Upcoming OTA Info Session OTA Application Program Expectations

OTA applications for Spring 2024 are open.

Why Study Occupational Therapy?

Do you want to make a difference in the lives of individuals facing challenges due to life circumstance, illness, injury or disability?

Do you like to be creative, solve problems or be physically active?

Are you looking for a challenging and rewarding career with an excellent job outlook?

If yes, then a career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) could be for you.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the job prospects for Occupational Therapy Assistants is excellent with a projected growth of 25% from 2021- 2031.

US News ranked OTA as #19 on the 100 Best Jobs in the US. Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTA) work with people to improve their ability to participate in the daily activities they want and need to do. OTA sessions focus on what is meaningful and valuable to a given patient. Daily life activities (occupations) are used during treatment sessions to promote health, well-being and participation in life.

Occupational Therapy Assistants work with people of all ages and in many different settings such as public schools, hospitals, outpatient clinics, home health care and mental health programs.

OTAs are trained to intervene with all ages and in all settings but once working, an OTA can choose a specialty or change their specialty to meet their career needs.

OTAs work under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist and are licensed health care providers in NY and NJ.

Sixteen weeks of fulltime clinical fieldwork prepares students to be “Real World Ready” upon finishing the program.

Why Choose RCC?

VALUE – Affordable, nationally accredited program with small class sizes. Financial aid and scholarships available to both full and part-time students.

ExpenseOTA Program 2023-2024 Full-Time SemesterOTA Program 2023-2024 Part-Time Per CreditTotal Program
Cost 2023-2024
4 semesters and
Fieldwork A/B
Tuition – NYS Resident with Certificate +$2,736.00$228.00 per credit$13,224.00
Tuition – Out of State Resident/F1 Visa++$2,736.00$228.00 per credit$13,224.00
Student Activities Fees$74.00 per semester$4.50 per credit (Min $9.00)$341.00
Liability Insurance$13.50 per course**$13.50 per course**$121.50
Technology Fee$15.00 per credit$15.00 per credit$960.00
Books & SuppliesFull-Time
15-16 credit hour load
approx. $700
7-8 credit hour load
approx. $350

+Rockland County Resident and New York State “Non Rockland “residents with a Certificate of Residency
++Fall and Spring Semesters Only
* OCC 101, OCC 105, OCC 107, OCC 201, OCC 202, OCC 204, OCC 205
** Fieldwork A and B:  OCC 171, OCC 172
Transportation Costs: Varies depending on Days on Campus and Clinical Placements


FLEXIBLE – Both full-time and part time schedules are available to accommodate work, family and other commitments. On campus childcare is available.

PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE – Hands on learning experiences are provided throughout the program in the OT labs, and in diverse community and in OT practice settings.

DEDICATED FACULTY – Highly skilled and experienced faculty from all areas of practice. Free learning support offered for all classes.

PROVEN RESULTS – RCC students perform exceptionally well on the National OTA Certification Examination.

Percentage of RCC OTA Students Passing the National OTA Certification Exam
Year 2022 2021 2020
% passing exam 100% 96% 100%

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy can be found online at: https://www.nbcot.org/Educators-Folder/SchoolPerformance

One Bank Street, *Suite 300
Gaithersburg, MD 20878


*The OTA Program is accredited for a 10 year period from 2013/2014 to 2023/2024 which is the maximum number of years awarded.

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-AOTA. (www.acoteonline.org)


Graduates of the program are prepared to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). https://www.nbcot.org

After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).


In addition to national certification, New York State, New Jersey and most other states, require licensure in order to practice occupational therapy. Individuals who have successfully completed the National Certification Examination are qualified to become licensed as an occupational therapy assistant.



100% of graduates surveyed in 2020 and 2021 were employed following completion of the program.

The total number of graduates from the OTA program at Rockland Community College during the 3-year period of 2020-2022 was 61 with an overall graduation rate of 58%.

Graduation YearStudents Entering/GraduatingGraduation Rate

School of Nursing, Health and Wellness

Real World Ready

Listening to workforce needs

Graduates of Rockland Community College are provided with a clear path to meaningful careers that meet the needs of businesses and industry in the communities we serve. Our students are trained in specific skills that are needed by employers, and guided through a career path that leads directly to workforce opportunities. With affordable tuition, students who begin their college careers at RCC are ready to meet the demands of the real world.

