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The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is designed to prepare students with entry-level skills to provide rehabilitative services to persons with psychosocial, physical, and developmental impairments.

2021 Applicants: Due to the lack of availability of observation hours, please see the change to the observation hours requirement for OTA program for the application period for May 1 – May 15, 2021.

Due to the inability for students to access the testing sites, math placement testing will not be required for the Fall 2021 application cycle for the Health Sciences Division. You may submit an online Health Sciences and Nursing application for Fall 2021 without having math placement scores.

Information Session

The first step to beginning health career training at NOVA/MEC is to attend a mandatory Information Session.

Please note that the online information sessions contain program information for the current academic year only.

Start the Information Session Online

Attending a face-to-face OTA Information Session is mandatory in the 12 months prior to applying to this program. The online presentation does NOT take the place of the in-person Information Session. You are required to include the code provided at the in-person session on your application as proof of completion.

In-Person Sessions:
It is important to arrive on time; otherwise, it will be necessary to attend another information session. Please do not bring children. Times are subject to change. Please check back for cancellations.


Date Time Location
April 14, 2021 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m Zoom
May 5, 2021 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m Zoom
September 14, 2021 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m Zoom
October 12, 2021 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m Zoom
November 9, 2021 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m Zoom
December 14, 2021 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m Zoom

Pre-Health students who have questions regarding program requirements, admission, transcript evaluation or students who need academic advising are encouraged to visit the MEC Student Services Center in room 202.

703.822.6570, Medical Education Campus, Room 302


About the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is designed to prepare students with entry-level skills to provide rehabilitative services to persons with psychosocial, physical, and developmental impairments. Occupational therapy assistants, under the guidance and supervision of a registered occupational therapist (OTR/L), work with individuals to help them improve their functional capacities to participate in self-care, work, and leisure pursuits.

The degree program in Occupational Therapy Assistant is a full-time, five-semester sequential curriculum leading to an Associate in Applied Science Degree.

Special Accreditation Status: The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Northern Virginia Community College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-AOTA and ACOTE’s website can be found at www.acoteonline.org.

Upon graduation, students 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 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 could affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Students who are interested in the NOVA OTA Program are encouraged to attend a face-to-face information session and follow the steps in preparation for competitive placement into the OTA Program. Competitive eligibility does not guarantee admission.

Northern Virginia Community College’s OTA Program Outcomes: 

Graduation Year Student Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
2017 20/17 85%
2018 21/17 81%
2019 20/16 80%
Total 61/50 82%

Information regarding the NOVA OTA program graduation pass rates on the national certification examination can be found on the following website: https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.