Occupational Therapy Assistant

in cooperation with the School of Health Related Professions at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Associate in Science Degree - A.S.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program prepares students for a profession serving people of all ages who experience illness, disease, disability, and challenging life circumstances to adapt by participating in meaningful occupations. The program cultivates OTAs as professionals who will contribute to the health and well-being of individuals, groups, and populations in New Jersey and beyond, practicing as dynamic and inter-professional team members within health care, educational, and other community settings.

Students may complete the liberal arts component of the program at Mercer County Community College and take the specialized OTA courses at Rutgers. Admission to the Rutgers program is competitive and not guaranteed. In addition to the pre-professional coursework at MCCC, a number of strict Rutgers entry requirements must be satisfied. Specific admission criteria are outlined in the Rutgers School of Health Professions catalog. In addition, Rutgers maintains student policies related to the OTA program. Contact the MCCC OTA program coordinator or division dean for details.

Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the national certifying examination offered by the National Board for Certifying Occupational Therapy. Those who pass the test are awarded the title Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).

The OTA program at Rutgers is accredited by ACOTE (AOTA); (301) 652-AOTA; www.acoteonline.org

  • Have acquired an educational foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, including a focus on issues related to diversity;
  • Be educated as a generalist with a broad exposure to the delivery models and systems used in settings where occupational therapy is currently practiced and where it is emerging as a service;
  • Have achieved entry-level competency through a combination of academic and fieldwork education;
  • Be prepared to articulate and apply occupational therapy principles and intervention tools to achieve expected outcomes as related to the occupation;
  • Be prepared to be a lifelong learner and keep current with best practices;
  • Uphold the ethical standards, values, and attitudes of the occupational therapy profession;
  • Understand the distinct roles and responsibilities of the occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant in the supervisory process;
  • Be prepared to advocate as a professional for occupational therapy services offered and for the recipients of those services.
2023-2024 Academic Year
 earlier / Archive
CIP 519999

The course sequence below represents a recommended example of how this degree program can be completed in two years, presuming a Fall Term start and satisfaction of all Developmental Studies (foundation courses) requirements and prerequisites. Actual approaches toward completion depend on each student's anticipated transfer institution, career objectives, or other individual circumstances.

Students are encouraged to meet regularly with an academic advisor or Success Coach to consider options, establish plans, and monitor progress.

Mercer County Community College Courses
Code Course (lecture/lab hours) Credits
BIO 103 Anatomy and Physiology I (3/3) 4
ENG 101 English Composition I (3/0) 3
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology (3/0) 3
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology (3/0) 3
  —    — Diversity and Global Perspective general education elective 3
BIO 104 Anatomy and Physiology II (3/3) 4
ENG 102 English Composition II (3/0) 3
MAT 125 Elementary Statistics I (3/0) 3
PHI 204 Ethics (3/0) 3
PSY 207 Developmental Psychology: Across the Life Span (3/0) 3
Credits Subtotal: 32
Rutgers University Courses
Code Course Credits
OCTH 1010 Occupational Therapy Foundations for the OTA 3
OCTH 1019 Level I Fieldwork A: Integration and Practice Applications 1
OCTH 1020 Occupational Performance and Participation: Skills and Client Factors 3
OCTH 1031 Conditions Impacting Occupation, Participation, and Health I: Adult / Older Adult 2
PRST 1102 Communication Techniques 3
OCTH 1029 Level I Fieldwork B: Integration and Practice Applications 1
OCTH 1040 Occupational Performance and Participation: Therapeutic Applications 3
OCTH 1051 Principles and Practices I: Wellness and Mental Health 2
OCTH 1052 Principles and Practices II: Rehabilitation, Disability, Aging, and Participation 3
PRST 1103 Group Dynamics 3
OCTH 1032 Conditions Impacting Occupation, Participation, and Health II: Child / Adolescent 2
OCTH 1039 Level I Fieldwork C: Integration and Practice Applications 1
OCTH 1053 Principles and Practices III: Children and Youth 2
OCTH 1071 Professional Seminar I 1
OCTH 2019 OTA Practice, Fieldwork II: Adult / Older Adult 5
OCTH 2029 OTA Practice, Fieldwork II: Child / Adolescent 5
OCTH 2072 Professional Seminar II 2
Credits Subtotal: 42

NOTE: Rutgers courses are offered starting in the Fall of the second year through Fall of the third year. A minimum of 15 credits must be completed through Mercer County Community College to satisfy residency requirements.