Occupational Therapy Assistant



The Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program is a comprehensive 75 credit-hour, 26 month program designed to prepare entry-level OTA practitioners culminating in an Associate of Science degree. The program is offered through the School of Health Sciences (SHS) alongside the Indiana Wesleyan University Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program. The School of Health Sciences also includes  Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. In response to healthcare trends, the program prepares the OTA student to work collaboratively in intraprofessional/interprofessional experiences with other graduate level students and faculty in the School of Health Sciences. The OTA program is located at the Greenwood Adult Education Center, just south of Indianapolis. 

The objective of the program is to prepare students to administer occupational therapy interventions under the direction of an occupational therapist with individuals who have lost functional abilities to perform everyday living tasks or “occupations”. This program prepares the graduate for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Certification Exam for Occupational Therapy Assistants and to practice as a licensed professional. The basic curriculum is experiential and prepares students with a general education while combining classroom, laboratory, and fieldwork/clinical experiences. All courses are taught in traditional face-to-face classroom settings.

IWU faculty’s diverse educational and clinical expertise is a major strength of the program:

  • Julie Carson, MA, OTR/L, OTA Program Director
    • 30+ years as a practitioner
    • 15+ years of academia experience
  • Sally Nurse, MS, OTR/L, OTA Fieldwork Coordinator
    • 30+ years as a practitioner
    • 5+ years of academia experience
  • Lisa Willey, DMin, COTA Fulltime OTA Faculty
    • 30+ years as a practitioner
    • 5+ years of academia experience
  • Leslie Jackson, OTD, OTR/L, ATP, CEAS III, Occupational Therapy Program Chair, oversees both the OTD and OTA programs


What Is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy practitioners ask, "What matters to you?" not, "What's the matter with you?"

In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

American Occupational Therapy Association


Information Sessions

Dates: Second Thursday of each month at 5 pm
Location: Indiana Wesleyan University at Greenwood Education Center
Address: 1500 Windhorst Way, Greenwood, Indiana (I-65 and Main Street)
Call or email to register: 317.859.3103 or bonnie.gebby@indwes.edu
Private appointments are also available, call or email to schedule.


The Vision and Mission of the OTA Program

OTA Mission: Provide a Christ-centered experiential occupational therapy assistant curriculum that fosters evidence-based practice and lifelong intraprofessional/interprofessional collaboration, development, and servant leadership in providing ethical client-centered, occupation-based care in everyday living, responsive to changing world needs.

OTA Vision: Prepare entry-level Occupational Therapy Assistant practitioners who embrace the art and science of occupational therapy, committed to life-long Christ-like character in serving as culturally sensitive and innovative agents of change in their communities facilitating health, well-being, and participation in activities/occupations across the lifespan.


OTA Program Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes of the program mirror outcomes of the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), and the desired outcomes of the Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) education mission. Upon completion of the IWU Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. Christ-like Character*: view self as a reflective occupational being with need for balance in personal health/wellness/spiritual character, creativity, and professional knowledge and skills that lead to therapeutic use of self with diverse clients/populations/communities.
  2. Engagement in Intraprofessional/Interprofessional Collaborative Evidence-Based Practice: through critical thinking and collaboration, demonstrate clinical reasoning and carry out scientific evidence-based client centered interventions that enable performance and engagement in meaningful occupations supporting health, well-being, and participation in life.
  3. Commitment to Serving as an “Agent of Change” in the community: recognize, meet, and advocate for the diverse occupational needs of clients/populations in their communities there-by demonstrating servant leadership, contributing to meeting changing world needs and promoting health, well-being, inclusion, and quality of life.
  4. Professional Commitment: communicate effectively and ethically; demonstrate scholarship preparing for life-long learning in current and emerging practice areas; demonstrate support for professional organizations; and actively advocate for individual clients, organizations, and population needs.

*To have a Christ-like character is to possess the “fruit of the Spirit” as enumerated in Galations 5:22-23. “The Fruit of the Spirit is love, which includes the qualities of joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  The faculty strive to embody and demonstrate all of these qualities, thereby treating others as Christ would treat them. Jesus Christ was humble. (John 13:1-5) and compassionate in His service to those He came in contact with (Ephesians 4:32).

The mission of Indiana Wesleyan University, to be a “Christ-centered academic community committed to changing the world by developing students in character, scholarship and leadership,” is specifically emphasized in three of the learning outcomes of the OTA program. This degree will prepare individuals who will provide occupational therapy services to those who, because of disability, life situation, or limitation, experience barriers to engaging in life skills and will do so under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist.  Matthew 25:40 states, “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”  In light of this scripture, this OTA program facilitates IWU’s pursuit of becoming a great university.


