Jan 26, 2021  
2006-2007 Springfield College Undergraduate Catalog 
2006-2007 Springfield College Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy/Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Dual Degree Program

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Undergraduate degree in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, followed by a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. (Generally, students complete a minimum of 120 undergraduate credits and 50 graduate credits).  Requirements are subject to change.

The mission of the Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Department at Springfield College is to educate students in spirit, mind, and body for leadership and service to persons with chronic illnesses and disabilities. The faculty and staff of the program embrace the philosophy that every individual, regardless of disability status, has the right to live the most complete, independent, and productive life that they choose. The rehabilitation and disability studies major is designed to provide a broad orientation to the major concepts underlying the philosophy of rehabilitation. The student’s academic experience is supplemented by vital supervised field experience, concurrent with classroom study.

Students in the program prepare to enter a variety of professions at either the bachelor’s degree level or at the level requiring advanced graduate work. Career opportunities abound in private and public hospitals, schools, and agencies dedicated to the cause of assisting people with physical, psychological, or mental disabilities achieve their fullest physical, psychological, social, vocational, and economic potential according to their capabilities.

The rehabilitation and disability studies major has several points of entry. Students may be accepted into the program upon admission or transfer into it from another major. Incoming first-year students who are motivated and highly qualified may opt for the dual degree program, an accelerated five-year program which offers students a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation and disability studies and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and services. The dual degree student is thus well-prepared for leadership positions in the field of rehabilitation counseling. Transfer students who meet the academic and prerequisite requirements may also apply to the dual degree program. Some students discover later that they have an interest in pursuing an advanced degree in rehabilitation. Those students may apply in their junior year for the advanced senior program and, if accepted, begin their master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and services during their senior year.

For more information about this major, contact Professor Thomas J. Ruscio, chairperson of the Rehabilitation and Disability Studies Department at (413) 748-3318 or the Admissions Office at (800) 343-1257.

For additional information on the Occupational Therapy dual degree program click here

Download a Rehabilitation and Disability Studies / Occupational Therapy dual degree Program Checksheet


I. General Education Program (40 - 46 credits)

The General Education program at Springfield College is informed by its century-old Humanics tradition of educating the whole person in spirit, mind, and body, for leadership in service to humanity. These requirements have the goal of developing literate, thoughtful, socially responsible students, and instilling in them a spirit of inquiry into the nature of humankind and the universe. Towards those ends, the requirements emphasize and encourage: the acquisition of knowledge, understanding, and competency essential for the improvement of the human condition in a diverse society; a search for personal and spiritual values; and the development of an understanding and appreciation of physical well-being.  For specific requirements, see the General Education Program section or the Program Checksheet for this major.

II. Major Requirements

B. Related Occupational Therapy Preprofessional Requirements

III. Electives (to complete a minimum of 120 credits)

Program Standards

Students will be expected to maintain performance standards required for their undergraduate major as they progress through their undergraduate years. In addition, they will also be required to follow the standards outlined in the Occupational Therapy Student Manual, which include both academic requirements and professional behaviors. Academic requirements include the following:

1. A 3.000 average in the OT preprofessional social sciences.
2. A 3.000 average in the OT preprofessional physical sciences.
3. A 3.000 average in other occupational therapy preprofessional requirements.
4. A 3.000 overall GPA.

Before continuation into the professional portion of the occupational therapy program (after approximately five semesters or 85 s.h.), students will be reviewed by the Occupational Therapy Review Committee to determine if all standards have been accomplished.

Clinical Education Courses
Several courses include fieldwork experiences, allowing students numerous opportunities to work with occupational therapy clinicians and clients throughout the greater Springfield area. In addition, the Occupational Therapy Department has fieldwork contracts with over 300 sites throughout the United States where students may engage in the 3-week and 3-month long fieldwork experiences. It is the responsibility of the student to absorb expenses and plan logistics related to these experiences, including travel, living arrangements, uniforms and liability insurance.

Minimum Competencies
It is also the responsibility of the student to meet the requirements of the Occupational Therapy Program Minimum Competencies as described in the Occupational Therapy Student Manual, which is available upon request from the Admissions Office. These standards include, but are not limited to, skills in observation, communication, sensory and motor coordination and function, cognition, and behavioral and social attributes. All standards must be met for the student to continue through and complete the program. Requests for reasonable accomodations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Advanced Senior Option

In addition to the dual degree program, the Occupational Therapy Department offers an advanced senior program. Qualified students may apply to the program in the second semester of their junior year. Students must complete an application packet, including a resume, references, and a personal statement. To be eligible for the advanced senior program, students must document that they have completed or will complete the following before the start of their senior year:

1. All requirements for a related undergraduate major.
2. A minimum of 97 credits including General Education Program courses.
3. The occupational therapy prerequisites (see below).

A 3.000 overall minimum GPA and a 3.000 average for the occupational therapy prerequisites are also required. If accepted, students begin taking occupational therapy courses in their senior year. They graduate in May of their senior year with an undergraduate degree in a related major and an accelerated start to their graduate requirements.

The advanced senior program is designed for students who discover their interest in occupational therapy after their first years of baccalaureate study. The dual degree program is designed for students who have developed a career goal for occupational therapy before they enter college. The advantages of the dual degree include guaranteed admittance to the professional level of the program (as long as all program standards are met), the opportunity for students to work with an occupational therapy faculty mentor from their first entry into the College, and earlier exposure to occupational therapy coursework and practicums.

The occupational therapy prerequisites for the advanced senior program include the following courses or equivalents:

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