Program receives 10-year accreditation

This spring, the Program in Occupational Therapy hosted representatives from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). During their visit, ACOTE representatives met with numerous faculty, partners and students to assess the Program’s master's and doctoral degrees. The team presented its positive findings to Program leadership, faculty, clinicians and staff as well as Dean Larry Shapiro and Provost Holden Thorp on May 6 (pictured right).

At its August 6-9, 2015 meeting, ACOTE reviewed the Report of On-Site Evaluation (ROSE) and voted to grant a Status of Accreditation to the Program for a period of 10 years. Below are the major strengths and suggestions for enhancement from the final report.

Major strengths:

  1. The administrators are commended for their support of the occupational therapy program, which is evidenced by the provision of multiple research laboratory, clinical spaces, and resources to the program. Their vision has resulted in the ongoing growth of the program while maintaining the emphasis on excellence, and help position the university as the provider of high-quality occupational therapy practitioners.
  2. The program director is commended for her leadership, dedication, and vision for the occupational therapy program. Her ability to develop strategic alliances within and outside the university and to take on the multiple roles of educator, researcher, and leader is pivotal to the program success and growth. She is recognized by students, faculty, and peers as a national and international leader of the profession.
  3. Under the leadership of the Associate Director for Professional Programs, the program faculty members have developed innovative learning strategies for infusing occupation and evidence-based methodologies into the curriculum. Their collaborative relationship has resulted in a curriculum that not only integrates principles of occupational therapy, but also is forward thinking. The curriculum prepares students to meet the challenges of the changing healthcare environment.
  4. The doctoral experiential component of the program ensures a uniquely customized mentored learning experience in settings across the United States and internationally. The experience has provided doctoral students with the opportunity to develop professional networks and advanced skills that have successfully launched careers in education, science, practice leadership, advocacy, and policy development. This has truly addressed the program’s stated mission to “improve the lives and livelihoods of students, the people of the great St Louis community, the country and the world."

Suggestions to enhance the program (optional):

  1. A.5.3. Program Evaluation: The program routinely secures and documents sufficient qualitative and quantitative information through a variety of data collection methods to allow for meaningful analysis about the extent to which the program is meeting its stated goals and objectives. It is suggested that the program explore and implement approaches to increase the number of students, graduates, and employers responding to survey tools. This will provide opportunities for more comprehensive analysis of stakeholder feedback.
  2. C.1.8. Level I FW Integral to Curriculum Design: The program ensures that Level I fieldwork in psychological and social factors is integral to the program’s curriculum design and includes experiences to enrich didactic coursework through participation in community settings with individuals with mental health diagnoses. It is suggested that the program more clearly define consistent learning outcomes among the community-based settings. This will enable the faculty to capitalize on the students’ rich fieldwork experiences to promote an understanding of the Person Environment Occupation Performance model.


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