Associate in Applied Science

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Contact Information 

Missi Twidwell
Mayme Green Allied Health Center 213G

Delivery Methods 

Face to Face: Wahpeton
Online: *Some Classes

Occupational therapy assistants are a valued team member of the healthcare setting. COTA’s assess, utilize and adapt everyday occupations to improve daily living skills, promote health and wellness, and enhance independence in the daily occupations of their clients. OT practitioners can work with clients ranging from newborn to geriatric in a variety of settings including school systems, hospitals, mental health clinics, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities. The COTA provides intervention strategies under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist.

The program at NDSCS offers an exceptional education in a supportive learning environment. The curriculum consists of three semesters of academic preparation and one semester of full-time fieldwork education. Semester progression is based on meeting established benchmarks. Criminal background checks will be required. A felony charge and/or conviction may affect fieldwork placements, and therefore, program completion. If this issue applies, the student must meet with the department chair and fieldwork coordinator. All expenses incurred in preparation for, and during fieldwork are the responsibility of the student.

The OTA 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 the web address is Graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapy Assistant, administered by NBCOT, One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, phone number 301-990-7979, Federal ID: 52-1620299, 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. Upon successful completion of the exam, the candidate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Most states require licensure, which is based on the results of the examination. 

The OTA program adheres to the NDSCS equal opportunity policy as stated in the NDSCS Catalog.

This program requires access to a personal laptop and printer, capable of completing the assignments/testing required by the program, with a current operating system and webcam/microphone. Tablets and Chromebooks are not compatible with online classes/testing.

Admission/Selection Requirements:

Applicants will be admitted to the program according to the following process:

Fall Semester (first year): Students will be accepted into the program on a first come basis until capacity is reached, so early application/registration is strongly encouraged. Students admitted will take all foundational OTA prefix courses offered fall semester. The following criteria must be met for fall semester selection:

  1. Complete the NDSCS Admission process and submit an official high school transcript and all official college transcript(s) to Enrollment Services.
  2. Applicants without a United States high school transcript (four years), will be required to complete English language proficiency exam(s) and meet the benchmark score(s) prior to continuing the selection process. Contact the program to schedule the assessments if this applies.
  3. Submit official ACT and/or Placement testing results to Enrollment Services. Results must meet criteria to enroll in English 110 fall semester OR submit an official college transcript with ENGL 110 completed with a “C” or higher.
  4. Applicants (with a college transcript) must have a GPA of 2.25 or higher.
  5. Review Essential Functions for Occupational Therapy Assistant Students and submit the Essential Functions Verification Form. 

Spring Semester (first year): Students will be granted continued acceptance in the program using a point-based selection process. The following criteria must be submitted to the OTA program by December 1. Students will be notified of their status in the program prior to the end of fall semester.

  1. Basic Entrance Exam results. Benchmark of 45. Testing date/time to be announced.
  2. Documentation of 20 hours of job shadow in Occupational Therapy or non-paid volunteer/community service.
  3. Professional Development Assessment scores.
  4. Departmental interview scores.
  5. Additional admission points will be awarded for completion (with a “C” or higher) of the following college level courses, as they appear on an official college transcript: BIOL 220/220L Anatomy and Physiology I, BIOL 221/221L Anatomy and Physiology II, PSYC 250 Developmental Psychology and PSYC 270 Abnormal Psychology.
  6. Specific immunizations, criminal background checks, CPR certification (Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider by American Heart Association (AHA) OR Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers from American Red Cross (ARC) ONLY), health insurance, and First Aid Certification are required by the program. Additional requirements could include but not limited to; drug screening/ finger printing, state background checks, and COVID-19 vaccinations dependent on fieldwork site-specific student prerequisites. *All requirements must remain current while in the program and will be at the students’ expense. 

Selection process details, contact information and forms are in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Information and Selection Process Booklet available at (click on Program Selection Process) or contact the program at 

Program Selection Requirements are subject to revision. Please check the with the department or the programs website under Program Admission Requirements for current information.


Upon successful completion of the required courses (“C” or higher), students will be awarded an Associate in Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant.

*OTA 105, OTA 115, OTA 215: These courses are offered in an online platform and will include some evening and weekends face-to-face classroom session. Exams for online courses follow the NDSCS Distance Education Proctoring Guidelines.

**Wellness Elective: Recommended: HPER 217 Personal and Community Health or NUTR 240 Principles of Nutrition (and Diet Therapy). OTA courses must be taken in sequence. Sequencing of courses is available on the program’s website at

Total Required Credits