Occupational Therapy Assistants help people improve their ability to perform tasks in their daily living and working environments and promote independence through meaningful tasks. They work under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist.They teach patients, clients and children how to use special equipment, modify their environments for safety, access education, recover, improve, and maintain the skills needed for daily living and working Their goal is to help clients have independent, productive, and satisfying lives.


Graduates of RVCC’s OTA program engage in treating both the young and old. An OTA may work in the schools with children or young adults, in hospitals with those who have suffered a trauma or injury, in the home with a person who is striving toward independence, or in the community addressing health and wellness needs. These are just a few of the options available for practice.  River Valley prepares students for success regardless of the avenue they choose to pursue.

Career Options

  • Home Care
  • Mental Health Facility
  • School System
  • Geriatric Care

Related Degrees

  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Nursing
  • Radiologist Technologist
  • Medical Laboratory Technician

Accreditation Information

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), ACOTE c/o AOTA, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. The web site is www.aota.org.  Questions about ACOTE accreditation can be directed via the ACOTE web site www.acoteonline.org or via AOTA telephone number: (301) 652-AOTA.

RVCC’s OTA program will prepare professionals to perform occupational therapy services under the supervision of an occupational therapist. The goal of the program is to provide entry-level OTAs with the theoretical and clinical knowledge necessary to excel in today’s dynamic healthcare environment.

Program Goals

To prepare students/graduates to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills and attitudes to effectively assist in the occupational therapy treatment process.
  • Collect pertinent data regarding the client’s occupational performance in sensorimotor, cognitive integrative, cognitive, psychosocial skills and psychological components.
  • Develop therapy plans relevant to clients’ occupational performance needs and rehabilitation goals.
  • Implement therapy programs.
  • Monitor and modify treatment plan as needed.
  • Assure continuity of treatment through discharge planning.
  • Assist in the management of occupational therapy services.
  • Demonstrate values, attitudes and behaviors congruent with the American Occupational Therapy Association Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics\
  • Accurately and respectfully use written, verbal and non-verbal communication skills to insure understanding in the delivery of occupational therapy services.
  • Pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) national competency examination at a 90% or higher level for first-time test takers.

Program Outcomes

Graduates will:

  • Demonstrate positive ethical behaviors
  • Conduct themselves in a professional manner
  • Establish occupational identity and behaviors that supports work with diverse populations in the evolving healthcare environment
  • Demonstrate occupational competence as evidenced by provision of competent, quality patient care with the highest degree of professionalism and ethical behavior, including adherence to supervision guidelines.
  • Employ strategies of occupational adaptation to promote health, wellness, and participation for individuals and their caregivers through purposeful activity, occupations, technology, within the framework of “best practice”.
  • Demonstrate effective intra and interpersonal communication skills to support productive relationships with consumers, caregivers, coworkers,
  • Utilize critical thinking and clinical reasoning strategies to address therapeutic problems as presented in working environment.
  • Value and instill lifelong learning skills to support service competence, community service, and personal growth and development.

All new applicants must:

  • Complete 2-4 hours of Fieldwork observation
  • Demonstrate proof of High School chemistry, college level Chemistry I, or Intro to Chemical Principles
  • Submit one letter of recommendation
  • Submit Signed Essential Skills Agreement
  • Submit Signed Licensure/Liability Agreement
  • Submit proof of criminal background checks and fingerprinting (required for FW placement and may be completed in the first year of matriculation) *the cost of these are the responsibility of the student
  • Take part in an advising interview with the Program Director after all program and college application materials are submitted.

 Year National NG Total Testing National NG Passing (%) RVCC Program Testing RVCC NG Program Passing (%)
 2019  4665  89  13  100
 2018  4652  91  13  85
 2017  5038  91  18  89

NBCOT Exam Pass Rates (3 year period)

NG= New Graduate

69-70 Credits Required

$26.00 /h
and are finding jobs with a great deal of flexibility, good benefits and room for growth.

Program Contact

Jennifer Saylor