Occupational therapy assistants (OTA) work with individuals across the lifespan, whose ability to participate in everyday activities is complicated by developmental disability, physical and/or emotional illness, injury or aging.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Madison College will train you to work with occupational therapists in helping individuals improve functionality, quality of life and independence.
Please note that after acceptance to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program, you will be required to complete a background check and provide documentation of current required immunizations and current Healthcare Provider CPR certification. Further information about these requirements will be shared at program orientation.
Madison College students report 100 percent satisfaction with our two-year Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program.
- "The OTA classes are very relevant and instructors are very experienced."
- "We get practical information and see the full scope of OT."
- "This program is flexible, practical, and gets you where you want to go."
- "We see OT in practice in a wide variety of settings from pediatric to geriatric."
- "The Health Education Center at the Truax campus is beautiful and state-of- the-art."
Wisconsin law requires background checks for persons who provide care for others or have access to people who receive care. This law applies to students in many School of Health Sciences programs. Please review the Caregiver Background Check information on the School of Health Sciences Forms and Policies.
Students in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program can attend full or part time.
Courses are offered Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.
Occupational Therapy Assistant classes may be offered at these Madison College campuses:
- Madison - Truax
Your Advantages at Madison College
- Study in our state-of-the-art Health Education Center, including a simulated patient home where students practice teaching everyday skills.
- Learn with top faculty for personalized attention and real-world learning.
- Benefit from a series of on-site clinical practicums at local health facilities.
- Spend less than $13,000 for total tuition and program costs for your Madison College degree.
OT assistants are employed in community settings providing mental health, residential care and home health, and work-related services as well as in nursing homes, hospitals, and schools.
Earning your associate degree in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Madison Area Technical College prepares you for a range of professional positions in the field of occupational therapy, including:
- Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
- Adult day care coordinator
- Activities coordinator
- Community support worker
- Life skills trainer
- Durable medical equipment coordinator
- Job coach
- Family support worker
- Supported employment specialist
With additional education and/or work experience, Occupational Therapy Assistant Program graduates may find employment as:
- Assisted living program coordinator/ manager
- Case manager
- Community-based residential facility manager
- Assistive technology provider
The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) provides program data results.
Curriculum and Experience
Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2022-2023 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.
Current and newly admitted program students, go directly to your Degree Progress Report to view:
- Progress toward your specific requirements
- Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements
If you have questions after reviewing your degree progress report (advisement report), please see Advising Services.Pre-Occupational Therapy Assistant CoursesThe following courses must be completed prior to acceptance into Occupational Therapy courses:First SemesterSecond SemesterSummer SemesterThird SemesterFourth Semester
Students need to complete the petition process to get into core-program classes for this program. Before submitting an application, it’s important to review the Petition Process webpage which also includes estimated wait times for each program.
- View the admission requirements for application deadlines, materials, and requirements
- There is currently 0-1 years between acceptance into pre-program and the start of core classes. The estimated time to enter the core-program is subject to change based on the variable number of students ready to petition each semester.
- Learn more about the Madison College experience and get help with the admissions process
Once you have been accepted in a pre-program status, your next step is to complete the Petition Requirements. See the Petition information in the next section.
Students will be required to meet the current admission and petition requirements. Requirements must be amended any time accreditation requirements are updated or changed. Requirements may also be amended based on Madison College programmatic assessment data.
- View the admission requirements for application deadlines, materials, and requirements
After you have been admitted into a pre-program status, complete all of the Petition Requirements for your program. Login to your student account and run a Degree Progress Report to review the Petition Requirements and see which requirements you have completed and which need to be satisfied.
Requirements vary by program, and may include some or all of the following:
- Prerequisites (examples: Algebra, Geometry, Chemistry, Biology, English and Reading): This varies by program
- Course Requirements (examples: Anatomy and Physiology, Intro to Psychology, etc.): This varies by program
- Testing Requirement (examples: ACT, HESI, TEAS): This varies by program
- Petition Workshop: This is done online and can be found in Blackboard after you have been admitted in a pre-program status
You can view the Petition Requirements for this program using the links below.
After completing the petition requirements, students are then selected for entry into core program courses through the Petition Process.
UW System SchoolsThe terms of the Leadership & Org Studies agreement are limited to students who complete an associates of applied science degree and are admitted to the Organizational Studies emphasis of the Leadership and Organizational Studies at UW O. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. The terms of the Human Services Leadership agreement are limited to students who have complete an associates of applied science degree and have been admitted to the Human Services Leadership degree at UW O. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
Wisconsin Private SchoolsStudent who earn an Associate Degree from Madison College can transfer a minimum of 60 credits and a maximum of 72 credits to Lakeland College to be applied to the requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Sciences degree.Any Madison College student who has successfully completed an associate degree in applied science after 2015, and meets admission requirements for the Rader School of Business (RSOB) at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Technical Sales at MSOE by successfully completing the AAS to BBA Technical Sales Transfer Track in the Business Administration program. --- In particular, any Madison College student who successfully completes all technical courses and general education courses in their AAS program with a grade of C or better (not C-) in each course; successfully completes all other specified courses, as defined in this transfer agreement, with a grade of C or better (not C-) in each course; and meets the MSOE admission requirements for transfer students into the BBA Program at MSOE, minimum 2.75/4.0 cumulative GPA from the last regionally accredited school will be admitted into the AAS to BBA Technical Sales Transfer Track in the Bachelor of Business Administration program at MSOE.
