Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

Occupational Therapy Assistant header art

South Suburban College’s full-time, fully accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) educational program is a cutting edge hands-on training program that prepares individuals to work in a rewarding health profession that remains in high demand. SSC’s OTA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). 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.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program is accredited (Probationary Accreditation) by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E
Bethesda, MD 20814

The OTA Program is approved by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulations (IDFPR).

The mission of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at South Suburban College is to serve our students by providing a quality and personally challenging educational experience while preparing for employment as entry level occupational therapy practitioners in a variety of diverse and challenging healthcare and social environments. The program provides students with the essential personal and professional skills to effectively practice as entry level Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants by providing a “Process” that emphasizes ethical, client centered and evidence-based practice rooted in core values and lifelong learning. The “Process” embraces a diverse student population to facilitate a learning community that reflects a culturally diverse society and an appreciation of individual’s unique set of circumstances to successfully engage in purposeful and meaningful occupations.

The mission and philosophy of the SSC Occupational Therapy Assistant Program’s “Process” serves as the framework for the rigorous, holistic and comprehensive curriculum that ensures student success, personal and professional responsibility through the following program goals:

  • To Recognize and utilize the diverse attributes and talents of the SSC student population to foster the provision of occupational therapy services in an ever changing diverse socioeconomic and cultural healthcare, vocational and educational environment.
  • To prepare students for entry-level employment, certification and state licensure/registration.
  • To prepare graduates to address and respond to challenges within the field of Occupational Therapy and healthcare by recognizing the need for involvement in professional and civic organizations that promote and support the field of Occupational Therapy.
  • To encourage students to take personal responsibility in the areas of psychosocial and physical health, wellness and prevention of occupational dysfunction.
  • To provide students with the interpersonal and technical skills necessary to collaborate with the occupational therapist and other members of the healthcare/educational team in providing occupational therapy services that reflect client centered occupation based intervention in accordance with the profession’s core values, standards and ethics.

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 3.25 or better on program prerequisites.
  2. Minimum score of 75% on the Health Professions Examination.
  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.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program begins in the fall semester. Students applying to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program must complete all OTA program prerequisites prior to the application deadline of June 1st. General education courses must be completed prior to starting the program. Be advised that BIO 185 and BIO 186 must be completed within the last 5 years to satisfy program requirements.

Prospective students should submit an SSC Application form and forward all official high school (or HSE/GED®) transcripts, as well as official college transcripts, to the Office of Admissions no later than June 1st for credit evaluation. General education course transcripts must be submitted prior to the start of the fall semester.

Students who have completed the necessary prerequisite courses can submit the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Application form by mail or in person to the Allied Health & Career Programs in Room 4453. The deadline for prerequisite course completion and application to be considered for the fall class each year is June 1st. Late applications will not be accepted.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Application

A photocopy of the student’s current health care insurance must be submitted to each respective program coordinator in order to participate at any clinical education site. Failure to maintain comprehensive health care insurance will result in the student being immediately withdrawn from the clinical site and thereby receiving a failing grade in the clinical education class. Furthermore, the student will be financially responsible to pay all medical bills and copayments as a result of injuries or health issues that arise from participation of clinical education programs.

Students will be notified of their status by mail after July 15th. The SSC OTA program does not waitlist applicants from one year to the next; therefore, applicants who are not selected must reapply for successive years.

To fulfill the AAS degree requirement, all students must complete all general education and OTA Program coursework with a “C” or better to progress to successive semesters, including fieldwork.

Prior to enrolling in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, students are advised to review the applicable state credentialing procedures and requirements to ensure that they are eligible to receive state credentialing following completion of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at South Suburban College. Eligibility to sit for the NBCOT Certification Exam 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 have been found by any court to have committed malpractice, negligence or recklessness are advised to seek an Early Determination Review to determine their eligibility.

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.


Tuition & Fees: $11,962.75
Books: $709.50
In-district Grand Total: $12,672.25

Out of district

Tuition & Fees: $25,624.75
Books: $709.50
Out of district Grand total: $26,334.25

Associate in Applied Science Degree


National Certification

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) and is eligible to apply for credentialing throughout the United States.

SSC Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Statistics

The total number of graduates from the South Suburban College Occupational Therapy Assistant program during the 3-year period of 2021-2023, 22 graduating and graduation rate of 65%. (Please note that some students complete their final internship after December 31st of the calendar year reported.).

Graduation Year Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
2021 13/10 77%
2022 11/06 55%
2023 10/06 60%
Total 34/22 64%

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online.

Inquiry Form

Fill out this form or call the Allied Health Department at (708) 596-2000, ext. 2258 if you have additional questions about the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at SSC.

La’Taria Overstreet is the OTA Program Coordinator.

To make an appointment concerning Allied Health Careers, contact the College & Career Success Center at (708) 210-5724.

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