The Occupational Therapy Profession
Occupations are the essence of productive living. Occupational therapists focus on the occupations used by people to live full, independent, quality lives. Occupations or activities of daily living include work or education, self-care, play/leisure and the effect that rest has on these activities. The goal of this profession is to maximize a person's ability to perform culturally appropriate daily occupations, which is an important value in today's healthcare system.
Occupational therapists work with persons to promote an individualized, self-determined balance of occupations throughout the lifespan. Occupational performance is developed and enhanced by treating the "whole person" and attending to physical, psychological, emotional, sociocultural and spiritual issues, as influenced by the environment.
Occupational therapy direct and indirect service delivery contexts are exceedingly diverse. They include but are not limited to acute care, industrial rehabilitation, physical rehabilitation, mental health, long-term care, home care, case management, consultation, school systems, early intervention, community services, education, disease prevention and health promotion. Important related concepts such as quality of life, production function, independent living, full access, social-political integration, multiculturalism, and balanced lifestyles are central to occupational therapy practice. As a result, graduates of this program must be able to evaluate emerging information, anticipate new practice opportunities, develop new knowledge, participate in research, guide professional decisions, cooperate effectively with a variety of groups, and serve as professional leaders and community advocates.
Employment and Career Opportunities
Opportunities for employment can be found in healthcare centers, public and private schools, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric institutions, skilled nursing facilities, private practices, community agencies, independent living centers, hospitals, home healthcare and industry. Occupational therapists are increasingly assuming supervisory, case management and community-based roles.
The La Roche College-Duquesne University Affiliation
In this program, students majoring in occupational therapy complete a pre-professional program at La Roche College (designed to take a minimum of two years), and then transfer to Duquesne University to complete their professional phase in occupational therapy (designed to take another three years). Students who successfully complete this program earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Sciences after year four, and a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) at the end of the program. Both degrees are awarded by Duquesne University.
Accreditation and Certification
Duquesne University's occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.
Graduates of the Duquesne program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy and, if successful, will be certified as an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR) and can apply for state licensure, if required.
Admission to the Occupational Therapy Program
All students admitted to La Roche College who intend to major in occupational therapy will be initially designated as "Occupational Therapy candidates". Occupational Therapy candidates will be automatically considered for full admission to the occupational therapy major upon completion of the second semester of courses at La Roche College.
Prospective students to the program must have earned a minimum SAT score (Verbal and Math) of 1100, or a minimum ACT score of 24. Prospective students must have earned a minimum high school GPA 3.0. The high school curriculum must have included at least seven units in Math and Science.
In addition, prospective students must demonstrate evidence of extracurricular activities during high school and knowledge of the occupational therapy profession as evidenced by 60 hours of documented shadowing experiences with a licensed occupational therapist. An additional 60 hours of shadowing or community service must also be completed. Ideally, at least 30 hours of these shadowing experiences ought to be completed prior to starting the freshman year. All 120 hours must be completed prior to admission to the professional phase.
The pre-professional phase is completed at La Roche College in two years. Students then apply to Duquesne University for the professional phase. The completion of the La Roche College phase requires taking a minimum of two courses at Duquesne University in the sophomore year and- summer courses. Students are expected to provide their own transportation. La Roche College is guaranteed an allotment of five students every year. In the event that more than five students have entered the program, only the top five will be allowed admission to Duquesne University. These students must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Science/Math courses, with no course grade below a "C". Students must also be recommended by the pre-professional committee consisting of La Roche College Science faculty.
Students with prior college credits who are admitted as transfer students to La Roche College may express their intent to major in occupational therapy. Each student will be evaluated individually by the Coordinator of Health Science Programs.
Admission to Duquesne University
Through the Chairperson of the La Roche Pre-professional Health Committee, a La Roche occupational therapy major must submit a Duquesne University Application for Undergraduate Admissions by Dec 1st for consideration for the following fall semester at Duquesne, along with additional required documentation (which the student will be informed of during a health sciences orientation at La Roche College).
The pre-professional phase at La Roche College consists of 68 credits to be completed over a two-year period, with the required coursework below. The professional phase at Duquesne University consists of 112 credits completed over a three-year period.
To complete the Pre-Professional Phase at La Roche College the following coursework is required:
- 35 credits of Science and Math (includes 7 credits of Occupational Therapy courses taken as PCHE courses)
- 33 credits of Additional courses (see program guide for courses that will fulfill Duquesne requirements) This includes a Theology, Creative Arts, Global Diversity and Social Justice course, not listed below.