Become a leader in your profession
As the landscape of the occupational therapy profession continues to change, practicing OT professionals are looking for ways to take their careers to the next level. With the field shifting toward mandatory entry-level doctoral education, it is becoming necessary for clinicians to enroll in high-level programs to advance their clinical knowledge and skills.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 27% shortage for Occupational Therapists in the next decade (2016). Right now, there is a current and future demand for experienced clinicians with doctoral degrees to play leadership roles in emerging practice models, be influencers of developing healthcare policy changes, consult to communities and populations, and educate future occupational therapy professionals.
Become a leader in your profession by earning your Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) online at Johnson & Wales University. This post-professional occupational therapy degree is offered 100-percent online and is designed specifically for experienced occupational therapists who hold a master's degree, are currently working in a variety of clinical or higher education settings, and who wish to obtain a post-professional clinical doctoral degree in the field.
This post-professional OTD program is designed to teach OTs the necessary skills and competencies through a convenient, yet challenging and engaging online format that can be completed in two years. Students in the OTD program will select one of two concentrations: the Advanced Clinical Practice and the Occupational Therapy Higher Education.
- Students in the Advanced Clinical Skills concentration will learn how to transform their clinical practices to create high-quality care delivery. Students in this concentration will work toward achieving practice specialization and advanced certifications in their areas of concentration.
- Individuals working toward the Higher Education concentration will advance their knowledge of adult learning skills, educational research, and teaching approaches and methods used when teaching OTs at any level.
Advantages of the Johnson & Wales University OTD degree:
Relevant nature of curriculum that is comprehensive and career-focused
Qualifications, experience, and expertise of the faculty
Flexibility and convenience of fully online program, no residency requirements
Courses are 7½ weeks, giving students the ability to move quickly through content
Expected two-year completion
Doctoral project advisement begins at the end of your first year
Optimized curriculum model that builds on students’ knowledge and skills through appropriate course sequencing
Regional accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Credits/Courses Required for Degree Completion
36 credits/13 courses
Expected Time for Program Completion
The only prerequisite for this program is that a student holds a master's degree in Occupational Therapy.
Note: all master-level programs include a research course with practical applied research experience. Some students in this program may wish to take either of the following as a review:
- Statistical Methods Course: instructor-led and fully online (additional fee applies)
- Statistical Methods Primer: self-paced, no instructor, module-based and fully-online (no fee applies)
To earn the OTD degree, students must complete all courses culminating in a doctoral project.
$850 per credit; $30,600 program
Each academic program at JWU has readily identifiable learning outcomes. Upon completion of the OTD program, graduates will be expected to:
Critically analyze and use evidence from professional literature to guide decision making and clinical/systems choices to promote best practices.
Employ advanced communication skills to strategically analyze, utilize, and present complex information, organizational vision, and actionable guidelines.
Formulate ethical and strategic solutions to challenges faced by senior leadership within competitive practice environments.
Use knowledge of occupational therapy theory, core functions, and evidence-based practice to develop strategies to foster organizational change and innovation.
Proposed Outcomes for Advanced Clinical Practice Concentration:
- Develop and implement strategies to improve outcomes for individuals, groups, communications, and populations through evidence-based practice.
Proposed Outcomes for Higher Education Concentration:
- Design and deliver effective instructional programs to advance the learning of current and future OT practitioners at the post-professional doctoral level.
*For those seeking OT faculty positions in higher education, the post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is a terminal degree.
The Occupational Therapy Doctorate at Johnson & Wales University is a fully-online, 36-credit program delivered through the College of Health & Wellness and College of Online Education. The program is delivered in a cohort, semester-system model with two 7½-week segments in each of the fall, spring, and summer semesters over two years.
The OTD degree program is designed to provide experienced occupational therapists with the practical and research skills needed to become specialized clinical leaders or higher educators. Students will comprehensively address complex clinical practice and higher education challenges and learn how to transform practices to provide high-quality and sustainable occupational therapy services and/or higher education.
