Carole Dennis, Associate Professor and Chair
Diane Long, Associate Professor and Program Director
The curriculum in occupational therapy is designed to provide a strong foundation in the liberal arts, sciences, and humanities; to offer a comprehensive and rigorous professional education; and to develop attitudes and skills for lifelong learning and leadership. Academic instruction is complemented with clinical fieldwork experiences including 32 weeks of full-time clinical affiliations. Students are provided with a strong general education and the opportunity to explore special interests in academic, clinical, and research arenas.
The occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA, 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. Telephone 301-652-AOTA, www.aota.org). Program graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist , 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 New York and most other states, a professional license is also required for practice. The NBCOT examination serves as the licensing exam in most states. Students are, however, required to apply separately for licensure and certification upon graduation.
The program is five years in length and leads to a master of science degree in occupational therapy. Students in this program receive a bachelor of science degree in occupational science at the completion of four years of study. They are not eligible for licensure or certification, however, until they complete the fifth year. The master's degree program is further described in the Ithaca College graduate catalog.
This is a freshman-entry program, but transfer students may be accepted (see Policies and Procedures). The 10-week summer program following the junior year is conducted at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York. The fifth year of study consists of two academic semesters and two summers, including three full-time clinical fieldwork experiences completed at sites throughout the country. Travel and housing arrangements for fieldwork and the fifth year are the responsibility of the student.
Special Academic Status Policy for Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Majors
Students in occupational science and occupational therapy must obtain a grade of at least C- in all professional courses, including major courses and required courses outside the major.
Successful completion of all pre-professional coursework and a cumulative GPA of 2.70 for the first three years is required for admission to the summer semester in Rochester. Progression through the program for the last two years depends on successful completion (C- or better) of all courses in each sequential semester. A student who fails to complete a required course with a grade of C- or better must repeat the course. Refer Academic Information for the College policy on repeating a course. Since professional courses are offered once per year and are specifically sequenced, course failure may result in the delay of fieldwork and graduation.
For automatic progression into the master of science program in occupational therapy (graduate program), students must have completed the B.S. program in occupational science with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better. Students with a GPA below 3.00 but equal to or more than 2.70 will be required to pass a departmental graduate admission examination for advancement to the graduate program. Students must complete all requirements for the B.S. in occupational science and be authorized by the faculty before taking clinical fieldwork courses scheduled to start at the beginning of the graduate program. Students must earn satisfactory ratings in all courses and fieldwork before the M.S. degree will be awarded and the student can be eligible for certification and licensure. All level II (graduate) fieldwork must be completed within 24 months of completion of the didactic portion of the program.
Academic warning, suspension, and dismissal
A student who fails to meet any of the minimum requirements stated above may be placed on academic warning, suspended, or dismissed from the program. See the College policies on academic warning, suspension and dismissal in "Academic Information." Students who have been placed on academic warning or suspension will be expected to meet department standards for all subsequent semesters.
A student who is subject to dismissal from the program may, under extenuating circumstances, be granted a suspension from the program. If a student demonstrates an academic deficiency that is more severe than would merit a warning, that student may be suspended from the program. For readmission to the program, the student may have to fulfill certain conditions, such as remedial coursework or clinical assignments prescribed by the faculty at the time of suspension. For students in the final year, readmission may be contingent on the availability of space in succeeding classes.
Students whose academic performance indicates little likelihood of their attaining minimum program or professional standards will be subject to dismissal from the program in the following cases:
In an exceptional case, a student who has been dismissed may be readmitted to the program upon satisfaction of conditions determined by the department faculty. Dismissal from the occupational therapy program does not always mean dismissal from Ithaca College. In some cases, students may be eligible to pursue other Ithaca College majors. Specifics with regard to these policies and the appeals procedures are available in the department office and in the Occupational Therapy Department Student Manual.
Housing and Travel for Clinical Fieldwork
Clinical fieldwork is an essential part of professional training. Students are assigned to fieldwork sites locally, near their homes, and at locations around the United States. Students can expect that at least some of their placements will be at a distance from home. Students are responsible for making their own housing and travel arrangements during clinical fieldwork experiences. Assistance in securing housing information for affiliations is available from the department office. For more information on student expenses for the final year, see "Expenses."
Note: This degree does not provide eligibility for certification or licensure in occupational therapy. It is awarded after four years of study in the five-year B.S./M.S. program in occupational science/occupational therapy.
Requirements for the Major in Occupational Science -- B.S.
Major department requirements
Required courses outside the department
Electives outside of major department
HSHP/gerontology electives -- A total of 3 credits selected from the following:
The five-year curriculum is designed to provide depth and breadth for students' professional development, liberal arts education, and analytical skills. Full-time clinical fieldwork placements, a total of 32 weeks, are located throughout the country and take place in the summer preceding and the late spring and summer following the graduate year. Coursework at the graduate level is organized into five time blocks: two for academic coursework and three for clinical experience.
To be considered for graduation with the master of science degree in occupational therapy, all students must complete the following:
Major department requirements
Clinical elective I courses
Clinical elective II courses
A. Ozolins, Office of Creative Services, 15. July, 2005