Occupational Therapy Assisting


Sacramento City College Occupational Therapy Assistant

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program at Sacramento City College prepares students to qualify for and pass the certification exam offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and to request licensure by the California Board for Occupational Therapy (CBOT).

All interested students should attend an information session as the program has extensive prerequisites, requirements and a robust application process.

About OTA

Occupations are the meaningful activities of our daily lives, in areas of self-care, work, and leisure. The activities we identify as occupations in our lives are based on our values, beliefs, needs, and desires. Some occupations are necessary for day-to-day functioning, such a bathing and cooking. Others occupations are tasks related to the roles we fulfill, such as parent, child, spouse, student, worker, or community volunteer. To perform these occupations, physical, cognitive, and social skills are required. The goal of occupational therapy is to help individuals and groups maximize these needed skills and abilities in order to participate in meaningful and purposeful daily activities. Occupational therapy helps people with living life to its fullest.

The Sacramento City College OTA program is cohort-based. Students are expected to advance through the required curriculum each semester in the established sequence. The Allied Health and OTA courses are offered Monday through Thursday in the evening and on Saturdays, with the exception of clinical fieldwork, which is scheduled during weekday business hours.

OTA Completion Requirements

An Associate in Science Degree can be obtained by completion of the required Occupational Therapy Assistant program requirements.

The degree includes:

  • Occupational Therapy Assistant courses (43.5 units)
  • Allied Health courses (5 units)
  • and specific general education and science courses required for the program (18.5-25.5 units).

Students may need additional courses to meet the graduation requirements of the college. Courses are scheduled sequentially for four semesters and two summer sessions.

Fieldwork Requirements

Supervised clinical fieldwork experiences are integrated throughout the program and are required. Introduction to clinical practice courses, OTA 122, 132 and 142 require 40 hours, OTA 152 requires 20 hours, and the two full-time fieldwork experiences in the student’s final semesters require 320 hours.

Fieldwork start dates and hours may vary. Students are responsible for being prepared to attend all clinical fieldwork activities as well as provide all transportation and housing. Fieldwork is full-time Monday through Friday during daytime, business hours and part-time fieldwork placement is not available, except with documented medical accommodations.

Fieldwork eligibility requires being graduation ready as well as having current documentation on file for a physical exam, immunizations, a TB test, current CPR certification for health personnel (level C), background check, fingerprinting and a drug screening. Fieldwork sites may have additional requirements specific to their site.

While students have up to 18 months to complete their Level II fieldwork after the completion of the didactic (classroom) portion of the program. Prompt completion of this requirement supports students' success on the national certification exam.

Program Outcomes

Program Completion Rates
Cohort entering Spring of Size of original cohort Students who exited the program prior to completion Total completing program Percentage of original cohort who have completed the program Percentage of remaining cohort after students exited who have completed the program
2015 34 4 30 88% 100%
2016 34 4 29* 85% * 97% *
2017 33 4 27** 82% ** 93% **
2018 32 5 19*** 59% *** 70% ***
4-Year Total 133 17 105*  ** *** 79% *  ** *** 91% * ** ***
2019 31 3 Cohort in progress
2020 32 1 Cohort in progress

* 1 student from this cohort is still in the program on a revised schedule for completion ** 2 students from this cohort are still in the program on a revised schedule for completion *** 8 students from this cohort are still in the program on a revised schedule for completion

National certification exam pass rates can be found at the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) website.


Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the certification exam offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). NBCOT is located at 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD, 20877. They can be contacted by phone at (301) 990-7979, and their web address is www.nbcot.org.


After passing the NBCOT exam, the graduate is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).  In order to practice, a license is required. The California Board for Occupational Therapy (CBOT) issues licenses to qualified applicants. CBOT is located at 2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 2050, Sacramento, CA, 95815. They can be contacted by phone at (916) 263-2294, and their web address is www.bot.ca.gov.

Note: Character review questions are required as part of the application process. For additional information about this requirement go to the CBOT Applicants web page.

Felony Convictions

A felony conviction may affect eligibility to sit for the national exam and /or complete the licensure process in California. For more information about an early determination review for the national exam, contact the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). For more information about California licensure, contact the California Board of Occupational Therapy (CBOT).

Career Options

This program prepares the student for employment as an occupational therapy assistant. Occupational therapy assistants work with people of all ages who, because of physical, cognitive, developmental, social, or emotional problems, need specialized assistance in order to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives. They may work in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, school systems, psychiatric hospitals, private practice outpatient clinics, and emerging practice areas.

The Sacramento City College Occupational Therapy Assistant Program 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 phone number, c/o AOTA, is (301) 652-AOTA.

Zoom Notice

Due to a national Zoom outage, the OTA Information Meeting scheduled for August 24, 2020, has been rescheduled for August 31, 2020, from 3:30-5:30 pm.

OTA Information Sessions

More About the Program

OTA Program Details

OTA Application Deadline Extended

Submissions will be accepted up to 11:59 p.m. on September 27, 2020.

Apply to OTA

Accredited By

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

ACOTE logo

6116 Executive Blvd.
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
(301) 652-AOTA

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Health and Health Professions

Health and Health Professions meta major

This program is part of the Health and Health Professions meta major.

Health and Health Professions