News & Announcements

Mizzou first public university in U.S. with accredited OTA-B program

Aug. 28, 2023

The University of Missouri is the first public institution in the United States to offer an accredited baccalaureate program for occupational therapy assistants (OTAs).

Mizzou is one of only four universities in the country with such a program, though the other three are private schools. Currently, most OTA programs in the U.S. offer associate’s degrees.

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) granted the OTA baccalaureate program the maximum allowable accreditation period of seven years, reinforcing that the MU Department of Occupational Therapy is leading the way in education and preparing the next generation of occupational therapy assistants.

The ACOTE praised the work of students, faculty members and College of Health Sciences leadership in making the OTA program such a resounding success. In particular, the council called attention to the intraprofessional collaboration between OTA students, OT students and faculty members.

“Leadership and role modeling has brought excitement to the students, creating an environment where students are motivated to further explore the profession and enhance their career paths through involvement within the profession,” ACOTE accreditation reviewers wrote. “This is evident in faculty and student involvement at the national occupational therapy association conference, interprofessional/intraprofessional education day events, grand rounds as well as life-long learning opportunities.”

OTA is the most popular health care support job, according to U.S. News & World Report. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the profession to see a 25% jump in job growth from 2021 to 2031.