SAU Buzz

SAU Occupational Therapy Program receives accreditation

by Charles Hanley
Posted on Oct 25, 2018


The St. Ambrose University Occupational Program now offers an accredited entry-level doctoral program.


The SAU Occupational Program is the first program in the state of Iowa to get full accreditation.


The occupational therapy program has evolved greatly since its foundation. The program first started at SAU in 1989 as a bachelor’s program, but it later converted into a masters program. Since the program has received accreditation, it has now become a doctorate program.


In order for graduates to become eligible to apply for certification in any state to practice, they need to graduate from an accredited program, which SAU now provides at a Doctorate-level.


“This whole process helps the program become stronger and the process is there to provide assurance to some students that the program is one that’s been well developed,” said Sandra Cassady, who is the dean for the College of Health and Human Services, vice president for strategic initiatives, and a professor in the Physical Therapy Department.


The Occupational Therapy Program received full accreditation by producing a self-study document that addressed all of the standards for the program. They also had to do annual reports for each accredited program.


“All the standards addressed in the self study document are important elements of the program,” Cassady said. “It includes everything like how the university supports the program to it’s curriculum, how it would admit students, and how it measures the outcomes of the program. Those are all parts of it. The program wrote a self study document that’s over 200 pages, and they also posted a site visit which we did this summer.”


All of the students at SAU that are in occupational therapy are admitted in the doctoral program.


“This program has elevated the importance in scholarship; It gives it’s students advanced training, so there is advanced preparation for them coming out of the Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program,” Cassady said.