Department Chair and Program Director: Tia Hughes
Faculty: Chris Moghimi, Chia-Wei Fan, Jennifer Radloff
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator: Kim Dudzinski
Clinical Faculty: Maria Rodriguez
In support of AHU's mission, the Occupational Therapy (OT) program specializes in developing and empowering servant-leaders in occupational therapy. Guided by the values of nurture, excellence, spirituality and stewardship, the program prepares change-agents who will practice OT as ministry.
Licensure and Accreditation
For information regarding AdventHealth University regional and church accreditation, see the General Information section of this Academic Catalog.
The entry level Occupational Therapy Master's Program at AdventHealth University is accredited 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. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for occupational therapists, 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, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination (https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx).
A background check is required for admission to the Occupational Therapy Program. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and state licensing agencies require disclosure of all felony convictions. The results of this background check may impact eligibility for certification and licensure. Eligibility should be determined in advance of beginning an educational program. Felony convictions may be resolved by the NBCOT's Qualifications Review Committee. Mental health intervention may also affect the individual's ability to obtain state licensure. For further information, see the Student Handbook Supplement.
The Occupational Therapy program prepares competent, entry-level occupational therapy practitioners with skills in patient assessment and treatment intervention. The program is a 27-month course of continuous didactic and clinical experiences grounded in Christian principles, organized in a progressive manner, and built on a solid foundation in the arts and sciences.
The Occupational Therapy Student Handbook Supplement contains the program policies. By accepting enrollment, an occupational therapy student agrees to abide by the policies as outlined in the Supplement.
All students must present:
- Yearly verification of tuberculosis screening. If the test is positive, refer to the Communicable Disease Policy in the Student Handbook for additional information.
- Updated immunization records including hepatitis B, MMR and Tetanus-Diphtheria.
- Verification of varicella vaccination or show immunity (titer).
- Evidence of physical examination within three months prior to beginning the program.
- Verification of current certification in professional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from the American Heart Association, including infant, child, and adult CPR, before the end of the first trimester.
- Evidence of a successfully completed FIT test prior to the professional program deadline.
A background check is required for admission to the Occupational Therapy Program. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and state licensing agencies require disclosure of all felony convictions. The results of this background check may impact eligibility for certification and licensure. Eligibility should be determined in advance of beginning an educational program. Felony convictions may be resolved by the NBCOT's Qualifications Review Committee. Mental health intervention may also affect the individual's ability to obtain state licensure. For further information, see the Occupational Therapy Student Handbook Supplement.
All occupational therapy students are required to carry health insurance upon admission into the program and must maintain this insurance for the duration of the program.
Mental and Physical Requirements
Applicants seeking admission to the Occupational Therapy Program must:
- Have sufficient hearing and vision to monitor and assess patient health needs, to monitor various equipment and background sounds, and to communicate by telephone.
- Be able to speak in a clear and concise manner.
- Have communication abilities sufficient to interact professionally with others in verbal and written form and have reading skills appropriate to understand patient charts, reports, and orders.
- Possess the ability to lift 15 pounds independently and place objects of this weight at various levels, including floor level and overhead.
- Be able to lift patients to accomplish bed/chair/stretcher transfer.
- Stand and walk without difficulty and be able to push a gurney or wheelchair.
- Be able to stand and/or sit for an extended period of time.
- Be able to perform fine and gross motor skills with both hands.
- Possess manual dexterity sufficient to fabricate and modify splints and adaptive equipment, perform range-of-motion exercises/activities, position another person, and perform components of sensory, motor, and Activities of Daily Living (ADL) evaluations.
- Possess critical thinking skills sufficient to think clearly and act appropriately in stressful situations.
- Possess interpersonal skills sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
- Possess the ability to work in clinical environments which involve exposure to persons with physical and mental disabilities, such as pain, grief, death, stress, communicable diseases, blood and body fluids, and toxic substances.
- Have mobility sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces.
- Have tactile ability sufficient to perform palpation functions of physical examination and/or other functions related to therapeutic intervention.
Applicants for the Master of Occupational Therapy Program must:
- Submit an application through OTCAS and pay associated fees.
- Submit transcripts from each regionally accredited institution attended to OTCAS.
- List any courses taken by College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP), and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam on your OTCAS application.
- Possess a minimum cumulative college GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale).
- Provide evidence for completing all prerequisites before program start date
- Anatomy & Physiology I & II (with labs)
- General Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
- Abnormal Psychology
- Medical Terminology
- Four credits of biology, physics, or chemistry with lab:
- Provide evidence of completing a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution before program start date.
- Submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the last 5 years.
- Submit a minimum of three references through OTCAS
- Submit a personal statement through OTCAS. Your personal statement should address why you selected OT as a career and how an occupational therapy degree relates to your immediate and long-term professional goals. The statement should also describe how your personal, educational, and professional background will help you achieve your goals.
- Submit a supplemental essay through the OTCAS program material section. The essay should include your reasons for choosing to attend AHU.
- Submit an updated resume through the OTCAS Program Material section.
- Submit a supplemental application fee of $50 to AHU.
- If selected, attend a face-to-face interview on the AHU campus.
- If accepted to the program, provide a nonrefundable $500 deposit to reserve your program slot. Your acceptance letter will indicate a deadline for paying the deposit. Once enrolled in the program, these funds are applied to your account. Those who paid the deposit but decline to enroll in the program will forfeit the deposit; If that student is admitted to the same program at a later date, AHU will require another full deposit. If an applicant is admitted to a program with prerequisites in progress and becomes ineligible for admission due to grades, however, a full refund will be provided. A professional program deposit is not transferable to another department.
