Jul 22, 2024  
2023-2024 College Catalog 
2023-2024 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Location(s): Perkinston Campus

(Perkinston Campus)

Spring Entry

The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) curriculum is a two-year program of study preparing graduates to work under the supervision of a licensed Occupational Therapist in providing treatment development, restoration, prevention, and maintenance programs. The focus is on consumer-centered functional independence to perform those tasks essential to productive living and to the mastery of self and context. This program prepares graduates to practice in a variety of health care and community settings as a member of an inter- and intra-disciplinary team. Opportunities for employment are varied and extensive with program admission selective and competitive. An Associate of Applied Science is granted upon successful completion of the program with graduates eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination for the occupational therapy assistant. 

The associate-degree-level 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 telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program 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, all 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 may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure

Program graduates are certified through an examination given by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Recent graduate performance: https://www.nbcot.org/Educators-Folder/SchoolPerformance

Mission Statement

The mission of the MGCCC OTA Program is to provide a comprehensive curriculum based on contemporary occupational therapy practice through superior instruction within an atmosphere of shared accountability in the teaching/learning process between program faculty and students. The OTA Program is committed to providing the community with professional, skilled and ethical entry-level Occupational Therapy Assistants prepared to offer occupation-based services in a broad range of practice environments.

Program Goals

The goals of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program are to:

  • develop/implement a comprehensive educational program, including both general education and occupational therapy evidence-based practice coursework, designed to advance humanistic values, critical thinking, problem-solving, cultural competence, communication skills, and ethical practice
  • ensure graduates demonstrate competency in application of evidence-based occupational therapy
  • ensure graduates demonstrate competency in dynamic professional reasoning abilities
  • ensure graduates can demonstrate entry-level occupational therapy assistant services in varied practice environments
  • ensure graduates are educated as a generalist with broad exposure to delivery models and systems used in settings where occupational therapy is currently practiced or emerging as an area of practice
  • ensure graduates achieve entry-level competence through didactic and fieldwork education
  • prepare graduates to successfully pass qualifying examinations required for certification as a precursor to successful state licensure and employment
  • prepare students to advocate as professionals for consumer access and receipt of occupational therapy services
  • support professional values of self-direction, professionalism, teamwork, community service, and life-long learning

Admission Procedure

  1. Make application and be accepted to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
  2. Application can be completed online.
  3. Submit copies of official transcripts of all schools attended to the Office of Admissions.
  4. All transcripts must be reviewed by the Office of Admission for determination of course credits.
  5. Meet all Academic Requirements (listed below) and complete any program pre-requisites or Entry Requirements.
  6. After successful completion and submission of ALL academic and entry requirements (See section below), the student is eligible to complete the Occupational Therapy Assistant Supplemental Application for Program Admission.

Spring Semester Application Submission:
Between August 15th and November 1st complete and submit the online Supplemental Application. 
To complete and submit the online Supplemental Application:

  1. Visit Web Services
  2. Select Student
  3. Select School of Nursing and Health Professions Supplemental Application.                      

Thereafter, the applicant MUST read the guidelines carefully.  In order to complete and submit the application, college admission and ALL pre-requisite requirements are required.

Supplemental Application Deadline Dates:
Spring semester – November 1
(If deadline falls on a weekend, holiday, or closing, the deadline is 5 p.m. on the next college business day). ALL required test scores, transcripts, and entry items (CBC, pre-orientation, etc.) must be completed with results placed in Banner (MGCCC’s computer information system) by the appropriate college employee prior to the deadline. In addition, any outstanding college holds must be clear in order for the applicant to complete and submit the supplemental program application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  (MGCCC reserves the right to review additional supplemental applications following the posted deadline).

Academic and Entry Requirements

  • Achieve a minimum Composite ACT Score of 18
  • Register for and complete the HESI A2 exam
  • Achieve a GPA of 2.5 on College work with no grade less than “C” on any core courses required for graduation.
  • Successfully complete all General Education Prerequisite Courses (as listed below)
  • Review the online mandatory Pre-School of Nursing and Health Professions Orientation Session prior to completing the supplemental application for program ranking.  The session can be viewed anytime and anywhere you have access to the internet.  The Power Point presentation gives you valuable information on topics common to all School of Nursing and Health Professions programs at MGCCC.   Even without the ability to speak directly or interact immediately with a School of Nursing and Health Professions advisor, the session speaks to frequently asked questions from program entrance to completion.  In order to receive credit for viewing the session, follow the steps below.  The information is approximately one (1) hour in length.                                                              

To complete this requirement do the following:

  1. Visit Web Services
  2. Select Student
  3. Select School of Nursing and Health Professions Supplemental Application Orientation Session.
  4. In order to receive credit, you must review the entire session.
  5. Click survey complete so that your log-in information will be recorded in the college’s BANNER system.   
  • Comply with Mississippi law requiring a Criminal Background History Check with Fingerprinting through the Mississippi Department of Health. All students making application to a School of Nursing and Health Professions program at MGCCC are required to obtain a clear or acceptable Criminal Background Check from the MGCCC Campus Police Department at HC, JC, Perkinston, or GC Campus.  The criminal background check policy (including testing dates and times) can be viewed at School of Nursing and Health Professions Criminal Background Check Policy .

Selection Process

Program openings are filled based on Selective Admission; applicants are ranked based on their individual achievement test scores and prior college course work. Student ranking for entry into the OTA program is based on a point system. Students are awarded points for their required ACT, HESI exam, general education prerequisite course grades, and cumulative GPA. Students are selected according to the following criteria:

Academic Core GPA - 10%
Cumulative GPA - 30%
ACT Composite - 30%
HESI A2 Exam - 30%

Program enrollment is a floating number which can fluctuate each year based on availability of clinical rotation slots, but not to exceed accreditation allowed capacity. Students who are selected are also held to the following program policies.

OTA Program Policies

  • All students are required to submit to substance testing in accordance with the substance testing policy and procedures for the School of Nursing and Health Professions. The testing policy can be viewed by clicking here:  School of Nursing and Health Professions Substance Testing Policy .
  • The School of Nursing and Health Professions requires proof of Immunizations and/or CPR. Submission of all required documents will begin following program acceptance. Failure to meet the requirements will result in withdrawal/dismissal.
  • Upon admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA on the required courses and complete each course with a C or better.
  • Adherence to additional clinical affiliation requirements may be necessary depending on clinical rotation placement. (i.e. hospital orientation, HIPAA training, CPR certification)
  • The School of Nursing and Health Professions Student Manual can be viewed here  

College – Cost List (Estimate only)

Prior to Entering Program

  • Criminal Background Check $65 - $80 (MGCCC Campus Police)

Once Admitted into Program

  • General MGCCC Tuition and Fees
  • Career and Technical Program Fee $50 per credit hour
  • Pre-admission Physical Exam and Immunizations $200 - $300                                              
  • Books $800 - $1000 (plus rental fees, if applicable)                                                                   
  • Substance Testing $29 - $35 per semester                           
  • Liability Insurance $12 -$15 per semester
  • Additional purchase items, supplies $50 - $100                    
  • Uniform, Accessories $150 - $200
  • National Board Exam Fees $515-$555
  • MS OT Association Student Membership Fee - $30
  • AOTA Student Membership -$75

Cost may be subject to change

General Education Prerequisites

Total Credits: 15

Total Credits: 10

Total Credits: 16

Total Credits: 16

Total Credits: 7

Total Credits: 84

Total Clock Hours: 1,620


* Students must earn a minimum grade of “C” in all pre-requisite and Occupational Therapy Assistant coursework.

** Students must complete 16 weeks of Level II fieldwork within 12-months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program