The application deadline is May 31, 2017 with classes beginning in the Fall semester of the same year. The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is a full-time day program. Each year, the Program accepts 20-25 students.

Degrees and Certificates

Occupational Therapy Assistant - AAS

Program Information

A Career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant.


What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a health care profession that focuses on helping people – The practice of occupational therapy involves the therapeutic use of everyday life activities - or “occupations” - with individuals or groups for the purpose of participation in roles and situations in home, school, work place, community, and other settings. Occupational therapy services are provided for the purpose of promoting health and wellness to those who have or are at risk for developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, activity limitation, or participation restriction. Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, and other aspects of performance in a variety of contexts to support engagement in everyday life activities that affect health, well-being, and quality of life.

The Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)

Under the supervision of a Registered Occupational Therapist, the occupational therapy assistant provides patient treatment, collects data for evaluations, develops goals for treatment, and documents treatment. Treatment interventions include, but is not limited to, therapeutic exercises, transfer training, activities of daily living re-training, handwriting intervention, sensory integration activities, re-training in independent activities of daily living, and neuromuscular facilitation techniques.

Where do Occupational Therapy Assistants work?

Occupational therapy assistants work in a variety of settings which includes, but are not limited to hospitals, nursing homes, home health, work rehabilitation, psychiatric facilities, schools, and outpatient clinics.

Admission Steps


Application Deadline 
Fall: May 31

Program Start
Fall: August 


Start here: If you are new to college or transferring to HCC, follow the steps and apply here.

What You Need to Apply

  • Student Success Course
  • HPRS 1201 or EDUC 1300 or LEAD 1370

REQUIRED COURSES – Completion of the following courses with a minimum grade of ‘C’ no later than Spring semester

  • MATH 0312 – Intermediate Algebra (if assessed below college level math)
  • BIOL BIOL 2301/2101 (formerly BIOL 2401) – Anatomy & Physiology I* (LEC/LAB)
  • ENGL 1301 – English Composition I
  • PSYC 2301 – Introduction to Psychology
  • OTHA 1201 – Introduction to OT (must be taken at HCC)

* Must be completed within 5 years prior to application to the program

Note: Students must not have more than 2 outstanding prerequisite courses at the time of application. Courses must be completed during the first Summer Session with final grades being available by August 1 of that year and provided to the Student Services Advisor to secure admission.

ACADEMIC COURSES – Completion of the following courses is not required at the time of application, but is strongly recommended prior to admission

  • PSYC 2314 – Human Growth and Development: Lifespan
  • 3 credits – Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 

All applicants are required to attend a Program Session, which is held at HCC Coleman:

1900 Pressler Street
Houston, TX 77030

Register at:


Submit an application packet to HCC Coleman - Student Services.

Items that need to be submitted include:

  • Application for Health Sciences Program - Typed and printed
  • Proof of Program Session attendance
  • Official high school transcript or GED scores
  • Official college transcript showing completion of required courses (unofficial from HCC is acceptable)
  • 24 hours of observation in an OT setting – Verification of hours must be signed by an OT or OTA who was involved in the supervision of your observation experience
      • Completed on facility’s official letterhead with the name and phone number of the person(s) providing the observation
      • Hours must be completed within one year of submission of application
  • Two-page, typewritten report with a cover sheet. Cover hours of observation with certified OT professionals and discuss what you observed and how it influenced you
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation on official letterhead

Students are contacted by email within 2 weeks of the application deadline with information on the interview process. Interviews are conducted the 2nd or 3rd week of June. Students are informed on their admission status by email by the 2nd or 3rd week of July.


A condition of admission is based on completion and/or submission of the following:

  • Proof of personal health insurance
  • Passing drug screening
  • Physical examination
  • Immunization record showing: Completion of Hepatitis B Immunization series (may take up to 6 months), MMR, Tdap, TB, Varicella, Meningitis (required for students under the age of 22), and Influenza (please note: a titer may be required for some of these immunizations)
  • Cleared Criminal Background
  • Attend Program Survival Camp
  • Attend Student Services Orientation

Disclaimer: Admission Steps are subject to change at any time.

Accreditation: Accredited by ACOTE; American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200 | Bethesda, MD 20814-3449 Phone number: (301) 652-AOTA |

More Information: For more information about healthcare careers and which program may be best for you, visit

International students

Veteran students

Accreditation Information


Accredited by the American Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
4720 Montgomery Lane
Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449

Phone number 301-652-AOTA (2682)

Pass rates for the program can be found by here.

Job Outlook for OTA


The National Bureau of Labor Statistics has found the following:

  • Employment of occupational therapy assistants is expected to increase 43 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average growth for other occupations.
  • Demand for occupational therapy is expected to rise significantly over the coming decade in response to the health needs of the aging baby-boom generation and a growing elderly population.
  • Occupational therapy is important with treating children and young adults with developmental disabilities like autism, genetic disorders, and complications from prematurity.
  • As of May 2015, in the state of Texas, the annual mean wage for occupational therapy assistants was $71,100 and the annual hourly rate is $34.18. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
  • Percentile wage estimates for this occupation from lowest to highest percentile follows:
Percentile10%25%50% (Median)75%90%
Hourly Wage $18.48 $22.98 $27.82 $33.25 $37.54
Annual Wage $38,440 $47,800 $57,870 $69,170 $78,080

Information Sessions

  • Students must attend an Occupational Therapy Information Session prior to the application deadline.
  • Information session can be found on the following site:



There are 280 Occupational Therapy Assistants employed in the Greater Houston Area. This number is expected to increase by 25.7% over the next four years.

  • The estimated annual job openings is 28 jobs a year.
  • Median Wages - $31.60 hourly, $66,000 annually

Program/Student Outcomes



YearStudent Graduated/Students that Started the ProgramGraduation Rates
2016 18/24 75%
2015 16/22 72%
2014 No graduates as Program transitioned from a 1-year certificate Program to a 2-year Associate’s Degree Program N/A
2013 18/23 78%


Between 2013-2016, 52/69 (75%) students graduate from the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program.

Congratulations to our 2015 and 2016 graduates on their outstanding performance on the first-time NBCOT pass rates: 2015-100% and 2016-100%.

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy pass rate data is now available online at This data reflects the pass rate for graduates attempting the national certification exam within 12 months of graduation from the program (regardless of number of attempts). ** An individual with a previous felony conviction should contact the ECPTOTE at 512.305.6900 prior to admission into the program. The Board will review each case and determine if an individual is eligible for licensure as an Occupational Therapy Assistant.

Program Mission and Philosophy



The mission of the Houston Community College Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is to prepare the student for entry into the dynamic healthcare field with the required skills needed to perform the duties of an occupational therapy assistant and provide optimal client care. Following this mission, the OTA Program will work to produce occupational therapy assistants that will (1) perform occupational therapy services under the supervision of an occupational therapist and (2) be competent entry-level practitioners that possess the skills necessary to work in this diverse society.  

The goal of the OTA Program is to produce entry-level OTA’s with the knowledge—theoretical and clinical to excel in today’s ever-changing healthcare environment. The coursework will focus on the importance of utilizing occupation with clients across the lifespan and in a variety of contexts to ensure optimal provision of occupational therapy services. The OTA Program is designed to produce occupational therapy assistants who possess optimal ethics, competence, knowledge, clinical skills, and dedication to the advancement of the occupational therapy profession and themselves as practitioners.


Occupational therapy, within the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process (AOTA, 2014), is defined to include, “the therapeutic use of everyday life activities (occupations) with individuals or groups of the purpose of enhancing or enabling participation in roles, habits, and routines in home, school, workplace, community, and other settings” (p. S1). The Houston Community College Occupational Therapy Assistant program also holds the view that it is important to ensure that when providing client services, across the lifespan, it is important to focus on the occupations of that client to determine intervention and progress towards established goals.

