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Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)

Degree Associate of Applied Science
Degree Plan Degree Plan

Note: There is a special application and deadline for this program.

Application deadline is March 1st of each year.

Occupational Therapy (OT) is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States.  OT is a health care field that works to help individuals to maximize their function in the performance of their every-day activities.  The Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist, provides rehabilitative services to individuals with physical, mental, emotional, and developmental disabilities. 
The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program at UA Cossatot combines classroom instruction with clinical experiences.  The program consists of two portions which include the general education core and the OTA core courses.  Students successfully completing the OTA program are awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in Occupational Therapy.   
The OTA program is limited to 15-18 students each year.    Applicants will be ranked according to required general education course GPA, pre-entrance exam scores, observation report, application narrative, and three (3) letters of recommendation.   UA Cossatot and the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program will not discriminate in the selection of students to the OTA program.  Students not accepted into the upcoming class are encouraged to re-apply prior to the application deadline.
Accreditation Status
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program  at UA Cossatot is accredited by the by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE can be reached by phone via AOTA at (301)652-AOTA. Upon completion of the OTA program, graduates 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 individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states 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.
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
P.O. Box 31220
Bethesda, MD 20824-1220
1-800-SAY-AOTA ext. 2911 or 301-652-AOTA (2682)
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.  (NBCOT)
12 South Summit Avenue
Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
Fax 301-869-8492
Special Requirements for Program Progress and Completion 
Due to the strenuous nature of the OTA program and practice-orientation, the College reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any student to enroll or continue in the OTA program. This determination is based on, but not limited to, the characteristics required of a clinical OTA. Eligibility determination is made by the faculty’s evaluation of a student’s ability to perform the clinical tasks necessary to complete the clinical and course objectives. These abilities are reevaluated after each course.
To meet the all requirements of ACOTE/AOTA, the OTA program will follow a special calendar, and class days will be different from those followed by students in other programs.  Regular class days will be 6 - 8 hours each; clinical/fieldwork days will be 8-12 hours each. Because this program is very intense and a large amount of material is covered in a short period of time, attendance in class and clinical is critical.  An attendance policy will be in effect throughout the OTA program.  Additionally, students are required to maintain a minimum of 76% in both theory and clinical to progress and complete the program.
The OTA program is housed at UA Cossatot’s Little River Campus in Ashdown, Arkansas.  This program awards an Associate of Applied Science and is a two and a half year program.  Following the completion of pre-requisite courses, students are accepted into the technical portion which begins each August and ends the following December.  Classroom days are approximately six-eight hours with clinical/fieldwork days 8-12 hours each.  Days and hours may vary depending on the course you are in and the required clinical hours.  Clinicals and workshops may be required on weekends as well but students are given plenty of notice so arrangements can be made.  Some of the clinical sites are some distance from the campus, ie, Texarkana, De Queen, Nashville, Hope, Paris, etc.  You will be required to arrange transportation to these areas as well as mandatory workshops or class trips out of town.
Application Process
Each student must meet UA Cossatot’s ACT and/or COMPASS catalog admission requirements and have completed or are currently enrolled in all prerequisite courses, as well as any developmental courses, needed prior to the application deadline.  Students wishing to apply to the OTA program should complete the online application form below and follow the instructions on each of the following application prerequisites.  All materials must be completed and received by the academic advisor for medical education by the March 1st deadline.  

OTA Program Graduation and NBCOT Pass Rates

Graduation Rates


Number of Students Admitted Program

Number of Graduates

Graduation Rates









The graduation rate is determined by the number of students who started the program and completed Level II fieldwork requirements within 18 months of completion of didactic coursework.

NBCOT Exam Pass Rates


Pass Rates


No Data


No Data



The program’s passing percent data is calculated on the number of New Graduates who passed the NBCOT exam regardless of the number of attempts during the testing year to meet ACOTE’s reporting standard (A5.6). For questions about the reporting standard, please contact ACOTE.

NBCOT Exam Pass Rate (click here) - Select “Arkansas” then “OTA Level Program” and “year” to see current exam pass rates


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