Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs), through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations), help people of all ages affected by disease, illness, injury, or condition participate in the things they want and need to do. Occupational therapy assistants help people of all ages with rehabilitative activities and exercises outlined in a treatment plan developed in collaboration with an occupational therapist (OT). Occupational therapy has a holistic perspective, focusing on finding a fit between the person, their environment, and their chosen life activities/occupations.

What You Will Learn

In our occupational therapy program, you begin with foundational skills in:

  • occupational therapy theory
  • kinesiology
  • therapy and medical terminology
  • activity analysis
  • principles of documentation

As you progress, you will learn how to assess and monitor client performance related to sensation, movement, vision, perception, cognition, emotions, and daily routines. In your second year, you will learn about adaptive equipment and assistive technology as you practice intervention techniques for clients of all ages and in varying settings. Through training, you will also learn about legal regulations, ethics, culture and diversity, and documentation.

When you graduate, you will be eligible to take the occupational therapy assistant national certification examination administered by the National Certification Board of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Once you pass this exam, you will be a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) and eligible for licensure in any state in the U.S.

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Why Choose Central Piedmont

For the past four years, our program has had a 100% pass rate on the National Board for Certification in occupational therapy certification exam.

Our program offers an exceptional educational experience, combining classes and clinical fieldwork experiences, to prepare you for entry into the field in many different settings with clients of varying ages, conditions, and needs. During the two-year program, you will spend more than 600 hours of supervised clinical training in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, schools, pediatric clinics, and other settings to gain valuable hands-on experience that supplements and complements the traditional classroom learning. You will also have the opportunity to participate in the Student Occupational Therapy Association.

Central Piedmont’s occupational therapy assistant program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Check out our accreditation information and program outcomes data (graduation and exam pass rates).

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

Central Piedmont provided me with many resources and ways to create a small community within my program. When you’re connected to your community, it’s not just about coming to class. It’s about coming to the campus to make connections and obtain experience. Sandra Barrera '19 Read Sandra's story

Occupational Therapy Assistant Jobs and Average Salary

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Occupational Therapy Assistant Course Sequence

The occupational therapy assistant program requires the completion of 76 credit hours completed full-time in six consecutive semesters (two years). The curriculum includes general studies courses as well as program-specific courses. General studies courses can be taken at any time.

Suggested course sequence (PDF)

The Details

Review the Virtual Information Session

Information session

How to Apply

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