Free Career Exploration Assessment [ACCESS CODE: pathways]

Student Success

At Rockland Community College, you are provided with a Student Success Team that will help you with your academic journey, career exploration, transfer planning, support service referrals, and more! Your Team includes your Dean, Program Director, Faculty Advisor, Student Success Advisor, Connection Center Counselor, Financial Aid Advisor, Peer Mentors, and if you’re involved in any of these special programs, your Athletics, Honors, TRiO, and Veterans Advisors. During your first semester, you will take an ‘Introduction to the School’ course that will outline the various College offices and departments that can help you on your path.

Get Advised

Career Outlook

OTA graduates develop the skills necessary to work in a variety of healthcare settings, schools, out-patient clinics, pediatric settings, and home care settings.

Job Roles

Under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapy Assistants work with people, groups or populations to address those aspects of their performance that affect health, well-being and quality of life.


Opportunities for change and variety characterize the outstanding range of career options in occupational therapy. You will be welcomed by employers including public schools, rehabilitation hospitals, mental health centers, nursing homes, physician practices, and home health agencies.


Occupational Therapists

$93,190 NYS Average
National Average $89,470 annually

Occupational Therapy Assistants

$64,870 NYS Average
National Average $63,560 annually

Employment and wage data by occupation are based on the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, which collects information from approximately 51,000 businesses. labor.ny.gov

Alumni Spotlight

Program Admission

OTA applications for Spring 2024 are open.

Completed applications must be received by November 15, 2023 at 5 pm.

Please note: As per RCC guidelines, there is a minimum enrollment requirement for the OTA Program each semester. If the minimum is not fulfilled, accepted students will be advised to complete OTA related general education courses during their first semester in the program. OTA courses (OCC designated) will begin second semester with Foundations in Occupational Therapy.

The OTA program has an admissions process that a student must complete prior to beginning the OTA course of study.

Information Sessions are held virtually throughout the year to provide interested individuals with current information about the program, curriculum, and application process. Sessions are usually one hour in length. Please register for an information session by clicking on the link below.

Please click below to start your application. No paper applications will be accepted.

OTA Application Upcoming OTA Info Session

Please refer to the College catalog for information on policies and services applicable to all students at Rockland Community College. Please refer to this website and the OTA Student Manual for policies and procedures applicable to OTA students and applicants.

Because the health field changes so rapidly, adjustments to the curriculum, requirements and policies are sometimes necessary, this may require changes in the information and policies on this website without prior notice.

  • Apply and be accepted to Rockland Community College if not currently attending RCC.
  • Place in college level ENG 10100 with transfer credits, placement exemptions or assessment examinations (ACCUPLACER Test/s).
  • Contact your RCC advisor to assist in course selection and the application process.
  • Select two (2) people that you would like to complete a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
  • Register and attend a virtual OTA Program Information Meeting.
  • Watch these online clinical treatment session videos to learn more about occupational

Program Expectations

The OTA Program maintains the highest educational standards. The study of occupational therapy is academically demanding. There is emphasis on accurate writing that is required in coursework, fieldwork and clinical practice. Professional behavior is expected in all aspects of the program, including verbal interactions in the classroom and written communication with instructors and clinical sites. There are many interpersonal demands that are required and you are expected to be respectful of and meet the needs of others; be culturally respectful and aware; and accepting of diversity of all persons.

The OTA Program requires that all core OT courses be completed within eight (8) consecutive semesters (fall/spring). Level II fieldwork must be completed within eighteen (18) months following completion of academic preparation.

Progression Policy after Withdrawal from a Core OT Course

A student enrolled in the OTA Program may withdraw from a core OT course (course designated OCC) only one (1) time throughout his/her curriculum. A withdrawal (course grade of W) may be granted with documentation outlining the necessity for the request. A student must submit an application to repeat, complete the appropriate self-assessment and remediation plan and meet with OT department personnel. Re-admittance to a course will be granted on a space available basis.

To pass a course on the second opportunity a student must achieve a final grade of B- or higher. If a passing grade of B- is not earned, the student may not repeat the course again. The student is then dismissed from the program.

Only one (1) core OT course (course designated as OCC) withdrawal is permitted while enrolled in the OTA Program. Subsequent withdrawals will result in dismissal from the program, If a student withdraws from a semester of core OT courses (courses designated as OCC), policy applicable to students re-applying to the OTA Program after failure, dismissal or withdrawal will be implemented.

