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 your education meets professional standards. You will graduate having the most current knowledge and skills—all of which 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 and certified for meeting very specific standards of higher learning. To learn more about the HLC and its accreditation process, please call 800.621.7440 or visit

Program Accreditation

ACOTE logo

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

Special note: Our online OTA program is listed as a “distance education track” under Minnesota on the AOTA website due to its combination of online and in-person curriculum.

State Authorization

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, and 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.

Student Licensure

Graduates of the program 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 graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure to practice, however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduates’ 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:

  1. Complete your fieldwork requirements
  2. Graduate from an accredited OTA educational program such as St. Kate’s Online OTA program
  3. Apply for and pass the NBCOT ® Certification Exam
  4. Apply for a license and pay a fee for each state/jurisdiction you wish to practice or hold a license

Program Outcomes

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).

View program enrollment and graduation data. Results of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Examination and Certification Pass Rates are available via NBCOT.

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*Lab Travel will be required for 6 weekends throughout the course of one year, you are not required to reside in this state.

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