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Division of Occupational Therapy

The Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program was established to support Western New England University’s (WNE) commitment to advancing doctoral education in the health professions. The Center for Graduate and Advanced Studies supported the preliminary development of the academic Division of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Cathy Dow-Royer initiated the application process to begin the OTD program in the Fall, 2015 and assumed the full-time leadership of the program in February, 2016.

The application process was initiated on October 5, 2015, with a letter of intent to the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE). On Thursday, October 27, 2015, ACOTE acknowledged receipt of the Letter of Intent, and identified September 15, 2016 as the due date for submission of the Candidacy Application. ACOTE granted candidacy status in December, 2016, permitting the program to accept student applications, and to proceed forward with program development as part of the on-going accreditation process. The inaugural class of 29 students entered the program in August, 2017. 

The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Preaccreditation Status 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 telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org.

The program must complete an on-site evaluation and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be 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 addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.