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Majors & Certificates

Occupational Therapy Assistant

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) works under the supervision of an occupational therapist (OT). Guided by the OT’s plan of care, occupational therapy assistants are responsible for providing direct occupational therapy intervention to a diverse population of clients in a variety of settings to develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living. Intervention is client-centered and occupation-based, meaning clients play a primary active role in therapy sessions and sessions are designed around the client’s valued daily activities, also known as occupations.

Degree Information

This two-year program combines traditional classroom-based education and fieldwork experiences to prepare the student to enter the profession as an entry-level, generalist, occupational therapy assistant. The student will graduate with an associate in science degree.

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant

Accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

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 Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the ACCREDITATION COUNCIL FOR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY EDUCATION ACCREDITATION MANUAL VI.E. Revised July 2019 Section VI – Page 19 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 in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

NOTE: Students must complete all graduation and fieldwork requirements in a timely manner. All Level II Fieldwork experiences must be completed within 16 months of completion of the didactic portion of the program and must not exceed the overall limit of 36 months required to complete the program.

The potential impact of a felony conviction on a graduate’s eligibility for certification and credentialing (PDF)

OTA Program Mission

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program strives to prepare students in becoming generalist occupational therapy assistants who value life-long learning, seek evidence to support their practical and clinical decisions, and place their clients at the center of their practice. As a result of completing the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, these future Occupational Therapy Practitioners will be equipped to work with the supervision of Occupational Therapists in a variety of settings, with a diversity of people, populations, and communities. Confident in their entry-level skills they will make a positive impact on the health, well-being, and quality of life of their clients by increasing their ability to participate as fully as possible in their preferred and needful daily activities, also known as occupations.

OTA Program Objectives

The OTA program’s objectives are consistent with curriculum content and expectations as set forth by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Upon completion of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Lackawanna College, the student will be able to:

  • Deliver client-centered practice utilizing and evidence-based research to support clinical decisions under the direction and supervision of occupational therapist.
  • Demonstrate the distinctive nature of occupational therapy and the impact occupation has on health, well-being and quality of life.
  • Demonstrate leadership and professional identity through a commitment to lifelong learning, service competency, and advocacy for the profession.
  • Demonstrate mastery of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to pass the NBCOT certification exam.

OTA Admissions Process and Criteria

The following items are required in order for an applicant to be considered for admission into the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Lackawanna College.

1. Lackawanna College Application (may be completed online or via mail)

2. Complete the Occupational Therapy Assistant Application
Download the OTA Program Application (PDF)

3. Proof of 20 observation hours total, in two settings.
Download the OTA Observation Form (PDF)

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, applicants will not be able to complete observation hours at this time. In lieu of observation hours, applicants are required to complete the tasks outlined in the following document.
Download the COVID-19 In Lieu of Observation Form (PDF)

4. Three professional references.
Download the Professional Reference Form (PDF)

5. Interview and writing prompt
Applicants whose materials are satisfactory will be invited for an interview with the OTA program director and/or the academic fieldwork coordinator.

Applicants should submit their program application, and proof of observation or the COVID-19 in lieu of observation form to

References should either submit their completed Reference Form to or mail them to:

Lackawanna College – Admissions Department
Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
501 Vine Street
Scranton, PA 18509

Note: Submitting application materials does not guarantee an interview invitation. An interview invitation does not guarantee acceptance into the OTA Program. Further, each applicant’s materials, interview, and writing prompt will be assessed using a scoring rubric designed to objectively determine an applicant’s fitness for the OTA program.

Transfer of College Courses and AP Credits into the OTA Program

Students may transfer in college credits for the following OTA program courses if the course grade meets the minimum requirements set forth by the OTA Program and only if accepted by the College for direct transfer. Please contact the OTA Program Director for full requirements for transfer of the following courses:

  • College Writing (3 credits)
  • Effective Speaking (3 credits)
  • College Algebra (3 credits)
  • Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)
  • General Biology I with  Lab ( 4 credits)
  • Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab (4 credits)
  • Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab (4 credits)
  • Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)

All other courses within the OTA program curriculum and designated with the course code initials (OTA) must be taken within the Lackawanna College OTA program and are not eligible for transfer.

OTA Program Acceptance of AP Credits

Lackawanna College’s policy on accepting Advanced Placement courses for college credit is as follows:

AP and CLEP exams will be reviewed for possible transfer credit once the Registrar’s office receives an official score report directly from College Board.

*Transfer evaluation of Occupational Therapy Assistant curriculum candidates are based upon criteria specified in program guidelines and according to program-specific accreditation standards.

If AP scores are accepted by the Registrar for college credit, the OTA Program will accept the credits for the following courses (within the last 3 years):

  • ENG 105 College Writing
  • MAT 120 College Algebra
  • PSY 105 Introduction to Psychology
  • BIO 120 General Biology

OTA Student and Program Outcomes

Program Graduates
*First cohort began January 2018 with a graduation date of December 2019. No Program Graduate or Graduation Rates to report for 2018.

Class of 2018* Class of 2019 Class of 2020 Three Year Total
N/A 3 10 13

Graduation Rate
*First cohort began January 2018 with a graduation date of December 2019. No Program Graduate or Graduation Rates to report for 2018.

Class of 2018* Class of 2019 Class of 2020 Three Year Average
N/A 23% 63% 43%

NBCOT Exam Data


Melissa Aleksak, MS, OTR/L
OTA Program Director
(570) 955-1519