University Bulletin 2016-17

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Occupational Therapy

Department of Occupational Therapy Staff    
(251) 445-9222
Chair Donna A. Wooster, PhD.
Professor Scaffa
Associate Professor Wooster
Assistant Professors  O'Connor, Taylor

Department of Occupational Therapy web site
http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/alliedhealth/ot

Occupational Therapy is a health care profession devoted to providing skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all aspects of their lives. Occupational therapists work with persons with acute and chronic physical, psychosocial, mental and developmental disabilities. An occupational therapist may aid in the growth and development of premature babies; create a learning environment for physically and mentally challenged children; adapt home environments for persons with stroke, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury and other disabilities; or create activities that are designed to restore mental health for persons with emotional, mental, or substance abuse problems. Occupational therapy focuses on "skills for the job of living" which includes all of the necessary skills for individuals to "live life to its fullest" and lead independent and satisfying lives.

The Master of Science degree program in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) is an entry-level professional program designed to enable the student to develop advanced critical reasoning skills and to prepare the graduate for professional practice in a variety of settings. Graduates will also have the capability of assuming responsibilities in the areas of administration, program development, consultation and research in occupational therapy.

The program consists of 94 semester hours and is seven consecutive semesters in length. This includes 24 weeks of full-time Level II Fieldwork as required by accreditation standards. Level II Fieldwork is available in a variety of medical and community sites representing a diverse range of learning opportunities for students. All Level II Fieldwork must be completed within 12 months following completion of academic requirements.

The program is designed to accommodate applicants who have either a baccalaureate degree in another field or advanced undergraduates who have completed three years (90 semester hours) of prescribed and elective undergraduate course work.

Criteria for admission

A new class of MSOT students begins each year in the fall semester. Applications are accepted beginning in September for the following year. Applications with appropriate processing fees should be submitted directly to the Occupational Therapy Department. Selected applicants who meet all academic admission requirements below may be invited for an interview. Students offered admission may choose to guarantee a seat by submitting a matriculation fee (applied toward tuition) or be placed on the alternate list. All other qualified applicants will be placed on the alternate list. All students admitted to the program must complete a criminal background check; admission is contingent on the background check being clear of criminal charges.

The candidate is expected to satisfy the following minimum criteria for admission:

Regular Graduate (Category I) applicants Advanced Undergraduate (Category II) applicants
  **This admission option will no longer be available after the January 2017 application deadline.
Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university including the OT prerequisites At least 90 semester hours including the OT prerequisites and University graduation requirements
A minimum 3.0 (A=4.0) overall cumulative GPA and a minimum 3.0 GPA in the prerequisite coursework with a grade of "C" or better in each course A minimum 3.25 (A=4.0) overall cumulative GPA and a minimum 3.25 GPA in the prerequisite coursework with a grade of "C" or better in each course
Minimum of 25 documented OT observation hours Minimum of 25 documented OT observation hours
Minimum GRE score of 290 on combined verbal and quantitative sections, and a minimum 3.0 writing score reported from same exam date. GRE minimum score of 290 on combined verbal and quantitative sections, and a minimum 3.0 writing score reported from same exam date.
Must have completed at least 80% of the Math/Science prerequisite courses and 80% of the General Studies prerequisite courses before applying Must have completed at least 80% of the Math/Science prerequisite courses and 80% of the General Studies prerequisite courses before applying

AP credit is accepted for a maximum of 3 prerequisite courses.
CLEP scores of 60 or above are accepted for a maximum of 2 general studies prerequisite courses.
CLEP scores are not accepted for any of the math or science prerequisite courses.

Applications will be reviewed for academic qualifications on receipt of application, processing fee, transcripts and GRE results. Selected applicants who meet all academic admission requirements below may be invited for personal interviews.

http://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/alliedhealth/ot

Admission is offered to the top students who apply after consideration of the admission score.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to observe occupational therapy practice in a variety of settings. A minimum of 25 documented OT observation hours are required. Documentation forms for observation are included in the application packet. These forms may also be downloaded from the department web site
(http://www.southalabama.edu/departments/eforms/colleges/alliedhealth/otobservationform.pdf) or may be obtained from the occupational therapy department.

