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Join a rewarding and exciting career assisting people to realize the full capacity of their independence.

The College of Western Idaho (CWI) Occupational Therapy Assistant program is based on the philosophical belief that all people have an innate drive to create meaning in their lives through active engagement in purposeful pursuits across the lifespan.

CWI's OTA program utilizes a problem-based theoretical approach, fostering problem-solving through solid critical inquiry and assisting the development of a solid foundation in occupational-centered professional skills. Courses combine didactic, lab, service learning, and fieldwork experiences.

This program honors an experiential education that brings the student and the educator into a collaborative relationship that shares and builds upon the prior knowledge and life experience of each, just as occupational therapy practitioners must do with each client.

The OTA program education integrates:

  • historical and theoretical philosophies and frames of reference,
  • practical and technical skills,
  • values and ethics, and
  • the promotion of health, wellness, and occupational participation.

The course sequence allows the student to approach the client from a developmental perspective across the lifespan and recognizes the uniqueness of person, group, and population.

At the conclusion of this two-year program, you will have received the education and skills training necessary to complete clinical fieldwork and sit for the national exam to become a certified occupational therapy assistant.


The College of Western Idaho Occupational Therapy Assistant program seeks to prepare future OTA leaders for employment in traditional and emerging practice areas and who will serve to enhance the health, well-being, and prosperity of the people and the communities they serve through the facilitation of meaningful and successful occupational engagement. 

Vision Statement: With passionate belief in the strength and resilience of the human body, mind, and spirit, and a firm commitment to the principle of engagement in meaningful occupations, the CWI OTA program envisions being a premier OTA program that focuses on inspiring future OTA leaders to use best practice and evidence to carry forward and represent current and emerging practice trends in the field of occupational therapy. 

Why this Program

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2018 to 2028, the job market for occupational therapy assistants will increase by 21%, much faster than average. In June 2017, of the 19 best jobs for community college graduates, U.S. News and World Report ranked occupational therapy assisting as number one. In August 2019, Market Watch listed occupational therapy assisting as the fastest-growing, highest-paid job in California and Michigan.

Additional Opportunities

Through service-learning projects each semester, OTA students will have ample opportunity to work directly with the public and with vulnerable populations. This direct exposure to real people with real limitations will provide the student with hands-on learning opportunities that will set them up for success with fieldwork and future employment.


Ready to Get Started?

Step 1: Apply to CWI

Complete Application

Step 2: Complete Prerequisites

  • Meet with your Advisor
  • Attend a Health Professions Information Session
  • Complete your prerequisite courses:
    • Medical Terminology
    • Math (Gem 3)
    • Introduction to Psychology
    • Fundamentals of Oral Communication
    • Writing & Rhetoric I
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology I
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology Lab I
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology II
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology Lab II
  • Have you completed courses at another institution? Contact us today to discuss transferrable prerequisite credits.

Step 3: Apply to OTA Program

OTA Program Cost of Attendance

Current Cost

Cost of Program Pre-requisites

2021 Fall Semester 1

2022 Spring Semester 2

2022 Fall Semester 3

2023 Spring Semester 4

Program (2-yr program 2021-2023)








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Statement of Accreditation Status

The associate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status 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. The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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.

Respectful Community

The College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

It didn’t take long for College of Western Idaho occupational therapy assistant students to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it to real-world situations.

Occupational Therapy Assistant students kick off the semester with a meaningful, hands-on learning activity.

CWI's Occupational Therapy Assistant program is collaborating with the Treasure Valley Institute of Children’s Arts (TRICA), to provide an adaptive dance camp for children.