5
SCO285 Occupational Therapy Clerkship for Physical and Developmental Disabilities 1.5
SCO294 Occupational Therapy Fieldwork in Psychosocial Dysfunction and Geriatric Conditions 2
SCO295 Occupational Therapy Fieldwork in Physical and Developmental Disabilities 2