Intsructors leading class discussion

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Learn about the classes and other requirements for the Occupational Therapist Assistant major in the Curriculum Guide.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program (OTA) is designed to provide a quality educational experience that will train prospective professionals in the art and science of promoting and maintaining the holistic health and wellness of people, organizations, and populations through engagement in occupation. Graduates will be able to perform/engage as entry level professionals under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist (OT).  Graduates will develop skills necessary for employment as Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, thereby meeting the students' individual needs and the expressed health-care needs of the local and extended communities served by the Colleges. The program strives to fill a growing need for professionals able to contribute to all facets of occupational therapy, from community-based programs to client-centered intervention. The program promotes the value and professional importance of life-long learning. 

A basic background in natural sciences, mathematics, communication, and behavioral sciences undergirds the specialized course work. Specialized course work prepares students for the certification examination they will take to become Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA). Employment may be in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, clinics, and other health care facilities, as well as within pediatric, community, or educational settings.

Statement Of Mission:

The mission of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at JCTC is to provide a quality educational and training experience that will teach students the entry level skills necessary for employment as Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, thereby meeting the students' individual needs and the expressed health-care needs of the local and extended communities served by the College.  Graduates of JCTC's OTA Program will be caring, competent, and ethical professionals prepared to collaborate with OTRs in providing occupational therapy services; to participate in managing occupational therapy service; to direct activity programs; and to display values and attitudes that reflects the AOTA's professional standards and ethics.

Criminal Background Checks and Drug Testing: 

  • All Allied Health majors with a clinical component within their major must submit to a criminal background check and drug screening.  This is to ensure a safe clinical environment for both students and the public and to meet the contractual requirements of area healthcare facilities.
  • Situations in which a student does not have a satisfactory background check or drug test, will be reviewed by the Dean of Allied Health on a case-by-case basis.
  • Convictions involving the following crimes may serve to disqualify a person from participating in required clinical learning experiences: 
    1. any felony, whether listed below or not
    2. crimes involving drugs, including but not limited to unlawful possession or distribution
    3. crimes of physical violence to include any type of abuse (child, spousal, or of the elderly), abduction such as kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, robbery, sexual crimes, possession of a restricted fire arm or any related weapons offenses, assault and battery or
    4. conviction of a misdemeanor related to abuse, neglect or exploitation.
  • Drug screening may be required of a student at any time throughout the course of study if there is reasonable suspicion on the part of the program faculty that the student may be using a controlled substance not prescribed by a health care provider. 
  • Positive findings on a drug screen or refusal to submit to a requested drug screen will result in immediate administrative withdrawal of the student from the program.
  • Each student will be given the designated facility and time once they are accepted into the program. 
  • The cost of background checks and drug testing is the responsibility of each student.

AOTA Vision Statement:

We envision that occupational therapy is a powerful, science-driven and evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society’s occupational needs.

Contact Information:

Because faculty spend the majority of their time teaching, the preferred method of contact is via email.

Pam Smithy, MS, OTR/L
Program Coordinator
Phone:  502-213-2342
Office:  Health Sciences Hall, room 459

Lindsey Lawrence, BGS, COTA/L, ROH
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
Phone:  502-213-2214
Office:  Health Sciences Hall, room 458

Mary Warford
Allied Health Secretary
Phone:  502-213-4296
Office: Health Sciences Hall - 4th floor

Phyllis Diedrich
Allied Health Master Advisor
Phone:  502-213-2277
Office: Jefferson Educational Center, room 606

Allied Health and Nursing Direct Line:  502-213-4050

Allied Health Advising Office:  502-213-2245

Allied Health Division Office:  502-213-4200 or 502-213-4296

Important Links:

Fieldwork Educators:

If you are interested in becoming a Level I or Level II fieldwork educator for the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Jefferson Community and Technical College please contact Lindsey Lawrence at 502-213-2342

Other Information: