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The Occupational Therapy A.A.S. program provides you with the skills and experience needed to become a licensed occupational therapy assistant, working with individuals of all ages to help them live meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Occupational Therapy Assistant - A.A.S.

The Occupational Therapy A.A.S. program provides you with the skills and experience needed to become a licensed occupational therapy assistant, working with individuals of all ages to help them live meaningful and fulfilling lives. Read more...

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Julie Mirabell, MS, OT/L |Academic Program Director | jmirabel@kent.edu | 440-964-4316

Kathy Swoboda, MLS, OTR/L | East Liverpool Site Coordinator | kswobod1@kent.edu | 330-382-7456

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Program Information

Program Description

Full Description

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant prepares students for a career as an occupational therapy assistant. Occupational therapy services are provided for habilitation, rehabilitation and promotion of health and wellness, while emphasizing participation in meaningful occupations for clients and groups in a variety of settings. Occupational therapy assistants work under the direction of and in partnership with occupational therapists.

The degree program prepares students with a sequential curriculum, including lectures, labs and a variety of fieldwork experiences. Graduates are eligible to take the national certification exam and obtain state licensure.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure or certification and contact information for state licensing boards at Kent State's website for professional licensure disclosure.

Admissions

Admission Requirements

The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities and access to students with varied backgrounds, those with special talents and adult students who graduated from high school three or more years ago.

Kent State campuses at Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Salem, Stark, Trumbull and Tuscarawas, and the Twinsburg Academic Center, have open enrollment admission for students who hold a high school diploma, GED or equivalent.

Some programs may require that students meet certain requirements before progressing through the program. For programs with progression requirements, the information is shown on the Coursework tab.

For more information on admissions, contact the Regional Campuses admissions offices.

Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Utilize professional behaviors when interacting with clients, peers and other professionals when providing occupational therapy services.
  2. Apply clinical reasoning by integrating clinical experiences with evidence-based practice and personal experience to provide best-practice occupational therapy services.
  3. Utilize a creative, holistic approach to support client's desired occupational roles and participation in occupations through a creative, holistic approach.
  4. Collaborate with inter-professional team members to provide distinct valued services to each client based on individual needs.
  5. Evaluate and support at-risk individuals, groups and populations who are in the community to identify resources and opportunities for improving engagement in occupations.
Coursework

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements (courses count in major GPA; min C/S grade required in all courses)
OTA 10000FOUNDATIONS IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY 2
OTA 10002OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN PSYCHOSOCIAL HEALTH 4
OTA 10003OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY INTERVENTIONS FOR PRACTICE I 1
OTA 10010OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY INTERVENTIONS FOR PRACTICE II 3
OTA 10192FIELDWORK 1A (ELR) 1
OTA 20001OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP SKILLS 2
OTA 20002OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN PHYSICAL HEALTH 3
OTA 20003OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY INTERVENTIONS FOR PRACTICE III 3
OTA 20004OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN PEDIATRIC POPULATIONS 3
OTA 20006OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN PHYSICAL HEALTH II 3
OTA 20392FIELDWORK 1B (ELR) 1
OTA 20492FIELDWORK 1C (ELR) 1
OTA 21092CLINICAL APPLICATIONS I (ELR) 4
OTA 21192CLINICAL APPLICATIONS II (ELR) 4
Additional Requirements (courses do not count in major GPA; min C grade required in all courses)
AHS 12005CONCEPTS IN LIFESPAN DEVELOPMENT 3
or NURS 20950 HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
AHS 12010PROFESSIONALISM IN HEALTHCARE 1
AHS 22002CLINICAL KINESIOLOGY 3
AHS 22003CLINICAL KINESIOLOGY LABORATORY 1
BSCI 11010FOUNDATIONAL ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I (KBS) (KLAB) 13
BSCI 11020FOUNDATIONAL ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY II (KBS) (KLAB) 13
PSYC 11762GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY (DIVD) (KSS) 3
PSYC 21211PSYCHOLOGY OF EVERYDAY LIFE (DIVD) (KSS) 3
or PSYC 40111 PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
UC 10001FLASHES 101 1
Kent Core Composition3
Kent Core Mathematics and Critical Reasoning3
Kent Core Humanities and Fine Arts3
Minimum Total Credit Hours:65
1

Students who have successfully completed ATTR 25057 and ATTR 25058 (or EXSC 25057 and EXSC 25058 or BSCI 21010 and BSCI 21020) may use those courses in place of BSCI 11010 and BSCI 11020.

Progression Requirements

To be able to register for Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) courses, students must be accepted to technical study. Acceptance to technical study is a selective process. Criteria for acceptance are the following:

  • Completion of prescribed developmental coursework
  • Minimum 2.700 overall GPA

Graduation Requirements

Minimum Major GPA Minimum Overall GPA
2.000 2.000
  • Clinical education must be successfully completed within 18 months of the didactic coursework.
  • Portions of the program's courses incorporate the use of technology and/or may be offered in a distance learning format. Under certain circumstances, students are required to attend clinicals on days outside of the academic calendar. These circumstances may occur on scheduled or unscheduled campus closures or on days when classes are cancelled, but the campus remains open. Examples include certain holidays, spring recess and/or prior to the start of semesters. Students are notified in advance of these dates.
Roadmap

