Program Overview

If you are a registered occupational therapist who would like to expand your practice to include evaluating innovative responses to occupational performance and societal participation, or if you are preparing for a new role in academia or research, then our specialized, student-centered Post-Professional Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (PP-OTD) is the right program for you. Using reflective practice analysis combined with advanced knowledge in research, global health, entrepreneurship and innovation, you can reach the pinnacle of your career in 15 months.

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Full Description

You will participate in an engaging and highly supportive online learning environment throughout successive ten-week academic terms, with the ability to study at your convenience. You also have the option to study part-time and earn your degree over a period of two years.

The program is designed to suit the schedules of working practitioners who have previously earned their master’s degree in occupational therapy and achieved certification status to practice as an occupational therapist by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

This program is forward-thinking and focused on the completion of an individualized doctoral project on a very specific area of practice that you choose to explore.  As the core of this degree, the doctoral project will allow you to utilize your unique background and knowledge, and pair it with the expertise of a chosen mentor, our accomplished faculty and the collective experience of your classmates.

You will gain knowledge in assessing program development, meeting the needs and wants of your clients using successful contemporary tactics, and receive extensive support in developing and defining your mode of inquiry. This includes advanced knowledge of post-graduate research, quantitative and qualitative methodologies, as well as the ability to apply a range of research tools to plan and organize your research.

You will incorporate evidence-based practice for the management of clients in all areas of occupational therapy with a broadened perspective on wellness and health promotion, population health, and global initiatives. Emphasis is placed on theories and research to promote and preserve wellness lifestyles in client populations using epidemiological principles, disease risk appraisal and reduction, and other tools. Roles in advanced occupational therapy practice as they relate to the health of diverse populations are also identified and explored.

The program welcomes practicing therapists from around the world who seek to investigate and broaden their knowledge in a focused area of study.  International students must have completed a WFOT-certified program at the bachelor’s degree level with an earned master’s degree in any related field.

Potential Career Opportunities

An occupational therapy doctorate degree enables you to secure responsible leadership roles such as a program director, professor, and others. You can become a faculty advisor with a bachelor or master of occupational therapy degree and pursue this position even after becoming a Doctor of Occupational Therapy.

As a Doctor of Occupational Therapy, you can specialize among 9 different specialties such as:


Gerontology

Mental Health

Pediatrics

Physical Rehabilitation

Driving and Community Mobility

Environmental Modification

Feeding, Eating, and Swallowing

Low Vision

School Systems

Meet Our Faculty

  • Carol Doehler, OTD | Professor, Department Chair and Program Director

    Dr. Carole Doehler is the Department Chair of the Post-Professional of Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree program at New England Institute of Technology. Dr. Doehler earned her undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy and has dedicated her professional life to developing new programs to enhance various populations in reaching their occupational goals.

    Her clinical work is centered on community-based practices in underserved populations both in the United States and abroad.  Her passion is teaching new practitioners for today’s occupational needs.  She is President of Therapy Missions, Inc., a non-profit agency providing education and training in occupational therapy care to underserved regions worldwide.

    Dr. Doehler provides consultation services to schools seeking accreditation from ACOTE. She is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, earning this distinction for her occupational therapy practice and education development.  She is also the recipient of the Irene Allard Award for her excellence in her contribution to fieldwork education.  She is an active member of ACOTE, serving as past Vice-Chair of the council, and still functions as a member of the Roster of Accreditation Evaluators as a mentor to new team leaders.

  • Randal Fedoruk, OTD | Professor

    Dr. Randal Fedoruk is the Department Chair for the Master in Occupational Therapy program at NEIT’s College of Health Sciences and has been practicing as a pediatric occupational therapist for over twenty years. He has experience working with infants, toddlers, and school-age children. He has expertise in working with medically complex or medically fragile infants and toddlers and graduates from the NICU.

