Crosby Hall

Frequently Asked Questions

**IMPORTANT!!** WHEN APPLYING TO THE OTA PROGRAM YOU (the applicant) MUST ENSURE THAT ALL COMPONENTS OF APPLICATION ARE RECEIVED BY THE OTA PROGRAM. DUE TO THE VOLUME OF APPLICATIONS COLLEGE WIDE, THE STUDENT MUST BE RESPONSIBLE TO CONFIRM YOUR OTA APPLICATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY THE OTA DEPARTMENT. PLEASE EMAIL OUR SECRETARY, JAMIE (jwalley@prcc.edu) TO RECEIVE AN EMAIL CONFIRMATION OF RECEIPT OF COMPLETE APPLICATION. YOU WILL BE SENT A REPLY REGARDING YOUR APPLICATION STATUS. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A REPLY EMAIL, PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE, OR EMAIL AGAIN, AS THERE MAY BE AN ISSUE REGARDING EMAILING WHEN YOU EMAILED THE FIRST TIME. EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO ANSWER ALL EMAILS RECEIVED.

What is the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program? The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Pearl River Community college is 20 month full-time program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education,
ACOTE, c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
Phone: 301-652-6611
www.acoteonline.org
Email: accred@aota.org
We are located at the Forrest County Center on the second floor of the Allied Health Building. Our program can accommodate approximately 20 students per year.

How do I apply to the OTA program? Complete PRCC and OTA applications. Send a copy of your ACT score and official transcripts from all colleges you have attended as well as your high school transcript or GED the PRCC Office of Admissions.

When does the program start and when is the deadline to apply? The deadline to apply to the program is 4 pm May 1st. Interviews for acceptance into the program will be held during the first two weeks of May. The program starts in the fall semester.

How is admission into the OTA program determined? It is determined by a ranking system which takes into account academic history, ACT score, and an interview. The ACT and academic history are the primary determinants of which applicants will be invited for an interview to the program.

What prerequisites are necessary to enter the OTA program? It is strongly recommended that all incoming OTA students complete BIO 1514/1524 or BIO 2514/2524 (Anatomy and Physiology I & II or A&P for Allied Health I & II) prior to beginning semester 1. All A&P courses must be current, taken within the past five years. Please note that these courses can be taken during the summer following acceptance into the OTA program in May. They also count for the student’s required Math/Science academic elective. It is very advisable to complete as many academic requirements for your associate’s degree as possible prior to initiation of the OTA curriculum to allow for maximal focus upon OTA class work.

Does the OTA program require "observation hours" to apply? We do strongly recommend that you observe at least 8 hours in one or more occupational therapy treatment setting(s) with an OT or OTA. To find an Occupational Therapy observation site, you may call local hospitals, nursing homes, your local school, etc. The program recognizes this may not be possible due to restrictions from COVID.

What does an Occupational Therapy Assistant do? Occupational therapy assistants (OTA) work under the direction of registered occupational therapists (OTR) to provide wellness-related or rehabilitative services to persons with mental, physical, emotional, or developmental impairments. The ultimate goal is to improve clients' quality of life by helping them overcome or compensate for limitations in performing daily life activities. Occupational Therapy practitioners work in health care, educational, social service and community settings with individuals of all ages.

How do I become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant through your program? Apply to the OTA program through the PRCC website. Please be aware that admission is limited, competitive, and requires an interview. You will have to complete 5 full-time semesters of OTA coursework (please see curriculum and course descriptions tabs on OTA website or PRCC catalog for more information). Please be aware that you will have to complete one general academic course in five areas of study in addition to OTA coursework to complete your degree. The academic areas are English, Humanities, Oral Communication, Math/Science, and Social Science. All academic classes must be completed with a grade of “D” or above. However, all OTA courses must be completed with a grade of C or above to move on to the next semester of study or to graduate from the OTA program. The final semester of the program is 16-weeks of full-time fieldwork. You have up to 18 months to complete this requirement after your classroom coursework is complete. After you have completed the program, you will have to pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam which will certify you to be licensed in any state in the US as allow you to use the credentials “COTA”.

Please note: If you have a felony conviction, you may be prevented from taking the certification exam, participating in some fieldwork opportunities, and/or obtaining state licensure. NBCOT handles this possible restriction for certification on a case-specific basis (as some states do for licensure). Please also be aware that some fieldwork sites may require additional lab or drug tests, which are the student’s responsibility. Faculty also reserves the right to deny Level II Fieldwork opportunities to students who have demonstrated repeated safety issues in lab or other fieldwork situations or if the faculty have concerns about student’s cognitive and/or emotional functioning, in which there would be reasonable concerns about patient safety in any fieldwork settings.