Program Advisors: Anderson, Berg, Kitzenberg, Lawson, Maeker, Newman, Olson, Sibla (Program Director), Schroeder, Varland (Academic Fieldwork Coordinator)
The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree is designed to prepare competent, caring, ethical, compassionate, and caring occupational therapists who serve the diverse healthcare needs of society in accordance with the Benedictine values. The professional curriculum consists of unique learning experiences and opportunities within a supportive healthcare community, including an optional service-learning experience in Guatemala. Students engage in learning through traditional educational strategies, as well as service learning and problem based learning experiences. A group research project which is mentored by an occupational therapy faculty member culminates with a platform and poster presentation, and a paper in manuscript form. Fieldwork experiences are completed at a large variety of diverse setting throughout the US. The experienced faculty represent numerous areas of practice. Their mission is to teach students to think critically, solve problems, and express themselves clearly. Upon completing a degree in OT at the University of Mary, graduates will have the skills and training necessary to practice in a variety of professional roles and settings, including to under-served and diverse populations.
The University of Mary offers two programs of study in the Occupational Therapy Program: Bachelor’s degree in University Studies to Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. The Bachelor’s degree in University Studies degree to Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree is designed for incoming freshmen and students who transfer to the University prior to completing a bachelor’s degree. This program is located in Bismarck, North Dakota. The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree is for individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree. This program is located in Bismarck, ND or Billings, MT. Lectures between the two locations are shared via videoconferencing in real time. All lab experiences and interactive educational experiences are provided on campus in Bismarck and Billings, with University of Mary Occupational Therapy faculty providing direct teaching and supervision.
The Occupational Therapy Program prepares its graduates to be competent occupational therapy practitioners to meet the occupational needs of individuals, groups and communities. Students will develop adept knowledge of humans as occupational beings, critical thinking abilities, commitment to lifelong learning and scholarship, and leadership abilities to effect change. Students are rooted in Christian, Catholic, Benedictine and professional occupational therapy values. These values provide a foundation for the formation and practice of professional skills, therapeutic use of self, and respect for others, ethical decision making, and attitudes of service.
Outcomes Upon completion of the professional occupational therapy education program at the University of Mary, the graduate will:
- Function autonomously in a variety of roles and practice settings to:
- Use clinical reasoning based on best evidence to solve problems independently.
- Use the occupational therapy process in direct roles of assessment and intervention and in indirect roles such as supervisor, researcher, consultant, and educator.
- Use effective communication with professionals and consumers via traditional methods and through use of technology to convey information essential for safe, effective service delivery.
- Use servant leadership skills to:
- Make ethical decisions.
- Effect change utilizing best practice.
- Serve others as a means of demonstrating respect for the human mind, body, and spirit.
- Provide humane and competent occupational therapy services based on knowledge, skills, and attitudes that empower the graduate to:
- Meet the unique needs of individuals and populations, including those in underserved and rural areas and of diverse cultures and backgrounds.
- Appreciate, understand and use meaningful occupation that binds mind, body and spirit.
- Incorporate client-centered practice into the decision-making process.
- Utilize therapeutic use of self while engaged in professional service delivery
Upon satisfactory completion of the University of Mary Occupational Therapy Curriculum, including Level II fieldwork, students are awarded the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and are eligible to take the certification examination for the occupational therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Successful completion of this examination leads to certification as an occupational therapist and to the title “Occupational Therapist, Registered” (OTR).
Additionally, individual state regulations must be met for the OTR to practice. Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, licenses are usually based upon results of the NBCOT certification examination. When applying for state licensure, certification or registration, a criminal background check is typically completed. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to take the National Board for Certification examination or to attain state licensure.
The Occupational Therapy Program (in Bismarck) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s phone number, C/O AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.aotaonline.org The Occupational Therapy Program (in Billings) is currently in the process of seeking full accreditation for an additional distance location.
University of Mary NBCOT Pass Rates
Pass rates for 2013 can be found at https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx
Entry Level Occupational Therapy Degree Programs of Study The University of Mary Occupational Therapy Program offers three different options of completion of the entry level degree of a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy.
- Combined Bachelor of University Studies degree / Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (4 1/2 year option, 5 1/2 year option)
- The 4 1/2 year option requires students to complete liberal arts coursework over summer semesters and includes 3 years of professional coursework and 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork experiences.
