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Master of Science in Occupational Therapy now offered
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy now offered

Lenoir-Rhyne University has recently added Occupational Therapy (OT) to the graduate programs offered through the Center for Graduate Studies of Columbia. The comprehensive, 27-month Master of Science in OT program at LRU's Hickory Campus was awarded reaccreditation by ACOTE in 2012 for a period of seven years.

"The expansion to include our campus in Columbia provides more students with the opportunity to take advantage of this competitive program," said Dr. Michael McGee, Dean of the College of Health Science at LRU. Dr. Toni Oakes, Program Director of Occupational Therapy stated, "LR's master's program in Occupational Therapy continues to prepare highly skilled and caring occupational therapists, ready to serve diverse populations in a variety of settings. We are excited to empower more professionals to serve in this growing and rewarding profession."

According to Dr. Oakes, LR's OT program combines comprehensive classroom instruction with extensive laboratory experience. Students receive invaluable hands-on clinical practice throughout the curriculum, including two 12-week, full-time fieldwork experiences.

Though LR's School for Occupational Therapy in Hickory is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), the program in Columbia is currently under candidacy review, and must achieve accreditation in order to qualify its graduates to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination. This process is expected to be completed prior to graduation of the first cohort.

"We are proud that our Hickory program has maintained a 100 percent pass rate for the NBCOT exam over the past three-year period," Dr. Oakes said. "Our faculty and staff are focused on providing students with the knowledge and skills consistent with the highest of professional standards."

Students interested in the OT program must complete the application process by the January 31st deadline. Students are encouraged to begin the application process promptly and designate the Columbia Site on the application. To apply, go to www.lr.edu/admission/graduate/apply.

LRU currently offers over 25 graduate programs through its three campuses in Hickory, Columbia, and Asheville, North Carolina. Most programs offer classes in the evening, weekends and/or online for the convenience of working professionals. Programs such as Bridges to Dreams and Alumni Advantage for current LR undergraduates and alumni, respectively, are designed to help students save time and money as they pursue their higher education goals.