Occupational Therapy Assistant Selective Admissions

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Information and Information Session


Occupational Therapy Assistant 2024 Fall Application Criteria

Beginning April 29, 2024, the Occupational Therapy Assistant program will be accepting applications for alternates

Thank you for your interest in the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Please read this information thoroughly. We want to make sure you have the best possible chance of being selected by completing all processes and submitting all necessary application documents completely, correctly, and by the deadline. Please email admissions@abtech.edu if you have questions regarding enrolling at A-B Tech or email advising@abtech.edu if you have questions about applying for the OTA program.

You must be a high school graduate or have an Adult High School or High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma to be eligible to enter any allied health program and have self-certified this requirement on your A-B Tech College application.

The Application Period

A-B Tech will begin accepting applications on April 29, 2024, for the OTA class that begins in Fall 2024. All deadlines and requirements in this document must be met to be eligible to apply.

Program Information Session Requirement

Prior to application to the occupational therapy assistant program, applicants must attend or participate in a mandatory information session provided by the department and complete the assessment. Applicants must submit the completed assessment to the Student Advisor when they apply to the program. Details for the information session will be posted on the top of this webpage approaching the application period.

Course Requirements

Successful completion of the following three (3) courses from a regionally accredited institution with a grade of “C” or higher is required prior to Fall 2024 term start.

  • ACA-115: Success and Study Skills (or acceptable substitute)
  • MED-120: Survey of Medical Terminology (or acceptable substitute)
  • Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO-168 or acceptable substitute) taken within 5 years of the Fall 2024 term start from a regionally accredited institution with a “C” or higher


  • Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO-168 or acceptable substitute) times out after 5 years and must be retaken and completed with a “C” or higher to be considered for the OTA program.
  • Students who have completed an Associate Degree or higher or who have 24 credit hours or more of college-level transfer credit will have satisfied the ACA-115 requirement.

Course completion and/or expiration will be verified by the OTA department prior to full acceptance into the program.

CPR Certification

Applicants accepted into the OTA program will be required to obtain CPR certification from the American Heart Association prior to Fall 2024 term start. This CPR for the healthcare provider/professional rescuer course must include hands-on skill demonstration of one and two-rescuer adult, child, and infant CPR and the use of an AED.

How To Apply

  1. Attend or participate in the mandatory Information Session provided by the OTA department prior to application to the allied health program. Information Session dates will be posted approaching the application period at the top of this webpage.
  2. Complete and submit the standard A-B Tech Application. (This is not an application to a Selective Program. The application to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program will be done separately after you meet with a Student Advisor and are approved as eligible to apply.)
  3. Applicants must certify on their college application that they are a high school graduate from a valid institution, an adult high school graduate from a valid institution, or have a valid HSE diploma. High school graduation or the equivalent from a regionally accredited, valid institution is generally required for financial aid purposes. You must have this high school equivalency by the first day of classes for the Fall 2024 term to enter the selective allied health programs.
  4. Applicants must complete New Student Orientation prior to meeting with a Student Advisor to complete the Verification/Selection Form. Waivers may apply.
  5. Eligible applicants must document college readiness in English and math. Visit Placement Overview for detailed information or contact the Student Advisor to learn about the acceptable options.
  6. Once you meet the minimum requirements to apply to the program, you will be given permission and instructions to schedule the ATI TEAS Exam by the Student Advisor. You must schedule and take the ATI TEAS exam as soon as possible to be considered as an applicant for the program.

Important Application Information

To be eligible for admission to the Fall 2024 class, all qualified OTA applicants will be required to take the ATI TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) exam. The ATI TEAS exam may only be completed at a location within the United States of America per ATI guidelines.

The ATI TEAS exam will be paid for by the student at the time of online registration on the ATI website. Information on the ATI TEAS exam and associated costs can be found at ATI Testing. Applicants should NOT schedule the ATI TEAS until after meeting with a Student Advisor and approved as eligible to apply.

You may use your TEAS composite score from a previous test session if the score is 5 years old or newer. Students may use scores already on file with the college if they are 5 years old or newer. Individuals may submit a TEAS score in lieu of testing during the application period. It is the applicant’s responsibility to follow up to ensure scores are received.

