As a student in SUNY Jamestown Community College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program, you have many opportunities for hands-on experience in the classroom and local community. These real life experiences with clients, combined with expert mentoring and teaching from our faculty, will help you build your OTA skills, develop a professional portfolio and resume, and boost your confidence in working in the field.
When you graduate from JCC’s OTA program, you will be a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) prepared to enter the workforce in an entry level position in occupational therapy or related field. As a COTA, you will help people of all ages who need assistance with physical, developmental, social, or emotional difficulties to lead independent, productive lives.
What does an occupational therapy assistant do?
A certified occupational therapy assistant works with people young and old who have difficulties in living due to developmental deficits, physical injury and illness, psychological and social disabilities, and aging. The COTA, under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist (OTR), helps clients complete purposeful and meaningful activities which assist them in mastering skills needed to perform daily tasks at home, school, and in the community.
A COTA also assists people in maintaining their health and to prevent disabilities from occurring.
As a member of a healthcare or educational team, you will work closely with doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and many other professionals. You will also play a valuable role in educating clients, families, and the community on safe and effective methods to increase function, and provide alternative ways to engage in activities that improve health and participation in life.
As a COTA, you will work with people of all ages and walks of life with the following conditions and others:
Impairments due to stroke or heart attack
Arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other serious illnesses
Birth injuries, learning complications, and developmental disabilities
Mental health and/or substance abuse problems
Burns, spinal cord injuries, and amputations
Where can you work?
Emerging Practice Areas
Hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities
Home health agencies
Long-term and extended care facilities
Therapeutic horseback riding
Health and wellness consultant
OTA program outcomes
JCC’s graduate follow-up survey shows that:
75 percent of graduates choosing employment will find jobs in occupational therapy or a related healthcare field
90 percent of graduates choosing employment are “highly satisfied” with their ability to function in an entry level OTA or related position
Additionally, our employee satisfaction survey indicates that 90 percent of employers are “highly satisfied” with JCC OTA graduates.
MAT 1540 is recommended and most widely transferred into OT programs.
ENG 1540 is recommended and needed for transfer.
BIO 2510 and BIO 2520 must be completed with a minimum grade of “C.”
Students must successfully pass each OTA course with a minimum grade of “C” and GPA of 2.5 or better to enroll in OTA 2700 and OTA 2720. A student will be able to repeat two OTA core courses one time. Should the student be unsuccessful in repeating any OTA course, he/she would be ineligible to continue in the OTA program. Should a student be required to repeat more than two OTA core courses he/she will be ineligible to continue in the OTA program.
Both course and fieldwork levels I and II experiences require travel. Students must have transportation to participate and successfully meet all course and fieldwork requirements. Special housing may be needed for one or both level II fieldwork experiences.
All students will take OTA 1700 either concurrently with OTA 2520 and OTA 1650 or during the summer following completion of OTA 2520 and OTA 1650.
OTA students must complete the full-time Level II Fieldwork within 12 months following completion of OTA 2510, 2530, 2550, and 2620.
CPR certification through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association (Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers) is required prior to registering for OTA 2700 or OTA 2720.
Our courses and programs are designed to give you a strong foundation in your area of study. But we know that for many of you, your time at JCC is just the first step in your educational journey. And when it's time for you to take your next step, that strong foundation, coupled with the wide variety of transfer agreements we maintain with several top colleges and universities, will help make your transfer process as smooth as possible. Learn More
It is important when planning your transfer to talk with your advisor about the specifics of each four-year college or university.