Professor of OT teaching a class.

Occupational Therapy

Breaking New Grounds in Occupational Therapy Education

The Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program was established to support Western New England University’s (WNE) commitment to advancing doctoral education in the health professions. The Center for Graduate and Advanced Studies supported the preliminary development of the academic Division of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Cathy Dow-Royer, Chair/Program Director initiated the application process to begin the OTD program in the Fall 2015 and assumed the full-time leadership of the program in February 2016.

The application process was initiated on October 5, 2015, with a letter of intent to the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE). ACOTE granted candidacy status in December 2016, permitting the program to accept student applications, and to proceed forward with program development as part of the on-going accreditation process. The OTD Program joined the newly restructure College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS), and admitted the inaugural class of 29 students in August 2017. 

The OTD Program continued the accreditation process and was granted ACOTE Preaccreditation Status on August 12, 2019, and successfully submitted to an ACOTE On-Site Evaluation visit on November 4-6, 2019. Finally, on December 11, 2019, ACOTE granted the “Status of Accreditation for a period of 7 years” to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program at Western New England University.

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2023 Rho Chi Inductees

Western New England University Celebrates Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society Induction

Western New England University's Epsilon Iota chapter of the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society celebrated the induction of nine outstanding members from the PY3 Pharmacy Class. The ceremony at Munich Haus in Chicopee, MA, emphasized the society's dedication to promoting pharmaceutical sciences and fostering fellowship among pharmacy students.

University News, Pharmacy and Health Sciences
OTD students with swimming buddies

OTD Students Buddy Up with Aqua Buddies with Springfield's Center for Human Development

Western New England University Doctor of Occupational Therapy students are enhancing the lives of young participants in the Aqua Buddies program, a collaboration with the Center for Human Development. These students provide aquatic therapy, fostering connections and therapeutic play, while gaining valuable learning experiences themselves.

University News, Pharmacy and Health Sciences
WNE OTD Graduate Kelsey Fitzhugh, OTD, OTR/L Receives Hand Therapy Fellowship with NYU

WNE OTD Graduate Receives Hand Therapy Fellowship with NYU

WNE graduate Kelsey Fitzhugh OTD ’21 has been awarded the prestigious Hand Therapy Fellowship at NYU. This 12-month program in New York City equips her to treat a variety of hand and upper extremity conditions while preparing for the Certified Hand Therapy (CHT) examination.

University News, Pharmacy and Health Sciences