Applicants may select only one of the following at the time of completion of the Verification/Selection Form:

  1. Testing during the application period at the Testing Center at A-B Tech Asheville Campus on Victoria Road in Asheville, NC.
  2. Testing at an approved testing facility in another location.
  3. Use an existing score already on file at the College provided the score is 5 years old or newer.
  4. Submit only one score report from a testing session that occurred prior to the application period at another testing facility. If multiple test scores are received on a single report (regardless of the reason for or source of the error), the earliest composite score will be used.

Please Note: Test scores will not be accepted, and applicants may not schedule the ATI TEAS exam until after the applicant has completed the Verification/Selection Form with a Student Advisor.

If an applicant does not follow through and take the ATI TEAS exam, they are disqualified from moving forward in the admission process.

Applicants in need of testing accommodations should contact Support Services at supportservices@abtech.edu at least three weeks prior to testing.

Important: Students who submit TEAS exam scores must ensure scores are received as soon as possible. It is the applicant’s responsibility to email the Testing Center at testingcenter@abtech.edu to confirm scores were received.

Admission To The Program Once Minimum Requirements Have Been Met

  1. Successful completion of ACA-115: Success and Study Skills (or acceptable substitute), MED-120: Survey of Medical Terminology (or acceptable substitute), and BIO-168: Anatomy and Physiology (or acceptable substitute) with a “C” or higher prior to Fall 2024 term start. Course completion will be verified by the OTA department upon acceptance into the program. Note: Only Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO-168 or acceptable substitute) must have been taken within 5 years of the Fall 2024 term start.
  2. If accepted into the program, all new students must attend the mandatory program orientation session held by the OTA department. Mandatory program orientation details will be provided by the department after acceptance to the program.

Please Note: Failure to attend the program orientation session will result in the loss of a seat in the class.

How The Point System Works

  1. You will receive the points for your cumulative score from the ATI TEAS exam.
  2. You will receive 30 points for the successful completion of an accredited, college credit, program degree (AAS, BA, BS, or Masters) in allied health, education, social work, counseling, mental health services, disability services, or substance abuse counseling and 20 points for the completion of any accredited, college credit, diploma level in allied health, education, social work, counseling, mental health services, disability services, or substance abuse counseling program. Accreditation must be granted by an accrediting board recognized by A-B Tech.
  3. You will receive 30 points for Nurse Aid I (NAI) certification (documentation required).
  4. You will receive points for the successful completion of the following college courses (or acceptable substitutes): BIO-168, BIO-169, COM-120, ENG-111, ENG-112, HUM-115, MED-120, PSY-150, PSY-241, and PSY-281. A grade of “A”= 30 points, a grade of “B”=15 points, and a grade of “C”= 5 points.
  5. Currently enrolled high school seniors who have successfully completed Health Science I. Grade of “A”= 30 points, grade of “B”=15 points, and grade of “C”= 5 points. An official high school transcript detailing this must be submitted to the Admissions Office.

The summation of points outlined above will be used to rank applicants within the allied health program.

Important: It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit all documentation and follow up as necessary to ensure it has been received. All documentation for points outside of the ATI TEAS Exam must be submitted as soon as possible. Applicants must take the TEAS exam and/or submit scores as soon as possible.

Notice to Non-U.S. Citizens

A-B Tech welcomes non-citizens with work authorization through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to our Selective Allied Health programs. Clinical site eligibility is determined by the sites and can be impacted by immigration status. Non-citizens should discuss their non-citizenship status with their Selective program advisor as soon as they are accepted so that accommodations can be made for non-citizens.

As stated above, non-citizens who are eligible for the Selective programs may not be eligible for certain clinical sites. Successful completion of clinical rotations is required for program completion. If a student drops the program after being denied clinical site privileges, the college refund policy will apply. Non-citizens are encouraged to contact the appropriate licensing/certifying agency to determine if they are eligible for licensure/certification upon graduation – decisions regarding licensure/certification are solely the responsibility of the licensing/certifying agency.

Questions regarding program admission for non-citizens may be made to advising@abtech.edu.

