Apr 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Master of Occupational Therapy


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Department Contact:

Chair: Dr. Lorie Rowles, lrowles@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 successfully completed the Bachelor of Science in Health Science (OT) degree at Saint Francis University.

2 years for students who enter as a graduate student (with a BS degree from SFU or another University)

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:

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.
    1. 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.
    2. Please note that applicants must have no greater than six (6) credits of collateral coursework outstanding at time of application. Requirements include: 
       
      1. BIOL 205     - Anatomy & Physiology I, 3 Credits
      2. BIOL 205 L - Anatomy & Physiology I Lab, 1 Credit
      3. BIOL 206    - Anatomy & Physiology II, 3 Credits
      4. BIOL 206 L - Anatomy & Physiology II Lab, 1 Credit
      5. PSYC 101    - Introduction to Psychology, 3 Credits
      6. PSYC 205    - Psychopathology, 3 Credits
      7. PSYC 209    - Developmental Psychology, 3 Credits
      8. SOC 101      - Introduction to Sociology, 3 Credits
      9. Introductory Statistics, 3-4 Credits
      10. Medical Terminology, 1-3 Credits
  •  

  • *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 recommendations (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.”
  • 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:

  • Graduate application deadline: November 15

Progression and/or Retention Criteria:

Progression Requirements Year One to Year Two:

  • Professional phase progression standards are based on grades achieved at the start of professional phase. The student’s grade point average (GPA) leading up to the professional phase does not get calculated into the professional phase GPA for progression purposes. Note: for graduation honors purposes, the preprofessional phase GPA is calculated with the first-year professional phase GPA.
  • During Year One of the professional phase of the MOT curriculum, the student must meet or exceed all the following academic requirements to maintain good academic standing and progress as an occupational therapy student:
  •  

 

At the completion of Year One (Summer I, Fall I, Spring I), each student must:

Additional Information:

Outcome:

Achieve at least a C letter grade in each course

Students are encouraged to self-monitor grades and request a meeting with any faculty member at any point in time during the semester with concerns regarding their grade.  However, if a student’s letter grade in any course drops below a “C” from midterm of the semester through end of the semester, then the student will be subject to a PRC in order to attempt to rectify deficits prior to the end of the semester.

If a “C” letter grade is not achieved in any course(s), the student will not be able to progress and must re-take the course at the next available offering in order to progress in the program (permitting there is a seat available)

Achieve at least a minimum term GPA of 2.75 or higher each individual semester (Summer I, Fall I, Spring I)

If the minimum term GPA of 2.75 or higher is not achieved, the student will be subject to a PRC, in which a learning contract will be developed. The student will be on academic probation that following semester. While on academic probation, the student will be required to abide by the terms and conditions set forth by the OT PRC including, but not limited to being required to successfully complete ancillary learning experiences.

If the student fails to complete ANY aspect of the terms and conditions set forth by the OT PRC, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (for those 3 semesters combined) in order to progress to Year Two of professional phase

This cumulative GPA of 3.0 MUST be achieved by the end of Spring I.

If a student does not attain the cumulative GPA of 3.0, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Achieve a passing grade (>36/50) on each Level I Fieldwork evaluation

If the student does not receive a passing score (>36/50) on the Level I Fieldwork Evaluation, they will be subject to a PRC in order to determine if remediation is appropriate (any scores reflecting on unsafe or unethical behaviors will be considered ineligible for remediation).

If the student fails to complete ANY aspect of the terms and conditions set forth by the OT PRC, the student will be dismissed from the program.  Once the remediation is completed, the student must participate in a Level I Fieldwork Experience with a passing grade.

 

  • Achievement of all the above standards will allow the student to progress from year one to year two of the professional phase.
  • If a student does not achieve any of the above, the student will be required to “Step Out” of the Occupational Therapy program for a period of a year. The student may apply for readmission that following year, provided an opening in the cohort. Readmission will be granted at the discretion of the department chairperson. Upon readmission to the OT program, the student would be required to repeat, from the beginning, the course that the student did not achieve a ‘C’.   In addition, the student would be placed on Occupational Therapy Department Probation. An ensuing grade below ‘C’ in a repeated professional-level course will result in the student’s dismissal from the occupational therapy major. There is no opportunity for further remediation at this point.

