- How do I apply to the OTA program?
If you are not already admitted to the college, you must apply to the college first. The first step is attending an OT Information Session held at the College on the first Monday of each month. The goal of these sessions is to review the application process, learn about the program curriculum and expectations. (Dates and times are subject to change.) Please call 845-574-4436 for more information.
All sessions are at 5pm, Academic I, room 1310 (3rd floor).
- How many students are accepted each year?
We accept up to 22 students each fall and 22 students each spring. There is no deadline for admission to the program. When the Introduction to OT course is full, we then accept applications for the following semester.
- How long will the program take me?
The program is 71 credits and requires a commitment of 5 semesters. However, many students complete the program at a slower pace due to the demanding nature of the coursework and their personal lives. We require students to complete the program in no longer than 8 semesters to ensure their knowledge is current in order to succeed in the national certification examination.
- Can I complete the program by only attending at night or day?
All of the program's courses are given one time during a semester. Some are day and some are evening classes. You need to have flexibility in your schedule. The program tries to meet the needs of those who need a day or evening class. The OTA program is not full-time study, but when taking your Liberal Arts concurrently with OTA courses, you may have a full-time caseload.
- Do I need to take the English and Math Assessments?
Yes, you must take the English and Math Assessments. If you need any remedial English, it must be completed prior to beginning occupational therapy courses. Even if you are transferring Eng 101/102 credits, you must still take the English Placement Assessment. If you do not place at the Eng 101 level, it may delay your admittance into the program. If you need remedial math, you can begin occupational therapy; however you must successfully complete the remedial math before you begin level II fieldwork.
- I already have college credits. Can they be applied to the program?
Yes, the Records department will review your transcript and tell you which courses you can transfer to the program. Your official college transcript should be sent to the Records Office for evaluation.
- I already have my bachelor's degree, what do I do?
If you want to become a professional therapist (OTR) then select an appropriate master's program. You may choose to complete some prerequisites at Rockland Community College. Visit www.aota.org. They have a listing of all associate, master and doctorate programs according to state.
- What other expectations are there for students beyond the academic ones?
The program seeks to build professional responsibilities in its students. We expect our graduates to be empathic people, to be concerned and show concern for others, to be able to communicate clearly in English, and to be able to initiate communication with patients, staff and families. If a student demonstrates a significant lack in these areas, you may be counseled out of the program.
- Is it true no grade lower than C+ is accepted by the program?
Yes, all courses in the OT curriculum require a passing grade of C+. The reason for this policy change is to insure that graduates of the program are competent practitioners and are sufficiently prepared to pass the national certification examination.
- How many times can I repeat a course?
If you get below a C+ you can repeat an OCC course once more. The program reviews each course that a student wishes to re-take, and admission into a course is based on availability. A higher final grade (B-) is expected for any course re-taken. A second failure in any OCC course results in being counseled out of the program. If you get below a C in a non-OCC course it can be repeated until you do get a C or higher. However, if it appears college academic work is too challenging, you may be counseled into another program.
- What is fieldwork?
All education programs for health professionals require clinical or fieldwork experiences. These experiences tie what is taught in class to actual experiences students have with clients (patients) in treatment settings. Students get to practice their skills and apply the knowledge they have gained through these clinical fieldwork experiences. These experiences are completed during the daytime hours. Level I fieldwork is part of many of the core OTA courses in the curriculum and these clinical experiences are completed in addition to the semester coursework.
- What is Level II Fieldwork?
Level II Fieldwork is experienced at the end of the program when all the academic courses are completed. The student spends the minimum of 16 weeks (full time) in two different sites supervised directly by an OTR or COTA, and treating patients/clients in an occupational therapy treatment program. This level II fieldwork experience is courses OCC 171 and OCC 172 for which the student earns a grade, receives credits and pays tuition. Fieldwork sites are selected to provide the student with strong clinical experiences and are an extremely important part of the occupational therapy education.
- Are there additional costs or fees associated with the program?
Yes, there is a malpractice insurance fee, the cost of a name tag, and materials fees in several courses.
- Can I take courses in the summer and winter sessions?
You can take the liberal arts and sciences courses that are offered in the summer and winter sessions. If appropriate, Level II Fieldwork may be offered during these times.