Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)

Occupational therapy is a health care service which uses a variety of skills and techniques – including daily life tasks, activities, exercises, or adaptive equipment to help people learn the skills they need to live as independently as possible. 


Occupational therapy assistants, under the supervision of occupational therapists, help people prevent, lessen, or overcome physical and mental disabilities so that they are able to function independently.  Facilities in which they can work include hospitals, nursing facilities, schools, private clinics and community agencies. 

The program is designed to be completed in six and a half semesters when taken on a full-time basis.  It  includes a combination of biological and behavioral sciences, and technical occupational therapy assistant courses.  It also includes extensive clinical training which must be completed within 12 months of completion of the academic course work.  Students are required to have experiences with people of all ages and types of problems.



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 examination, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) and be eligible for licensure in the State of Ohio.  A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. 



Essential Skills for OTA Students: In order to assure safe and successful advancement through the OTA program, the following physical, sensory, communication, cognitive/behavioral and social/behavioral functions are considered minimum requirements for all students and graduates. The Essential Functions are listed with a projected frequency that a graduate of the OTA program would expect to encounter while practicing as an OTA. However, this may differ slightly depending upon the work setting. Each student is assessed throughout the curriculum to determine his/her ability to effectively and safely perform these functions in both the educational and clinical settings. Each student needs to demonstrate competency in all of these Essential Functions in order to complete the OTA Program. Performance expectations are outlined in each required OTA course and must be passed to remain in the program. Terms are 16 weeks in length, and classes involving clinical functions begin the first term in the program. Each OTA student must demonstrate the ability to complete clinical instruction in a variety of practice settings, in order to successfully complete the OTA curriculum, including, but not limited to: inpatient rehab, acute care facilities; skilled nursing facilities; adult and pediatric rehab units; outpatient centers for adults and pediatric clients; home health agencies; school-based therapy; hand clinics; and mental health facilities. Any physical impairment causing a change in student’s ability to perform the essential Functions (either temporary or chronic) must be brought to the attention of the OTA Program Director or to the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. In the event that accommodations are needed the student will be referred to the Office of Disability Services. The Office of Disability Services will require physician documentation regarding the disability. Sinclair Community College will review the information provided by the physician and make a preliminary determination as to whether you are capable of performing the essential functions and requirements of the OTA. Functions with or without reasonable accommodations or reasonable modifications. The ultimate decision of whether a proposed accommodation/modification can be implemented resides with the OTA Program Director based on the Essential Skills for OTA Students. Please refer to the Office of Disability Services for further information and clarification (room 10-421).
Important Information about Health Sciences Programs: The Health Sciences (HS) Programs consist of open enrollment courses (general education and division specific) and program specific courses with limited enrollment. The open enrollment courses may be taken prior to entry into the limited enrollment courses. To qualify for entry to limited enrollment courses, please see the program specific information packet located on each HS program's webpage.