The Occupational Therapy Program offers opportunities for in-depth study of, and clinical experiences with, clients of all ages who have limited capacity to perform to their expectations in their everyday lives or are at risk of developing a limiting condition. The program is accredited by the American Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
The goal of occupational therapy is to assist individuals to achieve their maximum level of independent living and quality of life through remediation of, adaptation to, or prevention of physical, cognitive, perceptual or mental health functional limitations. Occupational therapy utilizes the consultative process in addition to direct intervention and works with populations and systems as well as individuals.
The goals of the Occupational Therapy program reflect the missions of the university, college, and program. In essence, these are to educate self-directed students who, upon graduation, will become quality professionals, contribute to the body of knowledge of the profession and provide leadership for the profession and society. This will be accomplished through incorporation of the liberal studies component of the student’s bachelor’s degree into graduate, professional education in Occupational Therapy. Accordingly,the goals of the program are to:
- Develop quality entry-level occupational therapists whose practice is guided by occupational science and clinical reasoning;
- Create life-long learners who will contribute to the body of knowledge of the profession;
- Foster student attitudes and professional behaviors consistent with the missions of the university, college and program;
- Assist the student to develop the skills necessary to provide leadership roles in the profession and society;
- Provide students with the skills and problem-solving abilities to adapt and respond proactively to a changing health care system and society;
- Provide professional resources, services, leadership and scholarship to the profession and community;
- Foster an academic community in which its members participate actively in the development of self and society.
The program is designed as a full-time course of study, although part-time study may be designed with the student in special circumstances and with the Program Chair’s approval. Students in the final year of completion of a bachelor’s degree are accepted into the program with a minimum 3.0 out of a 4.0 scale grade point average in college courses. GRE’s are not required. Transfer credit for prerequisite courses will be completed on an individual basis but all transfer courses must fall at a “C” or higher level. Students may be accepted into the program contingent upon satisfactory completion of prerequisites at another university or may be accepted directly into the OT program if completing prerequisites at Gannon.
The following prerequisites must be completed before formal matriculation into the OT program:
- Intro to Psychology
- Intro to Sociology or a course in diversity
- Anatomy & Physiology I & II with lab (total of 8 credits)
- Developmental psychology or equivalent
- Physics (one-semester survey or two-semester full sequence)
Students must have demonstrated efficiency in using tools common to distance education. This might include a learning platform, special courses, or job experience. Students taking an online course at Gannon University will require internet access to utilize Blackboard for their coursework.
Additional Requirements for all Students
- Prior to matriculation in the program, students must complete their bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer experience in an OT setting; two different sites are preferred. Documentation must be submitted from the clinical volunteer site. Students will also collect information for a student journal during their volunteer work.
- Deadline for applications is January 15; applications received after this deadline will be reviewed if space is available in the program
- Interested students must complete the “Student Self-Report Transcript Evaluation” in accordance with the OT program and Graduate Admissions office.
Accreditation and Licensure
The Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). In August 2012 the program was re-accredited until 2019. Graduates are therefore eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapists administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the certification examination.
Internships and Work Programs
There are two types of internships within the Occupational Therapy program and both are required.
Short term fieldwork level 1 experiences are associated with three major treatment intervention courses (psycho-social OT, physical disabilities, and pediatrics). Fieldwork level 1 internships include 40 hours of matriculation at a designated facility. There are two 12 week professional fieldwork experiences (Fieldwork Level 2) that occur during the summer and fall of the final year of the program.
Fieldwork Level 2 experiences are each 6-credit courses and must be successfully passed in order to graduate. Fieldwork 2 experiences are required by NBCOT prior to being allowed to take the national registration exam. Fieldwork Level 2 experiences are available in many different types of facilities throughout the United States. Students are given the opportunity to list the placements which they desire, but the final assignments are based on the facility’s willingness to accept the student and faculty evaluation of the student’s suitability for the placement. Fieldwork 2 placements are done to accommodate the needs of students and facilities in an attempt to make a positive and beneficial learning and working experience.
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