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

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

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Video Transcript

Occupational Therapy Assistant

A certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) provides physical and mental rehabilitative services to patients under the supervision of registered occupational therapists. The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), is the main governing board for occupational therapy assistant education and it approves about 200 programs in the U.S.

School Overviews

Top schools that offer 1- or 2-year programs for aspiring occupational therapy assistants include Houston Community College in Texas, Santa Ana College in California, and Austin Community College in Texas. Each of these schools offers a comprehensive program that covers a variety of topics in the field and they all include a practicum or field experience.

Graduates are qualified for certification through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.

Houston Community College in Texas

Individuals interested in becoming occupational therapy assistants can enroll in the Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy program at Houston Community College. Requiring 60 credits, the program covers the principles of occupational therapy, therapeutic interventions, abnormal psychology, anatomy and physiology, and pathophysiology in occupational therapy. The school offers experiential learning opportunities in the form of clinical experiences and practicums.

Santa Ana College in California

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 exam. Those who receive certification must apply for licensure from the State of California Board of Occupational Therapy before seeking employment.

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Austin Community College in Texas

Austin Community College offers free tutoring and support services to students and has 10 full-service campuses. At this school, students can earn an associate's degree in occupational therapy assisting. The program typically takes two years to complete and prepares students for the NBCOT certification exam. Students learn how to assist injured and disabled individuals, as well as elderly people coping with physical and mental challenges. Prior to graduation, students must participate in fieldwork experiences.

Top Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Schools

Here are a few more of the best occupational therapy assistant schools:

College/University Name Distinction Location
Macomb Community College In 2016, MCC's graduation rate for its occupational therapy assistant program was 91%. Warren, MI
Owens Community College Owens employs faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects they teach Perrysburg, OH
Sacramento City College From 2012-2014, 90% 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 In 2015, the graduation rate for the OTA program was 100% Norfolk, VA
Wayne County Community College District The school features a Scholarship Committee that funds merit scholarships and textbook assistance programs Detroit, MI

Aspiring occupational therapy assistants can find excellent educational offerings from community colleges around the country. Students should ensure their chosen program is accredited by the ACOTE, the premier accrediting organization in the occupational therapy field.

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