Occupational Therapy Assistant


How do people occupy their time? Whether it is a child learning through play, a teen going to school, an adult being successful at school, work and at home, or a grandparent holding their grandchild, occupational therapy (OT) helps to enable people to be independent in the everyday activities that are important to them.

An occupational therapy assistant works under the direction of an occupational therapist (OT) to use meaningful activity to work in hospitals, school districts, clinics and community-based organizations to help people stay healthy. OT works on activities of daily living, like teaching a person who has had a stroke to dress themselves or make a meal, to developmental skills, like crawling and handwriting in children, to adapted driving and computer skills following a spinal cord injury, for example.

With classes held at MCC-Penn Valley Health Science Institute, the OTA program is the most established program in the area, founded in 1984, with a good reputation for quality graduates and consistently strong success rates on the national boards exam.

Program admission

Additional steps are required for acceptance into this program beyond the standard MCC admissions application. This is a four-semester program that begins in August and accepts approximately 20 students per year.

Steps to apply

  1. Complete all required prerequisite courses AND complete the required placement testing
  2. Download the information packet (PDF) and application (PDF) and follow the directions carefully. Be sure to note all of the program requirements. This document contains all information regarding the program including prerequisites and other requirements for application.
  3. Apply for financial aid. The federal financial aid application (FAFSA) is also available online.

Program acceptance

Within two weeks of the application deadline you will receive an email to inform you of your status. You will also be contacted via email or phone to schedule an interview. Students accepted into the program will be expected to attend an orientation session in July.

Students not accepted into the program should contact the Student Advising Department or MCC's Health Science Institute healthcare@mcckc.edu to determine next steps.


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. PH: 301.652.AOTA.


As a graduate, you'll be eligible to take the national certification exam, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). You should know that you will not be able to obtain a license to practice or be allowed to participate in clinicals should you have an unacceptable background as defined by state law regarding health care providers. An unacceptable background includes a felony and/or class "A" misdemeanor conviction. Prospective students may contact the NBCOT for an early determination review at professional.conduct@nbcot.org or for the code of conduct.

Graduation data

Fifty-one students graduated from the OTA program between 2018 - 2020 resulting in a graduation rate of 82%.

Graduation year Students entering/graduating Graduation rate
2021 20/16 80%
2020 20/16 80%
2019 20/16 80%
Total 2019-2021 60/48 80%

NBCOT pass results

Graduation year Students taking the NBCOT/passing the NBCOT Pass rate
2021 15/15 100%
2020 16/16 100%
2019 15/16 92%

Note - due to the Covid-19 pandemic table reflects the year of graduation, not date of certification exam

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

Program costs

Tuition OTA A.A.S. 74 credit hours
$116/credit hour
$228/credit hour
$307/credit hour
Program Fees* OTA A.A.S.
Textbooks/materials $1200+
Clinical management (Background check, drug screen, documentation review) $116
Immunizations and physical exam Cost will vary

*Approximate - subject to change

Total approximate cost of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program (In-district): A.A.S. - $9,900

Approximate cost for OTHA course per semester - $2,478

OTA students responsible for housing and transportation costs while at MCC. Students responsible for transportation to and from school and clinical sites.

Refer to this link to find out more about MCC's payment plan.

Frequently asked questions

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