Associate of Science - Occupational Therapy Assistant
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program (OTA) was established in 2012 within the School of Health Related Professions (SHRP) in response to a national, state, and local demand for OTA practitioners, supported by a grant from Genesis Rehab.
Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) help people of all ages who are challenged by disability, trauma, and/or the aging process to participate in occupations that are necessary and meaningful for them.
Occupational Therapy Assistants work in healthcare, educational and other community settings in collaboration with a team and under the supervision of an occupational therapist.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistic's Occupational Outlook Handbook (2014-2015edition) provides the following Job Outlook for Occupational Therapy Assistants:
"Employment of occupational therapy assistants is expected to increase 41 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations."
The State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development provides data on occupational outlook for
17 of 21 counties.
The expected growth ranges from 0% (Cumberland County) to 41.2% (Somerset County) with an average projected growth rate of 26.6% (Retrieved July 7, 2014).
The American Staffing Association has identified occupational therapy assistant as one of the top ten most difficult to fill occupations for the 12 months ending March 2015.
The 74-credit joint Associate of Science Degree Program in Occupational Therapy Assistant is offered in collaboration with our Partner Colleges. Students complete at least 32 general education credits at a College Partner as pre-requisite to the 42 credits of professional coursework at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Partner Colleges include (see section on Partner Colleges for information):
- Camden County College
- County College of Morris
- Cumberland County College
- Hudson County Community College
- Mercer County Community College
- Ocean County College
- Passaic County Community College
- Raritan Valley Community College
- Salem Community College
- Sussex County Community College
- Warren County Community College
- Thomas Edison State College (students graduate March instead of January)
The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 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, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org
Graduates of an ACOTE accredited OTA program are 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 including New Jersey 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. An individual who is considering entering an OT educational program or who has already entered an OT educational program can have his or her background reviewed by requesting an Early Determination Review. The fee for this review is $100.00.
For information on candidate code of conduct, character, and early review contact:
Credentialing Services at NBCOT
12 S. Summit Avenue, Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Distance Learning/State Authorizations
The School of Health Related Professions at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences offers online and distance learning opportunities, as well as clinical experiences, for students across the country, with an emphasis on Allied Health. SHRP has designed and implemented online undergraduate and graduate programs that parallel the classroom experience, providing academic and financial provisions that allow participants to feel supported and prepared for what is next. Recently, State Authorization regulations have impacted SHRP’s ability to offer admission to fully-qualified candidates for our programs due to each state’s regulations. To review the current status of authorization for distance learning or clinical placement in your state prior to application, please visit http://shrp.rutgers.edu/state_authorization/.
To learn more about the Associate of Science Degree Program in Occupational Therapy Assistant contact:
For general information contact:
Debbie Rich, Program Assistant
For specific questions:
Catherine Colucci, Program Director
908-889-2474 / email@example.com
Karen Kowalski, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator