Occupational Therapy Assistant

Associate of Applied Science

Division: STEM and Health Professions

Division Chair: Kathy Hopkins, khopkins@sunyrockland.edu

Department Chair: Donna Knoebel, dknoebel@sunyrockland.edu

Fieldwork Coordinator: Kathy Babcock, kbabcock@sunyrockland.edu

Department Support Staff: Rochelle Mezoff, rmezoff@sunyrockland.edu

Department Office: Technology Center, Room 8323, Phone: 845-574-4436

Why Study in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program?

Occupational therapy is a health and rehabilitation profession that helps people regain or attain more productive, satisfying or independent lives. Injuries, developmental or emotional problems, diseases or physical challenges impact and disrupt people’s lives and can create difficulties in doing everyday tasks. Under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist, an Occupational Therapy Assistant can work with people to address their needs and the psychosocial, cognitive and physical aspects of tasks that may have affected that person’s health and quality of life. The U.S. Department of Labor website predicts an increased demand for trained personnel in this field, due partially to the growing population of senior citizens.

Degrees Offered:

Occupational Objectives:


This Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program prepares students to begin a career as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in New York State. If a student decides to continue academically toward a bachelor’s or master’s degree or become a registered Occupational Therapist, additional general education courses will then need to be completed.

5 Top Reasons

To Study Occupational Therapy Assistant at RCC:

  1. VALUE: Affordable tuition, financial aid, scholarships.
  2. FACULTY: Caring instruction by licensed OT and OTAs with current field experience.
  3. CAREER: Internships and our OTA lab provide real-world experience.
  4. FLEXIBILITY: Part-time study can accommodate work, family or other time commitments. On-campus childcare available.
  5. SUPPORT: Small class sizes, more individual attention, free tutoring.

Opportunities at Rockland Community College:

There are more than 40 student clubs, with activities to explore your special interests and socialize, with one club just for OTA students. Program instructors are all licensed occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants currently in practice. OTA courses are taught at the main campus in the occupational therapy labs. Upon completion of academic coursework, two for-credit internships are required, and are provided at a variety of settings where occupational therapy services are delivered.

Program Goals:

The degree will provide students with a high-quality, client-centered program that will teach them the ethics, values and beliefs of the occupational therapy profession. Students will understand and develop respect for the complexities of human diversity.

The RCC 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, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number, c/o AOTA is 301-652-AOTA. (https://acote.aota.org)

Program Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Apply the skills required to practice as a competent, safe, entry-level OTA under the supervision of an OTR.
  • Exhibit the values, attitudes and behaviors of an ethically driven professional, congruent with the profession's history, philosophy and standards.
  • Effectively select and utilize client-centered interventions to support participation and engagement in occupations.
  • Demonstrate the professional behaviors required to effectively interact, communicate and collaborate with a diverse population of clients, family and colleagues.
  • Write clearly and accurately in a manner that aligns with professional requirements.
  • Collect data and administer assessments, reports, relevant information and establish client-centered goals in collaboration with the OTR.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program has a special admissions process with an information session for prospective students each month. Please call 845-574-4436 for detailed information about upcoming information sessions. The OTA department office is located in the Technology Center, Room 8300.