Occupational Therapy Assistant

Program Locations: Grand Island Campus
Program Level: Associate
Department: Health Sciences

If you have a strong interest in health and wellness, psychology, sociology and behavioral studies, we encourage you to apply to our Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program. We offer the only two-year OTA program in Nebraska. Our graduates receive an associate of applied science degree and are eligible to take the licensing exam required to become a certified occupational therapy assistant. Through our program you’ll learn how to help address the quality of life of people who are unable to fully participate in meaningful tasks and activities of daily life due to physical, psychological or social conditions or environmental or attitudinal barriers.

Occupational therapy assistants:

  • Work with people of all ages and ability levels — from serving on early intervention teams to implementing aging-in-place programs for community elders.
  • Assist occupational therapists in assessing individual and community occupation-related needs. Help develop therapeutic intervention plans.
  • Use purposeful activities, creative arts, environmental modification, adaptive equipment and technology and the therapeutic use of self to facilitate engagement in meaningful activity.
  • Assist with planning and implementing treatment activities.
  • Communicate with individuals, families and health care providers.
  • Document progress toward the achievement of individual and community identified-and-centered goals.

Working Conditions

Occupational therapy assistants work in a variety of settings including:

  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Schools
  • Rehabilitation hospitals
  • Day treatment centers
  • Out-patient and community-based clinics
  • Acute care hospitals
  • Home health

Program Options

Associate of Applied Science

program overviewcourse descriptionscourse sequence

NBCOT Program Data Results


The occupational therapy assistant program has been granted accreditation through 2026 by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E Bethesda, MD 20814. Additional information regarding occupational therapy accreditation may be obtained from the ACOTE Accreditation section of the AOTA Web Page (www.acoteonline.org), or by phone 800-729-2682. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the occupational therapy assistant national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification exam and on the demonstration of continuing education and competency.

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Board Pass Rate

OTA Program Board Pass Rate





Total Number of NG Testing




Total Number of NG passing (% passing)

13 (100%)

21 (84%)

7 (88%)

Total Number of NG failing (% failing)


4 (16%)

1 (12%)

Total Average Score




Average Passing Score




Average Failing Score




OTA CCC Program Board Pass Rate Three (3) Years (aggregate pass rate percentage): 91%      
Within those years, the total number of program graduates who attempted the NBCOT exam within 12 months of graduation: 46
The number of graduates who passed the exam within 12 months of graduation (regardless of number of attempts): 44

Recruitment and Retention

OTA Program Recruitment and Retention

Year Started # of Students Entering program # exiting before graduation # delayed or on hold # graduating on schedule Total # of Students graduating
2009 17 1 1 15 15
2010 14 1 1 13 13
2011 18 0 0 18 18
2012 16 0 0 16 16
2013 16 1 0 14 14
2014 16 2 0 14 14
2015 16 3 0 15 15
2016 20 0 0 16 16 
2017 16 0 0 16 16
2018 23 4 1 16 17
2019 23 4 1 16 17
2020 18 2 0 16 16
2021 17 0 0 17 17
2022 23 3 1 19 20
2023 17 5 0 12 12
Graduating Year Students
Entering / Graduating
Graduate Rate
2021 17/17 100%
2022 23/20 87%
2023 17/12 71%
Total 57/49 86%

From 2021-2023

Students entering: 57 students

Students graduating: 49 students

Student graduation rate: 86%

  • What will it cost?
  • How long will it take?
What will it cost?
How long will it take?

Finish in 2 years by completing 4 semesters + 1 summer session

The length of time to complete a program is based on a student taking only the courses required for the program as listed in our online catalog. It does not include the cost of foundations courses that may be required based on assessment scores, retaking courses or taking courses that are not required by your program of study.

Your adviser will develop a plan of study to meet your personal needs.

Admissions Criteria

Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Admissions Procedures 

Begin the admissions process early. 
You will NOT be granted consideration to the OTA program until items 1 – 5 are completed. 
It is the student’s responsibility to notify Dr. Callie Watson, OTA program director, when items are completed. 

Admission Criteria and Procedure

  1. Background Check Requirements
    • You must have a criminal background check completed prior to formal acceptance in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program.
    • Please note, students who have a felony are not eligible to be admitted into the program
    • A $50 fee will be accessed when you register for the background check.
  2. Complete an application to the college, including submission of college and high school transcripts.
    • Biology classes completed more than five (5) years ago will not be accepted as transfer credit for the program.
  3. Schedule meeting with OTA director, or OTA professor.
  4. Meet program specific academic eligibility. This is accomplished by attaining minimum scores on the ACT, Next Gen, MAPS, or Accuplacer test. These scores must come from one test type. It is not permissible to use scores from multiple tests to satisfy academic eligibility. (for example you cannot combine an ACT composite score with a Accuplacer Reading). Test scores must be within 3 years of your OTA application. If the scores from your ACT or Accuplacer test are older than 3 years, MAPS tests are offered at all Central Community College campuses. Grand Island testing center can be reached at 308-398-7378. Program specific minimum scores are listed below:
    ACT Test Next Gen Maps Accuplacer Placement Test
    Composite ≥ 19 Reading ≥ 263 Reading ≥ 223 Reading ≥ 74
    Math ≥ 19 Writing ≥ 263 Language ≥ 223 Sent-Skills ≥ 84
    All other areas ≥ 18 QAS Math ≥ 246 Math ≥ 240 Elem Algebra ≥ 57
  5. Complete 10 hours of observation with a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) or Occupational Therapist (OT)
    • Hours must be completed by observing at a minimum of two practice areas. Observation Hours form must be completed by the Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant you observe.

