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Gwynedd Mercy University’s Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing & Health Professions has announced its Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) Program has earned accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
The program achieved accreditation as planned and the first graduating class 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®) later this year. After successful completion of this certification exam, each graduate will become an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR).
“It is exciting to see the evolution of our Program. In January of 2017, we were a department of one (just myself), with no students. Since this time, we have grown to five fulltime faculty and will have 90 students in our Occupational Therapy Program once we start our summer session this May,” said Thomas Mernar, PhD, OTR/L, the founding Program Coordinator of GMercyU’s Occupation Therapy Master’s Program. “We are so proud of our first graduating class. They will soon be using their occupational therapy knowledge and skills that they have acquired and using them to make a difference in the lives of others.”
GMercyU’s MSOT Program was founded three years ago in response to the growing need for registered occupational therapists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), occupational therapist jobs will grow 18% by 2028, which is an increase of more than 23,000 new OT jobs. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for OT professionals is even more critical as coronavirus patients recover and need assistance returning to their daily lives.
In addition to the MSOT Program, GMercyU offers a dual-degree path to earn both an undergraduate degree in Occupational Science and a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. This 3+2 Program allows students to gain three years of pre-professional study focused in the liberal arts and health sciences, then transitions into the professional phase of the MSOT Program for the final two years. GMercyU is one of the few colleges and universities in the nation to offer a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Science.
The Mission of the Occupational Therapy Program at GMercyU is to prepare competent, reflective, ethical, and compassionate OT professionals for a successful career and a meaningful life within the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy. This Mission is accomplished through the offering of an education that values integrity, respect, service, and promotion of occupational justice. Occupational therapy graduates will be prepared to practice as generalists while understanding the value of people-first language and conducting therapeutic practices that are occupation-based, evidence-based, and client-centered in order to promote the health and well-being of individuals and society. For more information about the program, please visit our Master of Science in Occupational Therapy page.
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) is an Associated Advisory Council of the Executive Board of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA®). ACOTE is recognized as the accrediting agency for occupational therapy education by both the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). ACOTE currently accredits or is in the process of accrediting nearly 600 occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs in the United States and its territories as well as programs in the United Kingdom.