Mar 07, 2021  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog 
2016-2017 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy Assistant (EA77)

Associate in Science Degree

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is designed to prepare graduates for employment in hospitals, long term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, clinics, and schools. Upon program completion, students are eligible to take to take the national certification examination administered by the NBCOT and apply for state licensure. See the OTA page on the college website ( the most current information on pass rates for the national certification examination.

Occupational Therapy Assistants develop, administer and modify treatment plans based on the assessment and recommendation of Registered Occupational Therapists. The purpose of Occupational Therapy is to assist people in maximizing independence after illness, trauma, disability, or injury has altered their physical, emotional, or mental abilities.

The curriculum combines the general college core courses in the humanities and sciences with clinical courses. Area school and health care facilities provide the environment where students study occupation, dysfunction, interpersonal skills, treatment planning, and intervention skills.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of the essential role of occupation in treatment.
  • Utilize treatment planning principles and techniques that demonstrate sensitivity to the whole person including physical, cognitive, social, emotional, economic, and cultural diversity factors.
  • Develop and implement a plan of treatment using appropriate modifications and grading.
  • Demonstrate effective communication techniques with patients, families, caregivers, peers, and supervisors.
  • Understand how OT service provision is influenced by social responsibility.
  • Recognize, assess, take action, and accommodate unique treatment situations as they arise.
  • Demonstrate professional behaviors with patients, families, caregivers, peers, and supervisors.
  • Collaborate with patients, families, and teams to provide efficient, effective, and respectful care plans and treatment.

Admission to the Program

Admission to the program is selective and competitive. Prior to applying to the program, students must have completed all developmental course work, completed at least 3 college courses and obtained a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Other admission requirements include, but are not limited to, documented direct experience working with people with disabilities, observation and write up of an OT treatment session, successful completion of the computer literacy requirement as well as successful completion of the OTA clinical reasoning/writing test.

Attendance at an information session is a mandatory prerequisite for those applying to the program. At this time students meet with the program director who will explain the admissions requirements, answer any questions and go through the application process in detail. Dates for upcoming sessions can be found on the HCC website.

Applicants are responsible for obtaining the most current OTA application requirements and paperwork at a mandatory information session.

Program Requirements and Accreditation

In addition to academic requirements, students must meet non academic essentials and technical standards in order to complete the program. A separate Occupational Therapy Assistant Student Handbook details additional requirements specific to the program.

Students are subject to a drug screening and criminal background check prior to Fieldwork placement at their own expense. Commission of a felony may effect a student’s ability to take the national exam.


The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Housatonic Community College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449

AOTA’s phone number is (301) 652-AOTA. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist 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). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination.

Suggested Sequence of Courses:

Prerequisite or parallel courses may be required. Please check individual course descriptions for details.

Total Credits: 66 - 67

1 One upper level Psychology course required. PSY* E245 - Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)  or PSY* E201 - Lifespan Development (3 credits)  are highly recommended options.

2 MAT* E103  or higher is required.

NOTE: In order to be eligible to apply the student must complete the Computer Literacy Requirement .

NOTE: Please read Expectations for Student Use of Computers in Courses here.