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SUNY Orange Rowley Center

Occupational Therapy Assistant

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy practitioners provide services directed at enabling people to engage in the tasks and activities (the occupations) that are relevant to their daily lives.

A toddler's occupation is play. Play encourages growth, exploration and development of social and cognitive skills. When a child is unable to engage in play due to a physical or emotional limitation, their ability to grow and learn may be limited.

Through the use of adapted toys and games, the child is able to engage in their occupation of play. The occupation of a school-age child is learning. When a physical or emotional limitation exists, their ability to engage in learning is limited.

Occupation for an adult with cardiac problems may include learning to conserve energy while doing daily activities. An occupation for the elderly may be encouraging and promoting participation in activities as well as maintaining personal independence.

Occupational Therapy (OT) provides service to those individuals whose abilities to cope with their occupations (tasks) of living are threatened or impaired by developmental deficits, the aging process, physical injury or illness, or psychological and social disability.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA) work under the supervision of and in collaboration with Registered Occupational Therapists (OTR) addressing an individual's functional abilities and limitations in performance of daily occupations. The occupation of self-care, for example, includes the activities of bathing, shaving, dressing and feeding, each of which requires varying degrees of skill in motor, perception, cognition and psychosocial functioning.

The COTA's responsibilities include providing purposeful activity to restore lost physical, cognitive and psychosocial skills, training in the use of assisting devices, and adapting environments and occupations to enable successful and safe performance.

Total Cost of Attending and Completing SUNY Orange OTA Program 

Current Direct Cost of Education First Semester   Fall 2023 Second Semester    Spring 2024 Third Semester     Fall 2024 Fourth Semester     Spring 2025 Total Cost of Program
Tuition $2,832 $2,832 $2,917 $2,917 $11,498         tuition total
Student fees $  350 $  350 $  360 $  360 $1,420
Books & Supplies $  301 $  133 $  279 $     0 $  713
Other HP fees $  178 $  178 $  183 $  183 $  722
Total $3,661 $3,493 $3,739 $3,460 $14,353    Total program Cost

Illustration based on a 3% increase annually, fees are subject to change: No Distant education fees for the OTA program.


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 Blvd., Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org

Certification/License to Practice

Graduates of the OTA Program are required to sit for the certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Upon successful completion of the NBCOT exam graduates must apply to the New York State Education Department for license to practice as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.

1 Bank Street
Suite 300
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878
Telephone No. - (301) 990-7979

Upon successful completion of the exam, the graduate receives national certification and may use the letters "COTA".

NOTE: Graduates of the OTA program are required to apply for NBCOT certification. Candidates applying for the Certification Examination must notify the NBCOT's Qualifications Review Committee (QRC) if they have ever been charged with or convicted of a felony. A felony conviction may prevent the candidate from taking the examination. Please consult the department chair if this may be an issue in successfully pursuing a career in occupational therapy.

Sensory Integration: A "Playshop" for Elementary Educators

A workshop, offered by OTA Program faculty, designed to heighten educators' awareness of sensory integration issues in the classroom. These issues can interfere with the academic success of children in a typical classroom setting. This workshop is held in an effort to assist educators to think "outside the box," and to give them strategies to deal with sensory integration issues as they arise.

In accordance with federal regulations, the New York State human rights law and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Orange County Community College does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, gender, or sexual orientation in employment or in the educational programs and activities which it operates.