Associate of Science - Occupational Therapy Assistant
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program (OTA) at UMDNJ was established in 2012 in response to a national, state, and local demand for OTA practitioners, supported by a grant from Genesis Rehab.
Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) help people of all ages who are challenged by disability, trauma, and/or the aging process to participate in occupations that are necessary and meaningful for them.
Occupational Therapy Assistants work in healthcare, educational and other community settings in collaboration with a team and under the supervision of an occupational therapist.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistic's Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-2013 edition) provides the following Job Outlook for Occupational Therapy Assistants:
"Employment of occupational therapy assistants is expected to increase 43 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations."
The State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development projects a 24 percent growth in jobs for occupational therapy assistants from 2010 to 2020, an entry-level annual wage of $53, 760, and a mean annual wage
of $62, 560. (Stete of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, (n.d.) retrieved November 11, 2012)
The 74-credit joint Associate of Science Degree Program in Occupational Therapy Assistant is offered in collaboration with UMDNJ Partner Colleges. Students complete at least 32 general education credits at a College Partner as pre-requisite to the 42 credits of professional coursework at UMDNJ. Partner Colleges include (see section on Partner Colleges for information):
- Camden County College
- County College of Morris
- Cumberland County College
- Hudson County Community College
- Mercer County Community College
- Ocean County College
- Passaic County Community College
- Raritan Valley Community College
- Salem Community College
The UMDNJ OTA program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Developing Program Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220.
ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA.
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
Once accreditation of the OTA program has been obtained, UMDNJ OTA program graduates 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 addition, most states including New Jersey require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.
Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. An individual who is considering entering an OT educational program or who has already entered an OT educational program can have his or her background reviewed by requesting an Early Determination Review. The fee for this review is $100.00.
For information on candidate code of conduct, character, and early review contact:
Credentialing Services at NBCOT
12 S. Summit Avenue, Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
To learn more about the Associate of Science Degree Program in Occupational Therapy Assistant contact:
Catherine Colucci, Program Director
Karen Kowalski, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
UMDNJ School of Health Related Professions
1776 Raritan Road
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076