Occupational Therapy Assistant

The AAS in Occupational Therapy Assistant is a one-plus-one degree program that prepares students to practice as certified occupational therapy assistants (COTA) after meeting certification and state licensure standards. East Central College is one of five colleges in the Missouri Health Professions Consortium (MHPC) currently selected to offer the program coordinated through  State Fair Community College. ECC offers and enrolls students in the general education coursework; sophomore level (professional level) coursework originates from a classroom located and conveyed to ECC students via interactive television and internet-based technology.

Through the combination of general education, professional-level coursework, classroom and laboratory practice, and clinical fieldwork experiences, students learn the profession of occupational therapy assistant. The Professional Year does not run on a traditional ECC academic cycle. Classes begin in the fall semester and will run until the next fall semester of the following year. Completion of professional coursework takes one full year.

ECC Allied Health Department
1964 Prairie Dell Road
Union, MO 63084
Health Science Building – suite 105

Dean of Health Science
Nancy Mitchell, MSN, RN

Program Assistant
Julie Beck

MHPC OTA Program Director
Brett Butler MFA, BA, COTA/L

State Fair Community College
3201 W. 16th Street
Sedalia, MO 65301

Executive Assistant to Dean
Christina Borgmeyer

Acting Administrative Assistant for MHPC OTA
(660) 596-7236

Additional Information

Admission Requirements
Students must have completed:

  • High school diploma or the equivalent(documentation sent to the registration office)
  • Application for Admission
  • A placement test as specified by the college.(Please note: Some coursework requires minimum placement results)
  • Meet program specific admission requirements

Admission to the OTA program is competitive. In order to apply to the MHPC OTA program at ECC, students must complete and submit an official application packet available from the Nursing and Allied Health office or website. Students must complete all general education coursework PRIOR to beginning the professional level program. However, students can complete coursework in the fall semester prior to the start of the program in January (Change to August); under these circumstances, program admission would be contingent upon successful completion of general education prerequisite coursework and maintenance of the required 2.5 GPA. Satisfactory criminal background check and drug screening upon acceptance to program.

Admission Process
Enrollment in the MHPC Occupational Therapy Assistant program is selective and an informational packet with application materials is available online or at the Sedalia campus. Students must complete all general education coursework PRIOR to entry into the professional level program. However, students can complete coursework in the semester prior to the start of the program; under these circumstances, program admission would be contingent upon successful completion of general education prerequisite coursework and maintenance of the required 2.5 GPA. Transcript evidence of satisfactory completion of general education/prerequisite coursework must be received with the application packet. SFCC may not be able to offer admission to all qualified applicants. Only students meeting all admission criteria and submitting completed application packets within the established timeframe will be considered. The Selection Committee meetings are conducted the spring before the start of the professional year. Admission decisions of the Selection Committee are final. Applicants will receive a letter regarding admissions status following committee review.

The MHPC Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) 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. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. 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 individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).

In Missouri, state licensure is required in order to practice and acquisition of a license is contingent upon passing the NBCOT Certification Exam. For more information regarding accreditation, please contact:

The American Occupational Therapy Association:Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
4720 Montgomery Lane
P.O. Box 31220
Bethesda, MD 20824-1220
Phone: 301-652-2682
TDD: 800-377-8555

OTA Student Program Outcome Goal

Individuals will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) upon successful completion of coursework and passing of the national certification exam.

Students participating in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program must be able to:

  • Participate in lab activities that require hands-on contact with classmates and instructors in various stages of moderate undress so as to prepare for clinical training.
  • Speak and understand the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice.
  • Observe and interpret signs and symptoms through visual, auditory, and tactile feedback. Students must possess functional use of the senses that permit such observation.
  • Utilize hand and mechanical tools safely and effectively.
  • Exhibit sufficient postural and neuromuscular control, sensory function, and coordination to safely and accurately provide remediation.
  • Demonstrate the use of accepted techniques accurately and safely when using equipment and materials of the profession.
  • Participate in physical activity involving lifting of approximately 50 lbs., bending, moving, and safely supporting others in transfer.
  • Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds.
  • Communicate judgments and treatment information effectively, with appropriate confidentiality.
  • Demonstrate appropriate behaviors and skills in classroom and fieldwork in interactions with faculty, other students, fieldwork coordinator, fieldwork supervisors, and professional colleagues.
  • Demonstrate the mental capacity to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate concepts and problem solve to perform therapeutic interventions.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

Employment Opportunities:

The Occupational Therapy Assistant profession is experiencing high job growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment of occupational therapy assistants is projected to increase by 28 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

In May 2018, the industries employing the largest numbers of occupational therapy assistants and their annual median salaries were:

Offices of Health practitioners – $60,440

Nursing care facilities – $65,930

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals – $55,680

Elementary and Secondary Schools – $50,380

Home health care services – $65,330

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
(301) 652-2682 | TDD (800) 377-8555