    He has an extensive knowledge base and experience in conducting early intervention programs across three states and school-based evaluations in several school districts. Randal has taught at numerous colleges and universities before joining the faculty at NEIT. He teaches courses in neuroscience, theory of frames of reference, advanced practice skills, and pediatrics. Dr. Fedoruk has lectured at national and international conferences. He provides continuing education seminars and workshops to other professionals as well as mentoring and consultative services.

    He continues to sit as a board of director on non-profit agencies that provide services to persons with developmental disabilities.

  • Henry “Hank” Johnson | Professor

    Assistant Professor Henry “Hank” Johnson is a co-founder of several nonprofit organizations, including Shadowcasting Community Arts and Operation: Lifelines. Before his academic career, Hank worked as a consultant for several entrepreneurial startups leading them to financial profitability, rapid expansion, and increased market valuation.

    Each year Hank takes several students to a national business pitch competition. Under his coaching and teaching, the 2020 New England Institute of Technology team swept the top 3 positions in the graduate school division. In 2021, the associates and graduate division champions were both from New England Tech.

    Hank received the prestigious Phil Carrol Advancement of Management Award in Business Education in 2019. He has also coached the New England Institute of Technology’s Society for Advancement of Management chapter to five world titles in the International Business Skills and case study competitions. He was also recognized as national outstanding faculty advisor three years in a row.

    Hank serves as the board treasurer of the Rhode Island Career Development Association and is Vice President of the Society for Advancement of Management, the oldest professional management organization in the United States. Previously, he served as chair of the Graduate Student Issues Committee of the Northeastern Educational Research Association (NERA) and was appointed co-chair of the 2021 NERA Conference.

    He holds a Master of Business Administration and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University. His doctoral work and research interests lie in the field of teaching and learning.

  • Joanne Jones, OTD, OTR/L | Professor

    Since graduating from the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Occupational Therapy program with a bachelor’s degree, I have dedicated myself to growth and diversity within the profession.  My areas of practice have varied widely, from early intervention to geriatrics to community-based settings for individuals with developmental delay and mental illness.

    Early in my career, I practiced extensively in the area of brain injury under the supervision of Dr. Beatriz Abreu, and her mentorship helped spark my interest in research, presenting, furthering my education, and educating future generations of OT practitioners.  In May 2006, I earned a master’s degree in Clinical Practice Management from Texas Tech University. In May 2014, I completed my doctoral project, “Evidence-based practice for the occupational therapy assistant,” and received my OTD from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

    Beyond my teaching responsibilities in the Occupational Therapy Department at the New England Institute of Technology, I am currently active in NBCOT, RIOTA and partnering with AARP to develop a Car-Fit program in the state of Rhode Island. My recent research initiatives include evidence-based teaching and learning delivery, specifically the interteaching model.

  • Joanne Walsh | Professor

    Joanne Walsh Ph.D. received her doctorate from New York University in Social Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Analysis. Her career began in the industry, where she applied her skills doing research, conducting focus groups, and creating and analyzing surveys with IBM, Bell Laboratories, and UTStarcom. She taught seminars in the United States, Singapore, and China to familiarize engineers with Human Factors issues. Her teaching experience covered an extensive range of topics in psychology, including Industrial-Organizational, Experimental, Research Design and Writing, Statistics, and Introductory at NYU, Ramapo University, and Kean University. As an Associate Professor and Assistant Chairperson in the Humanities department at New England Institute of Technology, she created several new courses focusing on psychology application. Her research interests center on the factors for student retention.

FAQ

  • What is a post-professional doctorate?

    A post-professional doctorate program provides advanced skills and knowledge designed to help professionals enhance their current practice. Students will have the opportunity to further develop their expertise throughout the course of study.

  • Is an OTD a doctor?

    An OTD refers to a professional at the doctorate level, meaning they have achieved the highest level of academic preparation available. Unlike medical doctors, they cannot prescribe medications to patients.

  • How long is the OTD program?

    NEIT’s PP-OTD program can be completed in as few as 15 months, through successive ten-week academic terms. Students also have the option to study part-time and earn their degree over a period of two years.

Related Programs

Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Program Mission

The mission of the Post-Professional Doctorate of Occupational Therapy is to allow registered occupational therapists to expand their academic and clinical experience and become advanced practitioners promoting health, wellness and participation across many populations and groups, as well as become advanced leaders in their profession.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the PP-OTD program will be able to successfully demonstrate the following learning outcomes as they become:

  1. global citizens specializing in the promotion of health, wellness and participation across the lifespan.
  2. innovators of contemporary practice both in emerging and traditional settings.
  3. engaged in scholarship in any area of practice or in a leadership role.
  4. leaders in occupational therapy practice through entrepreneurship, academia or research.

Courses Offered

For the latest listing of courses offered, please review our University Catalog here.

Q&A and Technical Standards

Questions & Answers

  1. For whom is the Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree program designed?The PP-OTD courses are offered completely online. There are no times when students are required to meet in a traditional on-campus classroom. Faculty may schedule (at their discretion) online discussions or other activities through the online learning software that may require you to attend a synchronous virtual class at a specific time. These sessions may be recorded for students to access at a later time. However, most online work is expected to be completed based on the student’s schedule within the context of the course requirements.
  2. Do I need to be a registered occupational therapist to enter the PP-OTD program?Yes, this program is tailored only to practicing occupational therapists, who have achieved certification status to practice as an occupational therapist by the NBCOT. In addition, candidates for this program must have an earned master’s degree in occupational therapy to begin the program. For specific information regarding admissions, please contact the admissions department. Special note:  International students do not need to be NBCOT-certified unless their goal is to practice in the United States. Those candidates should first obtain national certification as a registered therapist by NBCOT before applying for this program. If the international candidate does not intend to practice as a registered occupational therapist in the United States, they may enter the program without meeting the requirement of NBCOT exam completion.
  3. What are the entrance requirements for the PP OTD program?Mindful of the increased rigor of a Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate, admission to the program is selective and focuses on identifying and selecting prospective students who academically prepared for success.Acceptance Criteria:A candidate for admission to the PP OTD program must have or submit the following:
    • Admissions essay defining the focused topic for doctoral work (see guidelines in Appendix I)
    • CV that demonstrates work experience in the field of occupational therapy
    • Transcripts from an ACOTE-accredited MSOT program
    • Minimal GPA of 3.0 in an ACOTE-accredited MSOT program.
    • Submit a copy of current certification as an occupational therapist from the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy to the Admissions Officer.
    • Submit an official transcript showing completion of a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from an ACOTE-accredited educational institution.

     

