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COVID19 Q&A 4-23-20

COVID19 Q&A 4-23-20

Statement from ACOTE® regarding COVID-19


Please continue to monitor www.acoteonline.org (announcements & newsletters) for previous and continuous updates. If you have any questions please email the Accreditation Department at: accred@aota.org.

These FAQs are based on recent questions received from faculty and students.


Q: Will the accreditation term be extended for programs that are in good standing due to the current interruption to the accreditation process caused by COVID-19?

The US Department of education is offering accrediting agencies the discretion to extend the term of accreditation, for a reasonable period of time during the COVID-19 interruption, for an institution that is undergoing renewal of accreditation and was scheduled to have a site visit during a COVID-19 interruption from March 2020-June 2020. If your program was scheduled to have a site visit during March 2020-June 2020, ACOTE extended the accreditation length for 1 year and re-scheduled the site-visit to the next academic year.  If the COVID-19 interruptions impact college operations after June 30, 2020, the Council may extend the dates.

Q: When is the interim report due to ACOTE?

ACOTE extended the interim report deadline from 15 April 2020 to 29 April 2020.

Q: My university is moving to a pass/fail grading system during the pandemic do I need to notify ACOTE?

ACOTE does not have a Standard related to grading, therefore, if your institution is moving to a pass/fail system during the pandemic you are not in conflict with the ACOTE Standards.

Q: My university is moving to a pass/fail grading system during the pandemic and it is impacting my admission criteria. Do I need to notify ACOTE?

ACOTE is allowing programs to make minor program changes as outlined in the ACOTE policy ACOTE Policy IV.B.1. Additions or Changes to accommodate students on a temporary basis. Programs do NOT need to notify ACOTE if they are making a minor program change to the admission requirements and selection criteria to include, reduction in frequency of student admissions (e.g., not admitting students for one admission cycle or reducing admissions from once a year to every other year).  Programs will be required to report on how they modified their programs to accommodate students on the annual report.

Q: I am currently enrolled in an OTA/OT bridge program. Is it necessary for me to complete Level II fieldwork? 

The experience that a skilled OTA brings to the educational setting is why you are able to complete a bridge program as opposed to a full graduate program. The fieldwork objectives for an OT degree are significantly different from practice as an OTA. Although you may feel that your personal expertise has prepared you to practice as an OT, the ACOTE Standards apply to all OTAs who are bridging to an OT degree.  OTAs enter bridge programs at varying levels of experience.

Q: I am currently enrolled in an OTA/OT bridge program. Can I complete my Level II fieldwork at my current place of employment?

The ACOTE standards do not prevent a student from completing a Level II fieldwork at their current place of employment. If you are employed as an OTA and are completing your OT Level II fieldwork at the same place of employment, the program must ensure that the Level II fieldwork experience reflects the program’s curriculum design and includes experiences in delivering occupational therapy services to clients, focusing on the application of purposeful and meaningful occupation and research, administration, and management of occupational therapy services.  This must be apparent in the course objectives and expected responsibilities; and reflected in the memorandum of understanding (MOU).


We appreciate all of the work that you do and your dedication to provide quality OT/OTA education. If you have specific questions unique to your program please do not hesitate to reach out to the Accreditation Department via email: accred@aota.org or contact Barb Ostrove at bostrove@aota.org or Teresa Brininger at tbrininger@aota.org. Please stay well and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.



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