June 24, 2011
From: Laura J. Woodard, Director of Media Relations
Online Occupational Therapy Program in development at ULM to meet state’s workforce needs
The College of Health Sciences is planning a new online program for students interested in occupational therapy at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
At Friday's UL System Board of Supervisors meeting, the board approved a Letter of Intent for a Master's in Occupational Therapy at ULM.
The proposed program is an entry-level, online graduate degree, which serves as a completion program to advance the baccalaureate prepared occupational therapy assistant using an innovative bridge program.
Occupational therapy assistants can complete the proposed master’s degree program, which is comprised of 69 credit hours, in just over two academic years.
“The addition of the proposed program complements the longstanding strength of ULM as a center of excellence in the nursing and allied health arena,” said Dean of the College of Health Sciences Dr. Denny Ryman.
“The curriculum is a combination of distance technology and on-site sessions, making this degree ideal for the working professional,” he said.
The proposed program will be unique to Louisiana and the surrounding region.
It would be one of only 18 in the nation designed specifically for OTAs seeking to advance to the MOT level, according to Ryman.
Occupational Therapy Program Director Dr. Patti Calk and fieldwork coordinator, Dr. Carolyn Murphy, have completed their terminal degrees in order to prepare for the proposed MOT Bridge program.
A full proposal will be submitted to the Louisiana State Board of Regents and the application for developing program status will be submitted to the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, according to Ryman.
“ULM’s College of Health Sciences continues to be responsive to the health care needs of the community and region, as well as meeting the workforce needs of the state as identified by the Louisiana Workforce Commission,” he said.
“We are delighted to create an avenue for professional growth for Occupational Therapy Assistants while providing employers with advanced practice health care practitioners.”
Ryman said it has been encouraging to have the full support of ULM President Nick Bruno, and Provost Stephen Richters, in addition to the many letters of support from area medical institutions, including LSU Health Science Center at Shreveport.