Occupational Therapy Assistant Overview
Help individuals restore their ability to do the things they need, want or are expected to do. Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant and join an exciting and rewarding field.
Occupational Therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness or disability.
This two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree is a full or part-time evening and weekend program designed to prepare its graduates to apply for certification and licensure as an occupational therapy assistant and to practice as an entry level generalist. The program teaches its students to develop skills to successfully work in a variety of health care settings including: hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, mental health facilities and community centers.
Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA) work collaboratively with the Occupational Therapists (OTR) in providing high-quality, cost-effective services, promoting health and wellness by meeting society’s occupational needs (AOTA, 2012).
By choosing a career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives while entering a rewarding profession that has flexible and diverse job opportunities in areas such as:
- Acute Care Hospitals
- Rehab Hospitals
- Schools and Pre-Schools
- Early Intervention
- Nursing Homes
- Sub-Acute Care
- Adult Day Care
- Home Care
- Design and Accessibility Consulting and Home Modification
- Driver Rehabilitation and Training
- Ergonomics Consulting
- Health and Wellness Consulting
- Low Vision Services
- Private Practice Community Health Services
- Technology and Assistive Device Development and Consulting
Occupational Therapy Assistant Q & A Sessions
If you are interested in learning more about the Mercy University OTA program and the application process, you are invited to attend the OTA Program Q&A session with faculty and staff members.
All sessions will be held at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (US and Canada)
- October 19th, 2023
- November 16th, 2023
- December 21st, 2023
Tour the 3rd floor clinical simulation labs
This space includes a Clinical Skills and Assessment Lab, movement lab and home health labs, frequently used by students and faculty in our nursing occupational therapy, occupational therapy assistant, and physical therapy programs.
The Mercy University 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 Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE's phone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA. The web address is WWW.ACOTEONLINE.ORG
Graduates of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
For further information on these limitations, you can contact NBCOT at: National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, One Bank Street Suite 300 Gaithersburg, MD 20878 - (301) 990-7979. Applicants are also encouraged to contact the State Board of Occupational Therapy in the state they anticipate practicing to investigate any limitations.
Pathway to a career in occupational therapy
Mercy has a pathway to support your career goals in occupational therapy. If after completing your occupational therapy assistant degree at Mercy University, you decide you'd like to change to the occupational therapy practitioner level, you can complete your bachelor's and master's degrees at Mercy while practicing as an OTA. The bachelor’s degree in Pre-Occupational Therapy concentration in the Health Science major prepares students for application to a graduate program in occupational therapy. To be licensed to practice the profession as an OT, individuals must obtain a master’s degree in OT, pass a national certification exam, and obtain a professional license. The courses in the HLSC Pre-OT major are typically required for application to most graduate OT programs.
HLSC Pre-OT students who achieve the requirements for acceptance into Mercy’s Graduate Occupational Therapy Program are guaranteed an interview for program admission. Up to 10 seats in the graduate program’s cohort are reserved for students completing Mercy’s the HLSC Pre-OT.