During Year Two of the professional phase of the MOT curriculum, the student must meet or exceed all the following academic requirements to maintain good academic standing and progress as an occupational therapy student to achieve graduation requirements:

At the completion of Year Two (Summer II, Fall II, Spring II), each student must:

Additional Information:

 

Outcome:

Achieve at least a B letter grade in the Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competencies course (Summer II) to be approved to begin Level IIA Fieldwork.

Students are encouraged to self-monitor grades and request a meeting with any faculty member at any point in time during the semester with concerns regarding their grade.  However, if a student’s letter grade in this course drops below a “B” or achieves a grade less than a 90/100 on the advanced skills competency then the student will be subject to a PRC.

If a “B” letter grade and a grade less than a 90/100 on the advanced competency is not achieved in this course, the student will not be able to progress and must re-take the course at the next available offering in order to progress in the program (permitting there is a seat available)

 

Achieve at least a C letter grade in each course

Students are encouraged to self-monitor grades and request a meeting with any faculty member at any point in time during the semester with concerns regarding their grade.  However, if a student’s letter grade in any course drops below a “C” from midterm of the semester through end of the semester, then the student will be subject to a PRC in order to attempt to rectify deficits prior to the end of the semester.

If a “C” letter grade is not achieved in any course(s), the student will not be able to progress and must re-take the course at the next available offering in order to progress in the program (permitting there is a seat available)

Achieve at least a minimum term GPA of 2.75 or higher each individual semester (Summer II, Fall II, Spring II)

If the minimum term GPA of 2.75 or higher is not achieved, the student will be subject to a PRC, in which a learning contract will be developed. The student will be on academic probation that following semester. While on academic probation, the student will be required to abide by the terms and conditions set forth by the OT PRC including, but not limited to being required to successfully complete ancillary learning experiences.

If the student fails to complete ANY aspect of the terms and conditions set forth by the OT PRC, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (for those 3 semesters combined) in order to progress to Year Two of professional phase

This cumulative GPA of 3.0 MUST be achieved by the end of Spring I.

If a student does not attain the cumulative GPA of 3.0, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Achieve a score of 111 or higher on the Level II Fieldwork Performance Evaluation - AND - achieve a three or above on questions 1, 2, and 3 on the Fieldwork Performance Evaluation.

If the student does not achieve a score of 111 or higher and a three or above on questions 1, 2, and 3 on the Fieldwork Performance Evaluation they will have failed the Level II fieldwork experience, they must request a PRC.

If the student fails to complete ANY aspect of the terms and conditions set forth by the OT PRC, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Once the student passes and completes the remediation, the student must participate in a Level II Fieldwork Experience with a passing grade.

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.

 

MOT Graduation requirements:

In order to graduate from the Saint Francis University Master of Occupational Therapy program, the student must:

  1. Successfully progress from the pre-professional phase to the professional phase
  2. Successfully complete each semester of the professional phase (Summer I, Fall I, Spring I, Summer II, Fall II, Spring II) with a term GPA of 2.75 or higher and a letter grade of “C” or better in each MOT professional phase course.
  3. Achieve at least a B letter grade in the Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competencies course (Summer II) to be approved to begin Level IID Fieldwork.
  4. Successfully complete the first professional year (Summer I + Fall I + Spring I) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and a letter grade of “C” or better in each MOT professional phase course (Year One).
  5. Successfully complete the second professional year (Summer II + Fall II + Spring II) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and a letter grade of “C” or better in each MOT professional phase course (Year Two).
  6. Successfully complete each Level I fieldwork experience with a passing grade on the fieldwork evaluation.
  7. Successfully complete each Level II fieldwork experience with a score of 111 or higher on the AOTA Fieldwork Performance Evaluation and receive three or above on questions 1, 2, and 3 at the final.  A score of 1 on any of the questions is not allowed to receive a Pass on the AOTA FWPE at the final. If the student receives a 110 or less and/or does not achieve a three on questions 1, 2, and 3, they did not successfully complete their Level II Fieldwork experience.  The Level II Fieldwork component of each course MUST be completed within 12 months at the end of the next academic year. 
  8. Successfully complete and defend the scholarly project as outlined in the Department of Occupational Therapy Student Handbook.

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.

 

Other information to include, related to this program:

  • 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.

Courses Required for the Major (81 credits)


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