College Record 2019-2020

Occupational Therapy

(Daisy Marquis Jones program in occupational therapy)

Occupational therapists help people across the lifespan participate in the activities they want and need to do. For example, OTs help children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, help people recover from injury to regain skills, and provide support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

Occupational therapists can be found working in schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, private practice, psychiatric facilities, out-patient clinics and home care agencies. 

Occupational Therapy Vision Statement

To educate and inspire outstanding occupational therapy practitioners, leaders, and scholars.

Occupational Therapy Mission Statement

The Division of Occupational Therapy at Keuka College provides an exceptional professional education that integrates a liberal arts curriculum and a commitment to experiential learning. We strive to create a friendly and supportive environment that encourages achievement and growth in our students, staff, and faculty. We value service, scholarship, lifelong learning, and practice excellence; these values infuse our classroom teaching, our relationships with students, our professional engagement, and our collaboration with community partners.

Occupational Therapy Program Philosophy

Beliefs About Humans’ Occupational Performance and Learning

Consistent with AOTA’s philosophy of occupational therapy education and the philosophical base of occupational therapy, the curriculum of the OT Division at Keuka College examines human performance and participation in meaningful everyday occupations, across the lifespan, in many contexts. We believe “occupations are fundamental to health promotion and wellness, remediation or restoration, health maintenance, disease and injury prevention, and compensation/adaptation” (AOTA, 2017, para. 4).  We also view students as occupational beings. We believe that students learn most effectively when they are positively engaged, supported, and encouraged to develop the skills and confidence to facilitate their own learning. Through the teaching-learning process we prepare students to integrate “clinical reasoning, professional values, theories, evidence, ethics and skills” (AOTA, 2015, para. 2). 

Teaching and Learning

The philosophy of teaching and learning within the OT Division at Keuka College is also consistent with the AOTA philosophy of OT education, which states that students are occupational beings who engage dynamically with both the learning context and the teaching-learning process (AOTA, 2015, para. 2). While each member of the Keuka College OT faculty has a unique teaching approach, we all value the principles of active and diverse learning, collaboration that builds on past knowledge and experience, professional judgment and self-reflection, and lifelong learning (AOTA, 2015, para. 3). We use elements of Bloom’s taxonomy to guide the progression of coursework as students move from the Developing Phase to the Baccalaureate Phase to the Graduate Phase. Three curricular themes are integrated throughout our courses, and these themes form the basis for our teaching priorities: (a) people as occupational beings, (b) practice, and (c) leadership. 

As stated in our mission, the OT Division at Keuka College is committed to developing practitioners who provide compassionate, evidence-based, and client-centered services to individuals, groups, communities, and populations. We expect our students to embrace self-directed learning, to demonstrate active and respectful engagement in the educational process, and to be committed to the process of becoming healthcare professionals. Our curriculum and teaching philosophy—along with a strong liberal arts foundation and many opportunities for experiential learning—support our mission. As a faculty we endorse the following principles that guide our teaching and define our program:

• We set high standards for academic performance, clinical competence, and professional behavior. We strive to be both challenging and fair, and to serve as role models to our students for professionalism, compassion, and clinical excellence. 
• We provide individualized teaching and support that recognizes the diverse learning needs of our students, and we value the relationships we form through small class sizes, consistent advisement, and individualized instructional approaches. Since students enter our program as freshmen, we are especially committed to teaching and advisement practices that foster students’ growth and development over the course of five years. 
• We emphasize the importance of evidence-based practice, scholarly activity, and critical thinking, since these skills are critical to the development of practitioners, advocates, scholars, and future leaders. 
• We integrate experiential learning in many forms across the curriculum, consistent with the vision and mission of Keuka College. These experiential activities provide our students with valuable opportunities for professional exploration, skill building, self-reflection, and the development of personal confidence. 
• We promote professional development and the value of lifelong learning throughout all academic and experiential activities. 


American Occupational Therapy Association (2015). Philosophy of occupational therapy education. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(Suppl. 3), 6913410052.


American Occupational Therapy Association (2017). The Philosophical Base of Occupational Therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(Supplement_2):7112410045P1-7112410045P1. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2017.716S06


Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., & Bloom, B. S.  (Eds.). (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Academic Curriculum

The Division of Occupational Therapy offers a five-year master of science degree program in which students receive a bachelor of science degree in occupational science after the completion of four years of study and a master of science degree in occupational therapy after the fifth year. This is a freshman-entry program, but transfer students may be accepted, providing that the student has completed the necessary courses and there is space available in the program. The fifth year of study consists of one summer and two academic semesters, which includes two full-time fieldwork level II experiences.

Occupational therapy is a health care discipline that requires a strong academic curriculum in order to meet the needs of professional accreditation and public accountability. The curriculum focuses on the disciplines of anatomy, neurosciences, psychology, research, and sociology. The curriculum design leads students through the process of becoming future professionals through teaching the themes of people as occupational beings, practice, and leadership using the threads of scholarship, occupation, professional development, and critical thinking.

Clinical Practice Experience

The students in the occupational therapy program engage in practice opportunities throughout their five years of education. Each January during the undergraduate phase of their education, students have the opportunity to spend two, two-week experiences up to 140 hours annually in a variety of traditional and non- traditional settings. In addition, students complete two, three-month clinical practice experiences (fieldwork level II) during the graduate year. The fieldwork level II experiences are the culminating learning experiences in becoming an occupational therapist and must be successfully completed within one year of successful completion of the graduate year academic course requirements.

