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What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a valuable healthcare profession that uses “occupations,” or activities that are meaningful and purposeful, to increase successful participation in the roles and routines of daily life. Working under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistants help people of all ages acquire, improve, or regain the ability to engage in their daily occupations to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives. Occupational therapy practitioners work with a diverse population of clients with varying levels of physical, developmental and emotional abilities.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant curriculum engages the student in academically challenging coursework.  The curriculum combines biological and behavioral sciences and specific courses in theories and treatment methods of occupational therapy. Students are required to be active learners with guidance from the faculty to establish the ability to plan and implement therapeutic treatments, adapt and grade activities to increase their client’s independence, and educate individuals and groups in skills and techniques to improve their daily lives.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program consists of four full-time semesters and one summer session of academic work. The student will have lecture and discussion-based classes, combined with hands-on learning labs and off campus clinical fieldwork experiences. During the final semester students are placed off-campus to complete clinical experiences, called fieldwork. The OTAP program requires two full-time, eight-week fieldwork placements of supervised practical experience in a variety of healthcare practice settings that must be completed within 18 months of completion of the student’s academic preparation.

How do I apply?
1. Apply to Zane State College.
2. Apply to the program by submitting an online application. Application opens October 1  and closes April 1. (To apply online, you will use your ZSC username on the My ZSC portal.)

Contact the program director for the application checklist. 

Which classes will I take?
View the course of study.

Which career does the program prepare me for?
Occupational Therapy Assistant (following degree and certification/licensure).

What is required for certification/licensure?
• National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy exam (NBCOT).
• State licensure is also required.
View additional information on certification/licensure.

Degree Details

Major: Occupational Therapy Assistant
: Associate of Applied Science
Location: On Campus
Duration: 2 Years
Type: Health

Program Highlights

Program Materials


Program Director: Rachel Milliner, rmilliner@zanestate.edu
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator: Bobi Bonar, bbonar@zanestate.edu
OTA Core Faculty: Tori Davis-Finnerty, vdavis@zanestate.edu


This program is accredited by:

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
c/o Accreditation Department of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, Maryland 20852-4929
Status: Accreditation 

Telephone: 301-652-6611
Website: https://acoteonline.org 

Certificate of Accreditation

Additional Certification & Licensure Information

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) certification as an occupational therapy assistant. After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA).  In addition, all states require licensure to practice; however, state licensees are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination.  States also require certified occupational therapy assistants to complete a licensing process to practice in their respective state. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT exam or attain state licensure. 

Individuals with a felony record should contact the NBCOT to determine eligibility before applying to the program. The contact information is: National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) located at One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD, 20878. NBCOT’s phone number is 301.990.7979 and its website is https://www.nbcot.org.