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UIndy School of OT celebrates OTD accreditation status

In March 2017, the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) conducted a site visit to evaluate the University of Indianapolis School of Occupational Therapy’s entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program for accreditation. The program welcomed its first OTD cohort in August 2015. The cohort is on track to graduate in May 2018.

The School of Occupational Therapy recently received the Report of the Accreditation Council (RAC) from ACOTE and is proud to announce that the UIndy OTD program has been granted a Status of Accreditation for a seven-year period, the longest accreditation period available for a new program.

In addition, the report cited the following (copied directly as shared in the report):

RAC Summary

Major Strengths of the Program
1. The administration is acknowledged for its support in the development of the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program. The allocation of resources such as additional faculty, designated simulation space (an ADL apartment), advanced technology for classrooms and student study areas will prepare students for the skills of advanced practice.

2. The program director is praised for designing a curriculum that reflects the values and mission of the University. The curricular threads and foundational components are embedded and reinforced in each course, strengthening opportunities for more integrated student learning outcomes.

3. The faculty are recognized for their accessibility and dedication to student success. Diverse research and clinical experiences allow for unique mentoring opportunities and the promotion of life-long learning that provide students with direction and focus as future leaders of the profession.

4. The fieldwork coordinator and fieldwork educators are commended for facilitating an innovative Level I fieldwork model designed to scaffold learning opportunities. For example, the occupational therapy process is introduced in peer-to-peer simulations and concludes with independent patient intervention skills as the student progresses through the Level I fieldwork courses. The four Level I fieldwork opportunities promote self-directed learning and prepare students for Level II fieldwork.

5. The students are applauded for their active engagement in the learning process by electing to participate in specialized certificate programs as well as service learning projects such as the Starry Night Prom for special needs youth and providing intraprofessional therapy services in Belize. Students are passionate about the opportunities for advanced practice which will prepare them as advocates for emerging areas of practice.

Suggestions to enhance the program
Suggestions are items related to broadening or enrichment of programs. They are listed in order of the Standards and may be accompanied by an explanation. No response from the program is required.

1. B.5.25. Skills of Supervision and Collaboration with OTAs: The curriculum identifies and demonstrates techniques in skills of supervision and collaboration with occupational therapy assistants and other professionals on therapeutic interventions. This is accomplished through case study assignments, discussions, and examination questions. However, there is no communication (face-to-face or virtual) between the occupational therapy doctoral students and occupational therapy assistants or occupational therapy assistant students. It is suggested that the program investigate ways to provide additional experiences with occupational therapy assistants to better prepare graduates of the program for the collaborative working relationship between occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.

2. C.1.3. Collaboration on FW Objectives: The program demonstrates that academic and fieldwork educators collaborate in establishing fieldwork objectives and communicate with the student and fieldwork educators about progress and performance during fieldwork through email and phone contact. However, there is no consistent method of documentation verifying that all fieldwork sites participate in the collaborative process for site-specific objectives. It is suggested that the program explore additional ways to enhance the collaborative process in developing individualized site-specific objectives. This will strengthen opportunities for more integrated student learning experiences.

Noncompliance with the standards
All standards were found to be compliant based on the review of the materials submitted by the program and the findings of the on-site team.

Dr. Kate DeCleene Huber“The University of Indianapolis continues to educate students to become strong practitioners and leaders in occupational therapy,” said Dr. Kate DeCleene Huber, chair of the School of Occupational Therapy and director of the OTD program. “This accreditation accomplishment reflects the hard work and dedication of the School of Occupational Therapy faculty and staff, in combination with the support of the University administration.”

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