Jul 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Springfield College Catalog 
2023-2024 Springfield College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Health Science - Pre-Occupational Therapy, B.S.

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Program Description

The Health Science/Pre-Occupational Therapy program is a five-and-a-half-year program in which students earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science and either a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy or a Doctor of Occupational Therapy upon successful completion of all degree requirements. The program is divided into two phases: a pre-professional phase, in which students complete the Core Curriculum requirements as well as essential health science, occupational therapy, and related requirements; and the professional phase, which includes five semesters of graduate-level professional education and six months of level 2 fieldwork experience. Students enter the program as first-year students or may be able to transfer in as sophomores. 

For the first four years of the program, students engage in courses required for their undergraduate degree in Health Science, the Core Curriculum requirements, and their occupational therapy degree. Students are advised by an occupational therapy faculty member from the beginning of their Springfield College experience.  At the end of the fourth year, students graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science: Pre-Occupational Therapy, having already completed one-third of their required professional level occupational therapy coursework.  They continue in graduate occupational therapy courses that begin in the fourth summer and complete the pre-fieldwork portion of the program in May of their fifth academic year. Students then complete six months of full-time fieldwork and a post fieldwork seminar course to help prepare them for taking the Board exam, licensure, and acquiring their first job in the field. It is a challenging, accelerated program that prepares students well to enter a growing and vibrant profession at the required post-baccalaureate level.

Throughout the occupational therapy program, students engage in a mix of classroom, laboratory, experiential, and fieldwork experiences. Students become practiced in entry-level occupational therapy theory; evaluation and treatment techniques; clinical reasoning; evidence-based practice; client education skills; management skills; and interprofessional collaboration and teamwork. Fully encompassing the College’s humanics philosophy, the occupational therapy program emphasizes that health and learning are best gained through an approach that unifies spirit, mind, and body. The typical Springfield College-trained occupational therapist displays a combination of inter and intrapersonal skills, as well as technical and clinical skills necessary for successful practice with clients, their families and healthcare professionals alike.

The occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929, telephone (301) 652-AOTA (2682) and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. 

Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam (National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, telephone 301-990-7979, www.nbcot.org). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). All states also require licensure in order to practice. Students are eligible for licensure upon successfully passing the Board exam. 

Admission to the Program
Candidates for admission to the Health Science / Occupational Therapy Program must provide evidence of a rigorous background in biological and physical sciences and mathematics, with a strong recommendation of additional courses in psychology, sociology or anthropology. Grades in these courses along with English course work should be a minimum of 3.0, with biology/physical science grades with a minimum of 3.2. Documentation of experience in occupational therapy or other human service endeavors is also expected. The candidate’s personal statement or essay should reflect an understanding of the field of occupational therapy and a personal fit with the profession.  January 15 is the deadline for the application, and February 1 is the deadline for all supporting documents. Later applications will be reviewed on a space available basis. Transfer students from other colleges, as well as internal transfers, may also be accepted to the Health Science / Occupational Therapy program on a space available basis.

Program Highlights

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Required Credits: 120

School: School of Health Sciences

Department: Occupational Therapy

Modality: On-Ground

Locations: Main Campus (Springfield)

Additional Information: https://springfield.edu/programs/occupational-therapy

Program Standards

Students are expected to maintain performance standards outlined in the Occupational Therapy Student Manual, which include both academic requirements and professional behaviors. Academic requirements for the first 3 years include the following:

A 3.000 minimum overall GPA.
A 3.200 minimum average in the foundation science requirements
A 3.000 minimum average in the social science requirements
A 3.000 minimum average in the Occupational Therapy preprofessional requirements
A 3.000 minimum average in the Occupational Therapy professional core requirements
A 3.000 minimum average in the Occupational Therapy professional science requirements
A grade of C or better is required in all foundation science, social science, and Occupational Therapy pre-professional requirements
A grade of B- or better is required in all Occupational Therapy professional core and Occupational Therapy professional science requirements

Review of a student’s academic standing is conducted at the end of each semester. Students who do not meet these standards are placed on academic probation, which allows them to continue in the program with the goal of reaching all standards within 1 or 2 additional semesters.  Students who do not meet the standard after two semesters on probation are subject to dismissal from the program.  After five semesters or 75 s.h., each student’s academic record is reviewed by the Occupational Therapy Review Committee to determine his or her eligibility to remain in the program. This is not meant to be a secondary application process, but a way of ensuring that all students have achieved the minimum standards necessary to complete a rigorous graduate level program. During the professional phase of the program (beyond 75 s.h.), students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 across all professional-level courses in order to remain in the program.  Students may not proceed to Level 2 fieldwork or earn the master’s degree without a minimum overall graduate GPA of 3.000.

Clinical Education Courses

Fieldwork experiences are included within courses during each year of the program, 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 2-week and 3-month long fieldwork experiences during the professional component of the program. It is the responsibility of the student to cover expenses and plan logistics related to these experiences, including travel, living arrangements, uniforms or appropriate professional attire, health insurance, and any needed health certifications, background checks, and/or drug testing.

Minimum Competencies

It is also the responsibility of the student to meet the requirements of the Occupational Therapy Program Essential Functions and Student Technical Standards 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 in and complete the program. Requests for reasonable accommodations will be addressed on an individualized basis, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Undergraduate Curriculum Overview

The Academic Advising Center provides the following repositories of sequencing and curriculum guides for all undergraduate majors and minors to assist with course planning:  

Additional Notes:

  • There may be circumstances where credit totals do not reflect coursework that is eligible to count towards Core Curriculum and Major Requirement sections of a major simultaneously.
  • Degree requirements are subject to change. 

I. Core Curriculum (40 credits)

This Core Curriculum is faithful to the Springfield College mission and further strengthens the Humanics philosophy of educating students in spirit, mind, and body. It is a cornerstone of a Springfield College education. Regardless of one’s major, it provides a strong, developmental, and holistic foundation for leaders in service to humanity. Upon completion, all graduates will be prepared to learn, lead, and serve in diverse, multicultural, and global contexts as well as in any career path they may choose. They will have the knowledge, habits of the mind, skills, and abilities to face unexpected situations and challenges, the values and attitudes for self-motivation and a vision of service that stems from hope, optimism and making a difference, as well as the self-determination to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

View the Core Curriculum Requirements (40 credits)  section for a complete list of the domains and courses therein.

II. Major Requirements (79 credits)

C. Occupational Therapy Preprofessional Requirements (23 credits)

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

IV. Additional Coursework

Students in the Health Science: Pre-Occupational Therapy major will also take the following coursework during their senior year that will be transferred to their graduate record after conferral of their Bachelor’s degree. Specifically, these courses do not contribute to the 120-credit minimum required for the Bachelor’s degree but must be taken during the student’s senior year to maintain the accelerated timeline associated with the Health Science: Pre-Occupational Therapy to either Master of Science in Occupational Therapy or Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.   

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