Occupational Therapy Assistant

The occupational therapy assistant program (OTA) is a two-year program that prepares students to work within the practice of occupational therapy.

Pearl River Community College’s OTA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Graduates of the OTA program recives the Associate in Applied Science degree and are eligible to sit for the national certifi cation examination.

Occupational therapy is a health and rehabilitation profession that helps individuals achieve independence in their lives despite disabilities. Occupational therapy practitioners work with people of all ages who, because of physical, developmental, social or emotional problems, need specialized assistance to lead productive and satisfying lives.

Conditions which might require occupational therapy for an individual include:

  • Work-related injuries.
  • Stroke or heart attack.
  • Arthritis, multiple sclerosis or other serious illness.
  • Birth injuries, learning problems or developmental disabilities.
  • Mental health or behavioral problems, in cluding Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Substance abuse problems or eating disorders.
  • Burns, spinal cord injuries or amputations.
  • Broken bones or other injuries from sports, falls or accidents

Occupational therapy puts knowledge and experience to work in designing specic programs to help individuals regain their wellbeing and productive “occupation.” The meaning of occupation is most important - it refers to all the vital and meaningful daily activities in which individuals engage. The focus of occupational therapy is to increase quality of life with respect to each person’s individuality and station in life.

Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled professionals. The registered occupational therapist (OTR) holds a master’s or doctoral degree. The certifi ed occupational therapist (COTA) holds an associate’s degree and works in a cooperative relationship with the OTR who is responsible for supervision of treatment activities.

Occupational therapy practitioners may work in hospitals, rehabilitation units, in- and out-patient clincs, adult day care, pediatric settings, long-term psychiatric institutions, mental health centers, home health, private practice, school systems and nursing homes.

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.