Top Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Schools in the U.S.

Learn about some of the top schools to offer programs for aspiring occupational therapy assistants. Go over program details and certification requirements as well as specific information for these schools.

School Overview

A certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) provides physical and mental rehabilitative services to patients under the supervision of registered occupational therapists. There are approximately 130 schools in the U.S. approved by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), the main governing board for occupational therapy assistants. Top choices to offer these 1-or 2-year programs include Houston Community College in Texas and Santa Ana College in California.

1. Houston Community College in Texas

School Highlight:Houston Community College offers experiential learning opportunities in the form of clinical experiences and practicums.

Individuals interested in becoming occupational therapy assistants can enroll in the associate's degree program at the school. Requiring 60 credits, the Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy program provides students with a comprehensive general education curriculum by including courses in principles of occupational therapy, therapeutic interventions, abnormal psychology in occupational therapy, anatomy and physiology, and pathophysiology in occupational therapy

2. Santa Ana College in California

School Highlight: Santa Ana College gives students the opportunity to enroll in an online weekend evening version of their occupational therapy assistant program.

Santa Ana College is located approximately 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles and enrolls students in day, evening, weekend and distance-learning options. The school offers an Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant program that combines specialized therapy courses with a general education curriculum. The program requires at least 70 credits and teaches students how to provide effective therapeutic services to a range of patients with mental health, physical and professional conditions. After completing the program, graduates can sit for NBCOT certification. Those who receive certification must apply for licensure from the State of California Board of Occupational Therapy before seeking employment.

Top Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Schools

College/University Name Distinction Location
Austin Community College In addition to having 10 full-service campuses, ACC offers free tutoring and support services to students. Austin, TX
Macomb Community College In 2015, MCC's graduation rate for its occupational therapy assistant program was 90%. Warren, MI
Owens Community College Owens employs faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects they teach. Perrysburg, OH
Sacramento City College In 2012, 91% of OTA students passed the NBCOT exam on the first try. Sacramento, CA
Salt Lake Community College Students in allied health programs can apply for a Health Sciences Foundation Scholarship through the school. Salt Lake City, UT
Suffolk County Community College SCC is the largest community college in New York State. Selden, NY
Tidewater Community College Between 2012 and 2014, 87% of first-time NBCOT test-takers passed the exam. Norfolk, VA
Wayne County Community College District The school features a Scholarship Committee that funds merit scholarships and textbook assistant programs. Detroit, MI

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