Occupational Therapy Assistant

If you are a creative, caring person who enjoys working with people, a career as an occupational therapy assistant may be for you.

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Occupational Therapy Assistant
Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational therapy assistants work with clients ranging from newborn to geriatric a variety of settings including school systems, hospitals, mental health clinics. The OTA program consists of three semesters of academic preparation and one semester of full-time fieldwork education.

  • Type: A.A.S. degree
  • Locations: Wahpeton
  • Cluster: Health Science

» View Program Information & Admission Requirements


​Occupational therapy assistants (OTA) work with people to improve the quality of their lives through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. 

As an OTA, you work with a broad range of individuals including: 

  • Children with disabilities 
  • Aging adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes 
  • People recovering from injury 

Graduates of the NDSCS Occupational Therapy Assistant program find employment at: 

  • Schools
  • Hospitals 
  • Home healthcare services 
  • Rehabilitation centers 
  • Retirement facilities 

The North Dakota State College of Science’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program has been fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association since 1972.

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 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.

Certification Exam
Graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapy Assistant administered by the National Board of Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). When application is made, the candidate will be required to disclose any previous felony conviction, which may affect the graduate’s eligibility to sit for the exam. For more information go to www.nbcot.org.

NDSCS OTA Program Data
Graduation Year Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
2020 21/12 57%
2021 11/9 81%
2022 12/10 83%
Total 44/31 70%

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at https://www.nbcot.org/EN/EDUCATORS/HOME#SCHOOLPERFORMANCE.

Cost Information

Click here for the Estimated Educational Cost for Occupational Therapy Assistant program at NDSCS. For other tuition and fee information specific to NDSCS go to NDSCS.edu/Costs

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Occupational Therapy Assistant Graduates from 2021-22 Academic Year
Graduates Registered Avg. Beginning Monthly Salary High Monthly Salary Placement Rate
9 $3,799 $4,160 89%

NDSCS OTA Program to host CarFit event


The North Dakota State College of Science Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program will host a CarFit event on the NDSCS campus in Wahpeton, N.D. on Monday, October 15 from 1-3 p.m. Space for this event is limited, and pre-registration is required. Appointments can be made by emailing alliedhealthcareers@ndscs.edu or calling 701-671-2981. There is no cost for a CarFit check-up.

CarFit is a national program developed by AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association, and is designed to give a quick, yet comprehensive check on how well an older driver and their vehicle work together. At a CarFit event, trained volunteers complete a 12-point checklist with each driver. Among the items checked are: correct position of driver’s seat, driver’s ability to easily reach pedals, and proper adjustment of mirrors.

As part of their coursework, NDSCS OTA students are trained in the CarFit program by a Certified CarFit Technician. This is the second year that the NDSCS OTA program has hosted this event. At this year’s event, second-year OTA students will work with participants to ensure they “fit” their vehicle properly for maximum comfort and safety. A CarFit check takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

NDSCS OTA program recognizes Occupational Therapy Month

OTA students

April is Occupational Therapy Month, recognizing those who work in the industry that helps people perform everyday activities through therapeutic techniques. The NDSCS Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program is celebrating Occupational Therapy Month by bringing awareness to the occupation.

Occupational Therapy Assistants provide treatment under a physician’s order and are supervised by an Occupational Therapist. Occupational therapy might be required for a variety of reasons, including a traumatic accident, mental health issues, a stroke or a lifelong condition such as cerebral palsy. Occupational Therapy Assistants help patients live as independently as possible by teaching them ways to perform daily tasks and routines.

The NDSCS Occupational Therapy Assistant program offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree. Students complete three semesters of academic coursework and one semester of full-time clinical experience in various facilities. The program has been fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association since 1972. Occupational Therapy Assistant students participate in a number of activities that provide hands-on experience during their time at NDSCS, including teaching handwriting to elementary school students and working with residents in nursing homes. Students also recently hosted a CarFit event, where they completed a 12-point checklist to ensure that individuals fit their vehicle properly for maximum comfort and safety.

According to the June 2017 U.S. News and World Report, OTAs rank number one of the 19 Best Jobs for Community College Graduates. The demand for Occupational Therapy services is great as baby boomers are aging, medical advances are prolonging life and health reform is driving more patients into the helping arms of OTAs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the profession will grow by 29 percent by 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Individuals interested in the NDSCS Occupational Therapy Assistant program can learn more online at ndscs.edu/ota. The program is still accepting applications for the Fall 2018 semester. To learn more about Occupational Therapy, visit aota.org or join in the conversation on social media by using #OccupationalTherapyMonth.

OTA Students Host CarFit Event

OTA CarFit event

Second-year OTA students became trained in CarFit as part of their academic coursework and hosted their first CarFit event on November 29, 2017 in Schuett Hall. Students completed a 12-point checklist with several participants to ensure that they “fit” their vehicle properly for maximum comfort and safety.

CarFit is an educational program created by the American Society on Aging and developed in collaboration with AAA (American Automobile Association), AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association. The CarFit program offers older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles “fit” them. The CarFit program also provides information and materials on community-specific resources that could enhance their safety as drivers, and/or increase their mobility in the community.