  4. How do online courses work?Online courses at New England Institute of Technology are developed by a faculty-led team of management, construction, learning, and technology experts. The courses are designed to be interesting, relevant and engaging, and to have a real impact on students in their lives and on their careers. In an online delivery system, there are no formal or scheduled times when students are required to meet. The majority of the course work is expected to be completed based on the student’s personal and professional schedule within the context of the course requirements. Faculty post weekly lectures and assignments online along with associated due dates. Faculty may also schedule online discussions or other class activities through the Canvas learning management system that may require you to be available to participate at a specific time.
  5. How is taking an online course different from an on-campus course?Online courses offer you flexibility in the scheduling of your class and study time. However, online courses also require self-discipline and self-motivation to do the work that is expected of the course. Since there will be no “lecture” time and no class time to attend, you will need to dedicate an appropriate amount of time to review the course content on the Canvas learning management system, complete the readings, participate in the online discussion forums, and complete other assignments. Instead of meeting at a fixed time and location, your online course will run on a weekly schedule starting on a Monday and ending on a Sunday evening. Generally, there are no set meeting times during which the entire class meets. Despite this flexibility, you are required to login to your course regularly as described in the course syllabus. Additionally, there may be some assignments when specific due dates must be met.
  6. Do online courses take more time than on-campus courses?No. Online courses require the same amount of work as an on-campus course. However, the time you spend in an online course will be different than in an on-campus course. For example, more time may be spent on reading and completing the assignments and responding to electronic posts from both the instructor and other students and less time will be spent on driving to and from campus and no time will be spent in class.
  7. Do I need special computer skills in order to take an online course?You’ll need basic familiarity with your computer, for example: emailing, using the Web, and downloading and attaching documents. No special equipment is required: just a modern Windows-based computer, an office suite such as Microsoft Office, and a broadband internet connection.
  8. What are the hardware and software requirements for the program?
    Recommended Minimum
    Operating System: Windows 10 or Macintosh OS X (10.14)
    Processor: 2+ GHz
    Memory: 4GB
    Plug-ins: Adobe PDF Reader, Flash Adobe PDF Reader, Flash and others as required by specific courses
    Players: QuickTime, Java Player, QuickTime, Java
    Browser: Chrome, IE, Safari, Edge, Firefox (all latest versions)
    Display: 1024×768
    Software: Office 365 (2016)
    Internet Connection: FiOS/DSL/CABLE DSL/CABLE
    Email Account: New England Tech student email account
    Sound Card: Required

    Online students must be capable of installing and maintaining their own computer’s hardware and software. New England Tech does not assist students with the setup of their computers. Information about obtaining the software (if any) will be made available to you at the start of each course.

    Note: Tablets and smartphones can be convenient for reading course materials and email but will not be sufficient for doing all of your course work.

