Occupational Therapy Assistant

(2 Years)

Occupational Therapy Assistant, A.A.S.DegreeA.A.S.
Applied Science, B.A.S.DegreeB.A.S.
Health Science, B.S. with Concentration in Health OccupationsDegreeB.S.


The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is an Associate of Applied Science program preparing students for certification through the National Board Certification in Occupational Therapy to practice as Occupational Therapy Assistants.

Occupational therapy is a profession that uses occupation to promote well-being and health among people of all ages and abilities. Occupations are goal-directed, meaningful pursuits that occupy a person's time each day. Occupations include work and productive activities, self-care or care of others, leisure/recreational activities, play, sleep and rest, social participation, education, and health management. Occupational Therapy Assistants working under an Occupational Therapist will design and implement interventions to create, promote; establish, restore; maintain; modify; or prevent disability. 

The curative nature of occupational therapy is extremely broad and requires individuals with an interest in the complexity of humanity and occupations. Occupational therapy practitioners may work with any individual, group, or population to improve the quality of life for those who are at risk for physical, cognitive, mental, or psychosocial impairments.

Demand for occupational therapy assistants will increase to address the needs of a growing population of aging adults, children with developmental disabilities, those who struggle with traumatic injuries and illnesses, and those who have psychosocial barriers to living a productive and meaningful life. A future OTA requires the ability to think critically and creatively and be able to address occupational performance problems resulting from disease, trauma, and mental illness. To be well prepared, a student must enter the profession with a foundation in the liberal arts, biological, physical, and social sciences.

For information on entrance requirements and to obtain an information packet along with course descriptions, sequence, and financial information go to https://www.isu.edu/ota/


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. Concerned applicants may request an Early Determination Review by the NBCOT. 

Program Detail

  • New cohorts start in August.
  • Requires 2 years to complete (Year 1 - Fall , Spring; Year 2 - Fall, Spring).
  • Divided into three components: seated didactic instruction, laboratory demonstrations and practice, and practicum/externship placements.
  • Practicum/externship placements may require working evening or weekend hours, and outside of the local area.
  • Program requires the successful completion of 69-73 credit hours including prerequisites.
  • Each OTA course must be completed with a 73 or better before the student may progress in the program.

Degree Options

  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS)
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BS)

Career Opportunities

  • School Districts
  • Out-Patient Rehabilitation Clinics
  • Home Health Agencies
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Hospitals
  • ​Psychiatric Settings


OTA Courses