Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree

Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree

Earn an Associate Occupational Therapy Assistant degree close to home at Penn State Mont Alto!

Applications must be received by November 30 for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Are you ready?  Apply here!  If you need to transfer into the degree program from a different one, please use this form.

Professional Employment Outlook

Occupational therapy is a growing healthcare field in the United States with increasing employment opportunities expected to steadily increase through 2024. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes occupational therapist assistant among its list of fastest growing occupations and predicts much faster than average growth (36% or more) for assistants in the next decade. Penn State Mont Alto offers an Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy degree program that helps students prepare for careers as certified occupational therapy assistants.

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA’s) work in numerous practice settings, guided by the supervision of occupational therapists. Across the lifespan, individuals engage in meaningful occupations.  Learning, playing, working, resting, and caring for self and others are among the occupations of life. A physical or psychological challenge may hinder an individual, group, and/or community from participating fully in meaningful occupations. Occupational therapy makes it possible for people to maintain or reclaim independence; thereby positively engaging in Living Life to its Fullest™.  By choosing a career in occupational therapy, you will make a difference in people’s lives.

Career opportunities for a graduate with an associate degree in occupational therapy may include:

  • Working in public and private schools
  • Rehabilitation hospitals and centers
  • Skilled and intermediate care facilities
  • Early intervention programs
  • General hospitals
  • Home health agencies
  • Senior day programs
  • Community wellness centers
  • Hand therapy clinics

Why Penn State Mont Alto?

The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) through the 2023-2024 academic year.

Remember, all programs are not the same. Check out the Penn State difference! Penn State Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy graduates are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) Certification exam. Successful completion of this exam certifies the occupational therapy assistant as a COTA®. State licensure is required by most states and is usually based on the results of the NBCOT® certification exam.

What would prohibit a student from taking the certification exam?

If you have a felony conviction on your record, this may affect your ability to sit for the certification examination administered by NBCOT® after you graduate; this can subsequently affect your ability to attain state licensure. Before applying for the OTA program, you can contact NBCOT® for information on their early determination program to assess examination eligibility. Go to NBCOT and read the "Early Review" section for details.

Professional Organizations

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) 

4720 Montgomery Lane 
Suite 200 
Bethesda, MD 20824-1220 
301-652-2682 
www.aota.org

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) 

The occupational therapy/occupational therapy assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
4720 Montgomery Lane
Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814- 3449
ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA, is 301-652-6611 @ extension 2914
www.acoteonline.org

National Board for the Certification of Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT) 

One Bank Street 
Suite 300 
Gaithersburg, MD 20878 
301.990.7979
Fax: 301-869-8492 
www.nbcot.org

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