Accreditation and Registration

The occupational therapy program is accredited through 2025 by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at:

ACOTE c/o Accreditation Department

American Occupational Association (AOTA) 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
(301) 652-AOTA

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)

Graduates of the master’s degree program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In New York and most other states, a professional license is required for practice and the NBCOT examination serves as the licensing examination in most states.  Students are ultimately, however, required to apply separately for licensure and certification upon graduation.  A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. For further information on these limitations, students may contact NBCOT at:

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy 
800 S. Frederick Avenue, Suite 200
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
(301) 990-7979

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Science
This degree does not provide eligibility for certification or licensure in occupational therapy. It is awarded after the fourth year of study in the five-year B.S./M.S. program in occupational science/occupational therapy.

Admission to the Occupational Therapy Program

Keuka College admits students as freshman or transfer students into the OT major.  Admission to the OT program requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 and an 85% average in math and science coursework in addition to meeting all other Keuka College admission standards.  Freshman applicants are admitted through the college admissions office.

Students applying from external college programs for admission as a transfer student will also apply through the Keuka College admissions office, but will work with a transfer counselor.  In addition to meeting the criteria noted above (3.00 cumulative GPA and all other admission criteria) a designated OT faculty will review the student’s application after transfer equivalents have been completed to determine placement and if seats are available within the OT program.

Current Keuka College students wishing to change their major to occupational therapy must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and contact the division chair directly. 

Completion of Keuka College’s undergraduate degree in occupational science with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 and adherence to professional behavior standards are required for admission into the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program. 

  • Courses cannot be repeated to increase GPA after the bachelor’s degree is completed and conferred.
  • Following the completion of the BS, students’ GPAs will be “re-set,” and students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA throughout the graduate program in order to remain in good academic standing.

Policies on Divisional Standing

In order to remain in good standing, students must meet both academic and professional behavior standards of the OT division.  Failure to meet academic or professional behavior standards will result in divisional probation or dismissal from the OT program.

Professional Behavior Standards

Professional behavior standards include adherence to the AOTA Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics, OT Student Ethics, as well as professional behavior in the classroom and in clinical settings at all times.  Students demonstrating unprofessional behavior may be placed on divisional professional behavior probation.   The following process will be used to determine divisional standing for violations of professional behavior.

  1. Student will be notified by the division chair in writing when placed on divisional professional behavior probation with specific reference to the AOTA or OT Student Code of Ethics.
  2. If a student demonstrates a second professional behavior violation, he/she will be notified by the division chair in writing with specific reference to the AOTA or OT Student code of ethics.
  3. If a student demonstrates a third professional behavior violation, he/she will be dismissed from the OT program.
  4. Students placed on divisional professional behavior probation will be reviewed one year after the occurrence for status determination.

Academic Standards

The following requirements must be met by all students in the Division of Occupational Therapy in order to maintain good academic standing in the program.

  • Maintain a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all Keuka College coursework.
  • The minimum term GPA must be at least 2.75.
  • A minimum “C” grade must be attained in all occupational therapy undergraduate program courses including all supporting coursework included in the major requirements.
  • A minimum “B” grade must be attained in all required graduate program courses.
  • Required program and support courses can only be repeated once. The grade and credit from the repeated course (if taken through Keuka College) become the official grade and credit.  The earlier course grade will appear on the student’s transcript, but is not included in the GPA or credit hours earned. 
  • Time limit for completion of degree will be determined on a case by case basis.

Students failing to meet any of the academic standards of the division will be placed on divisional academic probation. The following process will be used to determine divisional standing for violations of academic standards.

    1. Student will be notified by the division chair in writing when placed on divisional academic probation with specific reference to the violation.  The notification will state the conditions/requirements necessary to return to satisfactory academic standing within the OT program. 
    2. Students placed on divisional academic probation will be reviewed after the completion of one additional academic semester for status determination. 
    3. Upon review, if the student meets all of the necessary conditions/requirements of divisional academic probation, the student will be return to satisfactory academic standing in the OT program and will be notified in writing by the division chair.  If all conditions/requirements of divisional academic probation are not met, the student will be dismissed from the OT program and will receive a written notification from the division chair.
    4. If a student in satisfactory standing within the OT division violates any of the division academic standards a second time, the same probationary/status determination process will be followed.
    5. If a student in satisfactory standing within the OT division violates any of the division academic standards a third time the student will be dismissed from the OT program as a student may only be placed on divisional probation twice.
    6. Decisions relevant to retention, probation, dismissal, and appeal do not necessarily impact the student’s standing at the college.

Appeal Process

Students retain the right to appeal all decisions and actions of the Occupational Therapy Division.  A student wishing to appeal an action or decision of the faculty must communicate this in writing to the OT division chair within 10 days from the date of the letter notifying the student of the faculty decision or action.  The letter of appeal must contain all of the following elements:

  • Those internal and external factors that contributed to the student's inability to meet the Division of Occupational Therapy's conditions for remaining in good standing,
  • The qualities the student possesses that will enable him/her to be an effective occupational therapist if the occupational therapy faculty rules favorably on the student's appeal.
  • The specific action(s) the student will take to prevent a recurrence of the difficulties that led to the occupational therapy faculty's decision and action impacting divisional standing.