It’s never been a better time to enter the growing health care field. And there are few health care careers as in-demand right now as occupational therapy assistants. Now you can become one in as little as two years through Mercyhurst North East’s occupational therapy assistant associate degree program.
Occupational therapy assistants help people of all ages regain, develop, or master everyday skills in order to live independent, productive, and satisfying lives. Whether it’s an infant with developmental problems, and elderly person facing health challenges, or a person who is living with disabilities, OTAs help patients with rehabilitative activities and exercises and monitor their progress.
At Mercyhurst North East, you’ll get both classroom instruction and fieldwork in actual OT settings, providing you with the knowledge and hands-on skills to succeed in this growing field. The integrated two-year curriculum consists of a balance of liberal studies, science and technical courses. Course topics include abnormal psychology, psychosocial disabilities, physical disabilities, pediatrics and aging populations.
Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of the NBCOT examination, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).
The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda MD 20824-1220. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-2682. www.acoteonline.org
Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) work under the direction of occupational therapists to provide rehabilitative services to persons with mental, physical, emotional, or developmental disabilities. OTAs help clients with rehabilitative activities and exercises outlined in a treatment plan developed in collaboration with an occupational therapist. Activities can range from teaching the proper method of moving from a bed into a wheelchair to the best way to stretch muscles. Assistants monitor an individual’s activities to make sure that they are performed correctly, provide encouragement and record their client’s progress. OTAs also work with the therapists to assess progress and make appropriate treatment changes.
OTAs work in a variety of job settings, including:
MNE alum may also go on to earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy to practice as an occupational therapist.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of occupational therapy assistants is expected to grow an astounding 41 percent between 2012 and 2022, much faster than average for all occupations.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD, 20814-3449. AOTA’s phone number is 301-652-2682. Visit them online at www.acoteonline.org. Graduates are 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, individual 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 will prevent a student from completing fieldwork placement and may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
In addition to Mercyhurst North East's standard requirements for admission, which include a high school diploma, a minimum GPA of 2.0, and either an ACT, SAT or MNE Placement Test score, individuals applying for admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program are subject the following standards:
Confirmed OTA Students
Once an accepted student confirms enrollment with the university, some post-admission requirements need to be met for clinical fieldwork purposes. These include the following:
NOTE on OTA Outcomes
OTA Program Graduation rates
Number of Students
|Number Graduating||Graduation Rate|
Please use this link to the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) web site for official certification examination pass rates:
Link to NBCOT Pass Rate Information
Transferring in from another college? Transfers are welcome in this program, assuming we get a final, official college transcript from each college you have attended. If you still owe another college money, and cannot get a transcript, you will not be permitted to start classes. Check out our credit transfer policies to get an idea of what credits may transfer in.
If you have any questions regarding your admission into the program, please contact the Office of Admissions at 814-725-6144 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to successfully complete the OTA Program, a student must participate in and satisfy requirements of a clinical education component. Certain skills are essential to being successful in the clinical courses, as well as the lab component of various OTA courses within the curriculum.
The clinical education component consists of Level I and Level II Fieldwork, and several observation requirements within OTA courses.
The student may be expected to perform satisfactorily in the following domains:
Each student’s right to participate in the fieldwork portion of the curriculum is also contingent upon compliance with the rules of the clinical facility. The clinical facility has the sole discretion to determine policy regarding performance in each setting.
The mission of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Mercyhurst North East is to provide a comprehensive liberal arts and technical level education for Occupational Therapy Assistant students who will possess a sound scientific basis to practice OT, demonstrate clinical competence, exhibit critical thinking skills, display good communication skills, be capable of self-directed and life-long learning and who are compassionate and ethical.