- Students focus on one course at a time (most courses are three credits), allowing for efficient progression through the program
- The program uses integrative online learning platforms, making engagement in the program and connection with faculty and cohort members seamless
- uLearn is the university’s Blackboard learning management system
- Courses are strategically offered to support student learning and scholarship and to provide an exceptional experience
- OTD courses are primarily delivered through an asynchronous model; although not mandatory, most courses will contain a synchronous aspect to them to support engagement and learning
- Synchronous sessions are recorded and posted for review purposes or in the event a student is not able to “attend”
The program of study for the OTD includes:
Six core courses
The core courses are designed to provide students with a comprehensive and global understanding and expertise in occupational therapy advanced clinical practice or higher education practice. Some core courses include evidence-based practice, policy and ethics, teaching in occupational therapy, and writing for publication.
Two research courses
The research courses prepare students to gain a comprehensive understanding and ability to use a variety of research methodologies, techniques, and tools. Identification, analysis, and interpretation of researchable topics are studied, utilizing qualitative and quantitative software, to employ mixed methods and translational research in OT practice and higher education occupational therapy settings.
Four doctoral concentration courses
The doctoral concentration courses are designed to provide students with in-depth knowledge and skills for the specific concentration selected: either Advanced Clinical Practice or Occupational Therapy Higher Education. These four courses are complementary, building upon the incoming skill levels of students to enhance their practical knowledge and skills in order advance their careers within their chosen concentration.
Independent Study Course and Doctoral Project
During the final segment of the program, students will complete a doctoral project. The Independent Study course can be used to focus the student's project on a specific area of study and offers the opportunity for student to study under the direction of a faculty member. For the project, students may choose to: 1) pursue, in depth, an area covered more generally in the curriculum; 2) explore a topic not normally covered in the curriculum; 3) provide occupational therapy services to diverse and underserved populations; or, 4) assist with or conduct original problem-oriented or technique-based research in an occupational therapy area of interest.
Work on the project begins with the seminar group of courses and gains momentum until the OT Practicum, where applied work will be done. The capstone and writing courses will assist the student in delivering the outcome of the project in a scholarly form. Work on the doctoral project is threaded throughout the curriculum so that the student has planned, prepared, and gathered resources, and is ready to carry out the project when they have reached their final three courses.
The Independent Study experience is designed to make a positive difference in the professional practice or higher education competency choices and will foster overall career development specific to the student’s specialty practice setting or higher education teaching setting.
*Courses are concentration specific
|Fall||Evidence-Based Practice in OT||3|
|Application of OT Theory to Practice||3|
|Spring||OT Policy & Ethics||
OT Professional Seminar*
OT Doctoral Seminar*
|Summer||Teaching in Occupational Therapy||3|
|Mixed Methods and Translational Research||3|
|OT Doctoral Seminar II||2|
|Effective Leadership & Management in Occupational Therapy||3|
|Summer||Writing for Publication||3|
|Independent Study (Doctoral Project)||3|
Getting started on your Occupational Therapy Doctorate is a quick and simple process. There are no application fees or entrance exams. Admissions requirements are designed to assure that students are prepared for the academic challenge of doctoral work and possess the necessary academic and professional background to be successful.
To be Considered for Admission into the OTD Degree Program, Applicants Must Have:
- A master’s degree in occupational therapy from an accredited institution (American Council for the Accreditation of Occupational Therapy Education [ACOTE] or the World Foundation for Occupational Therapy [WFOT]).
- Proof of licensure to practice as an occupational therapist (if applicable in the candidate's state of current practice).
- Verification of employment as an OT with a minimum of 6,000 hours of practice, 4,000 of which much have been completed within the past six years.
Due to the applied nature of the OTD program and the level of experience required of applicants, the GMAT or GRE are not required.
*This degree does not prepare students to sit for the NBCOT certification exam.
How to Apply
Your first important step is to complete the online doctoral application. After your application is received, you must also submit the following items to complete your file:
Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
You can electronically sign the College/University Transcript Release Form, and JWU Online will request your transcripts on your behalf. You can also download, print, and mail the form(s) to your institution(s). (Please note that you must fill out one form for each institution, and transcripts must be original on the institution’s letterhead and must be in a sealed envelope.) If your institution utilizes an electronic transcript delivery service, those may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. JWU Online cannot request transcripts from international institutions, so students should request those documents themselves and mail to JWU College of Online Education Admissions, 115 Cedar St. Providence, RI 02903.
