Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program Information

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 OTA program application period for Fall 2024 runs from March 1, 2024-June 1, 2024.

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



Students applying to the OTA Program for Fall semester 2024 will have an Interview component, in addition to the current Academic requirements. 

Please see the OTA Admission Requirements tab on the left side of this page for details.


Applications for Fall 2024 will be accepted March 1, 2024 - June 1, 2024

 A mandatory in-person Orientation for those accepted will be July 10 (Wednesday) from 8:30 - 3:30


Questions regarding the Application Process should be directed to Judy Barber at  or contact her directly at 941-752-5346.

Please read the section "OTA Admission Requirements"

General Education Requirement Change

Effective with the Occupational Therapy Assistant Class Starting in May 2023

On March 30, 2022, the State Board of Education approved revisions to Rule 6A-10.02413, Florida Administrative Code, Civic Literacy Competency. The amendment adds the civic literacy competency requirement as a condition of graduation for Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science (A.S./A.A.S.) degree programs.

With the rule amendment, all degree-seeking students will have to meet the civic literacy competency requirement, consistent with the new general education core requirements from House Bill 1507, which passed during the 2021 legislative session. Once effective, students entering A.S./A.A.S. degree programs in 2022-23 and thereafter will be required to demonstrate postsecondary civic literacy competency prior to graduation.

Based on this legislation, effective with the Occupational Therapy Assistant Class starting in May, 2023, students will be required to take either POS 1041 “American Government” or AMH 1020 “U.S. History 1877 to Present” in order to fulfill the new civic literacy competency requirement.

These courses replace the previously required general education courses, ENC1102 "Written Communication II" or SPC 1608 "Fundamentals of Speech" which no longer meet requirements for the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program.  Therefore, prospective students who have previously completed either of these courses as part of the general education requirements, will now need to successfully pass either POS 1041 or AMH 1020 to meet the new State civic literacy competency and the revised OTA Program requirements.

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.


Graduation and Certification

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 graduate will be a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA). 

In addition, all states require licensure to practice, however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.  A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or Attain State Licensure. (See Felony Conviction Statement page) 

 Please review OTA Performance Standards prior to the application

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 6116 Executive Blvd., Suite 200, North Bethesda, Maryland  20852-4929 . AOTA's phone number is (301) 652-6611.  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.


  • The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
    6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
    North Bethesda, Maryland 20852-4929
    Phone:  (301) 652-6611
                 (800) 729-2682

    Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of
    The American Occupational Therapy Association
    6116 Executive Boulevard
    Suite 200
    North Bethesda, Maryland 20852-2682
    Phone:  (301) 652-6611
                 (800) 729-2682

    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) 

Notification on Professional Licensure (USDOE Regulation 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v) and National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity (NC- SARA) : Current and prospective students for certain programs at State College of Florida (SCF) that lead to professional licensure and/or credential are hereby notified that SCF programs fulfill education requirements for specific professional licensure and/or certification required for employment in the intended occupation of the academic program, in the state of Florida. SCF has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements. Since the professional licensure and certification requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change, current and prospective students are strongly advised to determine whether courses and programs will meet the professional licensure requirements in states where they are located by contacting the appropriate licensing authority.

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