Spotlight on the Department of Occupational Therapy

By News Staff

The second cohort of 26 students began coursework on Jan. 2, 2021. We have retained 100% of the first cohort (professional year 2s –PY2s), and they have completed two Level 1 Fieldwork experiences. The feedback from clinical instructors has been overwhelmingly positive, with most commenting on the strong clinical knowledge and excellent professional behaviors of our students.  The PY2s will enter their first Level 2A Fieldwork, a 12-week immersion experience in the Fall 2021.

Sherry Muir, COEHP, faculty

Sherry Muir, COEHP, faculty

Our department has continued to refine our holistic admissions process, with an admissions team of interprofessional faculty and community occupational therapists reviewing applicants and completing multiple mini interviews (MMIs) on-line in 2020 due to COVID.  We admitted our second cohort of 26 students (two above goal) during a global pandemic and while applicant numbers are down dramatically across the nation.  We are currently analyzing our standardized admissions tools (CASPer and HSRT) in relation to current student performance in didactic and clinical experiences.

The OT faculty reviewed and revised 20 first-year courses based on qualitative and quantitative measures. They have created and delivered an additional 18 courses for the second year of the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program to date. Faculty published seven articles and one book chapter in the last year.

The OTD program is engaged in the accreditation Self-Study process, which will be finished by the time of this publication. This has been a rigorous process, resulting in realignment of course content and integration between courses, revision of many course learning objectives and learning activities to increase rigor and active learning-teaching strategies. Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) accreditors will be on-site in June 2022.

The department helped to organize a statewide Arkansas School-Based Therapy Conference Advancing Inclusion through High Leverage Practices, Easterseals Arkansas: Outreach Program and Technology Services, (2020).


Sherry Muir, Ph.D., is program director and associate professor of the Department of Occupational Therapy.