Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

The Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) has a long and distinguished history. Continually accredited since 1974 by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), this program boasts excellent pass rates on the National Board Certification for Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam and highly successful employment rates. The program offers many opportunities for student engagement with clients, community and professional service, and participation in faculty and independent research projects.  The curriculum and accompanying educational experiences prepare students to become independent practitioners capable of competently assessing and addressing the occupational needs of individuals, groups, and society.  As a graduate of UCA you will join a highly regarded and sought after force of occupational therapy practitioners and leaders, eligible for certification and practice virtually anywhere in the nation.

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status 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 and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates 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, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

WHAT IS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY?
MISSION
PHILOSOPHY
COURSE OF STUDY
PROGRAM ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

TUITION AND FEES
DOCUMENT AND LINKS


WHAT IS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY?
Occupational therapy practitioners help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They use a holistic and customized approach to evaluations, interventions, and outcomes to help a child with disabilities participate in school and in social situations, assist a person recovering from injuries to regain skills, aid older adults to stay as independent as possible, and offer specialized support and services to people of all ages and in all circumstances that only occupational therapy can provide. Occupational therapy interventions may be provided to individuals, groups, communities, or to society as a whole.


http://www.aota.org/en/About-Occupational-Therapy.aspx.

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MISSION
The mission of the University of Central Arkansas Occupational Therapy Program in implementing a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy (OTD) is to develop leaders, advocates, researchers, and skilled practitioners competent in providing OT services to individuals and populations who are limited by physical or psychosocial situations that compromise independence and wellness. Graduates are prepared to practice in a variety of service delivery models, and to develop productive interpersonal and therapeutic relationships with clients, families, communities, populations, organizations, and other health and human services professionals.
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The program is committed to promoting student awareness and appreciation of different cultural and social value systems. Student sensitivity is cultivated through the improved awareness of self and appreciation of diversity among client populations. The program seeks to instill in students a sense of self direction, discernment, and a desire to assume active responsibility for leadership, advocacy, clinical research, advanced clinical skills, and education..
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In addition to educating competent practitioners, leaders, and advocates, the program strives to have a strong positive influence on the profession throughout the state and region, by assisting in the development of new knowledge in the science of occupation and in conducting and disseminating clinical research that establishes the efficacy of OT services.

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PHILOSOPHY
Preamble:
Occupational therapy (OT) education prepares occupational therapy practitioners to address the occupational needs of individuals, groups, communities, and populations. The education process includes both academic and fieldwork components. The philosophy of occupational therapy education parallels the philosophy of occupational therapy, yet remains distinctly concerned with beliefs about knowledge, learning and teaching.

Fundamental Beliefs of Occupational Therapy Education:
Students are viewed as occupational beings, in dynamic transaction with the learning context and the teaching-learning process. The learning context includes the curriculum and pedagogy and conveys a perspective and belief system that includes a view of humans as occupational beings, occupation as a health determinant, and participation as a fundamental right. Education promotes clinical reasoning and the integration of professional values, theories, evidence, ethics and skills. This will prepare practitioners to collaborate with clients to achieve health, well-being, and participation in life through engagement in occupation (AOTA, 2014). Occupational therapy education is the process by which practitioners acquire their professional identity.

Values within Occupational Therapy Education:
Enacting the above beliefs to facilitate the development of a sound reasoning process that is client – centered, occupation-based, theory-driven, while encouraging the use of best evidence and outcomes data to inform the teaching-learning experience may include supporting:
a) active and diverse learning within and beyond the classroom environment, b) a collaborative process that builds on prior knowledge and experience, c) continuous professional judgment, evaluation and self-reflection, and d) lifelong learning.
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COURSE OF STUDY
The curriculum leading to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy requires prior completion of a baccalaureate degree from a USDE- recognized regionally accredited college or university. Moreover, completion of 25 hours of prerequisite course work (grade C or better) is required. Prerequisite courses may be completed at UCA or at another regionally accredited college or university. Students who plan to complete prerequisites at another university are strongly urged to contact the Occupational Therapy Program Advisor to assure course equivalency.