Roadmap

This roadmap is a recommended semester-by-semester plan of study for this major. However, courses designated as critical (!) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
!BSCI 11010 FOUNDATIONAL ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I (KBS) (KLAB) 3
 Credit Hours3
Semester Two
AHS 12010 PROFESSIONALISM IN HEALTHCARE 1
!BSCI 11020 FOUNDATIONAL ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY II (KBS) (KLAB) 3
OTA 10000 FOUNDATIONS IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY 2
OTA 10003 OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY INTERVENTIONS FOR PRACTICE I 1
PSYC 11762 GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY (DIVD) (KSS) 3
UC 10001 FLASHES 101 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
 Credit Hours14
Semester Three
AHS 12005
or NURS 20950
CONCEPTS IN LIFESPAN DEVELOPMENT
or HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
3
!AHS 22002 CLINICAL KINESIOLOGY 3
!AHS 22003 CLINICAL KINESIOLOGY LABORATORY 1
OTA 10002 OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN PSYCHOSOCIAL HEALTH 4
!OTA 10010 OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY INTERVENTIONS FOR PRACTICE II 3
OTA 10192 FIELDWORK 1A (ELR) 1
PSYC 21211
or PSYC 40111
PSYCHOLOGY OF EVERYDAY LIFE (DIVD) (KSS)
or PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
3
 Credit Hours18
Semester Four
OTA 20002 OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN PHYSICAL HEALTH 3
OTA 20003 OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY INTERVENTIONS FOR PRACTICE III 3
OTA 20392 FIELDWORK 1B (ELR) 1
 Credit Hours7
Semester Five
OTA 20001 OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP SKILLS 2
OTA 20004 OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN PEDIATRIC POPULATIONS 3
OTA 20006 OCCUPATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN PHYSICAL HEALTH II 3
OTA 20492 FIELDWORK 1C (ELR) 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
 Credit Hours15
Semester Six
OTA 21092 CLINICAL APPLICATIONS I (ELR) 4
OTA 21192 CLINICAL APPLICATIONS II (ELR) 4
 Credit Hours8
 Minimum Total Credit Hours:65
Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • Mostly online
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Ashtabula Campus (mostly online)
    • East Liverpool Campus (in person)
Accreditation

The A.A.S. degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E, Bethesda, MD 20814. ACOTE's telephone number, C/O AOTA, is (301) 652-AOTA(2682) and the website is www.acoteonline.org.

This program is offered by the College of Applied and Technical Studies

Find out more about our Occupational Therapy Assistant Program and discover why you belong here!

Admission Requirements

  1. Attendance at an Information Session or meeting with an advisor for the OTA Program is not required but highly recommended. Contact Julie Mirabell at jmirabel@kent.edu or set up an appointment.
  2. Submit the online OTA Program Technical Study Application. THIS IS A SEPARATE APPLICATION FROM THE APPLICATION TO THE UNIVERSITY.
  3. Demonstrate college readiness with completion of ALL developmental course work (as prescribed during KSU admission process based on placement test results, high school grade point average and/or prior college courses) with a “C” or better by the beginning of the OTA program. Applicants may be “provisionally accepted” to the OTA program if enrolled in developmental courses and on track to pass with “C” or better in the semester prior to entrance/acceptance to the program.
  4. Applicants must successfully complete BSCI 11010—Anatomy and Physiology I for Allied Health or equivalent course by the end of Semester One to be eligible to progress to the OTA technical study classes in Semester Two.  Applicants may be “provisionally accepted” to the OTA program if enrolled in A&P I and on track to pass with “C” or better in the semester prior to entrance/acceptance to the program.
  5. Complete required observation (16 hours total in two different settings) and submit forms. The forms are found in the back of the packet.

Application Information

Application Information Packet 

Ashtabula Class of 2025 applications now available; deadline March 1

East Liverpool Class of 2026 applications now available

* Important Note: A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification examination or obtain state licensure.

 

Upon successful completion of coursework & fieldwork experiences, students will receive an Associate of Applied Science Degree.

To be eligible for graduation the student must:

  1. Have a grade point average of 2.0 or above
  2. Complete all general, related and occupational therapy assistant courses with a "C" or above
  3. Successfully complete two level II fieldwork experiences within 18 months of classroom coursework.

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, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. 

Prior to 2024, the KSU Ashtabula and East Liverpool programs were separately accredited.  Therefore, outcome data below is reported separately.  Beginning in 2024, outcome data will be combined.

East Liverpool
Year Number of Program Graduates (calendar year) Graduation Rates (reported as number of students who graduated from the program within 3 years, divided by number of students who started the program 3 years prior)
2021 6 50%
2022 9 64%
2023 7 70%
Total 3- year 22 61%

Ashtabula
Year Number of Program Graduates (calendar year) Graduation Rates (reported as number of students who graduated from the program within 3 years, divided by number of students who started the program 3 years prior)
2021 7 67%
2022 7 50%
2023 11 79%
Total 3- year 25 63%

Career Information

The job outlook for Occupational Therapy Assistants is excellent. Occupational Therapy Assistants are employed in both traditional and nontraditional settings including acute care hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, nursing homes, home health agencies, and mental health facilities. The median national salary (2022) is $64,250. for the State of Ohio $61,510. For more detailed job outlook and salary information: 31-2011.00 - Occupational Therapy Assistants (onetonline.org)

Important Tuition and Fees Information

Kent State University Regional Campus Tuition and Fees

OTA Program Cost of Attendance

OTA students also incur the following costs and fees, which are subject to change:

OTHER EXPENSES:

  • Clinical Experience expenses (travel, uniform, facility name tag, meals)
  • AOTA National Conference (Optional) - $300 plus meals.
  • Gas expenses for various field trips. Carpooling with other students is an option.

GRADUATION EXPENSES:

  • Cap & gown - $60
  • Application for certification exam - $555
  • Application for licensure - $100

Withdrawal Information

Refund schedule

Accreditation

The 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 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E Bethesda, MD  20814. ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. 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.

View Graduates Pass Rate on NBCOT Exam

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

Occupational therapy assistants

34.6%

much faster than the average

47,100

number of jobs

$62,940

potential earnings

Notice: Career Information Source
* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.