OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT

Occupational therapy is a health rehabilitation profession that uses activities as treatment to help people of all ages perform the skills they need to live as independently as possible. Occupational therapy assistant programs teach students the knowledge and skills needed for assessment and execution of tasks with their clients that lead to more productive, active lifestyles and independence.

  • Unique on-campus labs — learn in our OT house or fully-functioning apartment.
  • Complete in as few as five semesters after program acceptance
  • Work in a health rehabilitation profession with clients of all ages in hospitals, schools, nursing homes and other settings.
  • Use activities/occupations to help people live productive, meaningful lives and maximize independence.

 

Kent State University offers the OTA program on two campuses and in three convenient formats with the same curriculum —choose your preferred option!

 

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. Complete a biology course (high school or college course such as BSCI 10001 or BSCI 11010) with a letter grade of ‘C’ or better.
  5. 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.
  6. Complete required observation (16 hours total in two different settings) and submit forms. The forms are found in the back of the packet.
  7. Complete non-critical OTA, Kent Core and related courses as desired to reduce course load during the technical study program.

Application Information

Application Information Packet  Observation Form

Ashtabula Class of 2025 applications now available; deadline March 1

East Liverpool Class of 2026 applications now available; deadline April 30

* 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

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)

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 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. 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

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.