Students are admitted to the program via a competitive admission process. Students who are admitted will complete 112 graduate credit hours, scheduled across a 36 month period. Within the course of study, the students are engaged in both classroom and fieldwork experiences at facilities in Arkansas and across the US. The first level of fieldwork assignments occur in concert with on-campus course work. Advanced levels of fieldwork assignments involve full time placement at two different fieldwork sites across a 6 month period. At this level, students may again be placed at facilities in Arkansas or across the US.  In addition, a 640 hour doctoral residency program will serve as an integral part of the program’s curriculum and will include in-depth experiences in clinical skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, and/or theory development.

Students are responsible for their own transportation and living expenses throughout the program, including fieldwork assignments and doctoral residency.

Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Upon successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice as an occupational therapist. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensures. For further information, the address and phone number for NBCOT are:

NBCOT
12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
Phone: (301) 990-7979
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PROGRAM ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
To be considered for admission, candidates must complete a baccalaureate degree and meet the specific prerequisite requirements of the UCA Department of Occupational Therapy. Students may pursue the bachelor’s degree in any chosen field of study at UCA or from a USDE-recognized regionally accredited college or university. Moreover, completion of 25 hours of prerequisite course work is required. Prerequisite courses may be completed at UCA or at another regionally accredited college or university. Students who plan to complete prerequisites at another university are strongly urged to contact the Occupational Therapy Program Advisor to assure course equivalency.

Students enrolled in the occupational therapy program must perform certain essential functions in order to participate in and complete program requirements. A list of these essential functions and the departmental policy is available at uca.edu/ot.

All prospective students should review the document “UCA Department of Occupational Therapy Essential Functions” and the departmental policy prior to applying for admission to the program.
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PREREQUISITE COURSE WORK
Department of Occupational Therapy: Pre-requisite Course Work with University of Central Arkansas Course Numbers.
Prerequisite courses taken elsewhere must be approved in advance by the Occupational Therapy Program Advisor.

Course (UCA and ACTS* course numbers in parenthesis) Credit Hours
Anatomy and Physiology I (UCA: BIOL 2406; ACTS: BIOL2404) 4
Anatomy and Physiology II (UCA: BIOL 2407; ACTS: BIOL2414) 4
Physics (UCA: PHYS 1405 or PHYS 1410; ACTS (for 1410): PHYS2014) 4
Medical Terminology (UCA: HSC 3123) 1
Sociology (UCA: SOC 1300; ACTS: SOCI1013 or Anthropology (UCA: ANTH 1302; ACTS: ANTH1013 3
Abnormal Psychology (UCA: PSYC 4320) 3
Lifespan Development (UCA: FACS 2341) or Developmental Psychology (UCA: PSYC 2370; ACTS: PSYC2103) 3
Statistics (UCA: PSYC 2330 or SOC 2321 or MATH 2311; ACTS [for MATH 2311]: MATH2103) 3
Total Credit Hours in Prerequisite Course Work: 25

*ACTS is the Arkansas Course Transfer System. It applies to transfer of some lower division undergraduate courses.
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APPLICATION PROCESS
The Doctor of Occupational Therapy (Entry-Level) program has strict admission requirements and enrollment limitations. Acceptance is by specific application and competitive admission only. A new class begins each fall semester. Two options exist for admission to the program. Regardless of admission option, all applicants are required to complete the online application through the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) at www.otcas.org by January 15th of the year of planned enrollment.

Freshman Admission
Declaration of Intent: Intent to pursue the option for Freshman Admission must be completed with the Department of Occupational Therapy program Advisor by November 1 of the freshman year.

Students who begin study at UCA as a freshman will be admitted into the occupational therapy program if they meet and maintain specific performance standards and criteria. Actual enrollment into the occupational therapy program will occur after completion of the baccalaureate degree and if performance standards and criteria were maintained.

To maintain Freshman Admission status, the applicant must:

  • Take all coursework at UCA.
  • Attend three SPOT (Students for Pre-Occupational Therapy) meetings each year (12 total meetings in 4 years).
  • Maintain at least a 3.7 cumulative GPA every semester and a 3.5 GPA for all occupational therapy prerequisite course work.
  • Submit GRE revised General Test (August 2011) scores to UCA Graduate School and OTCAS. UCA institutional GRE code 6012 and OTCAS GRE code 7416; score at least 150 on Verbal, 150 on Quantitative, and 4 on analytical writing sections.
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours volunteer/observation experience under the supervision of one licensed occupational therapist; therapist must submit a performance rating from this experience (form and specific instructions are available from the Department of Occupational Therapy website: uca.edu/ot).
  • Complete a baccalaureate degree at UCA by May of the year of planned enrollment.
  • Complete all prerequisite course work by the end of the fall semester prior to the spring graduate OT program application deadline (January 15th of each year).

