Jun 25, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy


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Department Contact:

Chair: Dr. Edward Mihelcic, emihelcic@francis.edu

Program Description:

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 1080 (not including written portion) and a high school g.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 must meet the following criteria in order to progress to the professional phase of the program:

Please consult the departmental student handbook for detailed information about internal policies and standards. Note: Professional courses are open to Occupational Therapy majors only.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Infused with the Franciscan tradition and the Philosophical Base of Occupational Therapy, graduates of the Saint Francis University MOT program will:

  • Practice as ethical and competent occupational therapists for service to underserved regions of Pennsylvania and beyond.
  • Maintain a love of life-long learning and a desire to grow the field of occupational therapy through systematic inquiry, community awareness and action, and professional organization involvement.
  • Adhere to a strong commitment to personal and professional growth through the quest for knowledge and critical self-reflection and analysis.

Estimated Completion Time:

1 year for students who entered SFU as a freshman.

2 years for students who enter as a graduate student (with a BS degree)

Total Credits Required:

BS to MOT Accelerated Program: 128 credits for the B.S. in Health Science plus 30 credits for the MOT

MOT Only: 72 credits

Accreditation Statement:

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. 

Admission Requirements:

Undergraduate:  In addition to Saint Francis University admission criteria noted in Admission to the Universitiy, OT requries a minimum SAT of 1080, minimum high school GPA of 3.0, and 10 hours of OT observation.

Applicants for Graduate Admission are required to submit the following to the Department of Occupational Therapy in order to be considered for admission:

  • A completed Application Form with a $30 (non-refundable) application fee to the Department of Occupational Therapy. Please make check payable to Saint Francis University.
  • Evidence of a completed baccalaureate degree from a fully-accredited institution.
  • Official transcripts from each college/university attended indicating an overall minimum QPA of 3.0. Transcripts must be submitted from the college/university to the Saint Francis University Department of Occupational Therapy in sealed envelopes, or they will not be considered official.
  • A completed Collateral Course Check-Off Form with the noted Collateral Requirement Courses completed with a minimum grade of “C” in each course.
    • Descriptions for the Collateral Requirements are provided in the application packet. Applicants who believe they have taken an equivalent of the course(s) must provide the appropriate course descriptions and/or syllabi with their application so that the Department of Occupational Therapy can make a determination of equivalency.
    • Please note that applicants must have no greater than six (6) credits of collateral coursework outstanding at time of application. Requirements include: 
      • BIOL 111 - Biology I, 4 Credits
      • BIOL 111 L - Biology I Lab, 1 Credit
      • BIOL 205 - Anatomy & Physiology I, 3 Credits
      • BIOL 205 L - Anatomy & Physiology I Lab, 1 Credit
      • BIOL 206 - Anatomy & Physiology II, 3 Credits
      • BIOL 206 L - Anatomy & Physiology II Lab, 1 Credit
      • SPCH 101 - Speech Fundamentals, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 101 - Introduction to Psychology, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 201 - Research Methods and Statistics I, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 202 - Research Methods and Statistics II, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 205 - Abnormal Psychology, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 209 - Developmental Psychology, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 305 - Memory & Cognition, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 314 - Biopsychology, 3 Credits
      • PSYC EL - Psychology Elective, 3 Credits
      • CPSC 101 - Introduction to Computer Systems, 3 Credits
      • SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology, 3 Credits
      • OT 301 - OT Seminar I or equivalent*, 1 Credit
      • OT 302 - OT Seminar II or equivalent*, 1 Credit
    • *See Collateral Course Check Off Form above for exemption possibilities
  • Documentation of 50 hours (minimum) of volunteer or paid experience in Occupational Therapy. A copy of the Documentation Form for Occupational Therapy Observation Volunteer/Paid Employment Experience is provided in the application packet.
  • Current Course Enrollment Form if currently enrolled at another college/university. Upon completion of the coursework, an official transcript must be sent to the Department of Occupational Therapy.
  • Two professional recommendation (at least one from an Occupational Therapist) using the Professional Recommendation Forms provided in the application packet. These recommendations must be submitted to the Department of Occupational Therapy directly from the references in sealed envelopes.
  • Submit a brief typed essay (300 words or less): “Describe your personal characteristics that you believe will lead to your success in the Occupational Therapy profession.”

