In a significant milestone for the field of occupational therapy, we are proud to celebrate the centennial anniversary of accreditation for occupational therapy education. Established in 1923, accreditation has played a pivotal role in shaping the standards and quality of occupational therapy education.
Over the past century, accreditation for occupational therapy education has ensured rigorous standards that promote excellence in occupational therapy programs. Through the dedicated efforts of everyone involved in the accreditation process, occupational therapy education continually progresses to meet the needs of students and those served by the profession. Accreditation for occupational therapy education has been instrumental in fostering innovation, research, and professional development within the field. Accredited programs ensure that future occupational therapy practitioners are well-equipped to meet the evolving healthcare needs of diverse populations across the lifespan.
About: Accreditation has been a stated function of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA®) since 1923. AOTA’s Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) is recognized as the accrediting agency for occupational therapy education by both the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). ACOTE accredits occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs in the United States and its territories as well as programs in the United Kingdom.
ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs satisfy the states’ educational requirements in the United States and its territories. Students graduating from an ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational program are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Purpose: To accredit occupational therapy educational programs and occupational therapy assistant educational programs. ACOTE establishes, approves, and administers educational standards to evaluate occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs. ACOTE shall have complete autonomy in establishing standards for educational programs; developing and implementing policies, rules, and procedures for conducting accreditation reviews; and making accreditation decisions.
Mission Statement: The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) ensures quality occupational therapy education by developing accreditation standards and verifying implementation to support the preparation of competent occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.
Vision Statement: The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) is committed to the establishment, promotion, and evaluation of standards of quality in occupational therapy education. To this end, ACOTE® will lead in the development of effective collaborative partnerships with the communities of interest, both internal and external to the profession of occupational therapy, which are affected by its activities.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement: The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) is committed to promoting diversity, creating equity, and fostering a culture of inclusion, participation, and representation. We recognize that bringing diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives together drives innovation. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment and respecting the dignity and diversity of all people. Promoting a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is the responsibility of all ACOTE staff and volunteers.
A Glance at our History
Five of the earliest approved programs:
1. Boston School of Occupational Therapy now Tufts University (1918)
2. Kalamazoo State Hospital School of Occupational Therapy (1922)
3. St. Louis School of Occupational and Recreational Therapy now Washington University in St. Louis (1918)
4. Philadelphia School of Occupational Therapy (1918)
5. Milwaukee-Downer College (1913)
Program numbers since 1983: