Introduction to Occupational Therapy Assistant

This curriculum is designed to academically prepare students to apply for the restricted admissions AAS Occupational Therapy Assistant program and to gain a job ready skill in health professions. Students will either prepare to take the National Registry of EMT certification exam or prepare to work in a medical office. Students should be aware that completion of this program does not guarantee admission into the AAS Occupational Therapy Assistant.

Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

Application for Accreditation

The associate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant program will apply for accreditation 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 by 12/16/2024.

ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is The program must be granted Candidacy Status, have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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 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.

Once candidacy status is achieved a Fall 2025 start date is anticipated.


Est. Tuition*: $
Credits: 27 Hours
Time: 1 year

*Estimated cost reflects in-state rate and is subject to change


The cost of attendance is an estimate of the costs a student may have while at Virginia Western.

Click here for the cost of attendance for financial aid.

 Fralin Center HP339
New Students: Chapman Hall
Fax: 540-857-6640

Mailing address:
School of Health Professions
3091 Colonial Ave., SW
Roanoke, VA 24015


Leah Savelyev, DHSc, OTR/L, OTA/L
Administrative Officer, Occupational Therapy Assistant

Certificate – Early Childhood Education, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, 1996
A.A.S. – Occupational Therapy Assistant, College of Health Sciences, 2002
B.A. – Psychology, Mary Baldwin University, 2012
M.O.T. – Occupational Therapy, Cabarrus College of Health Sciences, 2016
D.H.S.C. – Doctor of Health Sciences, Radford University Carilion, 2022


Martha Sullivan, Dean