Online OTA Accreditation
As part of our commitment to academic excellence and student success, we work hard to maintain prominent accreditations at the university and program levels. As a student in this accredited OTA program, you can rest assured that your education will meet professional standards. You will graduate with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills—all of which will prepare you to take the NBCOT® Exam for becoming a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA).
St. Catherine University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. This regional accreditation means our University has been closely evaluated for and certified as meeting very specific standards of higher learning. To learn more about the HLC and its accreditation process, please call 800.621.7440 or visit hlcommission.org.
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 it’s web address is https://acoteonline.org.
Special note: Our online OTA program is listed as a “distance education track” under Minnesota on the AOTA website due to its combined online and in-person curriculum.
St. Catherine University is required to comply with any state regulations before educational activity can take place within that state. The regulations for any given state and St. Kate’s ability to comply with them determine whether St. Kate’s may offer you enrollment in a course or program. Educational activities that are regulated include offering 100% online courses and programs as well as online and/or campus-based courses that include activities such as internships, externships, field experiences, student teaching and clinical placements.
St. Kate’s participates in the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA). Minnesota became a SARA state in January, 2015 and St. Catherine University became a SARA Institution in March, 2015, allowing students from NC-SARA-approved states* to enroll in the OTA Online program.
Check St. Kate’s status in your state.
Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the role of occupational therapy assistant, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). It should be noted that all states require licensure to practice, but state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination to attain state licensure.
States have similar but not identical requirements and procedures for obtaining a license. For specific state licensure requirements always consult the state occupational therapy regulatory agency (see AOTA’s website for contact information).
To obtain a license you will need to:
- Complete your fieldwork requirements
- Graduate from an accredited OTA educational program such as the St. Kate’s Online OTA program
- Apply for and pass the NBCOT ® Certification Exam
- Apply for a license and pay a fee for each state/jurisdiction in which you wish to practice or hold a license
Graduates of the online OTA program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapy assistants, administered by the NBCOT. After successful completion of this exam, graduates will become certified occupational therapy assistants (COTAs).