Note: The BS/MS Occupational Therapy program is open only to students who are enrolled in the Nazareth College five year program (entering as freshmen or transfer students at the sophomore level; undergraduate admission requirements are outlined for freshmen and transfer students in the Undergraduate Catalog). Students who have earned bachelor’s degrees from institutions other than Nazareth are not eligible for entry into this program.
The Occupational Therapy Program at Nazareth College is a professional entry-level five-year, 164 credit combined baccalaureate/master’s (BS/MS) degree program (133 credit hours at the undergraduate level; 31 credit hours at the graduate level). The program was granted accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in December 2014.
Occupational therapy is a dynamic profession that supports the philosophy that people are shaped by what they do, and what they accomplish in their daily lives. The American Occupational Therapy Association describes this by saying that occupational therapy helps people to live life to its fullest.
Preparation includes a strong background in the sciences and liberal arts and an intensive professional education. Through active engagement in lectures, labs, clinical opportunities, and fieldwork experiences, students will learn to assist individuals in developing or regaining the skills they need for purposeful participation in daily life.
In the Nazareth OT program, students will be actively engaged in learning how to develop or improve a person’s sensory, physical, cognitive/perceptual, and/or psychosocial abilities. They will also learn to modify the environment to help the person to be as self-sufficient and productive as possible. The program will prepare students for the clinical reasoning needed for entry-level general practice, as well as develop initial skills in areas of specialization such as early intervention, school based practice, neurological rehabilitation, environmental analysis and modification, ergonomics, and treatment of upper extremity and orthopedic impairments. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in collaborative research with faculty and OT clinicians to promote and enhance knowledge.
Graduates will be prepared to be practitioners, beginning researchers, and advocates of the profession. They will have a strong sense of inter-professional teamwork. The diversity of the profession will allow the graduate the opportunity to provide occupational therapy in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, clinics, and the community.
Linda A. Shriber, Ed.D, OTR/L
- Successful completion of the Nazareth College undergraduate portion of the Occupational Therapy program. Students completing four-year degree programs from colleges other than Nazareth are not eligible for admission to the graduate phase of the OT program.
- Students in the Occupational Therapy Program must maintain a minimum grade of C in all 100 and 200 level science courses required in the major and a grade of B- or above in all OT courses required in the major as an undergraduate. A grade of “B” or above is required for all OT courses in the graduate portion of the curriculum.
Nazareth College Occupational Therapy Program Fieldwork Requirements
The fieldwork educational component of the BS/MS Occupational Therapy program is designed to meet all of the standards required by ACOTE for Fieldwork Education. It will be consistent with the proposed OT curriculum design that emphasizes foundational knowledge, application and service learning, and research.
There are two levels of fieldwork for the occupational therapy student. These are described as Level I and Level II experiences.
Level I Fieldwork
The AOTA Standards describe the goal of Level I Fieldwork “to introduce students to the fieldwork experience, and develop a basic comfort level with an understanding of the needs of clients.”
All of the practice courses in the senior year will have Level I fieldwork experiences that will allow for learning about the evaluation, intervention, and evidence associated with specific populations of clients.
Level II Fieldwork
According to the AOTA, the goal of Level II Fieldwork is “to develop competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapists.” The fieldwork experience provides students with the opportunity to integrate academic knowledge with the application of skills in a practice setting. (AOTA, 1999a & b; AOTA, 1996)
The Level II fieldwork experiences which are in the Graduate phase of study will be scheduled for 12 weeks in the Summer following the Senior year and for 12 weeks in the Fall of the 5th graduate year.
Nazareth College’s entry-level occupational therapy master’s degree program was granted accreditation in December 2014 by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA. Its web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Certification Board for Occupational Therapists (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). NBCOT pass rates can be accessed at https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx. In addition, New York State, and most 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 exam or attain state licensure.