Progression Policy for Repeating a Core OT Course after Failure

Students who plan to repeat a core OT course (course designated as OCC) following a failure in a previous semester must submit an application to repeat, complete a self-assessment and remediation plan and meet with OT department personnel. Re-admittance to a course will be granted on a seat available basis. To pass a course on the second opportunity a student must achieve a final grade of B- or higher. If a passing grade of B- is not earned, the student may not repeat the course again. The student is then dismissed from the program.

  1. ENG 101, ENG 102 and all liberal arts requirements in the occupational therapy curriculum must be completed with a grade of C or higher.
  2. BIO 110, BIO 111 and all core OT courses (courses designated as OCC) must be completed with a grade of C+ or higher. Any core OT course (course designated as OCC) repeated must be completed with a grade of B- or higher.
  3. Completion of MAT 065 and/or MAT 101 or 100 is a graduation requirement for all students whose entering math placement is MAT 065 and/or MAT 101/100 although math is not a curriculum requirement for OT. A math placement of MAT 101 or higher indicates that a student has met the graduation requirement and no additional math courses are required. Please note that should a student pursue an advanced degree in Occupational Therapy or another course of study, MAT 101 or higher may be required.
  4. All Level II fieldwork must be completed within eighteen (18) months following completion of academic preparation.
  5. All core OT courses (courses designated as OCC) must be completed within eight (8) consecutive semesters (fall/spring).
  6. All course and/or degree requirements on the OTA degree sheet in effect at the time of a student’s admission to the program are required for graduation.
  7. Students must submit a completed Application for Graduation to the Records Office and pay the required graduation fee prior to the last date to apply for graduation, as stated in the college calendar, in order to be eligible for graduation.
  8. Students must wait until after the end of the semester and final grades have been received by the Records Office before requesting a transcript which reflects graduation transcript. If students need earlier verification of graduation they can request this by contacting the Registrar.

Students who plan to repeat a core OT course (course designated as OCC) following a failure in a previous semester must submit an application to repeat, complete a self-assessment and remediation plan and meet with OT department personnel. Re-admittance to a course will be granted on a seat available basis. To pass a course on the second opportunity a student must achieve a final grade of B- or higher. If a passing grade of B- is not earned, the student may not repeat the course again. The student is then dismissed from the program.

Certification is awarded by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. It allows a student to use the identifying initials “COTA” after his/her name. It is granted as the result of passing the national certification examination. A committee of OTRs and COTAs selected by NBCOT who have a diverse practice background prepare the examination questions. The examination consists of 200 multiple choice questions to be completed in four hours. The examination is offered on-line by a testing service at sites throughout the United States.

Each student is responsible for completing his/her application and paying the fee/s. As of January 2018 the on-line fee for the Certification Examination is $515 ($559 for a paper application). An official transcript verifying graduation is required. For complete examination information including how to schedule a web-based practice examination contact:

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
One Bank Street, Suite 300
Gaithersburg, MD 20878*


Licensure allows a student to be legally authorized to practice in a particular state or jurisdiction. An individual cannot practice in New York State without this credential and certification by NBCOT. A renewal application and fee will be required every three years for as long as one remains in practice. Most other states and jurisdictions have laws that also require legal licensure, certification and/or registration to practice. Most states issue a temporary license which allows the individual to practice in the interim between graduation and the passing of the initial certification examination.

As of May 2016, new OTA licensure will take effect in New York State. Please refer to the address below for specific requirements/ additional fees.

It is the graduate’s responsibility to secure the proper credentials prior to practice. To receive an application contact:

Office of the Professions
Division of Professional Licensing Services
Occupational Therapy Unit
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234-1000*


*If you have a felony conviction it may interfere with the certification and licensure process. Contact the agencies (addresses above) for more information.

OTA Fieldwork Expectations

Level I fieldwork experiences provide students with meaningful opportunities to interact with clients, OT practitioners and staff. During Level I fieldwork students are required to visit specific sites outside of their regularly scheduled class time. These visits are designed to enhance understanding of basic course content and provide opportunities for developing professional behaviors, competent observation skills and therapeutic affective skills.