  9. How do I get assistance with technical issues?New England Institute of Technology’s online courses are designed to help acclimate you to technology and build your skills and your confidence as you go. We provide 24×7 support via phone, email or chat to help you with computer or online system issues in the learning management system.  NEIT is unable to help students with computer problems. Tablet computers can be useful for doing course readings, watching course videos, and catching up on course discussions, but a tablet will not be sufficient for doing all your course work. Be sure you have regular access to a traditional laptop or desktop computer with appropriate capacity to support online assignments.
  10. How large will my classes be?Classes will average between 10 and 15 students per course.
  11. How long is an academic term?Academic terms at New England Institute of Technology are 10-weeks long, with four terms offered per year, starting in January, April, July, and October.
  12. How long should it take me to complete my program?The shortest time to complete the program is 5 academic terms or 15 months. Most students find that taking 2 course per term is manageable with a full-time job.
  13. How many courses do I have to take each term?You can take one or both courses per term to complete the program in 15 months.  It’s entirely up to your own needs and schedule. Note that if your employer offers tuition benefits, there may be a limit on how much they will reimburse.  If you’re planning to apply for federal financial aid, a typical course load is 4 credits. Some courses are 3 credits so careful planning is encouraged.
  14. Are there participation requirements?Yes. Depending upon the course, each week you may be required to participate in various activities such as discussion boards or other similar assignments. All course activities will be counted towards your final grade. Required student participation will be identified in the course syllabus.
  15. How will I submit my course assignments and take exams?You will receive information from your professor regarding how to submit your assignments through the Canvas learning management system. Exams and test will be administered via the Canvas learning management system.  In some cases, your professor may require a proctored exam. If a proctored exam is required, you will be required to submit a proctor form to your professor prior to gaining access to the exam. All tests, exams, and assignment requirements will be identified in the course syllabus at the beginning of each term.
  16. Will my course be assigned to a faculty member?Faculty are essential to the online learning experience at the New England Institute of Technology. All online courses in the PP OTD program are taught by faculty with appropriate academic and professional credentials, as well as extensive practical experience. Additionally, all NEIT faculty teaching online courses receive specific training in online delivery methods.
  17. How can I access specific course-related help when I need it?Your professor will be available to you via email, Canvas discussion boards, and by phone. Responses to a question will generally be delivered within 24 hours. Preferred methods of contact as well as contact information will be identified at the beginning of each course in the course syllabus.
  18. Will I be assigned an advisor?Yes. Students in the PP OTD program will be assigned a Student Success Coach from the Student Success Office in the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. The New England Tech Student Success Coach provides guidance, encouragement and support to students and is the primary point of contact for all student concerns and information about New England Tech policies and procedures.
  19. Do I have access to other college services?Online students have access to all college services including the Academic Skills Center, the Bookstore, the Career Services Office, the Financial Aid Office, the Registrar’s Office, the Office of Student Support Services, Library, Student Accounts, the Office of Teaching and Learning and the Response Desk.
  20. Do I need to maintain a specific grade point average?Yes. A GPA of 3.0 will be required for all terms.
  21. What happens if I do not earn a B in one of the courses?All students will be required to earn a grade of a B or better in all coursework. Any student unable to attain a B in a course will be required to repeat the course. Students may only retake one course in the program, before being dismissed from program. Re-entry to the program will only be considered if done within one year of voluntary withdrawal from the program. A guide for re-entry is provided in the PP-OTD Student Manual.
  22. Is a doctoral thesis required to complete the program?No. Students are required to complete an Individualized Doctoral Project and will be required to defend the project to a doctoral committee.
  23. Is NEIT accredited?NEIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Accreditation by NECHE is recognized by the federal government and entitles NEIT to participate in federal financial aid programs. Some academic departments have specialized professional accreditations in addition to accreditation by NEASC. For more information on accreditation, see NEIT’s catalog.
  24. Can I transfer the credits that I earn at NEIT to another college or university?The transferability of course credit is always up to the institution to which the student is transferring. Students interested in the transferability of their credits should contact the Office of Teaching and Learning for further information.
  25. Can I transfer credits earned at another college to NEIT?No. All credits must be taken at NEIT to comply with residency policies.
  26. How many credits do I need to qualify for Financial Aid?Many financial aid options are available. Our Financial Aid Office is dedicated to providing students with all the information and guidance necessary for them to take full advantage of the financial resources available to them from various federal, state, and private programs.
  27. How much does my program cost?New England Tech’s Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate program is competitively priced. Please see the tuition and fees page for detail.
  28. How do I purchase textbooks and other required materials?Students may purchase their textbooks either through the Bookstore or through online merchants. Textbooks and other required materials will be identified by the professor in the course syllabus at the beginning of each term.

Technical Standards

In addition to the acquisition of the appropriate knowledge in the sciences and humanities, the faculty of the New England Institute of Technology Occupational Therapy Program are committed to the education of all qualified individuals. The essential requirements for the successful completion of a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy are described below. The student needs to demonstrate the following skills and abilities, with or without reasonable accommodation.  When a student’s ability to perform is compromised, the student must demonstrate alternative means and/or abilities to perform the essential functions of the occupational therapy student described below.

Frequency Key: O = Occasionally (1-33%); F = Frequently (34-66%); C = Constantly (67-100%)

Ability Description O F C
Cognitive Process, synthesize, organize and learn new material in order to plan and implement a variety of activities. X
Identify cause-and-effect relationships in clinical situations; synthesize data and draw sound conclusions. X
Problem solve independently using several variables at once X
Utilize basic math concepts for measurement and construction tasks. X
Imitate role modeling of professional skills and behaviors X
Perceive events realistically, think rationally and clearly to function in routine and emergency situations X
Follow written or verbal instructions in English. X
Communication Communicate effectively with faculty, clients, staff and other professionals using layman’s terms or medical terminology as appropriate. X
Orally report data and observations in language appropriate to the situation. X
Read English sufficiently to understand and comprehend college level textbooks, written protocols, documentation in client’s chart, information necessary for documentation, evaluation, and directions on tools or packaging. X
Write English sufficiently to legibly record client evaluations, progress notes and other documentation for client’s chart. X
Express thoughts clearly and succinctly in one-on-one and larger group settings. X
Give written or verbal instructions in English to direct others in their work and to carry out intervention and assessment. X
Behavioral/

