South Suburban College
South Suburban College

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Occupational Therapy Assistant Program


This full-time accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant educational program prepares individuals to work in a health profession which helps people of all ages prevent, lessen and overcome disabilities.


The Occupational Therapy Assistant (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, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20814-3425, phone: 1 (301) 652-2682 ( Additionally, the OTA Program is approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR). Upon successful completion of all academic and fieldwork requirements, students receive an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree. Graduates of the program will be able 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). Over the past three years, SSC’s pass rate for first time takers of the certification examination is 79%.

Prior to enrolling in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, students are advised to review the applicable licensure /certification procedures and requirements and state laws of the profession to ensure that they are eligible to receive a license /certification following completion of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at South Suburban College. Eligibility for licensure may be limited by the results of a criminal background investigation. Individuals who have been charged with or convicted of a felony and/or have had any other professional license revoked or suspended or has been found by any court to have committed malpractice, negligence or recklessness is advised to seek an EARLY DETERMINATION REVIEW from NBCOT to determine their eligibility to sit for the national certification examination. NOTE: Criminal background checks are required for all admitted students for fieldwork. Additionally, students may be subjected to fingerprinting and/or drug screening for specific fieldwork sites.

Admission Process Placement

The OTA program has a selective admissions process. Specific eligibility criteria are used to evaluate each applicant to admit those students with highest likelihood of success. Admissions to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program will be determined by the following criteria:

  1. Cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better on program pre-requisites.
  2. Score on the admission test with minimum of 75% proficiency in all areas. (Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Anatomy and Physiology)
  3. Consideration will be given for individuals with college degrees in other areas as well as military and /or related work experience.
  4. Completion of general education courses with a ”C” or better.

Admission to the College does not guarantee admission to the program.

Students will be notified of status by mail after April 30th. The SSC OTA program does not wait list applicants from one year to the next; therefore, applicants who are not selected must reapply for successive years.

All students must demonstrate a minimum math competency equivalent to Elementary Algebra (MTH 095) to fulfill the AAS degree requirement as well as complete all general education and OTA Program coursework with a “C” or better to progress to successive semesters, including fieldwork.

Prerequisites for Admission to the OTA Program Credits
ENG 101 Composition & Rhetoric 3
BIO 185

Human Anatomy & Physiology I
(Prerequisite: BIO 102-Intro Biology I or BIO 105-General Biology I or equivalency)

OTA 101 Introduction to Occupational Therapy 3
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology 3
ART 112
ART 110
ART 109
Three-Dimensional Design
Metals and Jewelry
Ceramics I
General Education Requirements Credits
PSY 206 Abnormal Psychology 3
BIO 186 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
SPE 108 Oral Communication 3
MDR 102 Fundamentals of Medical Terminology 1

Note: In order to begin the OTA Professional/Career Education Program Requirements in the summer, all of the above prerequisite AND General education requirements must be completed in the spring semester. BIO 185-Human Anatomy & Physiology I and BIO 186-Human Anatomy & Physiology II must be completed within the last 5 years to satisfy program requirements.

Once admitted, students must present proof of CPR certification and maintain certification through the entire educational program.

There will be an additional fee for the entrance exam.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Links

General Education Links

For More Information

Download our Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program brochure

Contact either Ms. Cathy Mistovich, Program Coordinator at (708) 596-2000 ext. 2473, or Kathryn Eberhardt, Career Advisor for Allied Health at (708) 596-2000 ext. 2379.

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