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ACOTE® Accreditation Action

June 29, 2016

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) has reviewed the Report of the On-Site Evaluation for the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and ACOTE voted to "Grant a Status of Accreditation".

The next on-site evaluation is scheduled for academic year 2022/2023.

Ratings of Individual Standards

Operational Program Management

# Compliance - 69
# Non-compliance
- 0

Curriculum Content & Delivery

# Compliance - 134
# Non-compliance
- 0

Total # Compliance - 203
Total # Non-compliance - 0

Major Strengths of the Duquesne University Program

  1. The administration is recognized for its support of the occupational therapy doctoral program. Numerous resources including faculty, space, equipment, professional development opportunities, and support personnel demonstrate the University's desire to support the development of this new doctoral curriculum.
  2. The program director is applauded for his unwavering leadership to a program he has helped to cultivate for two decades. His stewardship and vision aids in providing quality outcomes for students, the institution, and the community. By mentoring new faculty and infusing the university's mission in all aspects of the program, he has become a role model for both new and experienced faculty members.
  3. The academic fieldwork coordinator is lauded for her leadership in the fieldwork program. Students, clinicians, and employers appreciate her availability and responsiveness to student needs. Her dedication has resulted in a program where students feel confident about the placement process and quality of the fieldwork experiences designed for them.
  4. The doctoral experience coordinator is recognized for her passion for student engagement through service learning. Students feel empowered as agents of change for the clients they will serve. Her intentionality in creating a team of experts for each student specific to their area of interest provides a clear path for success.
  5. The faculty is recognized for their ability to nurture young practice scholars, many right out of high school, into their doctoral studies. They have empowered fledgling doctoral students to embrace the concepts of scholarship, advocacy, and leadership. This will foster skill development needed to address the future needs of occupational therapy. Students consistently identify how these meaningful relationships connect them to the program and to the profession.
  6. The faculty is commended for creating community partners that offer educational support and fieldwork opportunities for students at all levels of the program. These relationships have offered students unique and creative experiences that support transformational learning and social justice.
  7. The centers for Teaching Excellence, Community-Engaged Teaching and Research, and Mission Animation are applauded for their collaboration with the students and faculty in the pursuit of excellence in the University's mission. These service departments offer necessary support to faculty, staff, students, and community partners to meet program objectives and professional growth. Consistent with the University's Spiritan Catholic tradition, these centers facilitate "authentic relationships, openness to the Spirit, and walking with those on the margins".
  8. The medical librarian is lauded for his expertise in health science informatics. Having an embedded librarian who is a lecturer in the occupational therapy department offers students individualized attention as they develop evidence based practice. His dedication to online resource support for doctoral students has enabled them to participate in their experiential components with confidence as distance learners.
  9. Students are applauded for their professionalism, compassion, and strong occupational therapy identity. These self-directed learners see opportunities where others see a challenge. By embracing their status in the inaugural class, their courage and commitment to learning is evident.

Suggestions to Enhance the Program

  1. Suggestions are items related to broadening or enrichment of programs. They are listed in order of the Standards and may be accompanied by an explanation. No response from the program is required.
  2. Students are able to provide recommendations and training in techniques to enhance community mobility including public transportation, community access, and issues related to driver rehabilitation. It is suggested that the program increase its focus on public transportation options for clients and populations. This will strengthen the program's emphasis on community-engaged learning. [2011 OTD Standard B.5.13]
  3. Students demonstrate knowledge of various reimbursement systems (e.g. federal, state, third party, private payer), appeals mechanisms, and documentation requirements that affect the practice of occupational therapy. It is suggested that the program increase its focus on appeals mechanisms. This will support its future practitioners in advocating for client needs. [2011 OTD Standard B.7.4]
  4. The program is able to document the criteria and process for selecting fieldwork sites, to include maintaining memoranda of understanding, complying with all site requirements, maintaining site objectives and site data, and communicating this information to students. It is suggested that the program consider alternative strategies for fieldwork document management. This will help to ensure that future students have access to all site related information as they research potential fieldwork settings. [2011 OTD Standard C.1.2]
  5. The program requires one Level I fieldwork that has as its focus psychological and social factors that influence engagement in occupation. Students create and implement strategies at psychological and social settings. It is suggested that the program consider a tracking mechanism to better represent the time spent at the sites. This will help to ensure consistency between the program's Level I fieldwork experiences. [2011 OTD Standard C.1.7]

Areas of non-compliance: NONE