Two personal statements
The first statement should be 1,500 words or less and should demonstrate clear, succinct and well-reasoned writing. A second personal statement should explain an applicant’s professional goals and the compatibility of those goals with the OTD program’s learning objectives. Email your personal statement to email@example.com or mail to JWU College of Online Education Admissions, 115 Cedar St. Providence, RI 02903.
Résumé, tailored to OTD application specifications
Submit [hyperlink here] a résumé that includes job responsibilities, relevant experience, achievements, and education history.
Two letters of recommendation
Please ask individuals familiar with your educational or professional background and potential for doctoral studies to complete this form or write a letter of reference and return it directly to the College of Online Education. Forms can be emailed firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed (401-598-4553, ATTN: Letter of Reference, OTD) or mailed to: College of Online Education, Johnson & Wales University, 115 Cedar St., Providence, RI 02903.
For international students whose native language is not English, proof of English language proficiency is required. This is an online, post-professional program and is not intended to prepare international students for the NBCOT certification boards.
Once all documents have been submitted, each applicant will be required to participate in a video-conference interview with OTD program director. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year and will be made within 30 days of receipt of all application materials.
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Johnson & Wales University has a long history of hiring and working with high-quality faculty members who are actively engaged in effective teaching to ensure student learning, as well as in scholarly activities to continually enhance their own knowledge and skills.
Your faculty are terminally-degreed individuals who have expertise in their fields, strong academic and professional credentials, and experience developing and teaching OT courses.
Program Director: Ann Burkhardt, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Dr. Burkhardt holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology/biology from Wheaton College, a master’s in Occupational Therapy from New York University, and a post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy (OTD) from Creighton University. During her most recent work, she served as the founding director and a tenured professor, chair, and program director of the OTD program at Drake University. She was also the director of the post-professional online master’s degree program in Occupational Therapy at Quinnipiac University and the division director of OT programs at Long Island University-Brooklyn. She has held faculty appointments at Columbia University, Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry, NY), Temple University, and CUNY-York College. Dr. Burkhardt has done NIH-level research at Columbia University through the Sergievsky Center and CDC-funded research with the School of Medical Informatics and College of Public Health at Columbia University. Her clinical work has been primarily hospital-based (NYPH-Columbia, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NYPH-Weill Cornell, and Columbia University-Harlem Hospital) and she also has experience in sub-acute rehabilitation and long-term care, home care, private practice, and consulting.
Adjunct Professor: Barbara L. Kornblau, JD, OTR/L, FAOTA, FNAP, DASPE, CCM, CDMS, CPE
Dr. Kornblau is an occupational therapist, attorney, and was past president of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow as well as an American Political Science Association Fellow. Dr. Kornblau was a tenured professor of nursing at the University of Michigan, as well as the Dean of the university's Urban Health & Wellness Center. She served as a professor of nursing and occupational therapy at Nova Southeastern University for 15 years. She presently teaches as an adjunct OT professor at Florida A&M University (where she also holds the title of Professor Emeritus) and Rocky Mountain University of the Health Professions. Dr. Kornblau is well-versed in policy and advocacy content, evidence-based practice, and writing for publication. She has a solid track record of mentoring doctoral students through doctoral projects in OT and is widely published in a broad range of publications.
Adjunct Professor: Victoria Titiloye, Ph.D, RN, MAOT, AOTFEC, AOTC
Dr. Titiloye is an occupational therapist, registered nurse, and has served as a consultant and clinical occupational therapist in a number of public school and private practice settings. She served as a clinical assistant professor at State University of New York for 18 years and currently teaches as an adjunct in the master’s level OT program at Dominican College. She holds a Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy from New York University where she was the valedictorian of her doctoral class, a master’s in OT from New York University, and a bachelor's in OT from State University of New York. She is a registered nurse and holds many certifications, including AOTA certification, AOTA Fieldwork Educator certification, American Registered Nurse Certification, and Certified Ergonomic Skilled Practitioner.