Occupational therapy assistants work in conjunction with and under the supervision of registered occupational therapists. OTAs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, residential care facilities, schools, nursing facilities, mental health facilities, and home health care contexts. Job responsibilities typically include helping patients recover and regain physical skills after injuries and illnesses.
Illinois Occupational Therapy Assistant Schools
Occupational therapy assistant programs in Illinois typically are two years in duration, and graduates of the programs generally earn an Associate of Applied Science degree. The programs have as a goal the preparation of students for the national certification exam, and they train students in the particular skills they'll need on the job as an occupational therapy assistant.
- Illinois Central College: The ICC program offers an AAS degree and is designed to be completed in five semesters.
- Lewis & Clark Community College: The two-year OTA program at LCCC culminates in an AAS degree.
- Lincoln Land College: The program at LLC is six semesters long. Students begin the program in the spring semester and should complete the curriculum in December of the following year. The program includes general education courses, OTA coursework, and hands-on field work.
- McHenry County College: The MCC program offers an AAS degree and combines classroom coursework with hands-on experience in clinical settings.
- Parkland College College: The AAS program at Parkland requires the completion of 72 credit hours and can be completed in four semesters.
- South Suburban College: The AAS program at SSC begins in the summer semester, and students must complete their general education requirements before beginning the program.
- Southeastern Illinois College: This program is a collaboration of the five-school Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market.
- City Colleges of Chicago Wilbur Wright: The Wilbur Wright OTA program is designed to be completed in four semesters followed by one summer term.
What to Expect from Illinois Occupational Therapy Assistant Schools
Occupational therapy assistant programs in Illinois prepare students to work in professional settings. Coursework, laboratory experience and hands-on clinical experience trains students to provide treatments that restore physical function, procedures for modifying environments to assist patients, conduct prevention programs to avoid re-injury, and help patients to redesign their lifestyles.
Students in OTA programs should expect both classroom and lab experience in a wide range of subjects, including:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Disease processes
- Mental health
- Pediatric therapy
- Management and administration
Illinois Occupational Therapy Assistant License
To work as an occupational therapy assistant in Illinois, graduates of these programs must be certified. Upon graduation for an accredited program, candidates may sit for the Occupational Therapy Assistant national examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Successful completion of the exam results in the candidate being credentialed as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).
Resources for Occupational Therapy Assistants in Illinois