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Frequently Asked Questions

1.What is an Occupational Therapy Assistant?
Occupational Therapy Assistants are health and rehabilitation professionals who help people re-gain, develop and build skills that are important for independent functioning, health and well-being. Occupational Therapy enables people to do the day-to-day activities that are important to them despite impairments or illnesses. 'Occupation' is another name for these day-to-day activities.
2.Who are the Occupational Therapy practitioners?
There are two levels of occupational therapy practitioners. The "professional"-level occupational therapist holds the title "Occupational Therapist (OT)" and is required to have a Master's-level education. The "technical"-level occupational therapist holds the title "Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)" and is prepared at the Associate's-degree level. The designation of "Registered (OTR)" or "Certified (COTA)" is achieved by passing a nationally-administered examination at the completion of the academic and fieldwork educational program and is a requirement for licensing as a practitioner in most states. The OTR is legally responsible for overseeing the work of the COTA in a collaborative team, for determining the evaluation needs and the therapy goals, and for coordinating the treatment implementation. Both levels of practice are responsible for all steps of the service delivery process.
3.What are some character attributes of an Occupational Therapy Assistant?
A COTA is a practitioner who is sensitive to the needs of individuals of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and the challenges of helping others to help themselves by solving the problems of the mismatch between a person's ability and demands of their desired occupations.
4.What is unique about Occupational Therapy Assistants?
People of all ages can experience problems or a decrease in their ability to participate in day-to-day activities because of illness, injury, or developmental or psychological impairment. Occupational Therapy Assistants work with people of all ages, with a variety of diagnoses - stroke, spinal cord and other injuries, developmental delays, mental illnesses, etc., in a wide range of practice settings (e.g. hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, schools, and patients' homes). Your career will likely be multi-faceted; you may begin work in one practice area and later switch to another area without formal retraining. Each practice area offers different work hours and work requirements. Rarely do occupational therapists suffer from "burnout."
5.How many students are accepted into Touro College's OTA Program each year?
The OTA program accepts approximately 20 students per year.
6.Is an interview required?
7.What is the length of the OTA program?
The program is 24 months in length. The last 5 months are full-time fieldwork.
8.Why is TOURO COLLEGE the best choice?
  • Touro College is among the few institutions with accredited programs for both "professional-level" and "technical-level" practitioners at the same site (Manhattan Campus), allowing for the development of the collaborative skills necessary for clinical practice.
  • Touro College class sizes are small, normally under 30 students. As a result, every student receives individualized and personalized attention in classes.
  • The liberal arts courses in the OTA curriculum may be taken at any Touro site, not only the Manhattan campus. Link Directory of NY Locations
  • Touro College is a Jewish-sponsored institution and follows the Jewish calendar, making it attractive to students who observe Jewish holidays.
9.Are graduates of the OTA Program finding employment?
According to a recent telephone survey of Touro OTA graduates (classes of 2006-2009), 100% of respondents who pursued employment reported that they found employment within one month of eligibility for practice in New York State.
10.Is there a part-time option?
Yes. Please contact us for information.
11.When does the program sequence begin?
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program begins each Fall semester (September).
12.What placement tests will I need to take?
All applicants are required to take placement tests in both Math and English. Results of these tests do not affect admission decisions. However, international students must pass the ASSET test in order to be admitted.
13.If I have already taken placement tests at another college, do I have to take Touro College's placement tests?
Yes. It is important for Touro to independently measure your ability in Math and English.
14.What GPA do I need to get into the program?
Since applicants can apply directly post-high school, there is no minimum college GPA requirement.
15.Will I get Financial Aid?
Students who are enrolled on a full-time basis are eligible to apply for Financial Aid. Link Financial Aid
16.If I already have some college courses that meet the requirements of the OTA curriculum, why can't I complete the program in less than two years?
The OTA-specific courses are sequential and are offered only once a year. Since all OTA coursework must be taken in a prescribed sequence, students cannot graduate in less than two years.