Selection Process

Enrollment is limited to 23 students each fall. Admission is based on a first come-first served basis once OTA admission requirements are met. 

Students meeting academic eligibility and completing steps 1 through 5 above will be accepted into the program. In the event that more than 23 students meet academic eligibility, date of file completion will be used to determine placements. All other students meeting academic eligibility will be placed on an admissions waitlist. Application materials of students not meeting academic eligibility but continuing to work toward meeting admission requirements will be kept on file for a period of two admission cycles, after which time a student will need to reapply to the program meeting the stated requirements for all first-time applicants.


Curriculum Overview 

Graduates with an Occupational Therapy Assistant AAS degree will be prepared to provide occupational therapy services that meet the demands of current and future practice while demonstrating quality, ethical, and professional occupational therapy behavior in all practice environments. 

Curriculum Sequence 

Students enrolled in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Central Community College engage in five semesters of academic coursework. In addition to 52 credit hours of OTA specific coursework, students will complete 20 hours of CCC core curriculum that supports the major. Semesters consist of in-classroom study, two Level I Fieldwork, and two 8-week Level II Fieldwork. 

Students completing the AAS degree are eligible to sit for the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). It is the standard in most states to require licensure in order to practice. 

Course Sequence

Program Costs

Approximate Educational Costs – OTA Program

In addition to college fees, tuition, and costs associated with book and course supplies and materials, students who are accepted into the program must:

  • Pass a background check at the applicant’s expense.
  • Complete a healthcare provider CPR course and maintain certification throughout the program.
  • Submit documentation of required immunizations and tests (Hepatitis B, MMR, TB, flu, DPT, Polio, Varicella, TB test) or sign a waiver prior to fieldwork placement.
  • Purchase professional liability insurance through the college.
  • Incur the cost of Level I and Level II fieldwork associated expenses.
  • Become student members of the American Occupational Therapy Association and maintain membership throughout their course of study.
  • Incur the cost of sitting for the NBCOT examination.

College tuition and fees are established by the Board of Governors and may be subject to change

Estimated Costs of Program

Tuition and fees = 72 hours @ $105 per credit hour (in state) 


Books and printed materials 


Professional liability insurances ($12 x 2 years, purchased through the college) 


Background check 


Drug Test 


Professional membership to AOTA 


Immunizations (cost dependent on # of shots required) 


CPR (Healthcare Provider Level) 


Room and board (available at Hastings & Columbus campuses) 


Room and board for Level II fieldwork (individualized) 


PAMS Certification 


NBCOT Examination (Post Graduation Expense, not paid to college) 






Additional Information

Fieldwork Placement 

Fieldwork placement will be made by the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. While every effort will be made to match sites to student needs and interest, no guarantee is given or implied that placement will be made in a student’s home community of choice. Expenses incurred for Level I and Level II Fieldwork experiences such as transportation, out-of-town lodging, food, and incidental expenses are the sole responsibility of the student. 

Course Progression 

This is an academically challenging program, and students should anticipate engaging in critical and creative collaborative thinking processes and daily out-of-classroom graded homework assignments. A commitment to a full-time course of study with daily attendance is mandatory. Satisfactory completion of coursework is contingent on a student’s demonstrated ability of mastering subject material. Students admitted to the program must complete all OTA-required coursework and practicum experiences with a grade of C or higher in order to progress through the program. Students who do not complete all attempted coursework with a final course grade of C or higher will not progress to the next semester of coursework. 

Transfer of Credit 

Students must have achieved a grade of 2.0 in all transferring coursework that will be used for the AAS degree. Students may be asked to submit a syllabus(i) of the transfer course(s) for comparison. Transfer coursework must have been completed in the past seven years (except for English Comp I which can have been completed at anytime in student’s academic career). Exceptions to the “7 year rule” for transfer of credit may be granted upon written request of the student. These exceptions are granted under unique circumstances, including advanced study of subject matter or current substantial related work experience with near equivalence to the required course. Students requesting an exception will be asked to demonstrate current proficiency in the subject matter. 

CCC Criminal Background Check, Drug Testing, Character Check, Felony Convictions 

All students meeting academic eligibility and granted admission to the OTA program are required to complete a Criminal Background Check conducted by the College. Students may refer to the CCC Criminal Background Check (CBC) Student Procedures for additional information. The OTA program requires background checks and drug tests for admitted OTA program students in order to verify an individual's suitability to participate in level I fieldwork experiences and level II fieldwork practicum experiences, this also ensures the safety of individuals and organizations with whom the student comes in contact, as well as fellow students. The National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) performs a brief character review of all certification applicants. This review “serves the public interest by screening illegal, unethical, and incompetent behaviors of individuals who are yet to be certified by NBCOT®. To ensure that occupational therapy practitioners meet standards of professional conduct prior to entering the profession, all applicants for certification are required to provide information and documentation related to affirmative responses to character questions on the examination application” (NBCOT 2009). A misdemeanor or felony charge and/or conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT examination or attain state licensure. For additional information, visit the NBCOT website (see NBCOT character reviews). Students with a felony will not be considered for the OTA program. 


The Hepatitis B immunization series, MMR, Tdap, varicella (chicken pox), flu shot, and tuberculosis testing are required of all students admitted into the OTA program. These standards are put in place to protect the public from possible exposure to life-threatening contagious diseases as well as protect the health status of students. Students are responsible for all associated costs. Failure to provide official proof of immunizations will impact fieldwork placement.


Occupational Therapy Assistant Photos

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