Skip to main content
Liaison

OTCAS Program User Guide

This guide provides you with documentation, reference guides, and direct links that answer common admissions questions about the OTCAS Applicant Portal, Configuration Portal, and WebAdMIT. It also contains resources that may help you work more efficiently throughout your admissions process. If you have additional questions or need further assistance, please contact your Account Manager and Client Success Manager.

Cycle Timeframes

Applicant Portal

The Applicant Portal opens in late July and closes in mid-June. You can view the specific cycle dates, including final processing dates (e.g., last date to submit transcripts, last date to request letters of recommendation, etc.), in the OTCAS Application Cycle Dates page.

Configuration Portal

Between mid-April and late May, configurations are entered in the prelaunch environment. The Account Manager and Client Success Manager review submitted configurations in June.

WebAdMIT

You can view new applicants and initiate a transfer settings shortly after the new cycle opens in late July.

Program Participation Requirements

AOTA requires all programs to designate two contacts at your institution who will receive all communication from AOTA and OTCAS, including the configuration, application, and WebAdMIT launch notifications.

Applicant Portal

The first three sections of the OTCAS application (i.e., Personal Information, Academic History, and Supporting Information) compose the core application. They contain questions that are commonly asked of applicants across all participating programs, such as an applicant's biographic information, standardized test scores, and experiences. The fourth section of the application is Program Materials, which is customized by you through the Configuration Portal (discussed in the next section).

You can access the OTCAS application and OTCAS Applicant Help Center to review the applicant experience. You can also create a test application in the Applicant Portal; we recommend creating a new account and adding "test" to your name (e.g., TestJohn TestDoe).

For a general overview of the applicant experience, review the following documents:

  • Applicant Processing Reference Guide: learn how applicants move through the application and Liaison processes applicant materials, such as transcripts and official test scores.
  • Application Statuses Reference Guide: review what each application status means and how you can interact with applicants at different stages.
    • Requirements for the OTCAS Complete application status can be found here.
  • OTCAS Quick Start Guide and FAQs: a suggested timeline for completing and submitting the application, links to important pages including cycle dates and fees, and a FAQs section. 

You can direct any applicant inquiries related to the application to OTCAS Customer Service.

Configuration Portal

Use the Configuration Portal Quick Start Guide to make sure you configure your program(s) efficiently and completely in the prelaunch environment. Be sure to check out your CAS's configuration options and review the best practices found throughout. If any optional sections of the application are required for your program (e.g., experiences, test scores, etc.), you'll want to note this on your program home page.

Once you've configured your program, you'll need to have it approved by the Account Manager and Client Success Manager before it is available to applicants.

WebAdMIT

Review the WebAdMIT Manual for any questions related to working in WebAdMIT. The Documentation and Reference Guides and WebAdMIT Training and Support sections are additional resources as you configure WebAdMIT for your needs. Documents commonly requested include:

The Release Notes feature new enhancements in the Applicant Portal, Configuration Portal, and WebAdMIT, in addition to upcoming training opportunities.

For any questions, contact the Client Support Specialist Team.

Cycle Enhancements

2021-2022

The table below contains enhancements for OTCAS for the cycle timeframes noted at the top of this page. Note that some sections have multiple enhancements. If an action is required by participating programs to use the enhancement, click the links under Enhancement Details to learn more. Additional enhancements may have been automatically released; review the Release Notes to learn more.

Portal

Section

Enhancement Details

Implementation

Availability

Applicant Portal

Fee Waiver Page

The fee waiver instructions were updated to better clarify the fee waiver process.

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

Applicant Portal

Personal Information – Other Information

The Felony question was removed.

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

Configuration Portal

Program Details

A new answer option, Entry Level Master's Degree and Combined BS/MS, was added for the Degree Level program attribute.

Action required by participating programs choosing to use this enhancement.

Available now

Configuration Portal

Question Rules

You can use the following Question Rules when configuration your program questions:

  • Show Document Question Rule: request or require a document upload based on an applicant’s response to an Extended Profile or program-level question.
  • Program Availability Question Rule: show or hide your programs based on an applicant’s response to an Extended Profile or program-level question.

Action required by participating programs choosing to use this enhancement.

