1. What is the difference between an Occupational Therapist (OT) and an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)?
    OTs are now required to complete a Master’s degree program, while an OTA completes a 2-year degree.  OTs evaluate and develop intervention plans and are responsible for supervising OTAs.  After being certified and licensed, OTAs provide OT services under the supervision of an OT.

  2. What does COTA mean?
    ertified Occupational Therapy Assistant.  A person becomes certified after completing an accredited program and sitting for the NBCOT Certification Examination.  (NBCOT = National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy)

  3.  Where are graduates from Allegany College of Maryland getting jobs?
    Graduates are employed at facilities such as:  hospital systems, school therapy services, nursing homes, and other various outpatient facilities. 

  4. Is the program offered at ACM accredited?
    Yes.  The program’s most recent re-accreditation status was granted August 2014. The program will have it’s next on site visit for re-accreditation in the Summer of 2025.

  5. How much do graduates from ACM earn?
    salaries vary depending on the facility and its location.  In the immediate Cumberland area, graduates are earning $19-$35 per hour.  In larger cities, graduates can earn up to $45 per hour starting salary.  The Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows the national average salary for an Occupational Therapy Assistant to be $63,450

  6. If I attend ACM and become a COTA, can I return to school and become an OTR?
    Several ACM graduates have returned to OT school and are now working as OTRs.  You can choose a traditional Monday through Friday OT program, but other OTA graduates choose the weekend option.  This allows the COTA to work full-time or part-time while earning their degree to become and OTR. There are many programs offering a variety of options to move from OTA to OTR and some accept your completion of the OTA program as a package. Variations from 100% in person to nearly completely on line are available. In some situations, articulation agreements have been worked out to streamline to process of moving from your OTA degree at Allegany College of Maryland to a more advanced degree.

    You will need to contact the specific university you would like to attend to be sure credits will transfer.  Many OTA graduates will remain at AC and complete general education courses before actually transferring to a university for OT school.

    For a list of OT schools, contact American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) at 1-800-SAY-AOTA.

  7. Do ACM graduates pass the NBCOT Certification Examination?
    To access the program data results by year, please go to: https://www.nbcot.org/Educators-Folder/SchoolPerformance

  8. If I graduate from a Maryland School such as ACM, can I work in PA or WV?
    After completing the program at Allegany College of Maryland, you will be eligible to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination.  Once you pass this Examination, you can apply for licensure in any state in the US as well as in other countries.

  9. What classes do I need to be eligible for ACM’s OTA program?
    For a list of courses, please view the ACM credit catalog

  10. If I complete classes at another college or university, will my credits transfer to ACM?
    All courses are evaluated to determine if they will transfer.  Generally, general education courses transfer, but you will need to contact the Admissions Office and send official transcripts for the course evaluation.

  11. Is there financial aid available for OTA students?
    There are several OTA scholarships specifically for OTA students through our Foundation.  Students can also apply for grants.  Contact our Financial Aid Office for additional financial assistance.

  12. What is the employment outlook for occupational therapy assistants?
    The U.S. Department of Labor predicts an increase of 24% in employment over the next ten years, nationwide. This is much faster than the average growth of many other professions. View more statistics here.


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