The program’s curriculum provides highly integrated content, a focus on student perspectives, and strong emphasis on the social responsibilities of health care professionals in a globally aware society. Its theme is that occupational involvement is critical to maximizing individual health and wellness.
Preferred: The program’s outstanding academic reputation has earned students preferred status at the top clinical sites in West Michigan.
Personal: The program is built on graduate core requirements, but designed to meet individual career goals in research, doctoral study, or health and allied health programs.
Integrated: Grand Valley’s liberal education focus teaches students to use critical thinking and reflective reasoning along with OT techniques to solve problems using a variety of methods and thus connect with the individual patient, creating a more personalized treatment.
Successful: The total number of graduates who passed the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification examination as first-time new graduate test takers in 2007-2009 was 63 out of 65, which is a pass rate of 97 percent. During that three-year time period, the program had 72 graduates.
Practical: The program’s focus on occupation and its importance to the quality of human life have opened new practice opportunities for OTs, outside of the traditional hospital and rehabilitation centers, including in the community, private practice, and governmental agencies.
The M.S. in Occupational Therapy degree requires approximately 77-80 credits hours over two continuous years (which is half a year less than most other universities). All students participate in fieldwork at clinical sites, which are selected to match each individual student’s strengths, interests, and expertise. Admission to the program is competitive, with a maximum class size of 30. Candidates may submit applications to the occupational therapy program in the year that they attain undergraduate senior status. Nontraditional students are encouraged to meet with the OT Admissions Chairperson or the student services coordinator for transcript review and application information.
Convenient. The Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences puts students in the heart of Grand Rapids’ Health Hill near the Van Andel Research Institute, Spectrum Health, St. Mary’s Health Care, and other health care providers and businesses.
Flexible. If the traditional full-time program does not work with your schedule consider the weekend program, which is completed with preprofessional requirements and three years of professional coursework. The weekend program is designed for the adult learner who has had at least one year of full-time work experience. Candidates should have completed a bachelor's degree and most of the specified undergraduate prerequisite coursework. The weekend format allows adults with jobs, families, and other commitments to pursue a graduate degree.
The occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, P. O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. The telephone number is (301) 652-AOTA. Accreditation indicates that the program has met the requirements for entry-level graduate education in occupational therapy. Graduates of an accredited program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Graduates successfully completing the national certification examination are then eligible for state registration and/or licensure.