The philosophy of the Houston Community College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is consistent with The Philosophical Base of Occupational Therapy (AOTA, 2011) and the Philosophy of Occupational Therapy Education (AOTA, 2015). Serving as a third piece of our philosophy is the Model of Human Occupation Framework, as it provides a framework that focuses on the client as a part of a dynamic system as we provide intervention.

The Philosophical Base of Occupational Therapy (AOTA, 2011) sets some of the tenets of the occupational therapy profession, including the importance of occupation, the diverse contexts in which occupations occur and the importance of occupation in the overall health of our clients. The Philosophy of Occupational Therapy Education (AOTA, 2015) serves to provide the foundation of how we educate our students to best impart Occupational Therapy’s philosophies in their practice to produce an occupational therapy assistant that has an identity that is in line with the profession. The concepts put forth in the Model of Human Occupation Framework recognizes that the client is part of a dynamic system which include not only the client, but also the environment and how the client processes the information coming from the environment for the performance of a task.

The Houston Community College Occupational Therapy Assistant Program works to ensure that instruction embodies the philosophy of occupational therapy where the focus of instruction imparts the importance of occupation in intervention, the effect of contexts on occupational performance to modify intervention as necessary, and the need to ensure that clients engage in meaningful occupations to promote optimal health and engagement in the client’s environment.


Tuition Costs

Estimated Cost  
Initial Costs  
Lab Coat $25.00
Scrubs $35.00
Stethoscopes $60.00
Shoes $65.00
Health Physical $85.00
Vaccines $150.00
Photo ID / Pre-check $70.00
Total $490.00


Prerequisites In District Out of District Out of State
HPRS 1201 140.80 284.80 379.80
ENGLS 1301 208.20 424.20 473.40
PSYC 2301 208.20 424.20 473.40
OTHA 1301 208.20 424.20 473.40
BIOL 2401 275.60 563.60 629.60
Total for prerequisites 1041.00 2121.00 2429.60
1st Year
1st Semester      
Required Courses In District Out of District Out of State
12 Credited Hours 816.00 1682.00 1878.50
Books 460.00 460.00 460.00
Parking 350.00 350.00 350.00
Lab Fees 24.00 24.00 24.00
Liabilities Ins 12.00 12.00 12.00
Total 1,662.00 2,526.00 2,724.50
2nd Semester      
11 Credit Hours 748.50 1540.50 1722.00
Books 250.00 250.00 250.00
Parking 350.00 350.00 350.00
Lab Fees 24.00 24.00 24.00
Liabilities Ins 12.00 12.00 12.00
Total 1339.50 2131.00 2313.00
3rd Semester      
Required Courses In District Out of District Out of State
6 Credit Hours 411.00 843.00 942.00
Books 160.00 160.00 160.00
Lab Fees 24.00 24.00 24.00
Liabiliy Ins 12.00 12.00 12.00
Total 607.00 1039.00 1138.00
TOTAL YEAR 1 3608.50 5696.00 6175.00
2nd Year
1st Semester      
Required Courses In District Out of District Out of State
9 Credit Hours 613.50 1261.50 1410.00
Books 320.00 320.00 320.00
Parking 350.00 350.00 350.00
Lab Fees 24.00 24.00 24.00
Liabilities Ins 12.00 12.00 12.00
Total 1319.50 1967.50 2116.00
2nd Semester      
7 Credit Hours 477.80 981.80 1097.30
Books 320.00 320.00 320.00
Parking 350.00 350.00 350.00
Lab Fees 24.00 24.00 24.00
Liabilities Ins 12.00 12.00 12.00
Clinical Sim Lab fees 12.00 12.00 12.00
Total 1195.80 1699.80 1815.30
TOTAL YEAR 2 2514.50 3667.30 3931.00
TOTAL PROGRAM COSTS 6122.50 9363.30 10106.00


  • All students must carry a person health insurance policy to attend clinical training which is an additional cost.
  • All fees and tuition costs are subject to change.

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