Occupational Therapy Assistant

Associate of Applied Science

School: Nursing, Health and Wellness

Dean: Maureen Kroning, maureen.kroning@sunyrockland.edu

Program Director: Amy Burgess, amy.burgess@sunyrockland.edu

Support Staff: Rochelle Mezoff, rochelle.mezoff@sunyrockland.edu

Location: Technology Center, Room 8210, Phone: 845-574-4436

Degrees Offered:

Program Description:

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program prepares students to take the National Certification Board examination for Occupational Therapy Assistants and to obtain state licensure as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).

A Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant collaborates with the supervising Occupational Therapist to provide services to persons, groups, or populations that promote health, well-being, participation in and performance of daily life activities, or occupations. COTA's use a holistic and client-centered approach focusing on what is meaningful and valuable for each client. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants work with people of all ages and in many different settings such as public schools, hospitals, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities, home health care and mental health programs.

In the OTA program, students are actively involved in a variety of learning experiences such as lab simulation, community projects and clinical fieldwork throughout the program. The curriculum focuses on the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to develop clinical reasoning abilities needed to design and provide therapeutic interventions to diverse populations. In addition, the program fosters the development of a professional identity that is consistent with the Occupational Therapy profession. Students will acquire an in-depth understanding of the complexity of participation in daily activities as well as the positive benefits of occupations on recovery, health and well being.

After finishing their academic coursework, students are required to complete sixteen to twenty weeks of full-time clinical fieldwork in two areas of OT practice. This hands-on learning prepares student to be "Real World Ready" upon graduation.

The RCC Occupational Therapy Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Blvd, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE's telephone number, c/o AOTA is 301-652-6611. (https://acoteonline.org)

Admission Requirements of the Program:

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program has a separate admission process that must be completed prior to beginning the OTA course of study. Students are admitted to the program twice a year in September and January. In order to be considered for acceptance into the OTA program students must:

  • Have a High School Diploma or HSE
  • Be a current RCC student or have applied to the College
  • Placement into ENG 10100, College Writing I
  • Attend an OTA information session
  • Complete the online OTA application
  • Submit transcript from their high school and/or previous colleges
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of  77% or 2.5 or higher for high school applicants
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 for college students

Acceptance to The OTA Program is competitive. Applications will be rated by the admissions committee using a rubric which scores the following areas: academic performance, life experience, recommendations, essays, and responses to practice videos.

Information sessions are held virtually throughout the year to provide interested individuals with current information about the program, curriculum, and application process. Sessions are usually one (1) hour in length. Please visit https://sunyrockland.edu/programs/occupational-therapy/ for detailed information about upcoming information sessions and the OTA program.

To reach The OTA Program faculty and staff please call 845-574-4436

Program Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Utilize clinical reasoning to deliver Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) services at entry-level competency under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist (OT).
  • Effectively collect, communicate, and apply information relative to the delivery of services as an entry-level OTA.
  • Exemplify the ethics, professional behaviors, and commitment to ongoing learning that align with the OT profession.
  • Utilize evidence based contemporary interventions when providing client centered care.
  • Apply cultural humility and knowledge of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice when interacting with others and providing OTA interventions.
  • Utilize the principles of health and wellness in professional practice to promote quality of life and to maintain personal well-being.