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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Duggan Academy interns learning the art and science of Occupational Therapy from WNE OTD students

Department of Occupational Therapy Expands Partnership with John J. Duggan Academy

Western New England University's Occupational Therapy Department deepens collaboration with John J. Duggan Academy, offering internships for experiential learning, academic growth, and mentorship in healthcare.

University News, Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Members of the West Springfield Fire Department and WNE OTD students pose for a photo with BEary Bags in front of a fire engine at the WSFD station.

Department of Occupational Therapy Collaborates with West Springfield Fire Department to Launch New Project Aimed at Promoting Calmness

The "BEary Calm Bags" project, a collaboration between Western New England University Department of Occupational Therapy and the West Springfield Fire Department, aims to improve emergency response experiences for individuals with sensory sensitivities, disabilities, and communication barriers.

University News, Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Attendee of the event from several learning institutions working together take a moment to smile for the camera

Interprofessional Healthcare Simulation Day Cultivates Collaborative Skills Among Health Profession Students

At Western New England University, Pharmacy, OT, PA, and Nursing students engage in an Interprofessional Healthcare Simulation Day, honing collaborative skills vital for effective patient care in today's complex healthcare landscape.

University News, Pharmacy and Health Sciences