Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapists (OTRs) and Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs) care for individuals who experience temporary or permanent disability due to pain, injury, disease or birth defects. The occupational therapy practitioner’s job is to help people regain, develop, or master everyday skills in order to live independent, productive, and meaningful lives.

The OTA program at Greenville Technical College is known for training graduates who are well prepared for this challenging and rewarding profession.

A career you can count on

The demand for OTAs is expected to increase tremendously between 2010 and 2020. As with most careers in health care, growth is due to an aging population and the advances in medical care for both physical and developmental disabilities.

National trends and data about Occupational Therapy Assistants are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Learn about real-time job openings and salary information through Career Coach.

What you’ll learn in the program

  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy & physiology
  • Psychology
  • Kinesiology
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Professional behaviors

Is Occupational Therapy right for you?

The World Federation of Occupational Therapists defines the profession as:

A client centered health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in occupations they want to, need to, or expect to do by modifying the occupation or environment to better support their occupational engagement. (WFOT 2012)

This is a "hands-on" profession in which the OTR and COTA develop a therapeutic relationship with their patients. COTAs are in daily physical contact with a diverse group of people and a variety of types of machines and technology. The work requires frequent standing, bending, walking, and occasional heavy lifting, exposure to bodily fluids, as well as working closely with clients and other treatment team members under potentially stressful conditions. Click on the following link to assess your ability to meet the Essential Functions and Technical Standards for Occupational Therapy Assistant Students.


The Greenville Technical College OTA Program is accredited by the:
Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
www.aota.org or www.acoteonline.org
(301) 652-AOTA (or 2682)
FAX: (301) 652-1417

OTA Retention for the past 3 years

OTA retention chart


National Board of Certification for Occupational Therapy Results

The performance of Greenville Technical College OTA Program Graduates on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification examination may be found using the following link:


Greenville Technical College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Program details and courses

Occupational Therapy Assistant
Associate in Applied Science

Designed as a One-Plus-One program, this program prepares students for entry-level practice in the field of occupational therapy.

  • Phase I includes all general education and related coursework and may be completed at Greenville Technical College or any articulating college.  
  • Phase II of the OTA program is only available at Greenville Technical College’s Benson Campus in Greer. Students from articulating colleges must be able to travel to or arrange accommodations near the campus.
  • Required fieldwork course assignments during Phase II will require students to travel and arrange temporary accommodations away from home. Fieldwork must be completed within 18 months of completion of academic courses.
  • Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

Read more from our current catalog (pdf)…

Program changes for 2016
Please note, there are several changes for the program beginning in Fall 2016.  Be sure to attend Career Talk to make sure you understand how these programs may affect you.

Students working toward acceptance in select Health and Wellness programs are now classified as an Associate of Science major.  Want to know more?  Check out our FAQ section.

OTA Program Requirements

In addition to Greenville Technical College admissions process, outlined in these Enrollment Steps, students interested in a program in the Health and Wellness Division must also successfully complete the following:

Career Talk
Participating in a Career Talk session for your program is a requirement for all Health and Wellness Division students. Click here for the Career Talk monthly schedule.

Preview / review the OTA program Career Talk with this summary (pdf). 

Program changes for 2016
Please note, there are several changes for the program beginning in Fall 2016.  Be sure to attend Career Talk to make sure you understand how these programs may affect you.

Division Policies
The OTA program strictly adheres to all the Health and Wellness Division policies, which are detailed on the division admissions information page.  

Supplemental Admissions Process
The OTA program is designed as a 1 + 1 program, where Phase I includes your general education and related courses, which may be taken at Greenville Technical College or any articulating college.

Upon successful completion of Phase I, including OTA 200 taken through Greenville Technical College’s online course, qualified students are eligible to apply to Phase II, the final 5-7 semesters of academic and clinical coursework.

  • Applications are accepted between January 15 and February 28 for 2016 and after admission period.
  • Students meeting all other program entrance requirements* who complete all general education courses with a grade of “C” or better by the end of the spring (fall) term will be considered first. (*Refer to Career Talk presentation or weighted admission form for specific requirements.)
  • Those completing the general education courses during the summer will be seated only when space is available.
  • Acceptance letters will be mailed in March

Read more about Phase II requirements

Recommended Humanities elective options (pdf) 

Admission into the Greenville Technical College OTA program Phase I does not guarantee admission into Phase II of the program. Phase II admission is competitive based on weighted admission scores and the relative scores of the applicant pool each year. 

OTA program applicants are required to complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS® V) prior to submitting a weighted admission form for program admission. Scores from the TEAS test will be used in the point calculations on the Weighted Admission form. Please see full details in the TEAS Information Sheet (pdf).

Occupational Therapy Assistant Weighted Admissions Form

Mission / Outcomes / Manuals

Student Learning Outcomes:  Upon successful completion of the Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant, students will:

  1. select, modify, and implement interventions that are safe, evidence based, culturally relevant and support participation in occupation
  2. model professional behaviors that are appropriate for the academic and healthcare environment
  3. uphold professional standards and responsibilities to promote quality in practice
  4. interpret evidence based research for use in clinical applications
  5. gather, interpret, assess, and report appropriate data for client-centered occupation based practice

Program Outcomes:  The Occupational Therapy Assistant program will:

  1. provide opportunities for students to achieve entry-level competence, as a generalist, through a combination of academic and fieldwork education
  2. provide opportunities/resources to equip students with skills required to become gainfully employed as an OTA.

OTA Student Policy Manual (pdf)