Occupational Therapy Assistant
Associate in Applied Science
The occupational therapy assistant (COTA) collaborates with the supervising occupational therapist (OTR) to help individuals and/or groups impacted by dysfunction in physical, cognitive, psychosocial, and sensory areas adapt and accomplish everyday life activities in the home, school, community and workplace.
support in the ICC Academic Support Center
The OTA program prepares students with a combination of on-campus coursework, experiential learning opportunities in the community and fieldwork experiences to apply the skills learned in the classroom. Fieldwork sites include hospitals, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, early intervention services, special education programs in schools, orthopedic clinics, and home health agencies.
Program graduates are eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapy Assistant, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)
Network with other students through the Student Occupational Therapy Assistant Organization (SOTA)
Occupational Therapy Assistant
if Full Time
67.5 Total Credit Hours
What if I attend part-time?
Our Student Success Advisors help with an academic plan that works for you.
+ supplies & fees
Based on 2022-23
What financial assistance can I receive?
Find the plan right for you by connecting with our Financial Aid office.
AVERAGE CLASS SIZE
average per class
Small class sizes mean more individual attention and a higher rate of success.
View the College Catalog to see a complete list of classes for this program.
Meet Our Students and Alumni
ICC Class of 2005 (Physical Therapist Assistant) Physical Therapist Assistant, OSF Healthcare Tell us about the career path that led you to your current job. I wanted to have a career in the medical field to help people. ICC gave me the foundation of my career. It promotes professionalism and self-growth. I am very thankful for the PTA program at…
Tragic Loss Inspires Natalie to Help Others in Radiographer Program
Chances are you or someone you know has been affected by cancer. One in three people in the United States battle some form of the horrible disease. For Natalie, it was her father’s friend’s courageous battle against the illness that inspired her to join the Radiographer Program at ICC. Growing up, Natalie looked at her father’s lifelong friend, Eric, as…
ICC Class of 2010 (Physical Therapist Assistant) Site Manager of the Morton PTS Clinic and Program Director of the PTA Specialty Certification in Orthopedics: Evidence in Motion Tell us about the career path that led you to your current job. Following graduation, I found a local physical therapy company that shared my professional values. I provided outpatient physical therapy services…
A Career Path Change Leads to Changing Lives
During February’s National CTE (Career and Technical Education) Month, Illinois Central College honored students for their achievements in CTE programs. The ICC Surgical Technologist program is a CTE program, in particular, that allows students to pursue their dream to change lives. And for Audra, it did just that. Audra actually began her college journey at a different community college and…
Community college students who transfer to four-year schools perform as well as – or even better than – their peers who come directly from high school.Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
How Do I Get Into the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program?
As an OTA you are a valuable member of an interprofessional team whose goal is to promote physical and mental health, well-being, and function. Talk to ad Admissions representative to learn how to get started.
- Complete our quick admissions application. It’s free and easy.
- Submit supplemental application.
- Apply for financial aid (FAFSA).
- Apply for ICC Scholarships. Just 1 application for over 600 scholarships.
- High school coursework in English, math, science, and computer keyboarding are beneficial.
- Once accepted to the program, students will have to complete a drug screen, fingerprint criminal background check, physical exam and immunizations.
What Can I Expect As an Occupational Therapy Assistant Student?
- Hands-on learning in program labs and clinical sites.
- Clinical fieldwork in a variety of settings.
- Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification exam to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
- Program graduates have gone on to work at area school districts, Easterseals Central Illinois, Professional Therapy Services at UnityPoint Health Methodist and Proctor, and OSF Healthcare.
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) 652-6611. Email is [email protected] and web address is www.acoteonline.org.
- Program Details
- Student Handbook
- Fieldwork Handbook
- Mission Statement
- Goals and Student Learning Outcomes
- Essential Skills and Abilities
- Program Outcomes
- Certified occupational therapy assistants are required to be certified and licensed to practice in Illinois and most other states. A felony conviction may limit fieldwork placement, licensure and employment. Visit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for more information.
National Certification Examination
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). NBCOT will ask questions related to the topic of felonies. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. NBCOT contact information is One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, (301) 990-7979. Email is [email protected] and web address is www.nbcot.org.
After successful completion of NBCOT exam, the graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on results of the NBCOT certification exam. Credentialing is a function of the NBCOT, not Illinois Central College or the American Occupational Therapy Association.
How Am I Going to Manage This?
What if I am working while going to school?
We have you covered. Many of our students are working adults who balance life and school. We have great resources on campus to help keep you going!
What are my options for funding my education?
Do this first: fill out and file your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Even if you don’t want federal aid, this document is used by many scholarship and grant programs to evaluate aid packages.
Look for scholarships and grants first because usually they don’t have to be paid back. The ICC Foundation sponsors some scholarships, and grants may be available from Illinois or federal programs. Other organizations also offer scholarships, and we can help you research those opportunities.
Federally guaranteed student loans can be a smart way to fund college. Think about your transfer plans and what your career looks like. Some sources recommend that you cap your borrowing at the level of what you (realistically!) can expect to earn at your first job after college. So, research careers and pay, too.
Of course, savings, jobs, and work-study are key parts of your budget. Your employer may offer tuition reimbursement. Find the tools to make a complete plan for paying for school.