Out-of-State SchoolsStudents who complete any associate degree at Madison Area Technical College will have no additional general education core curriculum requirements to meet but must satisfy the Kirkpatrick Signature Series requirement. This applies to students who are pursuing a bachelors of arts, bachelors of science or bachelors of fine arts at Bellevue University.Students graduating with an associate degree from MATC with a 2.0 GPA or higher are guaranteed admissions into CSU-Global and can transfer up to 64 semester credits from MATC to be applied toward earning a Bachelor’s Degree at CSU-Global.
After completing the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Madison Area Technical College, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate professional behaviors, ethical standards, values and attitudes of the occupational therapy profession.
- Practice within the distinct role and responsibility of the occupational therapy assistant.
- Advocate for the profession, services and consumers.
- Value lifelong learning and the need to keep current with best practices.
- Apply occupational therapy principles and intervention tools to achieve expected outcomes
- Serve a diverse population in a variety of systems that are consistent with entry-level practice.
- Serve individuals across the life span whose ability to participate in everyday occupations is complicated by developmental disability, physical and/or emotional illness, injury or aging. Occupations are the activities of daily life that have value to individuals and help them be contributing members of their communities.
- Use purposeful activities to improve the physical, cognitive, emotional and social skills needed to function.
- Offer alternative approaches and adaptations to compensate when needed.
- Promote the balance of self-care, work and leisure activities that results in the quality of life and level of independence valued by the individual.
- Collaborate with occupational therapists.
- Work in community settings providing mental health, residential care and home health and work-related services as well as in nursing homes, hospitals and schools.
The Madison Area Technical College 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 301.652.6611 and its website 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.
***Students must complete 16 weeks of Level II fieldwork within 18 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program.
The total number of graduates from the Madison Area Technical College Occupational Therapy Assistant program from 2020-2022 was 57, with an overall graduation rate of 77%.
Graduate Report Summary Overview
2019 2020 2021 Number of Program Graduates 22 15 17 Number of Surveys Sent 22 11 17 Number of Surveys Returned 21 8 15 Percent of Surveys Returned 95.50% 72.70% 88.20% Available for Employment 20 8 15 Percent Available for Employment 95.20% 100.00% 100.00% Not in Labor Market 1 0 0 Percent Not in Labor Market 4.80% 0.00% 0.00% Available for Employment
2019 2020 2021 Graduates Employed 16 6 12 Percent of Graduates Employed 80.00% 75.00% 80.00% Employed in Related Occupation 12 5 10 Percent Employed in Related Occupation 75.00% 83.30% 83.30% Employed in Unrelated Occupation 4 1 2 Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 25.00% 16.70% 16.70% Employed - No Response 0 0 0 Percent Employed - No Response 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Seeking Employment 4 2 3 Percent Seeking Employment 20.00% 25.00% 20.00% Reaction To Training at Madison College
2019 2020 2021 Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.4 3 3.3 Number of Satisfaction Responses 21 8 15 Very Satisfied (4) 9 4 5 Percent Very Satisfied 42.90% 50.00% 33.30% Satisfied (3) 12 2 9 Percent Satisfied 57.10% 25.00% 60.00% Unsatisfied (2) 0 0 1 Percent Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 6.70% Very Unsatisfed (1) 0 2 0 Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.00% 25.00% 0.00% Primary Reason for Attending Madison College
2019 2020 2021 Number of Primary Reason Responses 21 8 15 Preparation for Getting a Job 17 4 8 Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 81.00% 50.00% 53.30% Career Change 2 3 6 Percent Career Change 9.50% 37.50% 40.00% Improvement of Existing Skills 0 0 0 Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Preparation for Further Education 1 1 1 Percent Preparation for Further Education 4.80% 12.50% 6.70% Personal Interest 1 0 0 Percent Personal Interest 4.80% 0.00% 0.00% Other 0 0 0 Percent Other 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% When Employment was Obtained
2019 2020 2021 Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 16 6 12 Before Enrollment 3 1 0 Percent Before Enrollment 18.80% 16.70% 0.00% While Attending the College 1 0 1 Percent While Attending the College 6.30% 0.00% 8.30% After Training at the College 12 5 11 Percent After Training at the College 75.00% 83.30% 91.70% Location of Employment (related and unrelated)
2019 2020 2021 Number of Employment Location Responses 16 6 12 In College District 10 4 7 Percent In College District 62.50% 66.70% 58.30% In Wisconsin, Not in District 6 0 3 Percent of In Wisconsin 37.50% 0.00% 25.00% Outside of Wisconsin 0 2 2 Percent Outside Wisconsin 0.00% 33.30% 16.70% Employer Location Unknown 0 0 0 Percent Location Unknown 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Salary Trend Salary Trend 2019 2020 2021 Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 8 4 7 Average Monthly Wage $3,103 $3,629 $3,482 Average Hourly Wage $18.04 $21.10 $20.24 Average Work Hours per Week 38.3 38.8 41 Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 3 0 3 Average Hourly Wage $25.54 $21.67 Average Work Hours per Week 17 30 26.3
Graduate Employers for academic year: 2021 Employer(s) Job Title City* State** Positions Aegis Therapies Occupational Therapy Assistant Edina MN AZOT4kids Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Phoenix AZ Capability Health Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Las Vegas NV Catholic Charities Adult Day Center Recreation Specialist Cultivate Behavioral Health Behavioral Technician Verona Greenfield Rehabilitation Agency Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Brookfield Journey Mental Health Center Mental Health Specialist Oakwood Village Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Pioneer Heathcare Services Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Phoenix AZ UW Health Hospitals & Clinics Occupational Therapy Assistant 2 Villa at Middleton Village Activities Director Middleton
* - Only cities outside of Madison will display.
** - Only states outside of Wisconsin will display.
*** - If you have a position to post, please contact Career and Employment Services at email@example.com