Occupational Therapy Assistant
Learn practical skills to help people return to their daily living and working lives.

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 assistants help patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working, and are directly involved in providing therapy to patients, under the direction of registered occupational therapists. While there is a significant amount of crossover between the Physical Therapy Assistant program, the OTA program works more specifically with treating fine motor and Visual perceptual skills.

In this case, the arts and music are a particularly good fit for the program, as Occupational Therapy Assistants treat patients with techniques inspired through activities patients have an interest in like painting, photography, or playing the piano.

The Facilities

Our 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.

Interested in learning more about the Villa experience?

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
  • Offices
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Private practices
  • Community health centers
  • Sports facilities

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 Curruculum Requirements

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Villa Maria College, launched in the fall of 2015, will graduate its first cohort in Spring 2017.  The total number of graduates and graduation rates will be released at that time.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 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. 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, Paula Velarde: pvelarde@villa.edu or 716-961-1847.

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.

Paula Verde, OTA Program Director
Program Director

Paula Velarde

pvelarde@villa.edu • 716-961-1847 • Bio

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