On April 25, 2015 Gannon University welcomed the inaugural Occupational Therapy Doctorate cohort to campus for an informational reception.

The OTD program is the first program to call the Ruskin, Fla. campus home.  Provost Dr. Carolynn Masters welcomed the students and their families to campus noting that “we’re at a major point in our history at Gannon.”

Students reflected Master’s enthusiasm as members of the inaugural cohort. “I love that I’m going to be a leader … I’m really excited just to leave my footprint in the sand,” said Christina Iannello, OTD student.

Students will begin online classes over the summer, with the official opening of the campus set for August. The curriculum is rigorous and requires fieldwork throughout. “With our program they’re immediately immersed into the community,” said Dr. John T. Connelly, OTD program director.

Occupational therapists work to help people live independently and assist individuals to achieve their maximum level quality of life. State-of-the-art labs and real life situations enable students to study and develop as occupational therapists.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate programs have been on the rise and several students based this as a deciding factor for applying to Gannon’s OTD program.  “I think OT is kind of going in the direction of being a doctorate,” said Selena Hengy, OTD student.

Gannon’s OTD program is designed to prepare students for careers in a variety of Occupational Therapy fields. “When I graduate I feel like there’s going to be more open doors, more opportunities and avenues I can take. It could be clinical, it could be research, it could be as a professor,” said Jamie Scott, OTD student.

Students have already been talking to each other and meeting each other through a Facebook group that was set up by Graduate Admissions to encourage cohort engagement.

OTD is the first program to be at the Ruskin campus. The strategic plan is to grow the health profession degrees in Ruskin with new majors and programs opening in the years to come.

More information about Gannon’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate program can be found here: http://www.gannon.edu/OTD