Chair and Program Director: Dr. Edward Mihelcic
Occupational Therapy is a unique discipline among the health and human service specialties. It uses occupation as its primary mode of intervention with consumers of all ages who face challenges that might impair daily living and life satisfaction. Occupational therapists serve those whose daily routine might be challenged by physical injury or illness; developmental delay; or social, environmental, or emotional problems. Occupations are those meaningful and purposeful tasks that people do every day. Research has shown that when people engage in occupations they enjoy and which are appealing and motivating, return to normal patterns of daily life occur faster.
The Occupational Therapy program at Saint Francis University is designed to provide three years of pre-professional study where students will complete their general education studies and collateral requirements, followed by two years of intense professional occupational therapy study which integrates practical fieldwork experiences in a variety of settings. Six months of full-time fieldwork experience as well as submission and defense of a Scholarly Project will be required in the professional phase. Students will receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree after successful completion of the fourth year and a Master of Occupational Therapy degree after successful completion of the fifth year. Graduates of the program will be prepared to assume entry level positions in a variety of diverse health and human service settings.
Students enroll as freshmen with forty (40) spaces available each year in the Occupational Therapy major. In addition to general admission requirements, freshman OT candidates should have an SAT score of 1000 (not including written portion) and a high school q.p.a. of 3.0 average (on a 4.0 scale), and a minimum of 10 hours of occupational therapy observation. A limited number of transfer students may be admitted into both the pre-professional and professional phases based on space availability and transfer criteria (3.0 Q.P.A.) Students entering after fall 2013, must meet the following criteria in order to progress to the professional phase of the program:
- Demonstrate a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average in all major and core curriculum requirements by the end of the spring semester of year three of the pre-professional phase of study;
- Demonstrate completion of all general education core and collateral courses as prescribed;
- Demonstrate completion of OT 301 and OT 302 Seminars (with a grade of “C” or better) or their equivalent as determined by the department chairman;
- Demonstrate a minimum 2.75 overall collateral courses grade point average in each collateral course (Biology 111, 205, 206; Computer Science 101; Psychology 101, 201, 202, 205, 209, 305, 314, and a psychology elective; Sociology 101; and Speech Fundamentals 103).
- Demonstrate completion of at least 30 hours of occupational therapy observation, in at least 2 different settings (ex. hospital, outpatient, skilled nursing facility, pediatrics, etc.) between their freshman year and the start of the professional phase, OT 401.
Please consult the departmental student handbook for detailed information about internal policies and standards. Note: Professional courses are open to Occupational Therapy majors only.
The Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA. www.ACOTEONLINE.ORG. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination. It is the responsibility of the prospective student to determine eligibility.