Bachelor of Science (BS) to Occupational Therapy Doctoral Degree (OTD)

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The OTD bridge program is for students with at least a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy.

It is recognized that a number of experienced practitioners entered the field of occupational therapy when the bachelor's degree was the accepted entry-level degree. As demands within health care have evolved, students now graduate with a master's degree. The clinical experience requirements ensure practitioners begin this program with significant current experience. This expertise creates the foundational requirement for a clinical doctoral degree such as the OTD. For that reason, a system to allow a BS to OTD Bridge program has been designed.

This program begins each spring and requires two semesters of course work.

All students currently holding an entry-level BS in occupational therapy with initial National Certification Board for Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)/AOTCB certification will be required to take the courses below prior to entering the OTD curriculum. An analysis of the entry-level BS and entry-level MOT curriculums was completed and the following courses were not present in typical entry-level BS programs.

1. OT 600 (3 credits) Evidence Based Practice in OT (semester one, session one) (pre-requisite for OT 652)

This course will provide an opportunity to learn and use evidence to make informed decisions for practice. The course will review the definitions, uses, and purposes of evidence based practice.  In addition, the student will have several opportunities to search, analyze and apply evidence to the student's area of practice.

2. OT 602 (3 credits) Practice Trends in OT (semester one, session two) (pre-requisite for OT 660)

Practice trends in occupational therapy will be studied from the perspective of changing terminology in the profession; the profession's vision and focus areas for the future; an analysis of  practice from the viewpoints of practitioners, clients, administration, and health care policy; and professional involvement. Current literature will be the focus of the readings with critical reflection the focus of on-line discussions, and analytical planning for future practice the goal of assignments.

3.  OT 610 (3 credits) Legal Research and Practice Implications (semester two, session one) (pre-requisite for OT 651)

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the legislative and regulatory bodies, as well as the current legislation and regulations that impact the practice of occupational therapy. The course will emphasize the current systems of regulation, the roles and liabilities of the occupational therapist, and the skills required to research within these systems.

4. OT 611 (3 credits) Administration/Management (semester two, session two) (pre-requisite for OT 653)

This class introduces students to the management functions of an occupational therapy department or business including planning, organizing, directing, and controlling. The course integrates students' knowledge of interventions with information related to the delivery of occupational therapy services. Topics include managed care, quality assurance, leadership, regulatory agencies, models of service delivery, ethics, and consultation. Students gain hands-on experience with strategic planning, budgeting, marketing, program evaluation and ethical problem-solving in administration.

Total number of credits is 12.

Start Dates: Spring (late January)

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