Occupational Therapy | Saint Francis University
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Occupational Therapy

The Department of Occupational Therapy and the Master of Occupational Therapy Degree Program were established to assist Saint Francis University in fulfilling its stated mission: a mind for excellence, a spirit for peace and justice, and a heart for service.

    • OT Accelerated program track
    • OT students working in the ELC
    • OT students and faculty
    • OT students work with babies
    • Ot students work with other disciplines
    • OT students can receive both their B.S. and Masters of Occupational Therapy degree in just 5 years.

    • In the new Experiential Learning Commons, OT students work in a simulated apartment setting with patients who have limited abilities.

    • All OT faculty are doctorally prepared in a variety of specialities, and are committed to guiding students throughout their SFU careers.

    • Minors in Psychology, Neuroscience, American Sign Language, and Spanish allow you customize your OT track.

    • OT students have opportunities to collaborate with other health science majors such as Physical Therapy, Nursing, Education, Psychology, and others—just as they would as OTs in the real world.

  • Flash Facts about Exercise Physiology4

    • A combined degree curriculum includes pre-professional and professional phases
    • All OT faculty are doctorally prepared in a variety of specialities; Students have access to advisory board of outstanding regional, professional and academic leaders
    • Field work and research opportunities tightly integrated with the professional curriculum
    • A multidisciplinary approach that uncovers the relationship between OT and society through courses in philosophy, history, sociology and political science
    • An automatic minor in psychology; opportunities to design dual undergraduate majors and/or tailor additional minors to your areas of interest
    • Work in the new Experiential Learning Commons simulated Home Care Lab
  • ___

    Accelerated 3+2 Program

    Our accelerated/direct entry Master of Occupational Therapy curriculum (3+2) includes three years of pre-professional coursework followed by two years of concentrated Occupational Therapy study. 

    In October 2018, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) placed the mandate to transition all programs to the doctoral level on hold. This decision allows Master of Occupational Therapy students to complete their academic preparation in just 5 years, allowing for the most efficient path into the field of Occupational Therapy. 

    • Why OT?
    • Program Highlights
    • Faculty
    • Accreditation
    • Fieldwork Experience
    • Program Costs/Expenses
    Why OT?

    Occupational therapists believe that occupations are essential to who you are and how you feel about yourself. If you are unable to do the things you enjoy, or need to do, to live your life, then your general well-being may be affected. Occupational therapists work with people of all ages to encourage health, avoid disability, and develop or maintain abilities.

    Occupational therapists help develop the skills for the job of living and solve the problems that interfere with an individual’s ability to do the activities or occupations that are significant to them. Whether it be from injury, disease, social disadvantage, or the environment, occupational therapists help their clients to live a more fulfilling life.

    Occupation refers to the activities and tasks of daily life that have value and meaning to a person. Occupations can include self-care (i.e. personal care, mobility), leisure (i.e. social activities, sports) and productivity (play, school, employment, home making).

    Occupational therapists are specialists in the analysis, adaptation and therapeutic use of occupations, to achieve goals jointly determined by the therapist and the client, in the context of their own home and community. In simple terms, as an occupational therapist you may assist a client to:

    • Learn new ways of doing things; for example, dress or cook with one arm after a stroke.
    • Adapt materials or equipment they use; for example, built up pencils and special seating for a child to attend school.
    • Make changes to their environment; for example, negotiate with an employer for a gradual return-to-work plan following a motor vehicle accident.
    Program Highlights

    Occupational therapy education at Saint Francis University will:

    • Prepare students for practice as competent and ethical occupational therapists for service to under-served regions of Pennsylvania and beyond.
    • Prepare students who are active in furthering the growth and development of the profession of occupational therapy through systematic inquiry, community awareness and action, and professional organization involvement.
    • Prepare students who demonstrate commitment to their own personal and professional growth and development through the quest for knowledge and critical self reflection and analysis.

    Occupational Therapy Faculty

    Our Occupational Therapy faculty have expertise in telemedicine, alternative medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, neuro rehab, sensory processing, cultural adaptability, therapeutic intervention, playground accessibility, and nutritional therapy.

