Occupational Therapy Assistant

Program Information

Program Director: Debra A. Chasanoff, M.Ed., OTR/L
Contact the OTA Program at: (941) 752-5346

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program prepares graduates to function as members of the health care team. Working under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist, the OTA assists individuals of all age groups to acquire, improve or regain independent living skills. Program graduates will be responsible for assisting with evaluations and setting of treatment goals, implementation of treatment plans, evaluation of treatment effectiveness, maintenance of client records and assisting with service management. The OTA is able to work in a variety of practice areas including, but not limited to, pediatrics, physical disabilities and mental health.

The program combines coursework at SCF with selected clinical experiences in both Manatee and Sarasota counties.

What is Occupational Therapy? 

Occupational therapy is a health care profession that uses occupations as treatment to assist individuals of all ages and abilities to engage in activities that are meaningful to their lives and foster independence, equality, participation, security health and well being.  Occupational therapy can be beneficial to individuals across the lifespan who have developmental or physical disabilities, emotional or mental illness, or disabilities related to the aging process.  Occupational therapy practitioners are employed in a variety of work environments including hospitals, rehabilitation & developmental centers, schools, home health, and hospice agencies, community mental health facilities, assisted living and extended care facilities. 

What Does an Occupational Therapy Assistant Do?

Certified occupational therapy assistants (COTA) are skilled health care providers who work under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist (OTR).  The COTA assists in the evaluation of a client's physical, intellectual, perceptual and psychosocial skills and needs.  Other duties include evaluating the client's ability to carry out the activities of daily living and designing a specific treatment program for the individual.  COTAs also instruct and supervise clients and their families in the use of occupations/activities to develop, prevent deterioration in or restore self-care, work and leisure performance capabilities.

Additional responsibilities include recording observations and the client's progress toward meeting individual goals and reporting information to supervisors and other health team members.  COTAs also assist in ordering and maintaining supplies and equipment needed for the implementation of occupational therapy programs, as well as supervise students during fieldwork experiences.



Occupational Therapy Assistant A.S.

Curriculum Outline

 ***The Florida Department of Education reviewed the Occupational Therapy Assistant Curriculum Framework in 2016 and changed the curriculum from 70 credit hours to 74 credit hours.  The OTA Program will be changing the curriculum to be in compliance with state requirements effective Fall 2018.  Please check website for curriculum changes in January 2018.

OTA Application Information

Applications for the OTA Program for fall 2018 will be available and accepted between January 1, 2018 through March 1, 2018

Application for Fall 2018 – Applications will be accepted from January 1, 2018 through March 1, 2018. Students MUST apply/reapply every year. There is no waiting list for the OTA Program.  The instructions to the program application will be available on this webpage starting in December 2017.  

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at the State College of Florida is a limited enrollment program. Applicants MUST have the prerequisite courses completed with a grade of “C” or better at the time of application to be considered for admission.

Prerequisite Courses:
BSC 2085C – Anatomy & Physiology I (with laboratory component)
Mathematics – Any Area II, A.S.
PSY 2012 – General Psychology

Priority is given to applicants who have completed the most general education courses required for the degree at the time of application. Completion of all or part of the academic courses required in the degree does not guarantee acceptance into the program. If there are more qualified applicants than seats available in the program GPA (grade point average) on the general education courses required by the program will be the determining criteria. If there is more than one student with the same GPA for a seat in the program, the final criteria will be the Overall GPA.