Level I fieldwork is required for 6 OTA courses (OCC 101, OCC 201, OCC 202, OCC 204, OCC 205, OCC 207). Additional time in a variety of community settings may also be required in other OTA courses, as requested by the course instructor. Students must successfully complete the fieldwork component of each course in order to earn a passing grade for the course. Travel is required, as is the ability to schedule and attend fieldwork so that it does not interfere with class attendance.

Level II fieldwork is the final step in the academic program and occurs after all other course work has been successfully completed. Level II fieldwork consists of two separate 5 credit experiences (OCC 171, OCC 172). Each fieldwork experience requires the student to spend a minimum of 8-10 weeks full time at a facility where the academic knowledge learned in the classroom will be applied in an occupational therapy setting. Students in Level II fieldwork are supervised and evaluated by a licensed OTR or COTA. All level II Fieldwork must be completed within 18 months following completion of academic preparation coursework.

  • Fieldwork sites are located throughout the tri-state area (within a 65 mile radius of the Suffern campus) Level I placements are distributed by lottery. Level II placements are made at the discretion of the academic fieldwork coordinator after student preferences have been considered.
  • Due to the nature of the occupational therapy profession, students should expect to attend fieldwork weekdays between the hours of 8:00-4:30 (not including travel).
  • Students must maintain current Health Clearance and provide proof of such to all fieldwork sites.
  • Students should be prepared to undergo criminal background checks, drug testing and finger printing prior to fieldwork as these may be required by fieldwork sites.


How do I apply to the OTA program?
If you are not already admitted to the college, you must apply to the college first. The first step is attending an OT Information Session held at the College each month. The goal of these sessions is to review the application process, learn about the program curriculum and expectations. (Dates/rooms are subject to change.) Please call 845-574-4436 for more information or e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]
How many students are accepted each year?
We accept up to 20 students each fall and 20 students each spring. Deadline for Fall admission is May 15 and Spring admission is November 15th. Applications are accepted up to these dates. See Application Process for more information.
How long will the program take me?
The program is 64 credits and requires a commitment of 5 semesters. However, many students complete the program at a slower pace due to the demanding nature of the coursework and their personal lives. We require students to complete the program in no longer than 8 semesters to ensure their knowledge is current in order to succeed in the national certification examination.
Can I complete the program by only attending at night or day?
All of the program’s courses are given one time during a semester. Some are day and some are evening classes. You need to have flexibility in your schedule. The program tries to meet the needs of those who need a day or evening class. The OTA program is not full-time study, but when taking your Liberal Arts concurrently with OTA courses, you may have a full-time caseload.
Do I need to take the English and Math Assessments?
Students are required to establish College Placement Level in English and Mathematics either by transfer credit, placement exemptions or assessment examinations (ACCUPLACER Exam/s). Placement to ENG 101 is required. Students accepted to the program who need remedial math may enroll in occupational therapy courses while completing the requirement.
I already have college credits. Can they be applied to the program?
Yes, once admitted to the college, the Records department will review your transcript and notify you regarding which courses will transfer to the program. An official college transcript should be sent to the Records Office for evaluation.
I already have my bachelor’s degree, what do I do?
If you want to become a professional therapist (OTR) then select an appropriate master’s program. You may choose to complete some prerequisites at Rockland Community College. Visit www.aota.org. They have a listing of all associate, master and doctorate programs according to state.
What other expectations are there for students beyond the academic ones?
The program seeks to build professional responsibilities in its students. We expect our graduates to be empathetic people, and to be caring and show concern for others. Above average interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to interact appropriately with patients, staff and families is essential to the profession. If a student demonstrates a significant lack in these areas, they may be dismissed from the program.
Is it true no grade lower than C+ is accepted by the program?
Yes, all courses in the OT curriculum require a passing grade of C+. The reason for this policy change is to insure that graduates of the program are competent practitioners and are sufficiently prepared to pass the national certification examination.
How many times can I repeat a course?
If you get below a C+ you may repeat an OCC course once more. The program reviews each course that a student wishes to re-take, and admission into a course is based on availability. A higher final grade (B-) is expected for any course re-taken. A second failure in any OCC course results in being dismissed from the program. If you get below a C in a non-OCC course it can be repeated until you do get a C or higher.
What is fieldwork?
All education programs for health professionals require clinical or fieldwork experiences. These experiences tie what is taught in class to actual experiences students have with clients (patients) in treatment settings. Level I fieldwork experiences are completed during the daytime hours. It is part of many of the core OTA courses in the curriculum and these clinical experiences are completed in addition to the semester coursework.
What is Level II Fieldwork?
Level II Fieldwork is experienced at the end of the program when all the academic courses are completed. The student spends the minimum of 16 weeks (full time) in two different sites supervised directly by an OTR or COTA, and treating patients/clients in an occupational therapy treatment program. This level II fieldwork experience are courses OCC 171 and OCC 172 for which the student earns a grade, receives credits and pays tuition. Fieldwork sites are selected to provide the student with strong clinical experiences and are an extremely important part of the occupational therapy education. Students are given 18 months to complete these two experiences.
Are there additional costs or fees associated with the program?
Yes, there is a malpractice insurance fee  and materials fees in several OTA courses.
Can I take courses in the summer and winter sessions?
You can take the liberal arts and sciences courses that are offered in the summer and winter sessions. If appropriate, one Level II Fieldwork course may be offered during these times.


