Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program

Career Description

Occupational therapy is a health care profession that focuses on helping people – The practice of occupational therapy means the therapeutic use of everyday life activities – or “occupations” – with individuals or groups for the purpose of participation in roles and situations in home, school, work place, community, and other settings. Occupational therapy services are provided for the purpose of promoting health and wellness to those who have or are at risk for developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, activity limitation, or participation restriction. Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, and other aspects of performance in a variety of contexts to support engagement in everyday life activities that affect health, well-being, and quality of life (AOTA Practice Framework definition). OTAs must complete a 2-year associate’s degree and are licensed health care providers. Occupational therapy is a health care profession that focuses on helping people of all ages regain, develop, or master everyday skills in order to live independent, productive, and satisfying lives. For a more complete description of careers in occupational therapy, refer to the website of the American Occupational Therapy Association.


Kelly Brandon, M.S., LOTR
OTA Program Director

Michele Allison, LOTR
OTA Academic Fieldwork Coordinator

Sarah Codarin Morgan, COTA
OTA Instructor

Important Dates

  • April 15 – Program application deadline
  • May 1 – Clinical Observation Rating Forms deadline
  • May 2023 – OTA Interviews; A mandatory interview process will be conducted. All applicants will receive notification by email of their eligibility for interview. Details regarding times and locations will be provided in the correspondence.
  • June 2023 – Mandatory one day orientation
  • June 28 – Summer Session C – Program courses begin

Program Overview

BPCC’s OTA Program consists of a Pre-OTA component (qualification courses) and a program component. Students may work at any pace (part time/full time) to complete the OTA qualification courses and other requirements. When courses have been completed (with a “C” or better), students apply for admission to the program component. Applications for the OTA program component are taken each spring, with a new OTA class beginning in third summer session (Session C). The program is designed so that a student may complete the OTA qualification course component in 1 year and the program component in 18 months.

Program Mission

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program prepares students to work under the direction of occupational therapists to provide patient care in a variety of clinical environments. The mission of the OTA Program at BPCC is to provide students with the academic instruction and support services necessary to earn an associate degree in occupational therapy assistant and graduate well-qualified and board eligible occupational therapy assistants committed to serving the needs of the occupational therapy community, state and nation. The OTA Program supports OT services that promote the therapeutic use of occupation and activity during the OT process to increase a person’s health, wellness and personal satisfaction.

Program Philosophy

We believe that individuals are intrinsically motivated, functionally active and holistically unique in their pursuit of occupation and that all individuals have the right to participate in society and make personal choices. We believe each person has unique personal characteristics which affect their ability to participate in necessary occupations that may impact his or her quality of life. We believe that human development has multiple influences on human behavior which in turn affects occupational performance and outcomes. The OTA faculty believes that OT practitioners are deeply cognizant and keenly aware of the diversity of issues related to a person’s ability to successfully engage in meaningful occupations. We support OT services that promote the therapeutic use of occupation and activity during the OT process to increase a person’s health, wellness and personal satisfaction.

Admission to the Program

The selection process for the OTA Program component begins each spring. Students should be aware of the following requirements and procedures regarding program selection:

  • Students must submit a completed OTA Program Application Packet by the application deadline of April 15th.
  • Pre-program (qualification) courses must be completed by the end of the spring semester in the application year.
  • Transfer students must apply for college admission to BPCC and complete all requests for official transcripts to be sent to the BPCC Admissions Office from all previously attended institutions by April 15.
  • Admission to the OTA Program is based upon a competitive selection process that occurs once a year. All applicants are ranked by the OTA Program Selection Committee on predetermined criteria that are both academic and non-academic. Cumulative GPA for eligibility to apply is 2.0 or higher. Qualification course GPA must be 2.75 or higher with a “C” or better in all required courses.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 20 hours of observation in two different occupational therapy settings under the supervision of two different licensed occupational therapy providers by the application deadline.
  • Interviews are conducted in May of each year. The top scoring 50 qualified applicants will be notified by mail of their scheduled interview day/time.
  • The Program Application Packet includes additional eligibility requirements, detailed instructions, deadlines and procedures for program application. The top ranking 20 applicants are offered admission to the OTA Program that begins in the summer semester, session “C”

Special Requirements

  • Students who are selected for the OTA program must be available for daytime, evening and occasional weekend classes. One course is offered online only in the first summer session which is taken concurrently with an on-campus course. All other didactic courses in the following fall and spring semesters are on the BPCC main campus.
  • OTA program students must be prepared to complete one or more full-time fieldwork rotation assignments (each rotation is 8 weeks in duration during the second fall semester) in an out-of-town facility. These rotations must be completed within 16 months of completion of didactic coursework.
  • Students selected for the OTA program must adhere to the OTA Clinical Requirements related to additional tests/immunizations required, documentation submission and policies/procedures of the division/program. Immunization documentation is NOT required during the application process.
  • Students who are selected to the program will receive information about additional tests/immunizations that are required for the OTA program at the mandatory orientation in June.
  • Students selected for the OTA program pay a clinical fee, in addition to regular tuition, each program semester.


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 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA, is (301) 652-AOTA, and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.

Graduates of the program will be eligible 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). In addition, all states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification exam.  Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. Therefore, it is the responsibility of a student with a felony conviction to contact the state licensing board and NBCOT prior to the application process to the program to determine eligibility status.

Degree Completion

The chart below indicates the number of students who graduated from the program and the graduation rate for each class for the past three years. The graduation rate is determined by the number of students who started the program and completed Level II fieldwork requirements within 16 months of completion of didactic coursework.

Graduation Year Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
2019 20/15 75%
2020 20/18 90%
2021 20/18 90%
Total 60/51 85%

NBCOT Certification

Please see the following link for details on the pass rate:

Program Performance Data on the NBCOT® National Certification Examination

Current Cost

Current Cost OTA Program 2022 Summer Semester OTA Program 2022 Fall Semester OTA Program 2023 Spring Semester OTA Program 2023 Fall Semester Total Cost of

2022-2023 OTA Program

Resident Tuition 555.84 1,667.52 1,667.52 1,667.52 5,558.40
Non-Resident Tuition 1,335.34 4,006.02 4,006.02 4,006.02 13,353.40
Student Fee 233 799 799 744 2605
Books & Supplies ~90 ~475 ~235   ~800
Resident Total 878.84 2941.52 2701.52 2441.52 8,963.40
Non-Resident Total 1658.34 5280.02 5040.02 4780.02 16758.4

According to FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), cost of attendance is defined as total amount of attending the program, which includes tuition and fees, books, supplies, transportation, loan fees as well as fees associated with distance education.

Fees are assessed on all students who enroll at BPCC. The amount of fees is determined in accordance with the residence status of the student and the number of semester hours (credit and audit) for which the student enrolls. Louisiana residents and audit students pay only the resident fee. The College reserves the right to change fees without prior notice. Click here for more information on fees.