Gannon University’s master’s degree program in occupational therapy has been reaccredited for seven years by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
The reaccreditation is an indication of the level of performance, integrity, and quality of the program, according to ACOTE. “The program continues to achieve new milestones because of a very dedicated group of faculty, staff, and students,” said David R. LeVan, D.H.Sc., OTR/L, assistant professor and interim program director, occupational therapy. “While we’re very excited about the reaccreditation, we also know that we have to continue our focus on training and educating our students at the highest level.”
During its evaluation process, ACOTE documented a number of strengths of the program, a five-year, master of science degree offering:
- ACOTE commended the program’s leadership, in particular, the availability and accessibility of faculty who are “willing to support creative solutions that allow for… (students’) continued progression.”
- ACOTE lauded the faculty for the quality of their classroom teaching and for engaging students in service-learning projects, coordinating students’ fieldwork, and helping them develop leadership skills they can use as occupational therapists. “These efforts support the community and strengthen the University’s mission,” ACOTE said.
- Faculty also were complimented for their “creativity and resourcefulness” in structuring the curriculum so as to incorporate community outreach and service. In addition, faculty such as LeVan and Bernadette Hattjar, Dr.OT., M.Ed., OTR/L, CWCE, have been active in scholarly activities and in representing the University in the broader community.
- The students were recognized for their “commitment and professionalism.” ACOTE also noted the students’ commitment to “providing occupational therapy services to underserved communities.”
- ACOTE recognized the program’s “forward thinking” and “infusion of state-of-the-art instructional technology into learning activities.” ACOTE also noted that Gannon’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) has played an important role in helping faculty more effectively engage students in the learning process.
- ACOTE also acknowledged the value of Gannon’s high-tech Patient Simulation Center, the largest and most comprehensive such facility in the region. The 5,800-square-foot Simulation Center, with medium- and high-fidelity patient simulators, intravenous training stations, and simulated emergency labor, delivery, and recovery rooms, “supports and enriches the foundational knowledge and clinical reasoning of students.” The Simulation Center also has supported collaboration between the occupational therapy program and Gannon’s other degree programs in the health professions and sciences and allows students to take part in collaborative, hands-on learning.
Gannon University is a Catholic, Diocesan university in Erie, Pa., offering nearly 100 academic programs, including doctoral degree programs in physical therapy and organizational learning and leadership. Gannon enrolls more than 4,000 academically talented and diverse students.
Gannon University for the ninth consecutive year maintained its ranking as a top-tier university in the current edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” and for the seventh time was named to the guide’s list of “Great Schools at Great Prices.”