What Does An Occupational Therapy Practitioner Do?

Occupational therapy uses everyday activities as the means of helping people to achieve independence.

For the person with a physical disability, the first focus is on performing critical daily activities, such as dressing, grooming, bathing, and eating. Once these skills are mastered, the occupational therapy program is built around the skills needed to perform a person’s daily responsibilities, such as caring for a home and family, participating in education, seeking and holding employment and participating in the social structure of the community.

The goals for a client with mental illness are also based on the ability to function independently. In treating mental or emotional problems, the occupational therapy program often includes practice in managing time, working productively with others, and enjoying leisure.

What Tasks Would I Be Performing During a Work Day?

Depending on your employer or the setting in which you work, your occupational therapy career may include:

  • aiding the growth and development of premature babies,
  • enhancing learning environments for the social, emotional, educational or physical challenges of school age children,
  • adapting home environments for the aging population,
  • analyzing job task requirements for an injured worker, or
  • participating in research to measure the effectiveness of treatment activities.
Where Do Occupational Therapy Practitioners Work?
Opportunities for change and variety characterize the outstanding range of career options in occupational therapy. You will be welcomed by employers, including public schools, rehabilitation hospitals, mental health centers, nursing homes, physician practices, and home health agencies. As your career progresses, you will want to consider advancement opportunities in management, clinical specialization, teaching, education, research, or private practice.
Does Occupational Therapy Offer Opportunities For Individuals Of Culturally Diverse Backgrounds?
The Occupational Therapy profession is actively seeking to expand the number of practitioners representing the many aspects of cultural diversity in our society. Currently, target populations include African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, people with disabilities, and men – all of whom are underrepresented in the field.
How Do I Prepare For An Occupational Therapy Career?

To become an occupational therapist, you may choose one of two routes: a post baccalaureate master’s program, or a professional master’s degree program. All Occupational Therapy educational programs include a period of supervised fieldwork experience.

To become an occupational therapy assistant, you must complete either a two-year associate degree or a Baccalaureate OTA degree. These programs also include supervised fieldwork experience.

Because entrance requirements, prerequisites, and program components differ from school to school, it is important to get specific information from those programs to which you are interested in applying.

What Prerequisites Will I Need When Applying To An Occupational Therapy Program?
Schools typically require course work concentrating on the biological and behavioral sciences, including biology, psychology, and sociology. Most programs also require volunteer or paid work experience with an Occupational Therapy Practitioner.
How Can I Learn Which Colleges And Universities Offer Occupational Therapy Education Programs?

A nationwide listing of all levels of education programs offered by colleges and universities is available from the American Occupational Therapy Association. The education programs are available on AOTA’s website at www.aota.org; click on Education for complete listing of schools nationwide.

Source: American Occupational Therapy Association

Notification of Disclosure

Federal Law limits the issuance of professional licenses, registrations and limited permits to United States citizens or qualified aliens. Those students who are not US citizens or qualified aliens should contact the NY State Education Department at 518-474-3817 or www.op.nysed.gov for further assistance.

All applicants should be made aware that when making an application to the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) you will be asked to answer questions regarding any felony convictions. NBCOT will consider any felony convictions on a case by case basis. If you have a history of a felony conviction it is strongly recommended you contact NBCOT immediately, (One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD 20878 or call 301-990-7979) or  www.NBCOT.org to see if you will eligible to take the certification exam.