Why choose JCC’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program?

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 graduate as an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) prepared to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam and enter the workforce in an entry level position in OT or related field. Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online.

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:

  • Work-related injuries
  • 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?

Employment Opportunities Emerging Practice Areas
  • Hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities
  • Home health agencies
  • Schools
  • Long-term and extended care facilities
  • Community agencies
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Activity director
  • Therapeutic horseback riding
  • Health and wellness consultant
  • Job coach

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.

Scholarship opportunities

Related programs of study

Nursing, Human Services (A.S.), Human Services (A.A.S.)

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Download program completion map

Minimum program credit hours: 64

Some courses need to be completed on the Jamestown Campus.

Program Codes
Degree Option
Associate in Applied Science Degree
Hegis Code
Curriculum Code
General Requirements
26 credit hours Degree Requirements Met
ENG 1530: English Composition II3 BCOM H CENG
English Electives (college level)3 H CWRT
PSY 1510: General Psychology3 SOSC S SR
PSY 2560: Abnormal Behavior3 SOSC S SR
SOC 1510: Introduction to Sociology3 SOSC S SR, VEDP
BIO 2510: Anatomy and Physiology I4 NSCI N SR
BIO 2520: Anatomy and Physiology II4 NSCI N SR, VEDP
MAT 1500: Problem Solving with Mathematics or MAT 1540: Elementary Statistics3 MATH N CMAT
Core Requirements
38 credit hours Degree Requirements Met
OTA 1510: Foundations of Occupational Therapy3
OTA 1520: Medical Specialties3
OTA 1530: Fundamental Skills of OTA I1
OTA 1620: Psychosocial Concepts/Techniques2
OTA 1630: Fundamental Skills of OTA II1
OTA 1640: Therapeutic Interventions I2
OTA 1650: Growing Years: Birth-Young Adult3
OTA 1700: Introduction to Professional Practice1
OTA 2520: Adulthood and Aging2
OTA 2540: Community Based Practice1
OTA 2550: Technology and Environmental Applications for Living3
OTA 2560: Therapeutic Interventions II1
OTA 2570: Classroom to Clinic2
OTA 2620: Physical Rehabilitation3
OTA 2700: Fieldwork IIA5
OTA 2720: Fieldwork IIB5
none Degree Requirements Met
Important Points
  • 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.
Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Develop and exhibit professional, desirable workplace behaviors which reflect occupational therapy standards of practice.
  2. Apply occupation-based, client-centered interventions to treat the varying needs of their clients.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to research evidence- based practices through technology and to educate their communities about occupational therapy.
  4. Demonstrate clinical reasoning skills while discovering community resources, solving problems, and offering innovative occupational therapy treatment  to use in challenging health care environments.
  5. Design and implement programming to engage consumers and/or caregivers in opportunities to improve their quality of life and well-being.

Transfer Agreements

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. 

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Sarah Tranum, Director, OTA
Sarah TranumDirector, OTA68 SHEL, Jamestown Campus716.338.1161Contact | Full Profile ▸