Occupational Therapy (OT) focuses on helping people live a life that is meaningful to them. Occupational therapy professionals help people of all ages, from babies to seniors, and are great at problem-solving and finding solutions to what needs to change for someone to live life well.

Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant

How to Apply

STEP 1: READ THE Admission REquirement PACKET

The packet below outlines the requirements you need to complete before the application deadline. 

 

STEP 2: BE admitted to Panola college

You must obtain full admission to Panola College.

STEP 3: Completed all Prerequisite Courses

You must have completed the following prerequisites prior to applying:

  • BIOL 2401 Anatomy and Physiology 
  • ENGL 1301 Composition & Rhetoric I
  • PSYC 2301 General Psychology
  • HUMA 1301 Introduction to Humanities

STEP 4: Have a minimum of 2.5 GPA

You are required to have a minimum core curriculum course GPA of 2.5 or higher in order to be eligible for selection.

STEP 5: Complete the OTA Application

You should complete the OTA program application in the spring semester after the application opens in January. The top 50 applicants will be selected to continue the process and will be scheduled for an interview.

Application Period

Fall Semester: January 1 - May 13 (Midnight CST deadline)

Interview Tips

Many of our prospective students are nervous and/or intimidated by the idea of having to do an interview. Below are some tips that may help you be better prepared for the interview.

  1. Research Occupational Therapy so that you will have a better understanding of the profession.
  2. Make sure you know where you’re going and arrive early. It is better to arrive 5 or 10 minutes early than arrive late.
  3. Dress professionally. Ladies should wear dress pants or a skirt that is modest in length and a nice blouse, and gentlemen should wear dress pants with a dress shirt. (No sleeveless shirts, low-cut V-neck (cleavage showing) halter tops, flip-flops, tennis shoes, or tight clothing. Pants and shirt must meet so that when bending down or sitting no skin is showing.)
  4. Listen carefully to the questions that are asked; if you aren’t clear on the question, ask the interviewer to restate the question.
  5. Answer questions as directly as possible.
  6. Be polite.
  7. Be confident.
  8. Make eye contact.
  9. Try to relax.
FAQs

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of their lives

When I finish the program, I will automatically be a COTA?

Not quite.  Upon completion of the OTA Program, graduates will be able 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 the exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Most states, including Texas, require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.  A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to take the NBCOT exam or attain state licensure.  

When I finish the program and pass the national certification exam, can I start providing OT services?

Not quite.  You have to first get a license to practice.  Licensure is the governmental (state) regulation of practice, designed to protect the health and welfare of the citizens of a state against unscrupulous or incompetent practice by persons who have not met prescribed qualifications. In Texas, occupational therapy assistants are required to obtain a license to practice from the Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners before practicing. Failure to do so renders both the individual as well as his/her employer (if applicable) liable for misdemeanor charges and fines. The Board maintains certain rules and regulations that govern eligibility for a license, as well as requirements for licensure renewal.  For additional information, contact the Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners at 333 Guadalupe, Suite 2-510, Austin, Texas 78701-3942 Tel. (512) 305-6900. If you have been charged or convicted of a felony offense, you might not be eligible for OTA licensure in Texas and for certification by the National board for Certificate in Occupational Therapy.

But what if I have been convicted of a crime?

A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to take the NBCOT exam or obtain state licensure.  Based upon the nature and severity of criminal activity, fieldwork sites may refuse to allow a student to participate.  The OTA faculty and staff will be happy to assist you with questions regarding criminal history, certification and licensure.

View All OTA FAQs
OTA Program Highlights
95%
2020 Pass Rate

Panola College OTA pass rate on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy board exam

24
Students Per Cohort

Cohorts begin every fall semester

86%
Graduation Rate

Three year graduation average of Panola College OTA students

Resources

Advisory Committee

The OTA Program Advisory Committee is representative of the OT field in our service area. The purpose of the committee is to advise the program on matters related to:

  • goals and objectives that impact the program’s curriculum
  • policies regarding classroom and fieldwork
  • specific OTA skills required in the workforce
  • current and future trends in the field of OT
  • instructional supplies, equipment selection and acquisition 
  • the adequacy of existing facilities and equipment
  • recruiting resource persons within the business/industry community who will provide external learning experiences and/or student employment
  • professional development of the faculty

In addition to representing the needs of special populations, the committee members serve a public relations function in promoting and publicizing the program to the community and to business and industry

Advisory Committee
Laura Kiper, COTA Karen Rich, OTR
Justin Smelley, COTA Rosiland Scobey, OTR
John Jaskiewicz, OTD Jeani Bettershell, OTR

Student Occupational Therapy Assistant (SOTA) Club

This community service club is open to all students enrolled in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, all students declaring OTA as their major, and all OTA Program alumni. The purpose of this club is to unite the OTA students, future students, and alumni and broaden their intellectual and professional skills through community service projects.

  • Sponsor: Randy Ford - rford@panola.edu, 903-694-4000

 

Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Staff
Name
Department
Contact
Accreditation

The 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. In 2013, the OTA Program was re-accredited for the second time for ten years, the longest period awarded by ACOTE.

Upon completion of the OTA Program, graduates will be able 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 the 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. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to take the NBCOT exam or attain state licensure. Additionally, students with a criminal history are not guaranteed fieldwork placement.