Available now

Letters by Liaison

Account

Evaluators can now submit their evaluations as a guest, without creating a Letters by Liaison account. Guest users can create an account at any time while working in Letters by Liaison, and evaluators who already have an account can also complete an evaluation as a guest.

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

WebAdMIT

Applicant Details Page

You can now view which applicants reapplied from a previous cycle in WebAdMIT. There are two fields to track this information and both populate as Yes or No:

  • Applicant Previously Applied to CAS
  • Applicant Previously Applied to Organization

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

2020-2021

The table below contains enhancements for OTCAS for the cycle timeframes noted at the top of this page. Note that some sections have multiple enhancements. If an action is required by participating programs to use the enhancement, click the links under Enhancement Details to learn more. Additional enhancements may have been automatically released; review the Release Notes to learn more.

Portal

Section

Enhancement Details

Implementation

Availability

Applicant Portal

Academic History – Colleges Attended

The workflow for entering colleges has been improved. Enhancements include:

  • The option to employ an e-transcript vendor from within the application (e.g., Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, or Credential Solutions, where applicable)
  • An improved process for uploading and previewing unofficial transcripts
  • Enhanced display of requirements

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

Applicant Portal

Add Program Page

Applicants can skip the Add Program page after creating their account.

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

Applicant Portal

Personal Information – Other Information

The Have you previously enrolled in an Occupational Therapy degree program? question use conditional answer values. If the applicant selects No, then no additional questions appear. If the applicant selects Yes, then additional, required occupational therapy degree questions appear.

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

Configuration Portal

Organization Details

You can offer applicants a deep link to the application's Add Program page with your programs pre-filtered. This allows applicants to quickly access your programs without needing to set their own filters. If an applicant has not yet created an account, the deep link will first instruct them to create an account, and then will take them to the pre-filtered Add Program page.

Action required by participating programs choosing to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

Configuration Portal

Program Details

The Level and Track fields have drop-downs with standardized answers. You must enter one of the approved answer options below for the Program Name field:

  • Combined Bachelor/Master's
  • Entry Level Doctorate
  • Entry Level Master's
  • Postprofessional Master's
  • Postprofessional Doctorate

Action required by all participating programs.

Available now

Configuration Portal

Questions

You can configure both organization- and program-level questions for your programs. This allows you to configure one set of questions that are asked by all programs in that organization for the CAS and cycle, and another set of questions that are asked by individual programs, as needed.

Additionally, when you create a question in the Configuration Portal, you can choose to hide the question in the full application PDF in WebAdMIT. These questions will still display on the Applicant Details page in WebAdMIT and be available in the List Manager and Export Manager.

Action required by participating programs choosing to use this enhancement.

Available now

WebAdMIT

Applicant Details Page

You can quickly identify if an applicant has chosen to use the Professional Transcript Entry (PTE) service, where a PTE specialist enters the applicant’s completed coursework for an additional fee. The PTE Status field appears for all applicants under the Applicant Header on the Applicant Details page; it won’t appear in the full application PDF. It can be used in the List Manager, Export Manager, and Email Templates as a merge field. The possible values for this field include:

  • TE-Awaiting Transcripts: the applicant has not submitted all required, official transcripts to the CAS.
  • TE-Ready for Work: the applicant is in queue to have their coursework entered by a PTE specialist.
  • TE-Pending Approval: the applicant must approve the entered coursework before their application is given a Complete date and placed in line for verification. Note that the applicant may have to meet additional CAS requirements, such as a minimum number of evaluations completed, before being given a Complete date.
  • TE-Approved: the applicant has approved the entered coursework.

If an applicant did not elect to use the PTE service, their PTE status is blank.

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

WebAdMIT

Report Manager

A new Applicant-based report is available: Local Status History. This report includes the applicant’s:

  • CAS ID
  • Name
  • Designation
  • Designation WebAdMIT Label
  • Local Status
  • Local Status Changed Date
  • Local Status Changed By
  • Decision Code
  • Decision Code Changed Date
  • Decision Code Changed By

Every Local Status change for an applicant is listed on one row. If an applicant has multiple Local Status changes, the report will include multiple rows with this information. This information can still be accessed under the History panel on the Applicant Details page.

No action required by participating programs to use this enhancement.

Available at cycle launch

  • Was this article helpful?