Message from Dr. Jaime Muñoz
Chairperson and Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
In 1992, Duquesne University was one of the very first in the nation to offer students a five-year bachelor's to master's degree program in occupational therapy. Since then, we have maintained the forward thinking creativity, academic excellence and scholarly productivity that have earned our program recognition from our professional peers and strong national rankings compared to programs in similar institutions.
Our program provides students with an excellent academic and clinical education and the mentorship and professional development opportunities that produce practice scholars1. As practice-scholars, we expect our graduates to not only possess strong capacities for evidence-based occupational therapy interventions, but also the ability to design and carry out outcome studies to create evidence that helps them respond to questions arising from their practice.
We have excellent teachers. Each has earned a doctoral degree and each has a true passion to teach. Collectively, our teaching philosophy emphasizes active and transformative learning experiences. Our students learn in the classroom, but also in the clinic and in the community. Community engaged learning and experiential learning in real-life contexts are standard teaching practices in our program and students know that they will be expected to immediately transform classroom learning into practice competencies.
Our current five-year program awarding students a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (BS/MS) is being transitioned to a six-year program awarding students a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and an Occupational Therapy Doctorate (BS/OTD) degree. All students entering as freshmen beginning Fall 2016 will enter an entry-level OTD degree program.
The curriculum offers flexibility that enables students to complete a minor. Many students choose minors in special education, psychology, or business for example. Duquesne University offers many international study abroad opportunities, has campuses in Rome Italy and Dublin, Ireland, and occupational therapy faculty have consistently designed and led study abroad opportunities focused on international health.
Employers understand that Duquesne University produces exceptional occupational therapists. Our graduates have a 100% employment rate within months of graduation, and many have accepted job offers even before they have graduated. I invite you to compare our program against the best. You will see that our faculty is comprised of teacher scholars, our curriculum is rigorous, and our training methods are creative and comprehensive. Duquesne University faculty is committed to preparing students who will make significant contributions to the achievement of the AOTA Centennial Vision leading to occupational therapy becoming a "powerful, widely recognized, science-driven, and evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society's occupational needs."2
1. Crist, P., Muñoz, J.P., Witchger Hansen, A.M., Benson, J, & Provident, I. (2005). The practice-scholar program: An academic-practice partnership to promote the scholarship of "best practices." Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 19 (1/2), 71-93.
2. American Occupational Therapy Association. (2007). AOTA's centennial vision and executive summary.American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61, 6, 614-615.