    Dr. Edward Mihelcic MA, OTR/L

    Title: Professor, MOT Program Director, Research Coordinator
    Department: Occupational Therapy
    Phone: 814-472-2760
    Email: emihelcic@francis.edu

    Dr. Amy Hudkins DHSc, COTA/L

    Title: Clinical Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
    Department: Occupational Therapy
    Office Location: Raymond Hall, 2nd floor
    Phone: 814-472-2792
    Email: ahudkins@francis.edu

    Dr. Julie Nagle MOT, OTR/L

    Title: Clinical Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
    Department: Occupational Therapy
    Office Location: Raymond 213
    Phone: 814-472-3543
    Email: jnagle@francis.edu

    Dr. Lorie Rowles OTD, OTR/L

    Title: Associate Professor, Curriculum Coordinator
    Department: Occupational Therapy
    Phone: 814-472-2749
    Email: lrowles@francis.edu

    Dr. Erin Long, MOT, OTR/L

    Title: Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
    Department: Occupational Therapy
    Phone: 814-472-3908
    Email: emlong@francis.edu


    The Master of Occupational Therapy Program at Saint Francis University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE's phone number c/o AOTA is (301)652-6611 and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.

    National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy Program (NBCOT):

    Data Results

    The following is a summary of Saint Francis University Occupational Therapy Students' performance on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Examination. Please click above for the direct link to the NBCOT program data results.

    Academic Year# Graduates Graduation Rate % of Test Takers Who Passed NBCOT Exam within 12 Months of Graduation
    202034 100% 100%
    201940 100% 95%
    201839 100% 100%
    201736 100% 100%
    201640 100% 100%

    Fieldwork Experience

    Fieldwork education at Saint Francis University is a crucial part of the students’ professional preparation and is integrated as a component of our curriculum design. The fieldwork experiences provide students with the opportunities necessary to carry out professional responsibilities under the supervision of a “qualified” occupational therapy practitioner serving as a role model.

    ACOTE states the goal of Level I fieldwork is to introduce students to the fieldwork experience, to apply knowledge to practice, and to develop understanding of the needs of clients. The goal of Level II Fieldwork is to develop competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapists. Level II fieldwork must be integral to the program’s curriculum design and must include an in-depth experience in delivering occupational therapy services to clients, focusing on the application of purposeful and meaningful occupation and research, administration, and management of occupational therapy services. It is recommended that the student be exposed to a variety of clients across the life span and to a variety of settings.

    Site Specific Behavioral Objectives

    Fieldwork educators (FWEd) must provide proper supervision and the ability to provide frequent assessment of student progress in achieving stated fieldwork (FW) objectives. The Department of Occupational Therapy at Saint Francis University uses the Ten Generic Abilities developed by the UW-Madison as Level I Fieldwork Objectives and uses AOTA' Fieldwork Objectives for Level II Fieldwork. These objectives are agreed upon objectives with the FW sites prior to a student's FW Experience.


    View more OT student opportunities

    Program Costs/Expenses

    Saint Francis University
    School of Health Sciences & Education
    Master of Occupational Therapy Program

    Academic Year 2020-2021

    The following is a projection of costs for a graduate student enrolled in the professional MOT program (based on the 2020-2021 rate schedule). Students admitted as freshman receive financial aid through the first professional year and have differing expenses based on their financial aid. Housing/living and required immunization expenses are not included. Amounts listed are subject to change.

    1st Professional Year

    Summer Fall Spring
    Tuition $14,280 Tuition $19,039 Tuition $19,039
    Technology Fee $325Technology Fee $325 Technology Fee $325
    OT Program Fee $660OT Program Fee $660 OT Program Fee $660
    Textbooks (estimated) $800 Textbooks (estimated)$2,150 Textbooks (estimated) $685
    Lab Fee$145 Lab Fee $145 Lab Fee $145
    Laptop Purchase$1,400
    Total Semester$17,610 Total Semester$22,319 Total Semester$20,854

    2nd Professional Year

    Fall Spring
    Tuition $16,800 Tuition $16,800
    Technology Fee $325 Technology Fee $325
    OT Program Fee $660 OT Program Fee $660
    Textbook (estimated) $105 Textbooks (estimated) $0
    Lab Fee $145 Lab Fee $145
    Total Semester $18,365Total Semester $18,260
    Total First Year$60,783
    Total Second Year $36,625

    • Chelsea Esken is Going Places

      Chelsea Esken, Master of Occupational Therapy (2017), works as a Traveling Occupational Therapist. Learn how the OT Program prepared her for this incredible journey.

      Read more