Career Data

  • 29% Projected employment growth in US, 2016-2026 *Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • $61,734 Median Market Salary in the US (2022) *Lightcast and Bureau of Labor Statistics

Off-Campus Library Services (OCLS)

Library instruction is provided to students at the start of their program at IWU. Reference and document delivery services give students access to all collections of the Jackson Library on the IWU residential campus, as well as Instructional Resource Center services, Interlibrary Loan services, and many e-books and online journals. For more information, see  indwes.edu/ocls.


Accreditation Process of OTA Program

Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), www.hlcommission.org, 312-263-0456. Other accreditations and associations of Indiana Wesleyan University are available at www.indwes.edu/about/iwu-profile/accreditation.

The associate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Blvd, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-6611 and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program are 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 individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy reports the certification exam outcomes for all occupational therapy assistant programs at the following link: https://www.nbcot.org/Educators-Folder/SchoolPerformance.

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
Phone number:  (301) 652-6611

Following graduation and successful passing of the NBCOT exam, working OTA graduates of the IWU OTA program have the opportunity to advance their education through the online Bachelor of Health Science in Health Sciences program. After completing a bachelor’s degree, graduates who meet the criteria, may apply to the IWU Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree Program.


Program Graduation Rate

Graduation Year

Students Entering/Graduation

Graduation Rate

December 2022



December 2021







NBCOT Exam Pass Rates


Passing Exams/Taken Exams

Passing Percentage



100% Pass Rate



In Progress

Overall 3-Year


No Data


Tuition & Financial Aid

Program Credit Hours Tuition
Occupational Therapy Assistant 75 Total $385 / credit hour


ONSITE  COST ESTIMATE  (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023)


Total Cost of Program 



Educational Resource Fee


Books and Supplies


Graduation Fee





Payment for each term is due by August 15th for Fall and by December 15th for Spring. Not all course textbooks are included in the costs listed above.

The total credit hours and per-credit-hour costs listed above are effective for the required core program. Costs may change if you bring in transfer credits, withdraw from the program and restart in a future program at a later date.

Financial Aid

For information about financial aid, call 866-498-4968, visit our financial aid website, or email IWUfinaid@indwes.edu.

Published tuition and fees are subject to change.


Year One

Fall Trimester


Total 13 credit hours

Spring Trimester


Total 12 credit hours

Summer Trimester


Total 12 credit hours

Total for Year One 37 credit hours

Year Two

Fall Trimester


Total 12 credit hours

Spring Trimester


Total 12 credit hours

Summer Trimester


Total 12 credit hours

Total Credits for Year Two 36 credit hours

Year Three

Fall Trimester


Total 2 credit hours

Total Overall Credits: 75 Credit Hours


Below are the lists of requirements for the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program. Click on each link to expand the requirements. If you have any questions about the admissions process, feel free to contact one of our admissions representatives at 1-866-498-4968.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program annually admits a class of Thirty (30) students to the associate degree program (OTA), with classes starting studies in September each year.

Interviews for fall admission begin the prior November 15:

Early admission interviews:               November 15-January 30

General admission interviews:           February 1-March 15

Late admission interviews:                 March 15-May 30

Admission Requirements

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is a Selective Admissions Program, which means not every student in the applicant pool may be accepted. Admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is competitive and enrollment in the program is limited because of available faculty, financial, and fieldwork resources.  Requirements for admission to the program include:

  • Attend an information session, which outlines the education, examination, and licensure process for successful completion of the OTA program and career development.
  • Proof of high school graduation or GED certification. Official transcripts.
  • Official transcripts of all previous college work.
  • Submit letter of interest, resume, and two references.
  • Preference given for students who demonstrate a “C” or better in high school science courses and/or college-level science courses.
  • Preference given to students with other degrees.
  • Admission/Retention in the OTA Program is conditional, pending successful completion, with a “B-” or better grade in all courses (exception: BIO111/112, “C” or better), maintenance of 2.7 GPA or better each semester, and obtainment of an overall GPA of 2.7 or better to graduate.
  • Interview and writing sample (arranged by invitation following receipt and review of all other application materials.
  • Upon establishment of the qualified applicant pool; the top 30 candidates will be determined from the established point system for selection into the OTA Program. Early enrollment is encouraged to secure your position in the program. 

Program Requirements

The OTA program is a lock-step program. All courses are carefully planned to provide for foundational learning, then build on previous learning and provide for skill development in preparation for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam and to practice as a licensed practitioner. All courses must be successfully completed in the sequence prescribed by the program's requirements.  Failure to successfully complete a course will result in an administrative withdrawal from the program. Students who are unable to complete a course or who receive an unsatisfactory grade will be allowed to repeat that course with the next cohort provided the student follows through with a petition for re-enrollment process. Tuition and fees will be charged for repeating the course. OTA students will be academically dismissed upon receipt of a second unsatisfactory grade.