No interview is required of applicants entering the graduate OT program under Freshman Admission. Contact the UCA Occupational Therapy Program Advisor for more details regarding Freshman Admission.

Regular Admission
Application Deadline: January 15 of the year of planned enrollment

Those applicants not using the Freshman Admission or those who were not able to maintain performance standards and criteria for Freshman Admission must complete an application for Regular Admission. The deadline for Regular Admission is January 15th of the year of planned enrollment.

To be eligible for Regular Admission, by the application deadline, the applicant must:

  • Complete baccalaureate degree by May of year of planned enrollment
  • Complete the online application through the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) at otcas.org. Application must be verified by February 19th.
  • Submit GRE revised General Test (August 2011) and GRE Analytical Writing scores to UCA Graduate School and OTCAS. UCA institutional GRE code 6012 and OTCAS GRE code 7416.
  • Possess a cumulative GPA of 2.75 minimum based on a 4.0 scale or possess at least a 3.0 GPA on last 60 hours of course work on a 4.0 scale.
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours volunteer/observation experience under the supervision of one licensed occupational therapist; therapist must submit a performance rating from this experience (form and specific instructions are available from the Department of Occupational Therapy website: http://www.uca.edu/ot).
  • Complete all occupational therapy (OT) prerequisite course work, with a grade of C or better, by the end of the fall semester prior to the spring graduate OT program application deadline (January 15th of each year). OT prerequisite coursework 10 years or older will not be accepted.

    NOTE: All college work must be submitted regardless of when completed or the nature of the course work. Work experience is not calculated into the satisfaction of admission requirements.

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DEPARTMENTAL ADMISSION PROCEDURE AND SELECTION PROCESS

All applications of candidates who meet qualifications for Regular Admission are reviewed by the OT Admission Committee. Applicants are ranked according to a formula based on overall GPA and GRE scores; top-ranked candidates are invited to a mandatory interview scheduled in March. The interview is used to assess such factors as the ability to present oneself professionally, ability to use verbal and nonverbal communication appropriately, and to express knowledge about the profession of occupational therapy. Final ranking of candidates is based on the interview, GRE scores, volunteer/observation experience, and GPA. The top 48 applicants invited to enter the program are notified in late April. In addition to the selected candidates, a ranked alternate list is established. Individuals may be chosen from the alternate list to replace applicants who decline their appointment at any time, up to the date of enrollment.

Applicants who believe that they have been treated differently from other candidates in admissions decisions are to contact the Occupational Therapy Chairperson of the Department of Occupational Therapy for information about the appeals process. All appeals must begin at the department level.

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TUITION AND FEES
Occupational therapy students pay UCA general registration and other mandatory fees plus combined health science and departmental fees of $14 per credit hour and a lab fee of $5 per credit hour each semester.

Information on tuition and other mandatory fees is available from the UCA Office of Student Accounts. Fees are subject to change.

Questions regarding Financial Aid should be directed to:
Ms. Emma Lafferty at emmal@uca.edu501-450-5157
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DOCUMENTS AND LINKS

Printable Brochure Two-page abbreviated brochure covering program admission requirements
FAQs Frequently asked questions about the program
Admission Application Checklist Admission Application Checklist for the program
OTCAS Link Applications to the Occupational Therapy Program are processed on-line through the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS
Arkansas Course Transfer System Link For UCA courses versus Arkansas two-year and four-year colleges and universities
Curriculum Course Sequence  Curriculum Sequence of courses beginning fall 2017
Curriculum Design Model  Curriculum Model
Curriculum Course Descriptions  Curriculum Course Descriptions
UCA OT Program Essential Functions
List of essential functions that students enrolled in the OT program must perform in order to participate in and complete program. All prospective students should review this document prior to applying for admission to the program.
Transfer Student Guidelines
Link to the Registrars page
Required Volunteer/Observation Experience
Form and specific instructions for completing the required volunteer/observation experience

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For further information, please contact Education Counselor, Mrs. LaTisha P. Standokes
Email: lstandokes@uca.edu
Phone: (501) 450-5562

Department of Occupational Therapy
Doyne Health Science Center, Suite 100
201 Donaghey Avenue
Conway, AR 72035

 

Updated 12.14.16