Additional General Education Program Requirements:
BSC 2086C – Anatomy & Physiology II (with laboratory component)
DEP 2004 – Human Development Life Span
ENC 1101 – Written Communication
ENC 1102 – Written Communication II OR
SPC 1608 – Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Humanities – Choose from Area IV, A.S. General Education Requirement

Additional Program Requirements:
  • Earned grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or better in ALL general education courses required by the program towards the degree and a minimum Overall GPA of 2.0 to meet graduation requirements.
  • Satisfactory completion of any remedial coursework needed to be eligible for college/credit level courses. Prerequisite courses may be required for ENC 11l0 and Mathematics (Area II, A.S.). These prerequisites MUST be taken and successfully completed PRIOR to entry into OTH 1001C. Consult course descriptions in the back of the catalog or the specific department of the College for specific information.
  • A minimum grade of “C” is required on all courses applied to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree.
  • Completed College Application.
  • Official high school or GED transcript.
  • Official transcript from EACH College attended or credit courses*.
  • Florida Placement Test scores and/or ACT or SAT scores*. Test must have been taken within the last three years. (not required if program mathematics and English requirements have been met.
  • Program Application and CAPP audit.
  • Application fee – one-time $20.00 application fee.


Program Information related to Admissions:
• The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program consists of classroom, laboratory and fieldwork experiences. Students enrolled should understand the required fieldwork experience in various settings may expose them to environmental hazards and infectious diseases including, but not limited to, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and HIV/AIDs.
• The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is designed to be taken in sequential order. Courses are offered only one time per year. Students who do not achieve the minimum grade of 70% in any didactic, laboratory or fieldwork component will not be able to progress in the Occupational Therapy Program.
• Upon acceptance into the program, background checks, fingerprinting, drug screenings and health screenings including a statement of satisfactory physical and mental health and a record of current serum titers are required to meet local/facility health requirements/regulations. Based on timely completion of and/or the results of these checks and screenings, the applicant may become ineligible for program admission or continuation in the program.
• Accepted students will also need to attend the mandatory Program Orientation and must complete Basic Life Support for the Health Care Provider offered through the American Heart Association prior to the start of the fall semester.
• The State of Florida periodically changes the laws in relations to persons with criminal background being licensed in Florida. Each licensing board may make changes in the rules regarding the licensing of individuals with criminal backgrounds thus affecting those who may or may not be licensed in the State of Florida. Applicants with criminal backgrounds may be accepted into the program and graduate from the program, but because of changes in the laws or rules, may not be allowed to be licensed in the State of Florida one they have graduated.
• A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to take the NBCOT Certification exam or attain licensure. If a student has been convicted, had any adjudication withheld or has any criminal charges in the past other than a minor traffic violation, the applicant will need to get approval from the NBCOT and the Florida Department of Health – Board of Occupational Therapy Practice to take the certification exam and attain licensure. For more information regarding “Early Determination and Character Review” contact NBCOT regarding “Early Determination and Character Review” at or call 301-990-7979.
• Letters of Recommendation are NOT required for application and will not be considered as part of the admission process.

Please review OTA Performance Standards prior to application.

OTA Performance Standards

Cost of OTA Program 

Approximate Cost of OTA Program


OTA Curriculum

OTA Curriculum

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, a two-year Associate in Science degree 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, Maryland 20814-3449. AOTA's phone number is (301) 652-AOTA.  The website for ACOTE is Graduates of the program will be eligible to take the national certification examination of the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of the exam, the individual will be a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA). Most states also 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.


Program brochures are available at the OTA Program office, Health Science Division Office and student services at the Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Venice campus.

For more information about the program, please contact the OTA Program at 941-752-5346 or email


Announcements/Workshops/Open House



The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
4720 Montgomery Lane
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-3449
Phone:  (301) 652-2682
TDD:  800-377-8555
Fax:  301-652-7711

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of
The American Occupational Therapy Association
4720 Montgomery Lane
Suite 200
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-3449
Phone:  (301) 652-2682

800 South Frederick Ave., Suite 200
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
(302) 990-7979

NBCOT Link:  New graduate & pass rate data 

Florida Department of Health Board of Occupational Therapy Practice
2020 Capital Circle SE, BIN #C05
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3255
(850) 487-2098

Florida Occupational Therapy Association
P. O. Box 5606
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 3310
(954) 840-FOTA (3682) 

For concerns pertaining to the OTA Program please use the following link:  OTA Program Concerns

This page is maintained by The OTA Department Staff


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