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D’Youville adds Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree

October 15, 2021
D’Youville adds Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree


D’Youville adds Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree

BUFFALO, NEW YORK – D’Youville will launch an online Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate in the spring, bringing its number of doctoral degrees offered to nine.

The Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (ppOTD) is for current occupational therapists who seek an expanded role in healthcare and education. The 32-credit-hour program can be completed in 18 months and is offered completely online.

“The online ppOTD is ideal for working clinical occupational therapists” says Theresa Vallone, EdD, OTR, chair and program director for occupational therapy at D’Youville. “There are no clinical requirements as part of our ppOTD program and the research-based curriculum supports current occupational therapists to attain competency as research-consumers and research-producers. These skills, along with the leadership coursework, will provide occupational therapists with advanced skill in understanding and applying evidence-based practice in clinical or educational contexts.”   

Key features of the program include a cohort-based learning model, which is the preferred method for students; and convenient, eight-week courses. “The program was developed with the working professional in mind. By creating an asynchronous program, clinicians can advance their degrees to remain competitive in the workplace while also maintaining their current jobs.” says Amy Nwora, chair and director of health professions education at D’Youville, who designed the curriculum.

In addition to didactic coursework, the ppOTD provides students with the opportunity to collaborate one-on-one with a faculty mentor on a capstone project. “The capstone project is split into four pieces, and students will be enrolled concurrently in courses which align with the capstone project, so each course acts as a building block for the next,” says Nwora. “Students will be able to network with faculty and other working professionals as they expand their research repertoire and marketability.”

The ppOTD prepares students for careers teaching in higher education, working as clinical administrators or as advanced clinicians. The focus on research will assist professionals in dealing with the constantly changing world of professional practice. “Over the past 15 years, there has been a seismic shift in how rehabilitation is reimbursed. Third-party payers are demanding that occupational therapists use research-based evidence to support treatment,” Vallone says. “D’Youville’s ppOTD program ties together best practices in occupational therapy research and leadership to create therapists who are ready to lead practice in the 21st century.”

The program joins eight other doctoral programs currently offered at D’Youville, including three research-based academic doctorates (Doctor of Education, EdD) in Educational Leadership, Health Administration, and Health Professions Education, and five professional doctorates, including Chiropractic (DC), Family Nurse Practitioner (DNP), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (DNP), Pharmacy (PharmD), and Physical Therapy (DPT).

“This latest doctoral program further solidifies D’Youville’s position as a comprehensive university,” says Lorrie A. Clemo, PhD, president of D’Youville. The Carnegie Commission on Higher Education added D’Youville to its ranks of Doctoral/Professional Universities in 2018, and U.S. News & World Report placed D’Youville in its “National Universities” category in 2020.

“We continue to await the decision by the New York State Department of Education to reclassify D’Youville officially as a university,” Clemo says. “We hope this latest addition to our doctoral offerings will help advance our case, so we can soon be granted university status.”

Learn more about the Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate.


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