Department of Occupational Therapy

Chair and Professor: Dr. Musselman, 450-3192
Associate Professor: Dr. Mankey, Dr. Moore, Dr. Paschal, Dr. Willey
Assistant Professors: Dr. Acre, Dr. Mosley, Dr. Stearns
Instructors: Ms. LeQuieu, Ms. Rowe
Program Advisor: Dr. Acre, 450-5562

[1] Purpose

The objective of the professional curriculum in occupational therapy is to provide learning experiences that will qualify its graduates to assume the professional responsibilities essential to the practice of occupational therapy. In addition to the attainment of academic knowledge and skill required to perform professional duties, students are directed toward the development of competence for living in our democratic society and for functioning effectively in a society wherein health care practices are rapidly changing.

Occupational therapy is the use of occupation – and evidence-based interventions with clients who are at risk or limited in functional independence due to physical injury or illness, psychosocial dysfunction, developmental or learning disabilities, poverty and cultural differences, or the aging process. The role of the occupational therapist is to maximize independence, prevent disability, and maintain health. Occupational therapy practice encompasses evaluation, treatment, and consultation. “Occupation” in the title refers to humanity’s goal-directed use of time, energy, interest, and attention.

Specific occupational therapy services include teaching daily living skills; developing perceptual-motor skills and sensory integrative functioning; developing play skills and prevocational and leisure capacities; designing, fabricating, or applying selected orthotic and prosthetic devices or selective adaptive equipment; using specifically designed activities to enhance functional performance; administering and interpreting assessment of human performance; and adapting environments. These services are provided individually, in groups, or through social systems.

[2] Program

The Occupational Therapy Program is a combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree program. Students who wish to become certified and licensed occupational therapists must complete both the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy emphasis) and the Master of Science degree in occupational therapy. Students are eligible for admission to the undergraduate phase of the program if: 1. They have a Bachelor of Science degree and have completed prerequisite requirements noted below; OR 2. They have completed all general education requirements of the University, as well as the program prerequisite requirements (See Admission Requirements #2 & #3 below). Students who successfully complete the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy emphasis) and who qualify for admission to the graduate school (including the presentation of a GRE score) will be automatically accepted into the Master of Science program in occupational therapy.

[3] Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (Occupational Therapy Emphasis)

The curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science in Health Science (Occupational Therapy emphasis) requires 25 hours of prerequisite course work, in addition to general education requirements, and 54 hours in the major. A total of 120 hours are required for students earning their first bachelor’s degree. The 54 hours in the major are completed over the course of four semesters. The graduate phase of the program involves three additional semesters on campus, plus six months of full-time fieldwork. During the time on campus, students are engaged in both classroom work and fieldwork experiences (minimum 80 hours in each of four semesters) at facilities in Arkansas and contiguous states. Following on-campus study, students are assigned to facilities in Arkansas and/or contiguous states for the full-time fieldwork experiences. Students are responsible for their own transportation and living expenses throughout the program, including during fieldwork placements.

A grade no lower than C must be earned in all occupational therapy professional courses and prerequisites. Students are expected to maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all professional-level courses.

[3.1] Admission Requirements

Students enter the Bachelor of Science in Health Science (occupational therapy emphasis) program by competitive admission only. Those seeking admission must (a) apply to and meet all admission requirements of the university; (b) complete an application for admission to the occupational therapy department; and (c) meet the following academic and other requirements prior to the beginning of enrollment in the May Intersession:

  1. Must have earned at least 70 hours (including no more than two physical education activity hours) from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.75 in all work attempted.
  2. Complete a minimum of 20 hours volunteer/observation experience in one occupational therapy clinical setting and submit a performance rating sheet from this experience (form and specific instructions available from the occupational therapy department).
  3. Complete the following prerequisite course work with a grade of C or better. Students who have not completed all prerequisite courses may apply for admission; however, completion of prerequisites is expected prior to formal entry into the program.

Prerequisites. Students must choose the following courses to meet prerequisite as well as general education requirements: BIOL 1400; CHEM 1402, PSYC 1300, SOC 1300. In addition, the following courses must be taken to complete the remainder of the occupational therapy prerequisite requirements:

Courses SCH
BIOL 2405 or 2406 & 2407; 3370 (preferred) or 2411
PHYS 1405
PSYC 2330 or SOC 2321, HSC 3123
PSYC or SOC elective and PSYC 2370 or FACS 2341

[3.2] Departmental Admissions Procedure and Appeals

Applications to the program become available by November 15 and are due in the program office by February 1 for consideration for entry the following May Intersession. All applications are reviewed by the occupational therapy admissions committee. Admission criteria may include cumulative biological science and behavioral science grade point averages as well as overall GPA, volunteer/observation experience, personal interview, and an essay. Preference is given to Arkansas residents.

Applicants who believe they have been treated differently from other candidates in admissions decisions are to contact the department chair for information about the appeals process. All appeals begin at the department level.

[3.3] Undergraduate Professional Course Requirements

Once accepted into the occupational therapy program, students must complete all required courses with a grade of C or better in order to progress to the master’s level. The required courses are: OTHY 3125, 3215, 3223, 3241, 3330, 3340, 4125, 4127, 4128, 4230, 4270, 4300, 4308, 4316, 4317, 4321, 4325, 4330, 4335, 4355, 4365, 4380, 4400. (See the UCA Graduate Bulletin for courses that must be completed for the Master of Science degree in occupational therapy.)

[3.4] The Honors Program in Occupational Therapy

Students who have demonstrated above-average interest, ability, and professional promise may be invited to become candidates for departmental honors. The students must have earned an overall GPA of 3.5 and a GPA of 3.5 in upper-division courses.

[4] Accreditation and Certification

The course of study (through completion of the master’s degree in occupational therapy) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in collaboration with the American Occupational Therapy Association. The address for ACOTE is 4720 Montgomery Lane, PO Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. Phone: (301) 652-2682. Upon successful completion of the prerequisites, baccalaureate and master’s level required courses, and electives, the student will have fulfilled the educational requirements for entry into the profession and 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). Address for NBCOT: 800 S. Frederick Ave., Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-1450. Phone: (301) 990-7979. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure 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 or attain state licensure.

[5] Courses in Occupational Therapy (OTHY)

Follow this link for OTHY course descriptions: course link.