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Occupational Therapy Assistant
Program Code: 10-514-1

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Associate Degree: 2 Years (minimum), 70 Credits
Appleton Campus
Financial Aid Eligible

Career Opportunities

As a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA), you work with clients of all ages who have developmental, physical, social or emotional problems which prevent independent functioning in the tasks of daily living. Working under the supervision or guidance of a registered occupational therapist, you may implement restorative, preventive and maintenance programs. You engage clients in meaningful occupations in areas of self-care, work, play, education and leisure. The core of OT is to use human occupation to promote individual, community and population health.

Program Description

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program curriculum is designed to develop creativity, team work, and problem-solving skills. You are actively involved in a variety of learning experiences to be applied in diverse employment opportunities.

The two-year associate degree program includes four 16 to 17-week semesters and one summer session to complete. The program can be completed in two years if you are able to take 16-18 credits per semester. The suggested amount is 12 credits per semester if you have other life commitments. Twelve credits translate into full-time status. Student/Advisor Program Plans for planning program progress are available at the OTA orientation, online on the department page and registration. Core OTA courses are offered at the Appleton campus. You spend some time at local agencies and clinics within the area. Your final semester includes 16 weeks spent in full-time clinical sites for Fieldwork II.

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, MD 20814-3449. AOTA's phone number is 301-652-2682. Email: Graduates of the program will be able to sit for the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

After successful completion of the exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). This certification is required to be employed as a COTA and for licensure to practice in the state of Wisconsin. Students who have been convicted of a felony may not be able to sit for the national certification exam given by NBCOT. For further information regarding this, prospective students should contact NBCOT at The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc., 800 S. Frederick Avenue, Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150. The phone number is 301-990-7979 or use the FAX number which is 301-869-8492. Email:

Note: It is recommended that all OTA students complete Fieldwork II within 18 months following completion of academic preparation. OTA coursework is expected to be completed in 5 years.

Program/Plan Admission Requirements


  • ACCUPLACER scores of 97 Sentence Skills; 80 Reading; 46 Arithmetic are required prior to starting core courses.
  • Two semesters of high school chemistry or General Chemistry (10-806-174 or 10-806-134) with grade of C or better is a prerequisite for General Anatomy and Physiology (10-806-177). An Accuplacer Algebra score of 51 is a prerequisite to General Chemistry.
  • Students are required to complete a criminal background and caregiver investigation prior to starting OTA core courses. Agencies and organizations have the legal right to deny fieldwork experience based on a crime committed that is substantially related to the care of others. Completion of your program cannot be guaranteed if your criminal history prevents you from completing any on-site experience. Anyone convicted of a felony may not be able to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy examination upon graduation.
  • Students must complete the FVTC Health History form prior to core course enrollment.
  • Students must read and sign an Essential Job Function Form.

Program Outcomes
  • Adhere to the ethical standards, values, and attitudes of occupational therapy profession.
  • Practice within the distinct role and responsibility of the occupational therapy assistant.
  • Advocate for the profession, services, and consumers.
  • Apply occupational therapy principles and intervention tools to achieve expected outcomes.
  • Serve a diverse population consistent with entry-level practice in a variety of systems/settings.
  • Utilize effective interpersonal and communication skills both verbal and written to collaborate as an effective team member.

Program Offered at This Location

  • Appleton—1825 N. Bluemound Drive

Helpful High School Courses

Courses in biology, English, Pre-Tech Anatomy, and algebra are very helpful. Chemistry is required for Anatomy & Physiology.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The majority of classes are delivered in the classroom with some materials available in an online format. For specific information on our online offerings as well as your answers to other questions about our program (such as getting started, job prospects, credit transfer or other information about our program), please go to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) web page.

Contact Us

For more information, visit the department website at

For additional program/admission information, View Program Plan.

Will my credits transfer to a 4-year college?

Students must follow the program curriculum in place at the time of enrollment into the program.
If you have questions, contact your advisor.

2014-15 Educational Program