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Occupational Therapy Assistant Program


This full-time accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant educational program prepares individuals to work in a health profession which helps people of all ages prevent, lessen and overcome disabilities.


The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20814-3425, phone: 1-301-652-2682, ( Additionally, the OTA Program is approved by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulations (IDFPR). Upon successful completion of all academic and fieldwork requirements, students receive an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree. Graduates of the program will be able 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) and is eligible to apply for credentialing throughout the U.S. Over the past three years, SSC’s pass rate for first time takers of the certification examination is 84%. Graduates taking the examination within 12 months of graduation have a pass rate of 88%.

Prior to enrolling in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, students are advised to review the applicable licensure /certification procedures and requirements and state laws of the profession to ensure that they are eligible to receive a license /certification following completion of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at South Suburban College. Eligibility for licensure may be limited by the results of a criminal background investigation. Individuals who have been charged with or convicted of a felony and/or have had any other professional license revoked or suspended or has been found by any court to have committed malpractice, negligence or recklessness is advised to seek an EARLY DETERMINATION REVIEW from NBCOT to determine their eligibility to sit for the national certification examination.

NOTE: Criminal background checks are required for all admitted students for fieldwork. Additionally, students may be subjected to fingerprinting and/or drug screening for specific fieldwork sites.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program begins in the summer semester. Students applying to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program must complete all OTA program prerequisites prior to the application deadline of February 1st. General education courses must be completed prior to starting the program. Be advised that BIO 185 or BIO 186 must be completed with the last 5 years to satisfy program requirements.

  1. Prospective students should submit an SSC Application form and forward all official high school (or HSE) transcripts, as well as official college transcripts to the Office of Admissions no later than February 1st for credit evaluation. General education course transcripts must be submitted prior to the start of the summer semester.
  2. Students that have completed the necessary prerequisite courses can submit the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Application form by mail or in person to the Health Professions Office in Room 4457. The deadline for prerequisite course completion and application to be considered for the summer class each year is February 1st. Late applications will not be accepted.
  3. A photocopy of the student’s current health care insurance must be submitted to each respective program coordinator in order to participate at any clinical education site. Failure to maintain comprehensive health care insurance will result in the student being immediately withdrawn from the clinical site and thereby receiving a failing grade in the clinical education class. Furthermore, the student will be financially responsible to pay all medical bills and co-payments as a result of injuries or health issues that arise from participation of clinical education programs.

Admission Process Placement

The OTA program has a selective admissions process. Specific eligibility criteria are used to evaluate each applicant to admit those students with highest likelihood of success. Admissions to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program will be determined by the following criteria:

  1. Cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better on program prerequisites.
  2. Minimum score of 75% on the Health Professions Examination.
  3. Consideration will be given for individuals with college degrees in other areas as well as military and /or related work experience.
  4. Completion of general education courses with a ”C” or better.

Admission to the College does not guarantee admission to the program.

Students will be notified of status by mail after April 30th. The SSC OTA program does not wait list applicants from one year to the next; therefore, applicants who are not selected must reapply for successive years.

All students must demonstrate a minimum math competency equivalent to Elementary Algebra (MTH 095) to fulfill the AAS degree requirement as well as complete all general education and OTA Program coursework with a “C” or better to progress to successive semesters, including fieldwork.

Prerequisites for Admission to the OTA Program Credits
ENG 101 Composition & Rhetoric 3
BIO 185

Human Anatomy & Physiology I
(Prerequisite: BIO 102-Intro Biology I or BIO 105-General Biology I or equivalency)

OTA 101 Introduction to Occupational Therapy 3
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology 3
ART 112
ART 110
ART 109
Three-Dimensional Design
Metals and Jewelry
Ceramics I
General Education Requirements Credits
PSY 206
PSY 211
Three-Dimensional Design Abnormal Psychology
Human Growth & Development
BIO 186 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
SPE 108 Oral Communication 3
HIT 102 Fundamentals of Medical Terminology 1

Once admitted, students must complete a physical and submit to a criminal background check. All students must be certified in CPR and hold a current card throughout the entire program.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Links

General Education Links

For More Information

Download our Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program brochure

Contact either Ms. Cathy Mistovich, Program Coordinator at (708) 596-2000 ext. 2473, or call the Health Professions Department at (708) 596-2000, ext. 2204. To make an appointment with the Health Professions Career Advisor, Katherine Melin-Eberhardt, please contact the Counseling Department at (708) 596-2000 ext. 2306.

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Main Campus: 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois 60473-1200
Oak Forest Center: 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue, Oak Forest, Illinois 60452-4601
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