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Program Announcement

Penn State Shenango's Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physical Therapist Assistant associate degree programs are now full for Fall 2014, and a waiting list has been established. We are currently recruiting for the Fall 2015 cohort.

Program Objective


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. Occupational Therapy is a growing healthcare field in the United States with increasing employment opportunities expected to steadily increase through 2020. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes occupational therapist assistant among its list of fastest growing occupations and predicts much faster than average growth (36% or more) for assistants. Penn State Shenango offers an associate degree program that helps students prepare for careers as certified occupational therapy assistants.

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. A felony conviction may prevent a graduate from taking the NBCOT® exam or obtaining a state license.

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 Shenango campus has received Developing Program Status** from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) to begin offering the associate in science in Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program Fall 2012.

**Developing Program Status includes having the program continually evaluated and an onsite visit from ACOTE to the campus before its first class may graduate.

For more information on how to apply for the associate in science in Occupational Therapy degree, contact the Admissions Office at 724-983-2803.

Professional Organizations

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane
Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20824-1220
Phone No.: 301-652-2682

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 No.: 301-652-6611 x2914

National Board for the Certification of Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT)
800 South Frederick Avenue
Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
Phone No.: 301-869-8492
Fax No.: 301-869-8492

Important Links

What is Occupational Therapy?
OTA-Top New Career
Essential Functions of OTAs
Associate Degree Information
Academic Integrity
Curriculum Statement