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Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy promotes health by enabling people to fully engage in the activities of life. Under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist, Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) help people learn to overcome physical, mental, and emotional barriers to meaningful, daily occupations. When helping individual patients, OTAs commonly use what is individually familiar and enjoyable to:

  • Teach injury prevention
  • Improve functional ability
  • Adapt equipment/environment to improve quality of life

Program: Lake Area Tech’s rigorous 20 month program emphasizes lecture, laboratory experience, discussion, demonstration, and off-site fieldwork experiences. To graduate, you must maintain a 2.0 GPA, completing all courses with a grade of “C” or higher (a single grade of “D” will be allowed in a general or related course).

Admission:  Due to COVID restrictions causing issues with student aptitude testing, the program will adopt the admissions policy of Lake Area Technical College for the fall 2021 semester only.  The LATC institutional admission criteria is a 2.0 GPA.  All admission to the OTA program will be managed by the admissions staff and will be reported (total number of applicants and those entering the program) to the OTA program in August 2021.  Apply online below.

Exam: As a graduate of this accredited program you are eligible to take the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board of Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) NBCOT’s Web Site.

After successful completion of the exam, the graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Most states also require licensure (typically based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Exam) to practice. The 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. Their web address is www.acoteonline.org. Be advised that students graduating from an unaccredited program are not eligible to take the NBCOT Certification Exam. A felony conviction may affect an individual’s eligibility to sit for the national exam and/or obtain state licensure.

Students in programs which customarily lead to professional licensure are responsible for determining whether or not this program or course meets requirements for licensure in the state in which the student resides or intends to reside upon graduation. We encourage you to contact the licensure agency noted above for additional information or the program faculty for assistance.

Harlan and Rita Temple Scholarship

The Harlan and Rita Temple Scholarship is available to students in good standing enrolled in an accredited professional occupational therapy or occupational therapy assistant degree program within the state of South Dakota. Preferences will be given for students who are residents of South Dakota and students who are members of the South Dakota Occupational Therapy Association.  This scholarship was established by Harlan and Rita Temple, proud residents of South Dakota, and their friends who value the important work of OT and its significant impact on the lives of people and their families.

This scholarship is awarded annually by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation.   Temple/SDOTA  Scholarship application will open in the summer of each year at the following web address.

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