Information for applicants with foreign education:
- All foreign institutions attended require course-by-course WES transcript evaluations
- Applicants for whom English is not their primary language or have graduated from a non-English speaking school must demonstrate English proficiency in one or the following ways:
- Successful completion of a bachelor's degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction in the United States; or
- A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL exam; or
- A minimum score of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL exam; or
- A minimum score of 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL exam.
TOEFL Scores must be sent directly to AHU. Do not sent your TOEFL scores to OTCAS. Please send scores to:
Department of Occupational Therapy
671 Winyah Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
Note: Due to the competitive nature of the admission process, applicants should understand that meeting the minimum standards does not guarantee admission to the program. Students will be given preferential consideration for admissions to our degree program when they have successfully completed 12 college-level hours at AHU.
Applicants who are not admitted to the Master's in Occupational Therapy program during a specific admission cycle may reapply to the program for the next admission cycle as long as they have successfully met the minimum admission requirements. Reapplicants are expected to meet the published admission deadlines by submitting the following additional information to the Office of Enrollment Services.
- Contact the OT Program Department Chair to discuss if reapplying to the program is possible.
- Submit an application online with a non-refundable $50 reactivation fee.
- Updated official transcripts from any accredited institutions attended since the original application was submitted.
Eligibility for Progression: Students may progress in the program when they:
- Earn a grade of at least "B" (3.00) in each OT course.
- Earn a grade of at least "B" (3.00) in each of the following cognate courses: RELP 510 , BIOL 515, and HTSC 640 .
- Provide updated documentation of current CPR certification, health insurance, and immunizations/screening throughout the program.
- Incomplete grade
- When a student is granted a grade of "incomplete" in a didactic OT course, a grade of "B" (3.00) or better must be earned prior to the first day of class the following trimester. The student must apply for an incomplete grade designation in the Records office. If the student does not satisfactorily complete the required work for the course, the student will not be allowed to continue in the program.
- Level I Progression
- All OT courses must be completed with a B (80%) or better before progression into the next trimester in the OT curriculum. Individual course syllabi define evaluative components for each OT course. Students who do not pass trimester courses which correlate to the Level I rotation (Mental Health – OCTH 531 , Geriatrics – OCTH 570 , Physical Dysfunction – OCTH 615, Pediatrics – OCTH 611 ) are not able to participate in that corresponding end-of-term fieldwork rotation that trimester.
- Maximum Allowed No Pass
- If a student receives a score below a "B" for a course (no pass), that student must step out of the program until the course is offered again and reapply based on the readmission policies. A student will not be eligible to reapply to the program if the student has been unsuccessful in two courses, including fieldwork (max allowed is 2) or the student was dismissed from the program and was identified as 'unable to return'.
- Cumulative Final Rule
- Students taking core courses (Applied Kinesiology – OCTH 520 , Neuroscience Applications for OT – OCTH 535 , Mental Health – OCTH 531 , Geriatrics – OCTH 570 , Physical Dysfunction – OCTH 615, Pediatrics – OCTH 611 ) with a comprehensive evaluation may be eligible to retake a final that was not passed under the following circumstances. Retakes may be allowed if the student (1) received a grade of 80% or higher in the course and (2) had a passing score of 80% of above for examination average. Retakes are only allowed one time per student during the program.
AdventHealth University will consider students for graduation with a Master's of Occupational Therapy degree and for eligibility for the NBCOT certification examination in Occupational Therapy when they have:
- Met the general requirements for the Occupational Therapy degree.
- Completed all required courses in the Occupational Therapy curriculum with grades of "B" (3.00) or better.
- Completed all required courses in the Occupational Therapy curriculum within 50 months of their acceptance into the program.
- Completed an acceptable Scholarship Project.
- Participated in the University's Graduate Colloquium Program as instructed by the Department.
Students are considered for readmission to the Occupational Therapy Program when they meet admission requirements and:
- Submit a re-application form to the Occupational Therapy Program no later than May 1 for re-entry in the Fall trimester, August 1 for re-entry in the Spring trimester, and January 1 for re-entry in the Summer trimester.
- Have a graduate program GPA of 3.00.
- Present annual verification of tuberculosis screening and maintain current professional CPR certification and health insurance.
- Present official transcripts from any institutions attended while out of the program.
If a lapse of time greater than two years (24 months) occurs in a student's program of study, prior AHU OT credits will not be accepted. Students who do not progress with their class cannot be assured of placement in their choice of subsequent classes. Readmission is subject to available space. Any department requirements set at the student's departure from the program must also be met before the student may return. Students will be readmitted under current program policies.
Level I and II Fieldwork: Students are exposed to a variety of clients and to a variety of practice settings. These experiences are designed to promote clinical reasoning, demonstrate the values and beliefs that guide ethical practice, and develop professionalism and competence. Most fieldwork sites are located within a 60-mile radius of the university campus.
Level II Fieldwork: must be completed within 18 months following completion of academic preparation. Completion of degree requirements shall not exceed 50 months.
Students who withdraw or drop a Level II Fieldwork course will receive a grade of no pass (NP) for that rotation.
Reliable Transportation: Students are responsible for their own transportation to fieldwork and field trip sites.
Additional Costs: Students are responsible for additional fees that are required for Level I and Level II Fieldwork rotations (e.g. additional background checks, drug screening, uniforms).