Occupational Therapy Assistant
Earn Your Degree in Two Years and Graduate Prepared for a Lucrative Career

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Villa Maria’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program can offer you:

A Solid Foundation

The foundation you need to work in diverse clinical settings. The program will prepare you to enter a variety of health care settings, including hospitals, private practices, community health centers, nursing homes, sports facilities, rehabilitation centers and pediatric centers.

A Versatile Education

Not only will you have the opportunity to master the OTA field, you’ll also be exposed to courses that contribute to your growth as a person. By combining the professional competencies that prepare you to work as an OTA in a clinical setting with liberal arts courses, Villa students receive a well-rounded education.

Practical Experience

You’ll gain hands-on experience in the OT field by completing the full-time and part-time internships that the program requires. You’ll also participate in in-class activities that will help you further develop your skills and translate to the real-life work setting,

The Villa Difference

Occupational therapy practitioners assist consumers toward their self-stated goals and toward living the life they choose. The OTA program at Villa Maria College trains future occupational therapy practitioners to be open minded, non-judgmental allies and advocates for consumers. The profession of occupational therapy has its roots in purposeful activities, or occupations. Through engagement in purposeful activities, occupational therapy practitioners guide consumers to realize their goals.  

The OTA program at Villa Maria College supports students through constructivist teaching practices within the domain of occupational therapy practice. Through careful scaffolding of content and rigor, students will be guided from basic principles of anatomy, activity analysis, and human movement to more advanced content involving case studies and interventions in various practice areas. Villa Maria OTA students are expected to demonstrate professionalism in their interactions on campus and in the clinic, which embodies the Franciscan spirit of compassion and commitment to service. 

In 2017, the first cohort of OTA students graduated from Villa Maria College and sat for the NBCOT licensing exam. In April 2018, it was reported that Villa’s licensing exam passing rate is 100%. all our students are now fully employed in the field of Occupational Therapy.

The Facilities

Villa Maria’s facilities are more robust than other comparable programs in the region:

  • 2 multi-functional laboratory rooms to provide you with the opportunity to practice clinical skills. These labs allow you to practice patient assessment and treatment techniques, including gait devices, exercise equipment, and state-of-the-art physical agents (electrical stimulation, ultrasound, laser, traction, biofeedback, diathermy, and compression).
  • A newly constructed pediatric lab and hospital rooms for additional clinical skill practice.
  • Art and music labs to apply and develop purposeful activity techniques for patients.
  • The adjacent Felician Sisters Health and Wellness Center, an assisted living and long-term care facility where you will also practice your skills.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition per semester (full-time): $12,000
Tuition per credit hour (part-time): $800

*Fees may be added for courses requiring a course fee.
**Please note these costs are subject to change.

The Career Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for OTAs are expected to increase 41% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

In addition, occupational therapists are increasingly using assistants to reduce costs. Once a patient is evaluated, much of the treatment plan is often provided by the OTA.

Due to the aging population and medical and technological improvements that enable people to live longer and recover from traumatic injury, the number of people who require services from OTAs will likely increase.

As an OTA, you can work with occupational therapists in all different kinds of settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Nursing Homes
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Mental Health facilities
  • Community-based outreach centers
  • Group Homes
  • Specialty clinics
  • Home care
  • K-12 Schools
  • Preschools

The Requirements

  • You are required to attain a grade of C+ or better in all OTA courses. If you fail to achieve a grade of C+, you may re-take that course. You may only retake one OTA course before dismissal from the program.
  • You must have an annual physical exam, PPD or Mantoux test for TB, and have a Hepatitis B immunization or a signed waiver of immunization prior to placement in a clinical internship.
  • You are encouraged to be CPR-certified prior to placement in a clinical internship. The college provides a CPR course for students on a yearly basis. You are responsible for fees for this course.
  • It is strongly recommended that you become a member of the American Occupational Therapist Association (AOTA). Fees for membership are included in course fees.
  • Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant  Curriculum Requirements 

Please note: Students who have a felony conviction may not be eligible to sit for the NBCOT certification exam.

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at: https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx

Accreditation Status

The 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 telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org.

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 exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.”

Students must complete Level II fieldwork within 18 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program. Level II FW at Villa Maria College is completed in 2 different settings.

For more information about accreditation status of the program, please contact the program director, Rochelle Marx-Asher: [email protected].

Villa Maria College Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Graduation Rates

Graduation Rates for Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate of Applied Science Degree
(does not indicate rate national certification examination)

Graduation Year # Students Entering # Students Graduating Graduation Rate
2019 17 11 65%
2018 14 7 50%
2017 12 10 85%
Total 43 28 67%

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) program data results can be found here: https://www.nbcot.org/en/Educators/Home#SchoolPerformance

Year indicates Academic Reporting Year which is August 26 to May 17.
Villa Maria College’s OTA Program first cohort graduated in 2017.

Direct Admission into the OTA program is competitive and requires a high school average of 85 and/or a college GPA of 2.8 (or higher) in addition to proven strong science background that includes biology and chemistry OR physics in the candidate’s academic history. Applicants interested in the program are strongly encouraged to be involved in or give evidence of prior volunteer or work experience in the healthcare field. A letter of recommendation from a supervisor of the healthcare experience should be submitted to the director of admissions. Persons interested in the OTA program are advised to apply early as enrollment in the program is limited. Once an application is completed and all transcripts are received, eligible applicants will be contacted to set up any required interview(s) with a program faculty member.

Applicants who do not meet the required GPA,  those with a GED, or those missing the necessary sciences may be admitted to Villa Maria College as Liberal Arts/Occupational Therapy Assistant or LBG/OTA. These students will be advised by OTA faculty, and have an opportunity to raise their GPA and/or take appropriate classes to prepare them to enter the OTA program. Please note that LBG/OTA students are not guaranteed admission into the OTA program. Admission is contingent upon meeting the GPA requirements stated above.

Villa Maria’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Named to Best Two-Year Colleges in New York List

Our Faculty

Questions about the program? Reach out to one of our professors.

Program Director, Occupational Therapy Assistant

Rochelle Marx-Asher

[email protected] • 716-961-2867

Paula Verde, OTA Program Director
Fieldwork Coordinator, Occupational Therapy Assistant

Paula Velarde

[email protected] • 716-961-1847 • Bio

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