Social

Adjust to a variety of individuals and their distinct needs. Modify behaviors according to feedback from supervisors, clients and administrators X
Maintain a professional attitude during all work performance X
Adjust to changes in scheduling and demonstrate flexibility required to meet department or facility needs. X
Respect the integrity of all human beings and right for all individuals to receive appropriate treatment. X
Identify one’s own strengths and weaknesses and request assistance when needed. X
Maintain emotional stability and the maturity necessary to interact with other students, clients and professionals in a responsible manner X
Gross Motor Lift to carry or maneuver equipment weighing up to 60 lbs. X
Transfer or maneuver individuals weighing up to 200 lbs. X
Transfer patients to heights of up to 19 inches by lifting. X
Have physical strength, coordination and mobility to effectively operate and maintain equipment, safely move clients, carry out procedures and provide interventions X
Kneel, crouch, crawl, bend and maneuver in and out of various positions to address client needs. X
Demonstrate safe body mechanics for lifting, pushing, and pulling X
Navigate through various environments in a safe manner X
Reach to operate and obtain items overhead. X
Tolerate activity in standing or sitting for long periods of time or to respond to emergency situations X
Move from sitting to standing, walking and weight shifting to assist in the maintenance of a client’s posture or position for treatment intervention X
Ascend and descend stairs with minimal effort while carrying up to 15 pounds X
Fine Motor Demonstrate multiple grasp and pinch patterns, including dexterity for writing and keyboard function or to administer standardized tests. X
Locate and palpate correct anatomical location for assessment and treatment of changes in muscle tone X
Utilize firm grasp for sustained hand/arm use in a variety of activities such as setting up a testing or treatment environment and calibrating equipment with small parts. X
Sensory Visual: Observe and obtain information from all relevant sources required during client care. Acute enough to read small printed language on tools used for therapy. Also adequate distant vision to respond to cues in visual environment approximately 20 feet away   X
Visual: sufficient contrast sensitivity to interpret information on medical monitors and equipment with LED screens, etc. X  
Auditory: Perceive spoken word; hear and interpret loud, soft and muffled sounds (including alarms and machinery).   X
Tactile: Use sensation for physical assessment of clients (pulse/muscle movement) and to perceive environmental cues (temperature, vibration, pressure).   X
Olfactory: Distinguish smells which are contributory to assessing and/or maintaining client’s health status or environmental safety (i.e. fire)   X
Environmental Work in areas where personal boundaries may be violated (i.e. hugging from clients or other uncontrolled behaviors) X  
Work in areas of potential exposure to infectious waste, body fluids, wet or humid conditions. X
Work under stressful conditions and irregular hours while reacting calmly to emergency situations. X  
Cultural Communicate accurately, sensitively and effectively with clients and professionals from different cultural and social backgrounds. This includes expression and reception of non-verbal behaviors.   X

Get Ready to Lead

Online Program

Designed for working professionals who are ready to take on higher-level leadership positions, the graduate degree programs at New England Tech offer accelerated, immersive, specialized knowledge that gives you what you need for your next savvy career move. Each of our graduate programs shares an advanced technical curriculum, with a strong, integrated management core for which New England Tech is renowned. Take your leadership to a whole new level and be a change agent in your industry.

Our approach to online learning at New England Tech is different than most- we deliver an online curriculum in a hands-on way. This means our coursework is built in practice, not theory. Your case studies will be real-time, real-life situations, and you will actively engage with peers and faculty to create plans and solve problems together.

We believe that our graduates are our colleagues because, throughout their studies, they have forged relationships with peers and faculty members, all who are current, active experts in their respective industry. Our graduates leave with an edge over most due to the networking opportunities that exist due to our industry-expert faculty, and the instructional designers that helped create our curriculum.