Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy Assisstant (AAS.OTAP) 76-77 credit hours

Consider Becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant

The occupational therapy assistant (OTA) enjoys a job that uses personal, creative, and technical skills working with individuals from a diverse and multicultural society and from all age groups to have a more meaningful life by promoting health and preventing illness, injury or disability.

An OTA is a skilled health care provider who works under the supervision of an occupational therapist (OT). Occupational therapists and assistants primarily focus patient care on activities of daily living, work, cognitive, social, and leisure skills. Duties of the OTA include collaborating with the OT in implementing evidence-based treatment programs, training patients in exercises and activities of daily living, and reporting to the OT on the patient's responses. The OTA supports an individual’s or a group’s participation in everyday life activities and occupations to meet the local needs of the community. Clients may need therapy due to a physical injury, a disease process, aging, or cognitive problems from mental illness or alcohol and drug abuse, or to improve quality of life. Occupational therapy assistants are employed in hospitals, outpatient facilities, skilled nursing facilities, mental health facilities, schools, community agencies, and home-health care.

Occupational Therapy is a health care service that addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, and other aspects of daily living activities. The purpose is to restore the client’s ability to function in their chosen roles and situations in home, school, workplace, and community. “Occupation” encompasses all of the activities that occupy a person’s time and gives meaning to their lives. Activities used in treatment may be as basic as the daily tasks of bathing and cooking or as complex as evaluating the home and workplace for safety and energy-saving modifications.

The San Juan College occupational therapy assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of 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 and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org.

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

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COTAs Passing NBCOT Exam and Working



The total number of graduates from San Juan College Occupational Therapy Assistant program since initial accreditation in 2015-2016 was 7, with an overall graduation rate of 70%.


For more information, please call Melody Conrad at 505-566-3849. Or send an email to ota@sanjuancollege.edu.