Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant

Degree Awarded: 
Associate's Degree

To learn more about the faculty and staff of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, click here.
To see the Occupational Therapy Assistant section in the Jefferson College of Health Sciences Catalog, click here.

To view the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program “Online Information Session” click here.

Following viewing of the PowerPoint Slideshow, a short quiz must be taken and submitted. These two components are part of the OTA Program application process. For further information regarding the application process, please scroll down.

General Information

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Jefferson College of Health Sciences is the oldest OTA program in Virginia, established in 1992.

Our small class size (average 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 to prepare a second career. These differences in age and life experiences make for lively discussions in classes as we explore different roles people assume throughout their life span. Awareness of cultural diversity is an important tenet of the profession and our student body reflects this diversity.

Philosophy and General Program Information

Our faculty believes students learn best by participation in active learning experiences. As a result, lectures may involve student presentations followed by labs where new techniques can be practiced. Our faculty to student lab ratio of 1 to 12 allows the faculty to get to know students personally. Involvement in professional activities and associations allows for more interaction both personally and professionally in the development of leadership and advocacy.

Part of the education process in this program is for the students to experience hands-on patient interactions. Fieldwork experiences provide these opportunities. Our academic 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.

Student may take all the courses required for this degree at Jefferson College, or may transfer any of the general education courses from other institutions, as deemed appropriate by the Registrar. All professional courses (those with OTA prefixes) must be taken at Jefferson College. Graduates from the OT Assistant program have consistently scored higher than the national average on the national certification examination.

Our graduates are generally employed within six weeks of graduation. It is not unusual for employers to contact our OTA Program for recruitment purposes. The program maintains a strong reputation for excellence throughout the state of Virginia and the nation. 

Accreditations: 

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 is www.acoteonline.org

Admission Requirements: 

Click here for the general information on admissions requirements.

OTA Admission Requirements:

  • The deadline for receipt of completed applications is January 15.
  • GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Documentation of attendance at an on-campus or online information session.  The online OTA information session may be found here or at the following link: http://www.jchs.edu/degree/associate-applied-science-occupational-therapy-assistant
  • A Portfolio documenting a measure of the applicant’s work experience (both paid and unpaid), achievements, and growth.  The Portfolio must be in paper format but not enclosed in a hard binder.  Any items that applicants consider to be representative of their efforts and achievements will be accepted.
  • Following review of the above program admission requirements, selected applicants will be invited for an on-campus interview and essay to determine the final selection of members of the class.
Other Information: 
Other Information

Certification and Licensure

Upon graduation from this program graduates must sit for a national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Their offices are located at 12 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 questions 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. Therefore, prior to entry into this program, if any of the above situations have occurred, it is recommended that the applicant contact NBCOT and request an ”Early Determination and Character Review” where the facts may be presented and the Board will respond stating whether or not the OTA program applicant would be allowed to take the examination upon the completion of their academic program. More information is available on the website: www.nbcot.org.

After notification of passing the national certification examination, the individual is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Most states, including Virginia, require licensure in order to practice, and state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Each state has its own criteria for granting licensure. Graduates, who plan to obtain a license from other states, must contact that state’s licensing agency. Information about licensure for Virginia Occupational Therapy Assistants can be found at: http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/medicine/

Student and Program Outcomes

For the years 2013, 2012, and 2011, the total number of program graduates is 89, with a 75% graduation rate.

Information regarding JCHS OTA graduate pass rates on the national certification examination can be found on the following website: https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx