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OTA students completed a fall assessment and prevention training with residents of DuBois Village.

OTA students completed a fall assessment and prevention training with residents of DuBois Village.

Consider our Occupational Therapy program if....

You want to prepare to be an occupational therapy assistant who is qualified to be employed by agencies that provide occupational therapy services. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the growth rate for the profession is much faster than the average for all professions. The need for occupational therapy assistants through 2022 is projected to grow by 41% and the need for occupational therapists by 29% (Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), n.d.). Penn State DuBois offers an associate degree program that helps students prepare for careers as certified occupational therapy assistants.


The American Staffing Institute’s 2014 list of the top 10 jobs going unfilled listed occupational therapists as the number one position of all professions in the United States. The same publication noted that occupational therapy assistants were number 4 in the top 10 jobs in demand by employers in the United States (American Staffing Institute, 2015).

Careers for Occupational Therapy program graduates

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA's) work in a variety of settings, under the supervision of occupational therapists. Young or old, we all have a job to do--the job of living. Learning, growing, playing, working, managing our homes, and caring for our families and ourselves are among the "occupations" of life. Sometimes physical, emotional, or other challenges prevent people from participating fully in the job of living. Stroke, injury, depression, and developmental disabilities, for example, can make it difficult for people to do everyday tasks or be as active and as independent as they'd like. Occupational therapy makes it possible for people to regain independence and to enjoy life to its fullest. By choosing a career in occupational therapy, you will make a difference. You will improve the lives of children, young people, and adults alike. Following graduation, students are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.

You may access the direct link for NBCOT Accredited Occupational Therapy Education Program Performance Data on the NBCOT National Certification Exam


Career Opportunities for a graduate with an associate degree in occupational therapy may include working in public and private schools, early intervention programs, general, psychiatric, and pediatric hospitals, day treatment centers, hospices and home health agencies, rehabilitation hospitals and centers, skilled and intermediate care facilities, community living programs, community wellness centers, work hardening and adjustment programs, and/or hand therapy clinics.

The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) through the 2023-2024 academic year.

For more information contact LuAnn Demi, campus coordinator of the Occupational Therapy program, at 814-375-4748.

Remember, all programs are not the same. Check out the Penn State difference! Penn State Associate in Occupational Therapy graduates are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) certification exam. Successful completion of this exam certifies the occupational therapy assistant as a COTA®. State licensure is required by most states and is usually based on the results of the NBCOT® certification exam. A felony conviction may prevent a graduate from taking the NBCOT® exam or obtaining a state license.

Professional Organizations

The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane
Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
Phone: 1-800-SAY-AOTA (1-800-729-2682)


Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane
Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
Phone: 301-652-6611 x2914



National Board for the Certification of Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT)
12 South Summit Avenue
Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Phone: 301-990-7979
Fax: 301-869-8492