Doctor of Occupational Therapy - Program Aims

Program Design

Motivated by Roberts Wesleyan College's mission and vision, occupational justice, transformational growth, and innovative partnerships are woven throughout the OTD program. ACOTE Compliance is mandated to align curriculum development for the education of entry-level doctorates of occupational therapy.  

OTD students will develop competence and confidence in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to become spiritually mature occupational therapy practitioners that will meet the needs of all persons, groups, and populations.   

Roberts Wesleyan College has a rigorous OTD curriculum which includes 18 to 19 credit hours per semester totaling 111 Credits over 8 Semesters including 2 summer sessions off-campus. Course descriptions can be found here

Graduation Requirements

 The OTD student must meet all College requirements for graduation as cited in the online graduate catalog. Students must achieve a 3.0 GPA, reflecting successful completion of all coursework to graduate from the OTD program. Students must complete all Level II Fieldwork and capstone requirements of the OTD Program within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program. 


The curriculum for this program follows a sequential pattern whereby each semester builds upon the knowledge, skills, and attitude developed in prior coursework.

Successful completion of all coursework from the previous semester (C- or higher) is required for continuous progression. Students who earn more than nine semester hours with a grade of C+, C, or C- will be unable to progress and will be dismissed from the program.  

Academic Warning

Students who receive grades of less than a B- in any didactic course, fieldwork I or II experience, or capstone course will be referred to the program’s Academic and Professional Evaluation Committee (APEC) for individualized action.  The student will be supported to improve their academic standing however will be warned that a decline in grades can result in probation.  APEC will have access to student’s record for ongoing review each semester. 

Students who are struggling with coursework should talk with their faculty and mentors when difficulties arise so that remediation may be done as early in the semester as possible.

Academic Probation

At a minimum, students with GPAs below 3.0 will be placed on probation.  The student's curriculum plan will be reviewed and necessary adjustments made via a learning contract. The contract may involve repeating a course, spending additional time in the field, additional supervision time on campus, individual counseling through the Roberts Wesleyan College Counseling Center, an independent study, or any other activity that would provide the student with additional practice, experience, or support necessary to improve  skill(s), knowledge, and attitudes. 

A person on probation is ineligible for appointed or elective office in student organizations.

Academic Suspension

Academic suspension of a short-term nature such as one semester are not allowed during the OTD program due to the sequential nature of the program and the annual schedule of course offerings.

Academic Dismissal

Students who earn more than nine semester hours with a grade of C+, C, or C- will be dismissed from the program. Students who earn a course grade below C- will be automatically dismissed from the OTD Program.

Dismissal from the program may be decided by APEC based on any of the following reasons: 

  1. Student fails to maintain a 3.0 or better GPA cumulatively, following a probationary period as specified.
  2. Student does not make satisfactory progress in non-academic or academic areas for a second semester during a probationary period.
  3. Inability to demonstrate improvement in personal and professional characteristics following given feedback.
  4. Failure to follow professional ethics.
  5. Untimely dismissal from a fieldwork or capstone placement.

NBCOT Certification

The National Board For Certification In Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT) is a national not-for-profit organization that provides certification for occupational therapy professionals.  NBCOT develops, administers, and continually reviews its certification process based on current and valid standards that provide reliable indicators of competence of occupational therapy practice. The National Certification Examination for the occupational therapist is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®). More information on the certification examination can be found at

After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR).In addition, all states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification examination or attain state licensure.

A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification examination or attain state licensure.

Enrollment Periods

There will be one enrollment period each year, with all students beginning the program in late August.  The Admissions Committee will adhere to the following admissions timeline: 

Launch Year – 2021-2022

  • Application Deadline – Rolling Admissions;  OTCAS website will be available in July of 2020
  • Notification to Candidate by Committee –late April—early May 2021
  • Commitment and Deposit required from Candidate – Two weeks post acceptance letter

Admissions Timeline after Launch Year

  • Application Deadline – Rolling Admissions with early decision by April 1
  • Notification to Candidate by Committee – Two to four weeks post interview
  • Commitment and Deposit required from Candidate – Two weeks post acceptance

The process for evaluating exceptions to those requirements. 

The Program Director will act as chairperson of the Admission Committee, which will consist of two additional faculty members.  Admissions interviews by Committee members will be scheduled after all supporting documents have been received and candidates are deemed admissible.  While adherence to the above-noted admissions standards is the norm, the interview process may lead some candidates to receive additional consideration by the Admissions Committee, particularly when they are first generation students or those from under-represented populations, given the desire of the program to promote diversity in the professions.  Those with previous graduate experience may also be considered for exceptions to the standard admissions requirements. Students may be accepted on a provisional basis until all prerequisites are met.   Prerequisites must be completed prior to full admission.

RWC and NES comply with all applicable non-discrimination laws and are committed to the enhancement of human dignity and workplace diversity.

Student Learning Outcomes

The purpose of Roberts applicant OTD program is to prepare occupation therapy students who become spiritually mature, service-oriented practitioners to transform health, well-being, and quality of life for all persons, groups, and populations. 

To achieve this goal, the OTD graduate will have:

  1. Engaged in inclusive ethical practices grounded in faith-based, foundational knowledge and theoretical applications through occupational justice, advocacy, evidence-based, and occupation-based interventions and service to all persons, groups, and populations. 
  2. Demonstrated competency in skills, knowledge, and attitudes as a direct care provider and intra- and inter-professional team member in didactic, fieldwork, and interactive experiences through the distinct roles of OT in evidence-based evaluations and interventions. 
  3. Explored innovative evidence-based health, well-being, and quality of life delivery models through service initiatives in entrepreneurship and emerging practice.
  4. Demonstrated knowledge related to occupational therapy service through involvement in professional practice and scholarship with community, regional, and national health and well-being, and quality of life delivery systems and policy development. 
  5. Engaged in leadership, consultant, educator, and manager roles, become an effective consumer of the latest research and knowledge bases, and knowledge translation in preparation for ethical practice, lifelong learning, professional development, and advocacy for the profession.