Information on making application is available on the University’s website at https://www.francis.edu/ot-graduate-admissions/.

International students must send their transcripts to an international agency where the transcripts will be converted to the American academic scale.  We recommend World Education Services, 1-800-937-3897.  In addition to meeting the requirements for admission, international students must submit satisfactory scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (T.O.E.F.L.), administered by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey.  Applicants whose native language is English are exempt from this requirement.  International students should apply for admissions and the required testing well in advance in order to ensure evaluation of their credentials in a time frame which is equitable to themselves and the Graduate Admissions Committee. 

Admission Deadlines:

November 15

Progression and/or Retention Criteria:

Progression from Year One of Professional Phase to Year Two of Professional Phase:

At the completion of year one of the professional phase, students must demonstrate a professional phase cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (for those three semesters) as well as attainment of at least a ‘C’ in each module prior to beginning year two of the professional phase.

If a 3.0 and a grade of at least a ‘C’ in each module is not attained at the end of year one of the professional phase, a student may not progress to year two of the professional phase. In this event, a student may:

  • Select another major course of study.
  • Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree provided Saint Francis University requirements are met.
  • Step out for a period of one year and reapply to correct the deficit course provided there is space available. During that time, students may seek to complete a second (dual) major or apply for a leave of absence from Saint Francis University.
  • Submit a written request for remediation (see section V).

Year Two of the Professional Phase:

Year Two of the Professional Phase consists of the following courses/modules:

OT 501 Occupational Therapy IV (15 credits) - Fall

  • Practice Proficiency Module (Models of Practice)                                   
  • Professionalization of the Field Module (Research, Management / Leadership, Ethics)
  • Personal/Professional Growth Module
  • Fieldwork

OT 502 Occupational Therapy V (15 credits) - Spring

  • Practice Proficiency Module (Models of Practice)                                   
  • Professionalization of the Field Module (Research, Management / Leadership, Ethics)
  • Personal/Professional Growth Module
  • Fieldwork

Technical Standards or Essential Functions:

Saint Francis University is committed to the principle that no qualified individual, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or denied the benefits or services, programs or activities of the University, or be subjected to discrimination by the University as required by the Americans with Disability Act. A copy of the technical standards for admission into the Master of Occupational Therapy program is available in the office of the program director and in the MOT Student Handbook. The Master of Occupational Therapy program adheres to the policies for academic accommodation as determined by the Center for Academic Success. The Center’s Office of Disability Services assists eligible students in receiving basic services as determined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American’s with Disability Act. Every effort is made to arrange appropriate academic accommodations for students who experience physical or mental disabilities. Students are required to provide appropriate documentation to the accessibility coordinator upon request of the accommodation.

Graduation Requirements:

In order to graduate from the MOT program at Saint Francis University, students must:

  • Successfully progress from the pre-professional phase to the professional phase
  • Successfully complete the first professional year (OT 401, OT 402 and OT 403) with a cumulative QPA of 3.0 and a grade of a ‘C’ or better in each course and module/fieldwork component.
  • Successfully complete OT 501 and 502 (including Level II fieldwork)
  • Successfully complete and defend the scholarly project as outlined in the Department of Occupational Therapy Student Handbook
  • Complete the minimum number of credits as specified in this publication;
  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • Submit a completed Application for Degree form at least one semester prior to graduation date; and
  • Satisfy financial obligations to the University.

Professional Licensure and/or Certification:

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.

Please Note:

  • Students entering the professional phase must adhere to the departmental dress code policy. This includes a solid color polo shirt, khaki/black or navy pants and tennis shoes.
  • The University will require the student, prior to fieldwork, have completed a physical examination; current (at least yearly) 2 step PPD testing or evidence of no active tuberculosis disease; Hepatitis B immunization; Rubeola, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, and Hepatitis B titers; and any other immunization deemed necessary. 
  • Students are required to provide transportation to and from all fieldwork rotations.
  • Students are required to secure housing for Level II Fieldwork rotations.

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