Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant

Degree Awarded: 
Associate's Degree

To see the Occupational Therapy Assistant section in the JCHS Catalog, click here.
To see an update to the Occupational Therapy Assistant information in the Spring 2014 Addendum to the JCHS Catalog, click here.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Jefferson College is now the oldest OTA program in Virginia. Established in 1992, we are also the only program in a private college in Virginia.

Our small class size (average 20-25 students) allows for more individualized instruction and "hands-on" participation in the classroom. Students range in age from recent high school graduates to individuals returning to school in an effort to begin a second career. These age differences make for lively discussions in classes as we explore different "roles" people play throughout their life span. Awareness of cultural diversity is important in the process of OT treatments and our student body reflects such diversity.


Our faculty believe students learn best by participation in learning experiences. As a result, lectures often involve student presentations followed by labs where new techniques can be practiced. Our student to faculty ratio of 1 to 7 allows the faculty to get to know students personally. Involvement in professional activities such as the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA Club), state association (VOTA) and the national association (AOTA) allow for more interaction both personally and professionally. Part of the education process in this program is for the students to experience hands-on patient interactions. Our fieldwork coordinator places students in facilities where their clinical skills can best be developed.   

Fieldwork placements can be local or long distance depending on availability. Students have participated in fieldwork placements all over the United States which include some of the most well known rehabilitation facilities such as UVa (VA), Kessler (NJ), Spaulding Rehab (MA), Duke University Medical Center (NC) and Children's Hospital of the King's Daughter (VA). 

A student may take all the courses required for this degree here at Jefferson College, or you may transfer any of the general education credits from another institution. All professional courses (those with OTA preceding the course number) must be taken here. As part of the Admissions process at JCHS, you are required to have completed courses in English, Algebra, Biology and Chemistry prior to attempting the Anatomy and Physiology courses. These are not required to be college-level courses and may be satisfied through high school coursework. Graduates from the OT Assistant program have consistently scored higher than the national average on their registry exam. Our location here in Southwest Virginia puts us in the middle of a large under-served rural area that needs more medical professionals. 

Our graduates are generally employed within 6 weeks of their graduation. Many employers in need of OT Assistants call our program asking for graduates they might employ. The program maintains a strong reputation for excellence in our graduates all over the state of Virginia and the nation. 


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 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, Maryland, 20814-3449. The telephone number for ACOTE (c/o AOTA) is 301-652-2682 or (301-652-AOTA). The web site link

Registration Information: 

Upon graduation from this program graduates must sit for a national registry exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Their offices are located at12 S. Summit Avenue, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 20877-4150. The telephone number for NBCOT is (301) 990-7979.

All candidates must complete an application for this exam which includes information concerning any previous charges or convictions of a felony, revocation or suspension of a professional license by a regulatory board, or involvement in any disciplinary action due to malpractice, negligence or misconduct. An affirmative response to any of the above questions may prohibit the candidate's permission to sit for the exam. Upon entry to this program, if any of the above situations have occurred, the student may contact NBCOT and request an EARLY DETERMINATION where the facts may be presented and the Board will respond stating whether or not the student would be allowed to take the test. More information is available on their website:

Admission Requirements: 
  • Click here for the general information on admissions requirements.
Other Information: 
Graduate Certification Exam
OTA Program National Certification Examination Pass Averages
For Years 2010, 2011 and 2012
Total Number of program graduate 63
NBCOT first-time test taker 63
NBCOT first-time test takers passed 52
NBCOT first-time test takers pass rate 83%
First and second-time test takers pass rate 100%