Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy Assistant pic

Program Information

  • Location: Downtown Milwaukee Campus
  • Pathway: Healthcare
  • Program Code: 10-514-1
  • Offering: In-class
  • Degree Type: 2-Year Degree (Associate)
  • Start Dates: August

About the Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree


Use activities to help clients overcome difficulties with daily living, leisure and/or work skills, providing these services under the supervision of an occupational therapist. This program prepares you to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).

Job outlook is good and placement is usually in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, geriatric centers, schools, homes and community-based settings.

This program features exploratory courses that count toward a credential. Contact an MATC advisor for information.

Additional program details: Graduates will be eligible to take the National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapy Assistant. In the traditional setting, the COTA provides services under the supervision of an occupational therapist using goal-directed activities to prevent, lessen or overcome difficulty in attaining, maintaining or developing occupations: daily living skills, play, leisure and/or work skills.

A healthcare provider Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certificate is a prerequisite for entry into the fourth clinical course. Note that this program must be completed within four years.



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Detailed Program Information

2022-23 Curriculum

Course Course Name Credits
BIOSCI-177 General Anatomy and Physiology ‡
(or) BIOSCI-201 Anatomy and Physiology 1 ‡
and BIOSCI-202 Anatomy and Physiology 2 ‡
 ENG-195 Written Communication ‡
(or) ENG-201 English 1 ‡
OTASST-171 Introduction to Occupational Therapy ‡ 3
OTASST-172 Medical and Psychosocial Conditions ‡ # 3
OTASST-173 Activity Analysis and Application ‡ 2
PSYCH-188 Developmental Psychology
(or) PSYCH-238 Lifespan Psychology
PSYCH-199 Psychology of Human Relations
(or) PSYCH-231 Introductory Psychology
SOCSCI-172 Introduction to Diversity Studies
(or) Any 200-level HIST or SOCSCI course
ENG-197 Technical Reporting ‡
(or) Any 200-level ENG or SPEECH course
OTASST-174 OT Performance Skills ‡ 4
OTASST-176 OT Theory and Practice ‡ 3
OTASST-178 Geriatric Practice ‡ 3
OTASST-179 Community Practice ‡ 2
OTASST-175 Psychosocial Practice ‡ 3
OTASST-184 OTA Fieldwork ‡ 2
OTASST-189 OT Physical Rehabilitation Practice ‡ 4
OTASST-190 OT Pediatric Practice ‡ 4
OTASST-185 OT Practice and Management ‡ # 2
OTASST-186 OTA Fieldwork 2A ‡ * 5
OTASST-187 OTA Fieldwork 2B ‡ * 5



#OTASST-172 and OTASST-185 are online courses

* OTASST-186 and OTASST-187 must be completed within 18 months following academic coursework. OTA program must be completed within four years.
‡ Prerequisite required.

Program curriculum requirements are subject to change.

This Associate in Applied Science program will transfer to one or more four-year institutions.

Current MATC students should consult their Academic Program Plan for specific curriculum requirements.

Search for available classes now (link) to see course descriptions, class times and locations.

Already a student? You can visit Self-Service (link) and choose Student Planning to register for classes.

2022-2023 Program Card
view/print (pdf)

Important Dates

Fall start: Petition for program in February (only one time a year)

Deadlines and important dates can be found on:
Cost & Aid Deadlines

Also, you can find dates and deadlines on the MATC Events Calendar

Program Outcomes

  • Practice within the distinct role and responsibility of the occupational therapy assistant
  • Serve a diverse population in a variety of systems that are consistent with entry level practice
  • Seek out learning opportunities to keep current with best practice
  • Apply occupational therapy principles and intervention tools to achieve expected outcomes
  • Demonstrate professional behaviors, ethical standards, values, and attitudes of the occupational therapy profession
  • Advocate for the profession, services, and consumers


OTA Program Outcomes – Graduation Rate 

The total number of graduates from the Occupational Therapy Assistant  program at Milwaukee Area Technical College during the 3-year period of  2019-2021 was 59, with an overall graduation rate of 79%.

Graduation Year Students Entering Students Graduating Graduation Rate

















Career Outlook

Opportunities can be found in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, geriatric centers, schools and homes. Employment includes working with persons experiencing developmental disabilities, mental illness, physical disabilities and the results of aging. For additional career information, visit www.promoteot.org

Possible Careers

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)
Activities Specialist/Activities Director

Admission Requirements

This program admits students through a petition selection process. 
Learn more about the petition process

The following are required for admission:

  • HP-A2 pre-qualifying exam, minimum composite score of 75%
  • B- or higher in the following courses: 
    • BIOSCI-177* or BIOSCI-201* and 202*
  • Fall start: Petition for program in February (only one time a year)



This program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), aota.org/Education-Careers/Accreditation.aspx, located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE's telephone number, C/O AOTA is 301-652-6611; web address is www.acoteonline.org.

NBCOT Certification - Graduates of the program will be eligible 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 graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA®). In addition, all states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A Felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

State Licensure - To practice as an OTA, a graduate must apply for licensure in the state of Wisconsin. An applicant for state licensure may be required to complete an oral examination if the applicant has received inpatient or outpatient care for drug or alcohol abuse, or mental illness, or has been convicted of a crime that substantially relates to the practice of occupational therapy.

Program Data Results
The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) program data results page can be found at https://www.nbcot.org/en/Educators/Home#SchoolPerformance

OTA Program Outcomes - Graduation Rate (pdf)

OTA Program Costs (pdf)


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Healthcare Academic & Career Pathway


Last updated: 09/20/2022