AAS in Occupational Therapy Assistant
Empower individuals to influence their own health and well-being
Be prepared to play a vital role in the future of health care.
Cleveland University-Kansas City provides a comprehensive and accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree Program. We prepare our students for national certification and professional job opportunities in Occupational Therapy.
An occupational therapy assistant (OTA) works under the supervision of an occupational therapist directly with people to develop and improve their ability to perform daily activities. The goal for each individual person depends on his or her condition. Someone may need occupational therapy due to an accident, a lifelong health condition, or a disability.
CUKC is intentional
At CUKC, we link the teaching and learning process used by occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants. We believe our students learn best through guided experiences and practice with the opportunity for self-reflection.
Become part of a growing profession
Occupational Therapy Assistant jobs are considered the number one best health care support job in the nation as ranked by the US News & World Report and have a national median wage earning of $57,870 annually. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in this field is anticipated to grow by 40% between 2014-2024, exceeding the average job growth for all occupations.
Each occupational therapy assistant takes continuing education courses for professional development and to maintain their licensure and certification. They can advance in their careers by teaching classes, and by becoming an administrator or director.
- Degree Program Information
- Admissions Requirements
- Application Procedures
The A.A.S. Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Cleveland University-Kansas City consists of 15 core courses which include approximately 4-5 months of fieldwork education. Focused 8-week courses immerse you into your class subjects and allow for completion of an A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree in as little as two years.
Cleveland University-Kansas City’s College of Health Sciences admits students to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program three times per year. Academic and fieldwork courses are offered during the day, with occasional weekend rotations depending on the fieldwork assignment.
Upon completion of the degree program, graduates will have met the educational eligibility requirements needed to take National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Certification Examination to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). All states require licensure in order to practice, however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Once NBCOT certified and licensed, occupational therapy assistants need to renew their certification and registration annually as well as meet continuing education requirements.
We strive to select candidates who not only have a passion for supporting people in living fulfilling lives but also those who are academically ready for the rigor of our A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program. Please note that admission to Cleveland University-Kansas City is separate from admission to the OTA degree program.
An occupational therapy assistant has a physically demanding job. Due to the nature of the coursework and clinical content, sufficient physical strength is required for lifting and moving people and handling therapy equipment in a variety of settings. OTA students must demonstrate the ability to deliver services in a safe and effective manner with or without reasonable accommodations.
Students desiring admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program must:
- Submit a completed Application for Admission to the Associate of Arts in Biological Sciences at Cleveland University-Kansas City with your application fee and official high school or college transcripts.
- Successfully complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better and a grade of B or better for science courses.
- Submit proof of all immunizations and proof of a current physical examination.
- Pass required drug screenings and background checks.
- Participate in a professional panel interview upon acceptance to CUKC and successful completion of the A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant prerequisites.
- Complete and submit OTA Application Packet.
Students who complete all of the required prerequisite coursework at CUKC will be granted admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant program provided that all criteria for the OTA program admission are met, and all other additional considerations are satisfactory.
Download a copy of the OTA Enrollment Checklist here and work with an admissions advisor to understand the timeline you must follow to enroll in the semester of your choice.
To apply for undergraduate academic programs, click below.
If you have not attended college, or you have fewer than 24 college credit hours, you must submit your high school or GED transcript and your ACT/SAT scores. All official college transcripts are required for all degree programs. Transcripts must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions.
Applicants to Cleveland University-Kansas City may be required to participate in a final interview prior to matriculation. Applicants will be notified in writing of the University's decision regarding admission.
International student applicants
If you are an international student, please click here for information about applying to Cleveland University-Kansas City. You must be accepted to the University before applying to the Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program.
The occupational therapy assistant program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status 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. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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.