- The 5 1/2 option requires students to complete liberal arts coursework over a 2 year period and follows with 3 years of professional coursework and 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork experiences.
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
- Designed for students who have a Bachelor's degree in a related field other than occupational therapy. This program takes 2 1/2 years to complete and includes 2 years of professional coursework and 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork experiences.
- Occupational Therapy Assistant to Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
- Designed for students who have an associate's degree in occupational therapy. The program takes 2 1/2 years to complete and includes 2 years of professional coursework and 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork experiences.
- Bachelor's Degree to Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
- Designed for students who have an associate’s degree in occupational therapy. The program takes 2 ½ or 3 ½ years to complete. It includes 2 or 3 years of professional coursework and 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork experiences. Determining the length of the program is evaluated on an individual basis
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
- Designed for students who have a Bachelor’s degree other than in occupational therapy. This program takes 2 ½ years to complete and includes 2 years of professional coursework and 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork experiences
The University of Mary Occupational Therapy program is a member of the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS), available at www.otcasorg. Students should submit their application to OTCAS and indicate the University of Mary is one of their choices. OTCAS will send the documentation to the Department of Occupational Therapy Admission Committee for consideration. Students should send their verification of volunteer hours form directly to the Department of Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee, 7500 University Drive, Bismarck, ND, 58504.
After receipt of application through OTCAS, the Admissions Committee selects candidates eligible for the required personal interview. The final class is selected based on an objective point system based on cumulative GPA, GPA in pre-requisite courses, completion of volunteer hours, professional references, and the interview. The deadline for submission of the application to OTCAS is mid-December of the year prior to the June/ August start date. Interviews are conducted in mid- January. The following are the program admission requirements and minimum criteria for admission to the professional Occupational Therapy Program
- Pre-requisite course requirements:
- Composition II [writing course]
- Speech: Public Speaking
- Fundamentals of Chemistry (with a lab)
- *Anatomy & Physiology I (with lab)
- *Anatomy & Physiology II (with lab)
- General Psychology
- Lifespan Development
- Medical Terminology
- College Algebra (or higher)
- Abnormal Psychology (only for students who are seeking a Bachelor's Degree to Master of Science in Occupational Therapy AND Occupational Assistant to Master of Science in Occupational Therapy)
*Note: Anatomy & Physiology (with lab) may be separate courses
- Applicants for the 4 1/2 year or 5 1/2 year option must have completed or be enrolled in 6 of 9 required pre-requisite courses by January 2015. Applicants, who have a bachelor's degree or an OTA degree, must have completed 8 of 10 required pre-requisite courses by January 2015.
- Community Service and Volunteer Hours: All hours must be documented and signed for using the University of Mary Volunteer Hours Verification Form available on the University of Mary website at www.umary.edu
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (4 1/2 year option, 5 1/2 year option) & Bachelor's Degree to Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
- 20 hours volunteer service with an occupational therapist AND
- 20 hours community service (work hours are not accepted for community service hours)
- Occupational Therapy Assistant to Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
- 15 hours of community service AND proof of completion of all Level II fieldwork experiences. Work hours will not be accepted for the community service hours
- Three (3) letters of reference addressing moral and ethical behavior, academic abilities, and work ethic. One of these references must be completed by a previous or current work supervisor or from the OT supervising the volunteer hours. References letters can be submitted with the OTCAS
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and a minimum grade of "C" in all prerequisite course work. Students may retake pre-requisite coursework one time.
- International students need to provide a copy of the score sheet from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (ILETS)
- A criminal history may affect clinical and fieldwork experiences, national certification, state licensure/certification and/or employment. Convictions may disqualify the student from clinical and fieldwork experiences. Employers and fieldwork sites may also conduct a general criminal history background check. Students with criminal convictions should recognize that any such conviction may impede eventual licensure or employment, and that the University of Mary cannot predict future decisions of professional agencies or employers.
A selected group of high school seniors may apply for early enrollment into the program. The number is determined on a yearly basis. Applicants for early enrollment must be outstanding in their own high schools; having at least a composite score of 24 on the ACT or a GPA of 3.5. A member of the OT faculty interviews these students prior to their early acceptance. Students accepted for this program sign an agreement detailing specific requirements.
If the class number does not reach the desired class size, rolling admissions will go into effect. Students must meet all criteria previously outlined and participate in the formal interview process. Rolling admissions are considered until the first day of class in the fall. Applicants will be reviewed based on the time of submission of a completed application.