In 1987, in response to urgent local and regional needs for trained health professionals, St. Ambrose University established a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy (BSOT) degree program. The first class graduated in 1991. In 1997, in recognition of an ever-increasing emphasis on professionalism and advanced training, the Occupational Therapy program evolved to offer graduate-level coursework leading to a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree. The Master of Occupational Therapy Program at St. Ambrose University is the only program leading to a registered occupational therapist degree in the state of Iowa.
Occupational therapy focuses on promoting an individual's ability to participate in their chosen occupations. This is accomplished through both habilitation/rehabilitation and adaptation. In fact, adaptation and assistive technology can help all individuals live more productive, meaningful lives.
The Occupational Therapy Program's Assistive Technology Lab was established in 1998 to focus especially on adaptation and assistive technology. It has expanded since that time to serve more individuals and provide more educational opportunities. In 2011, Jim's Place was dedicated to serve as an assistive technology solutions demonstration house and lab.