Other Important Information – Read Carefully

Any Allied Health student deemed to have violated the College Student Code of Conduct may not be eligible for application or re-admission to Allied Health programs.

The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College OTA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 7501 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 510E, Bethesda, MD 20814. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. 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.

Criminal background checks and drug screenings will be required by fieldwork sites for students entering the selective allied health programs. These screenings will be conducted at the student’s expense by a professional and independent vendor. Failure to achieve acceptable standards for these screenings may result in the denial of fieldwork privileges. Successful completion of fieldwork is required for program completion. The college refund policy applies if a student drops the program after being denied fieldwork site privileges.

Applicants should be aware that all states require licensure in order to practice as an occupational therapy assistant. State licenses are usually based on the results of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Certification Examination. NBCOT offers an Early Determination and Character Review process that can be found on their website.

Applicants for selective Allied Health Programs must demonstrate the ability, with or without reasonable accommodations, to meet certain technical standards critical to the successful completion of the program. These standards include skills and abilities essential for such things as the operation of equipment; evaluation and manipulation of patients; and communication with patients, families, and other medical personnel. For an explanation of specific physical and cognitive requirements for the OTA program, refer to the Program Technical Standards. For further clarification, contact the OTA Department chair at (828) 398-7272.

If you are not selected for the OTA program beginning Fall 2024 and wish to apply for the Fall 2025 class, you must re-apply during the next application period.

All documents that you submit with your application for the OTA program must be true, correct, and complete. Falsification of documentation may result in denial of admission or dismissal after admission.

Admission criteria are reviewed each year and are subject to change from year to year.

Students enrolled in the OTA program must complete all pre-requisite courses before proceeding with any OTA course. All courses in the program are prerequisites for courses in subsequent semesters. Students may have to enroll in general education and related courses that are scheduled as either Day or Evening courses to be able to meet the prerequisite requirements.

Allied Health students will be required to complete fieldwork rotations which may require them to travel more than one hour from campus. Fieldwork rotations may be conducted during weekend and/or evening hours. Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation.

Progression in the A-B Tech Occupation Therapy Assistant Program (OTA)

The program is designed to take general education requirements along with the OTA core coursework. Students may take all or some of the general education requirements prior to admission and acceptance into the OTA program. General education requirements may be completed on a part-time basis. Once accepted into the program, students must complete all coursework in sequence as each semester’s classes are prerequisites for the following semester. For in-program students, no part-time options are available. If students cannot continue the course sequence for any reason, the readmission policy applies (discuss with the program chair).

The program begins in the fall semester and is designed to be completed in five semesters. All Level II Fieldwork must be completed within 18 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program. Students have a total of 32 months to complete all OTA coursework. Because of rapid changes in workplace technologies, all OTA courses will “time out” after five years and must be repeated for graduation. Failure to meet the minimum grade required for any course will cause disruption in the progression of the program. To be able to advance to the next semester, the student must obtain a final grade of “C” or better in all courses required in the OTA program. If the student does not earn a “C” or better in all courses the student will be dismissed from the program. Students who earn a letter grade of “D”, “F”, and any “W” or “I” in any course, at any point in the curriculum, will automatically be terminated from the program.

  • Information provided by the OTA department.

We appreciate your interest in A-B Tech and the Occupational Therapy Assistant program.


Student Preparation And Testing Resources Available

College Placement

Test resources are available from:

SAT or ACT study guides, which are available at various libraries and bookstores, are also good resources for testing preparation.


Test resources and online registration and payment are available at the following website:

Study guides are available for review in the Locke Library, the A-B Tech Madison, and the Goodwill Workforce Training Center. Study guides may also be purchased online from the test vendor ATI at the online store link or the A-B Tech Bookstore. Online practice assessments are also available on the vendor's website.

TEAS prep courses can be taken at A-B Tech through Continuing Education. For available courses, visit Continuing Education Online Registration.

Additional Preparation Resources

March2Success provides free personal assessments and preparation tools for the college placement test and the ATI TEAS exam.

For career assessments and exploration, visit Focus 2. Email careerservices@abtech.edu or call (828) 398-7581 for an individual appointment.

Updated April 17, 2024