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Anne Kienle

Anne Kienle
2006, Associate in Occupational Therapy, Penn State Berks

"The occupational therapy program at Penn State Berks is excellent and helped me to grow as a professional. I currently work for a contract agency, mostly in adult and older adult physical disability settings. After completing the Penn State Associate degree program as a traditional student, I worked as a certified occupational therapy assistant for six years. While working, I attended Misericordia University as a part time non-traditional weekend student to pursue my Masters degree in occupational therapy.

"Recently, I graduated from the program and plan to continue working for my contract agency as an occupational therapist. Starting my career in occupational therapy as an assistant was extremely valuable and helped me to succeed as a graduate student.

"I chose to go back to school to increase my knowledge in the field and to expand my ability to see my patients from start to finish. Going back to school allowed me to gain an understanding on how to complete evaluations, participate in research, and increase my familiarity with interventions used in the clinic"

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Consider Occupational Therapy if....

Occupational Therapy student

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 Berks 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.

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 program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) through the 2023-2024 academic year.

Remember, all programs are not the same.  Check out the Penn State difference!  Penn State Associate in Occupational Therapy graduates are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam.  Successful completion of this exam certifies the occupational therapy assistant as a COTA.  State licensure is required by most states and is usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification exam.  A felony conviction may prevent a graduate from taking the NBCOT exam or obtaining a state license.

For more information about our Occupational Therapy program, please contact program director: David Kresse, 610-396-6425, E-mail: dck12@psu.edu.

The Penn State Occupational Therapy program is also available at Penn State Mont Alto, Penn State DuBois and Penn State Shenango.

Professional Organizations

The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.  (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane
Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
Phone: 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: 301-652-AOTA

National Board for the Certification of Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT)
12 South Summit Avenue
Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Phone: 301-990-7979
Fax: 301-869-8492