  • Students must earn a minimum grade of “B-” or “CR” in each course in the OTA program (exception: BIO-111/112, “C” or higher).
  • Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.7.
  • Students who do not earn the required grade or maintain a 2.7 will be administratively withdrawn from the OTA program at the end of the term and will not be able to continue with the next term.
  • Students who have been administratively withdrawn may petition to re-enroll with the next cohort the following year and may be asked to audit courses to prepare for re-entry.
  • Students with two unsatisfactory grades (including the same courses, repeated) will be academically dismissed from the program and ineligible to return.
  • Students must complete Level II fieldwork within 18 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program.


Continuing Competency/Lifelong Learning

In order to assist the student to acquire the habit of lifelong learning; to understand the continuing competency process as required by most state licensure acts and NBCOT certification, and to provide for integration of learning and best prepare for practice; students are required to participate in a series of observation and service-learning activities in the community throughout their education experience.  This is an integral part of the course requirements. The students are required to participate in the following 18 hours (aligns with the required 18 hours of required continuing education for Indiana state OTA licensure) of observation/service-learning:



Course Number:


2 hrs

Wellness/Disability Ministry OR

Home Health OR Hospice


Foundations of OT I: Balance of Performance & Well-Being and Professional Responsibilities

4 hrs

Observation/Interview of OT Practitioner


Foundations of OT I: Balance of Performance & Well-Being and Professional Responsibilities

4 hrs

Observation/Reflection of OT Practitioner

OTA 120

Foundations of OT II: Models, Theories, Evidenced Based Practice, and Intraprofessional/Interprofessional Communication

4 hrs

Observation/Service-Learning of adult day center/skilled nursing facility/behavioral center group process


OT Theory and Concepts

4 hrs

Observation of OT Practitioner practicing in Pediatric Services/ Schools


Clinical Reasoning/Occupational Performance Patterns I: Pediatric/Adolescence Conditions

18  hrs




Each course has specific course related assignments. For each learning experience the student is required to fill out and have the designated person from the site sign the form.  The form is placed in the student’s portfolio.   

Graduation Requirements

  • Completion of 75 semester hours
  • Completion of the required courses with a "B-" or higher in each course (exception: BIO111/112, "C" or better)
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher
  • Successful completion of all Observation/Service Learning and Fieldwork assignments to include site assessment documentation
  • Payment of all program tuition and fees is required to receive a diploma


External Review and Accreditation

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) has developed standards for occupational therapy assistant programs. The curriculum of the OTA program is designed with those standards in mind, and the standards are reflected in course objectives for each course.

Subsequent to curricular review and approval at the institutional level, the OTA Program has received Preaccreditation status through ACOTE. This allows IWU to market the program to potential students while the program continues through the formal accreditation process. Following an on-site accreditation visit from an ACOTE review team, the program can be granted accreditation. Accreditation will be retroactive, as graduation from an ACOTE accredited program is necessary for students to sit for the National Certification Examination.

Complete the OTA Online Application

Attend an Information Session held on the second Thursday of the month (or by appointment) 5PM Greenwood Education Center, IWU, 1500 Windhorst Way, Suite 215, Greenwood, IN 46143-6557.

Orientation is held annually on the Wednesday/Thursday prior to start date.
Start Date - 1 cohort/Year, Starts annually each Fall Trimester

Application Procedures

To be considered for admission to the Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program, complete each of the following steps. For more information, call 866-498-4968 to speak with a Program Representative.

  1. Application: Apply online here. *PLEASE NOTE*: The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program receives applications for program admission.
  2. Submit letter of interest, resume, and two references to your Program Representative.
  3. Transcripts
    • High School: Applicants are required to submit a copy of a standard high school diploma or transcript or GED scores.
    • College: Applicants to the associate program are required to submit an official transcript from each undergraduate regionally accredited institution attended. Indiana Wesleyan University will accept for its permanent file only those transcripts sent directly to IWU by the registrar of the attended institution(s). Official transcripts must exhibit the official seal and signature of the registrar. Transcripts that are stamped “student copy,” “issued to student,” or “unofficial” cannot be accepted as official.
    • College Transcripts from Non-U.S. Schools: Secure a course-by-course report from Educational Credential Evaluator (www.ece.org). The evaluation must list course-by-course hours and grades. 



bonnie gebby

Program Assistant


julie carson - OTR/L, MA

Assistant Professor

View Profile

lisa willey - DMin, COTA

Assistant Professor

View Profile

sally nurse - MS, OTR/L

Assistant Professor

View Profile

Start Dates

Below are the program locations, upcoming dates, and meeting times for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. This list is updated regularly as new classes are added.

Program Location Start Date (MM/DD/YYYY)
A.S. Occupational Therapy Assistant Greenwood, IN 09/06/2022
A.S. Occupational Therapy Assistant Greenwood, IN 09/05/2023