Core Performance Standards, which are fundamental tasks that must be performed to successfully complete the program, have been outlined and are available upon request from the program.

Applicants who are interested in whether courses from other universities will meet prerequisite requirements may contact the department by e-mail for an unofficial review of their course descriptions.

Baccalaureate Degree Holders (Category I)

The student must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university including the prerequisites listed below and must meet the minimum requirements for admission.

OR

Advanced Undergraduates (Category II)

The student must have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours of prerequisite work as stated below for Advanced Undergraduate students and must meet the minimum requirements for admission. International students are not eligible for admission as Advanced Undergraduates.

Applicants interested in this category of admission should review the Additional Information for Advanced Undergraduate Applicants section below. **This admission option will no longer be available after the January 2017 application deadline.

Program prerequisites all applicants must complete

Prerequisites   Credit Hours
Baccalaureate Degree Holders (Category I) and Advanced Undergraduate Applicants (Category II) must complete these prerequisites: 37
Math/Science Pre-Requisite Courses   19
Precalculus Algebra (or higher mathematics 3 hrs  
General Biology with lab for pre-health/science majors 4 hrs  
*Anatomy & Physiology 6 hrs  
*Kinesiology (biomechanics) 3 hrs  
*Statistics or Research Methods 3 hrs  
*Indicates courses that must be taken no more than 10 years prior to application.    
General Studies Pre-Requisite Courses   18
English Composition 3 hrs  
General Psychology 3 hrs  
Developmental Psychology (life span) 3 hrs  
Abnormal Psychology 3 hrs  
Cultural Anthropology or Diversity Studies 3 hrs  
Elective (choose: Ethics, Logic, Public Speaking, Group Dynamics, or Principles of Marketing) 3 hrs  
Additional Prerequisites Advanced Undergraduate Applicants (Category II)  
Must Complete:    
English Composition II 3 hrs  
Laboratory Science Elective (4 semester hours) (not Botany) 4 hrs  
Fine Arts Elective 3 hrs  
*Literature Elective 3 hrs  
Humanities Elective 3 hrs  
*History Elective 3 hrs  
Social Science Elective 3 hrs  
Applied Art Elective 3 hrs  
Electives (sufficient number of semester hours to meet University graduation requirements)
*Must complete a two course sequence in Literature or History.
Additional Information for Advanced Undergraduate Applicants (Category II): **This admission option will no longer be available after the January 2017 application deadline.

Students not holding a baccalaureate degree who want to apply to the program as an Advanced Undergraduate must complete the university requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Professional Health Sciences. This will help ensure that students who fail to gain admission to the Occupational Therapy program or who elect not to apply will be able to complete an undergraduate degree within the normal time frame.

Advanced undergraduates who are admitted to the MSOT program will officially be classified as undergraduates for the first two semesters of the program; however, they will be taking graduate courses in the program. They will be held to the same academic standards of performance as the graduate students with bachelor's degrees.

Upon satisfactory completion of all course work during the first two semesters of the program, the advanced undergraduate student will be awarded a Bachelor of Science in Professional Health Sciences. The student must complete all necessary paperwork for reclassification as a graduate student in order to continue through the remainder of the program.

The academic program for students with bachelor's degrees and advanced undergraduates is identical in its entirety. Tuition will be assessed at the graduate level for the entire seven semesters of the Master's degree program.

In the first two semesters of the program, while classified as an undergraduate student, any financial aid awarded is restricted to the types and amounts for which an undergraduate student is eligible.

Degrees, Minors, or Certificates

Course Listing

Faculty Listing

Occupational Therapy Faculty
O'Connor, Tracy L. Occupational Therapy Assistant Professor BS, Auburn University
BS, Tuskegee University
DOT, University of St Augustin- HSMS, Auburn University
Scaffa, Marjorie E. Occupational Therapy Professor BA, University of Maryland-Cllg Pk
MS, Virginia Commonwealth U
PHD, University of Maryland-Cllg Pk
Taylor, Candra Occupational Therapy Assistant Professor BS, Samford University
CERT, Univ of Alabama-Birmingham
MBA, Auburn University
Wooster, Donna M. Occupational Therapy Associate Professor AS, Quinsigamond Community College
BS, Worcester State College
MS, University of Connecticut
PHD, University of South Alabama