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Program FAQ

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program FAQ
Show or Hide answer How do I apply to the OTA program?

If you are not already admitted to the college, you must apply to the college first. The first step is attending an OT Information Session held at the College each month. The goal of these sessions is to review the application process, learn about the program curriculum and expectations. (Dates/rooms are subject to change.) Please call 845-574-4436 for more information or e-mail: or

Show or Hide answer How many students are accepted each year?

We accept  22 students each fall and 22 students each spring. Deadline for Fall admission is May 15 and Spring admission is November 15th.  Applications are accepted up to these dates.  See Application Process for more information.

Show or Hide answer How long will the program take me?

The program is 64 credits and requires a commitment of 5 semesters. However, many students complete the program at a slower pace due to the demanding nature of the coursework and their personal lives. We require students to complete the program in no longer than 8 semesters to ensure their knowledge is current in order to succeed in the national certification examination.

Show or Hide answer Can I complete the program by only attending at night or day?

All of the program's courses are given one time during a semester.  Some are day and some are evening classes. You need to have flexibility in your schedule.  The program tries to meet the needs of those who need a day or evening class. The OTA program is not full-time study, but when taking your Liberal Arts concurrently with OTA courses, you may have a full-time caseload.

Show or Hide answer Do I need to take the English and Math Assessments?

Yes, you must take the English and Math Assessments. If you need any remedial English, it must be completed prior to beginning occupational therapy courses. Even if you are transferring Eng 101/102 credits, you must still take the English Placement Assessment. If you do not place at the Eng 101 level, it may delay your admittance into the program. If you need remedial math, you can begin occupational therapy; however you must successfully complete the remedial math before you begin level II fieldwork.

Show or Hide answer I already have college credits. Can they be applied to the program?

Yes, once admitted to the college, the Records department will review your transcript and notify you regarding which courses will transfer to the program. An official college transcript should be sent to the Records Office for evaluation.

Show or Hide answer I already have my bachelor's degree, what do I do?

If you want to become a professional therapist (OTR) then select an appropriate master's program. You may choose to complete some prerequisites at Rockland Community College. Visit They have a listing of all associate, master and doctorate programs according to state.

Show or Hide answer What other expectations are there for students beyond the academic ones?

The program seeks to build professional responsibilities in its students. We expect our graduates to be empathetic people, and  to be caring and show concern for others. Above average interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to interact appropriately with patients, staff and families is essential to the profession. If a student demonstrates a significant lack in these areas, they may be dismissed from the program.

Show or Hide answer Is it true no grade lower than C+ is accepted by the program?

Yes, all courses in the OT curriculum require a passing grade of C+. The reason for this policy change is to insure that graduates of the program are competent practitioners and are sufficiently prepared to pass the national certification examination.

Show or Hide answer How many times can I repeat a course?

If you get below a C+ you may repeat an OCC course once more. The program reviews each course that a student wishes to re-take, and admission into a course is based on availability. A higher final grade (B-) is expected for any course re-taken. A second failure in any OCC course results in being dismissed from the program. If you get below a C in a non-OCC course it can be repeated until you do get a C or higher (with the exception of BIO 110/BIO 111) However, if failures persist and it appears college academic work is too challenging, you may be dismissed from the program.

Show or Hide answer What is fieldwork?

All education programs for health professionals require clinical or fieldwork experiences. These experiences tie what is taught in class to actual experiences students have with clients (patients) in treatment settings. Students get to practice their skills and apply the knowledge they have gained through these clinical fieldwork experiences. These experiences are completed during the daytime hours. Level I fieldwork is part of many of the core OTA courses in the curriculum and these clinical experiences are completed in addition to the semester coursework.

Show or Hide answer What is Level II Fieldwork?

Level II Fieldwork is experienced at the end of the program when all the academic courses are completed. The student spends the minimum of 16 weeks (full time) in two different sites supervised directly by an OTR or COTA, and treating patients/clients in an occupational therapy treatment program. This level II fieldwork experience are courses OCC 171 and OCC 172 for which the student earns a grade, receives credits and pays tuition. Fieldwork sites are selected to provide the student with strong clinical experiences and are an extremely important part of the occupational therapy education. Students are given 18 months to complete these two experiences.

Show or Hide answer Are there additional costs or fees associated with the program?

Yes, there is a malpractice insurance fee, the cost of a name tag, and materials fees in several courses.


Show or Hide answer Can I take courses in the summer and winter sessions?

You can take the liberal arts and sciences courses that are offered in the summer and winter sessions. If appropriate, Level II Fieldwork may be offered during these times.