Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate Degree

Kent State University East Liverpool offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant. This accredited occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program provides the foundation for a certified occupational therapy assistant career and prepares students for the national NBCOT licensing exam

Occupational therapy uses activities as a treatment to help people of all ages perform the skills they need to live productive and independent lives. In their role, OTAs work collaboratively on a client’s rehabilitation team and support Occupational Therapists. Specifically, OTAs assist in the evaluation process; implement therapeutic interventions to develop, improve, and/or restore function in areas of occupation; and assist in the design, adaptation, and/or training of clients’ assistive devices.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Format and Outcomes

This two-year occupational therapy assistant program includes a combination of classroom courses and clinical fieldwork completed over five semesters. The East Liverpool OTA program offers a unique opportunity through the Locke House building located near campus. The former home of the Locke family was donated to Kent State and now serves as a realistic training space to prepare OTA students for working in a home setting. Additionally, one room has been converted to simulate an inpatient hospital room. Having this extended classroom space better prepares our students for their clinical experiences and careers.  

In the OTA associate degree program, you will learn to: 

  • Collaborate with interprofessional team members to provide distinct valued services to each client.
  • Provide best-practice occupational therapy services through clinical reasoning with the integration of clinical experiences with evidence-based practice.
  • Support the client's desired occupational roles and participation in occupations through a creative, holistic approach.
  • Demonstrate support for at-risk individuals, groups, and populations and identify resources and opportunities for improving engagement in occupations.
  • Display professionalism when interacting with clients, peers, and other professionals.

In 2022, the program’s graduation rate was 64%.

OTA program’s graduation rate  NBCOT certification examination pass rate

View more information about East Liverpool’s OTA program’s graduation rate and look up our NBCOT certification examination pass rate https://www.nbcot.org/Educators-Folder/SchoolPerformance

Admission to the OTA Program

Admission to the OTA program is competitive with up to 25 students accepted into the program each year. The necessary prerequisite courses for the program are available through open enrollment at Kent State East Liverpool. To be able to register for occupational therapy assistant courses, students must be accepted to technical study. The selective criteria for acceptance to technical study includes:

  • Completion of prescribed developmental coursework
  • Completion of high school or college-level courses in algebra and general biology
  • Minimum 16 hours of volunteer time in two different occupational therapy settings
  • Minimum 2.700 overall GPA

Career Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Assistants in Ohio 

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the OTA certification examination 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 Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. 

The nationwide outlook for occupational therapy assistants is expected to grow rapidly at a rate of 34 percent from 2020-2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median national salary for occupational therapy assistants is $67,885 for the state of Ohio. Occupational therapy assistants are employed in many healthcare-adjacent settings including:

  • rehabilitation centers and skilled nursing facilities
  • acute care hospitals 
  • schools
  • home health agencies 
  • mental health facilities

Additional OTA career information can be obtained through the career center at the East Liverpool Campus.

Important Fee and Tuition information


The Kent State University at East Liverpool associate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant program is accredited 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 web address www.acoteonline.org

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy can be contacted at the address One Bank Street, Suite 300 Gaithersburg, MD 20878, by phone 301-990-7979, or online at www.nbcot.org

Professional Licensure Disclosure 

This program is designed to prepare students to sit for the National Board Examination. Upon successful completion of this exam, students will then be eligible to apply for licensure to practice in the state of their choice. Please review state educational requirements for licensure and contact information for state licensing boards at Kent State's website for professional licensure disclosure.

Learn More About our OTA program at Kent State East Liverpool! 

Take the first step towards an OTA career by requesting more information about entering Kent State East Liverpool’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate of Applied Science degree program!