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Occupational Therapy


Why St. Ambrose?

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Why Choose the St. Ambrose University Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD Program)?

Study at a University dedicated to health science education!
Occupational Therapy education began at St. Ambrose in 1987. OT Students have an opportunity to learn and work with students in the Physical Therapy, Speech and Language Pathology, Physician Assistant, Nursing, Social Work, and Teacher Education programs with a focus on inter-professional client care. 

Study with outstanding Occupational Therapy faculty!
The OT Faculty and Staff have wide-ranging clinical experience and experience in teaching, mentoring student research, and engaging in community service outreach and scholarship.

Study where strong clinical relationships support experiential learning!
The OT Department has relationships with clinicians and clinics in the local community, region, country, and abroad. Multiple community outreach experiences allow for additional opportunities. Experiential learning and reflection is an emphasis in the curriculum so students can connect classroom study with real-world observations as knowledge and skill is developed.

Study where other students have enjoyed success!
OT alumni have experienced wonderful success! The most recent graduating class of master's level OT students had a 100% first-time test taker pass rate on the NBCOT exam. 100% of the graduates are employed in OT with most selecting positions in their first choice of settings and geographic regions within six weeks of completing the program.

St. Ambrose University was the first university in Iowa to offer an accredited program leading to a registered occupational therapist degree. Built upon that strong foundation, the OTD curriculum, which requires three years of coursework that includes fieldwork and internships, emphasizes occupational justice and occupational participation for people of all ages and abilities. Each student develops an advanced area of knowledge and skill concluding in a final doctoral project and internship experience.

Students engage in interactive learning in state of the art labs housed in the Center for Health Sciences Education (CHSE) and have multiple opportunities to work with students in other professional programs within the university and in the student led Interprofessional Health Clinic. The OT Department also has an Assistive Technology Outreach Service that is a resource center for students and offers free services to clients and health care professionals at the CHSE and through Jim's Place, a home demonstration center highlighting innovative, independent living solutions.

The Occupational Therapy entry-level doctoral program at St. Ambrose University has applied for accreditation and has been granted candidacy status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. A self-study will be reviewed November 2017 with an on-site visit and decision on full accreditation anticipated by August 2018.

OTD Program Mission

The St. Ambrose University Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program develops ethical, innovative, and sensitive health professionals engaged in life-long learning who serve as socially responsive individuals dedicated to optimizing the occupational participation of others in a diverse and global society.