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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 improve or overcome physical, mental, and emotional barriers through therapy to achieve 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/task 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 with the exception of ANAT 142, which must be completed with a C or higher to register for PHGY 210).

Admission:  An applicant must submit a high school transcript, GED certificate, and/or any college transcript to the LATC Admissions Staff. The LATC Admissions staff accepts qualified applicants into the OTA program beginning September 1st and continues until the program is full for the following fall.  Students who meet minimum aptitude scores (ACT or Accuplacer Next Gen) and GPA (High School 2.0) are accepted into the program through the admissions staff.

Scores are determined as follows:

ACTAccuplacer NextGen
English/WritingEnglish 18Writing 263

The LATC Admissions staff will notify the OTA faculty of the following each August: total number of applicants and total number of admissions each August.  The LATC Admissions staff will send a letter of admittance or regret to the applicant.

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 for 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  7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E Bethesda, MD 20814. 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.

Lake Area Technical College’s curriculum for Occupational Therapy Assistant meets the educational requirements for professional licensure in South Dakota and all other states. Professional licensure and certification requirements often vary from state to state. Prospective or current students considering an academic program that leads to a professional license or certification are strongly encouraged to seek guidance from the appropriate licensing agency in the state you plan to work before beginning an affiliated academic program. Read more here regarding Professional Licensure Disclosures.

Harlan & 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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