Occupational Therapy Assistant

Pearl River Community College’s OTA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is: (301) 652-AOTA (2682) and the web address is www.acoteonline.org.

Graduates of the OTA program recives the Associate in Applied Science degree and are eligible to sit for the national certifi cation examination. The OTA program’s graduate performance on the NBCOT exam may be viewed at: https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.

Occupational therapy is a health promoting and rehabilitation profession that helps individuals manage and overcome obstacles to achieve maximal independence in daily life activities. Occupational therapy practitioners work with people of all ages who, because of physical, developmental, social, or emotional problems may benefit from specialized assistance to fulfill their valued life roles.

Examples of people who benefit from occupational therapy practitioners might have as a client:

  • Person who has had a stroke, severe burn, spinal cord injury or amputation
  • Person with arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, or other serious illness
  • Children with birth injuries, learning problems, sensory processing deficit or developmental disabilities.
  • Person with mental health or behavioral problems, such as depression, schizophrenia, post- traumatic stress disorder
  • Person with substance abuse problem or an eating disorder
  • Person with an injury from sport, fall, or accident
  • Person with a work-related injury
  • Person at risk for losing their driver’s license due to visual or cognitive problems
  • Person who are trying to maintain independent living after incarceration
  • Person who are trying to manage the effects of chronic disease
  • Person who is trying to stay in her own home while managing low vision
  • Persons in a retirement community seeking to maintain their general health.

Occupational Therapy puts knowledge and experience to work in designing specific programs to help individuals regain their well-being and productive "occupations”. The meaning of occupation in this context is important. Rather than merely referring to a person’s employment, occupation refers to all the vital and meaningful daily activities that individuals engage in. The focus of occupational therapy is to increase quality of life with respect to each person’s individuality and stations in life.

Occupational Therapy practitioners are skilled professionals. The registered occupational therapist (OTR) enters the field with a master’s or doctoral degree. The certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) enters the field with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. A COTA works in cooperative relationship with the OTR who is responsible for periodic supervision.

Settings in which OT practitioners practice include hospitals, rehabilitation units, out-patient clinics, adult day care, pediatric clinics, long term psychiatric institutions, mental health centers, home health, private practice, school systems, nursing homes and other new emerging settings.

Occupational Therapy is a dynamic and fulfilling profession for those who desire to assist others in maximizing their quality of life.

Admission Requirements

  1. PRCC application for admission.
  2. Offi cial transcript from accredited high school indicating date of graduation or GED test transcript indicating passing.
  3. Offi cial transcript from any college attended.
  4. ACT scores - minimum of 18.

Admission to the OTA program is competitively based on ACT scores and GPA. Applicants are ranked according to an admission point scale and the OTA faculty will select candidates according to rank for personal interviews. Interview points (verbal and written communication skills, knowledge of the field and role of COTA and appearance) and total ranking points will determine admission.

Application deadline is May 1. Interviews are held the second or third week of May. Applicants will be notifi ed of their admission status in writing by June 1.


BIO 1514 & 1524 or BIO 2514 2524 *
Students may be admitted to the program with prerequisites scheduled but not completed. This prerequisite counts for the required math or science elective.


Freshman - Fall Semester

OTA 1113 Foundations of Occupational Therapy
OTA 1213 Pathology of Psychiatric Conditions
OTA 1121 Medical Terminology
OTA 1423 Occupational Therapy Skills I
OTA 1132 Therapeutic Anatomy
OTA 1513 Group Process
Social/behavioral elective*

Freshman - Spring Semester

OTA 1315 Kinesiology
OTA 1413 Therapeutic Media
OTA 1223 Pathology of Physical Disability Conditions
OTA 1433 Occupational Therapy Skills II

Summer Session

OTA 1913 Level I Fieldwork - Psychosocial/Specialty
OTA 1233 Pathology of Developmental Conditions
OTA 1242 Pathology of Orthopedic Conditions
OTA 2812 Healthcare Systems
Written communications elective*

Sophomore - Fall Semester

OTA 2443 Occupational Therapy Skills III
OTA 2714 Concepts in Occupational Therapy
OTA 2935 Level I Field Work: Physical
OTA 2961 Occupational Therapy Transitions I
Public Speaking I*
Fine arts/humanities elective*

Sophomore - Spring Semester

OTA 2946 Level II Fieldwork A
OTA 2956 Level II Fieldwork B
OTA 2971 Occupational Therapy Transitions II

* It is strongly recommended that students take some of the electives before entering the program to lessen to course load.

Please see the OTA information and application packet for more information on our program.   If you have any questions or concerns, you may call our program secretary at: 601-554-5507 or contact her via email at: cbreland@prcc.edu.